Mark E. Smith, legendary leader of long-running UK post-punk band The Fall, has died. He was 60. The news initially broke via a Fall fan Twitter account, as announced via manager Pam Van Damned. “”It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Mark E. Smith. He passed this morning at home,” the Tweet reads. The cause of his death has not been revealed, though Smith recently had to cancel some tour dates because of some medical issues, and he had recently performed in a wheelchair.
Smith first formed The Fall in the late ’70s after meeting Una Baines, and the band’s debut EP Bingo Master’s Break Out! was released in 1978. From there, the band kept up a steady stream of prolific releases, having issued 32 full-length albums in their career, including critical favorites such as This Nation’s Saving Grace, Grotesque (After the Gramme), Live at the Witch Trials, Hex Enduction Hour and The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall.
Smith developed a reputation for being a prickly personality, and the lineup for The Fall changed numerous times over the years, cycling through dozens of members during their 40 years. The band’s last album was 2017’s New Facts Emerge. Late BBC radio DJ John Peel was a big fan of the band, and famously said of them, “They are always different, they are always the same.”
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.