Quietus Book of the Year Northern Soul Book of the Year The Australian Book of the Year Even if it’s a fool’s errand trying to decide which is the greatest LP out of The Fall’s huge back catalogue of albums, many fanatics of the group will tell you that the worst thing you can say about Hex is that it’s their equal best at the very least. – John Doran, ..Read More
You Must Get Them All is the first book to capture the full, incredible story of The Fall, from Live At The Electric Circus to New Facts Emerge. It covers every release – album, EP, single, compilation, live album – every line-up change, every setback and every triumph. It is a comprehensive chronology of the life and times of Britain’s most remarkable group, based on contemporary accounts, the recollections of Fall members and the experiences of the Fall community – the gig-goers, the record-buyers, the lyrical analysts and the factual obsessives.
It’s a book that challenges the clichés, lazy assumptions and common misconceptions about The Fall. But above all else, it celebrates the astonishing and significant body of work that the group created over their 40-odd years of existence.
People write to me and say, ‘I heard The Fall, which record should I get?’ And I never have any hesitation in telling them: you must get them all, because it’s impossible to pick one… and in fact I’ll go further. I say: anybody who can tell you the five best Fall LPs, or the five best Fall tracks, has missed the point, really. It’s the whole body of the work that is to be applauded. John Peel
It should no longer be our job to explain to people why The Fall are the greatest English rock band of the last 40 years. In fact, I’d politely suggest the onus is now on others to find out for themselves instead of us having to draw them a f***ing map. John Doran, The Quietus
Foreword by Paul Hanley
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Louder Than War, Book of the Year
You Must Get Them All is the yardstick by which all future books on the band will be judged and the bible for those worshipping at the Church of The Fall, past, present and future. This book will be one that I go back to time and time again.
You Must Get Them All is a serious read for serious fans. Pringle’s doorstep of a book takes its central conviction that, to understand The Fall, you’ve got to hear it all – every last note. It’s a refreshing antidote to the modern prediction for ‘how to buys’ and playlists. To this end, Pringle has put together a meticulous guide to everything released on record by the group. Every studio album is reviewed and put into proper context, there’s an invaluable guide to the dizzying number of live albums out there, every radio session is catalogued and commented upon. The detail is staggering and Pringle is never fawning when it comes to the man who made it all happen, acknowledging Smith’s failings and contradictions while highlighting the arcane wonders of his lyrical reference points and wit. He’s also careful to dish out credit where it’s due to the often undersung musicians who complemented Smith over the years.
Musique Machine, Release of the Month
Throughout the book Mr Pringle's writing remains both amazingly well-researched and detailed - yet always down-to-earth and honest. He never candy coats Mr Smith, painting him as a talented writer - but equally a difficult to get on with, bossy and often unpredictable figure, who throughout his life battled with substance abuse. He writes with true passion, yet always keeps his writing both entertaining and interesting - never resulting in bland and dull assessments. You Must Get Them All: The Fall on Record, truly stands as one of the gold standard books I’ve read on a musical project. As it gets just right it’s mixture of bio, even and balanced critic, and interesting facts 'n' figures. I do hope this won’t be Mr Pringle's one and only book, as he really is a highly talented writer - who juggles perfectly fact and personal observations - all packaged in a highly entertaining manner.
Manchester augur Mark E Smiths been gone since 2018, but The Fall's name lives on as shorthand for scathing, proletarian-minded guitars-and-voice abrasion. Enlarged from a blog, these 656 pages take on the now concluded canon, from 1979's Live At The Witch Trials to 2017's New Facts Emerge. It's an admirable approach, as all the albums get equal appraisal and context, and the gold in the radio sessions, tawdry comps and often bum-quality live releases. The Fall weren't simply the best at what they did, they were the only ones to do what they did.
J. Eric Smith
It is exceptionally rare to find books of music journalism where authors demonstrate equal skills as diligent researchers, accurate archivists, exceptional educators, and evocative story-tellers, but Steve Pringle has most definitely achieved that exquisite balance. You Must Get Them All also becomes that rare volume that can conceivably be of equal value to the most ferocious Fall Fans, to those readers who may be dipping their toes for the first time in the Fall’s sea of riches, or even for those curious souls who may just want to read a fascinating story about an eclectic and important collection of artists and personalities.
Albums in 200 Words
I must guide you all to Steve Pringle’s book You Must Get Them All. My reviews are quick snapshots to give you a quick guide to an album. Steve’s book is the book of the year, the definitive chronology of The Fall, buy it or ask for it as a Christmas present.
An extract from You Must Get Them All: a brief overview of The Fall's gig at Blackburn in September 2002, Eleni Poulou's debut performance with the group.
A notable gig took place on 22nd September at King George’s Hall, Blackburn. Not only would this performance go on to be released as a DVD and, in varying forms, on no less than three live albums (see Appendix 3), it saw the debut of two new keyboard players. Most significant was Eleni’s first appearance as group member, the beginning of a 14-year stint, but in addition Ruth Daniel joined Nick Dewey in the ‘in-The-Fall-for-one-day’ club. Daniel was invited to play after performing with her band Earl in Manchester.
At the end of the gig he asked me if I would be interested in playing some keys for The Fall. I said ‘I’d love to,’ but didn’t really think it would go anywhere. I rehearsed with the band (minus Mark) in Sankeys and learnt all the songs in one rehearsal. Then I was rushed out of the building when Mark arrived. This was because his girlfriend was also playing keys for the band and I gather that the manager hadn’t told Mark that I was playing. So, I turned up at the gig, still unsure whether I would be playing that night or whether Mark would fire me, before even really hiring me! But it all worked out fine, I played the gig and loved it. It was a top laugh.
The ‘he’ that Daniel presumed was the manager was, of course, Ed Blaney, who – six months after his resignation and estrangement from MES – was once more involved in the group’s affairs.
The Blackburn gig was filmed and released on DVD as A Touch Sensitive. Presumably because of the filming, it was a lengthy performance (around two hours) and the group resurrected several oldies. They were in raucous form, but on the older songs they sound a little ‘rocky’ and one-dimensional. Although they make a decent fist of ‘Mere Pseud Mag. Ed.’, ‘The Classical’ lacks subtlety and suffers – despite Milner’s best efforts – from not having two drummers. Ruth Daniels acquits herself well in her sporadic appearances. Eleni doesn’t appear until ‘The Classical’, to which she adds some jarring keyboards. Steve Evets makes a bizarre appearance during ‘Touch Sensitive’. Fag and can of lager in hand, he starts off by yelling ‘buy the car’ before proceeding to drown Smith out by shouting out random song titles. He does, to be fair, make a more successful contribution to ‘Big New Prinz’ before Smith ushers him off stage. Ed Blaney also pops up to sing the first part of ‘I Wake Up In The City’. Throughout, Smith seems relatively sober, sings with focus and behaves himself, although he spends a lot of time squatting by the drum riser, rifling through his lyric sheets. He also unplugs Pritchard’s guitar during ‘Free Range’. ‘Hit The North’ makes for a shambolic finale, featuring both keyboard players performing together plus Blaney and Evets taking a drumstick each to the drum kit as Milner ploughs on determinedly.
Of all the iconic musicians and scenes that emanate from Manchester, Simon Wolstencroft is the one who joins up the dots. He learnt his chops playing with Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke, but turned down The Smiths because he didn’t like the cut of Morrissey’s jib. He parted ways with his schoolmates Ian Brown and John Squire before The Patrol became The Stone R..Read More