The Fall are an English post-punk band, formed in 1976 in Prestwich, Greater Manchester. With an ever-changing line up, the Fall essentially consists of founder and only constant member, Mark E. Smith, who has quipped "if it's me and your granny on bongos, then it's [the] Fall". The line up has featured a number of significant musicians, including Steve Hanley and Craig Scanlon.
First associated with the late 1970s punk movement, the band's music has evolved through numerous stylistic changes, often concurrently with changes in the group's line-up. Nonetheless, the Fall's music is typically characterised by repetition and an abrasive guitar-driven sound, and is always underpinned by Smith's typically cryptic lyrics, described by Steve Huey as "abstract poetry filled with complicated wordplay, bone-dry wit, cutting social observations and general misanthropy."
The Fall have been called "the most prolific band of the British post-punk movement." They have released thirty-one studio albums as of 2015, and more than triple that if live albums and compilations (often released against Smith's wishes) are taken into account. While the Fall have never achieved widespread success beyond minor hit singles in the late 1980s, they have a maintained a strong cult following. They were long associated with BBC disc jockey John Peel, who championed them from early on in their career. Peel described the Fall as his favourite band, famously explaining, "they are always different; they are always the same."