Live at the Witch Trials
|Live at the Witch Trials|
|Studio album by The Fall|
|Released||16 March 1979|
|Recorded||15 December 1978 at Sound Suite, Camden, England|
|Genre||Post-punk, art punk|
|Producer||The Fall, Bob Sargeant|
|The Fall chronology|
Original U.S. cover
Live at the Witch Trials is the debut studio album by The Fall. It was released on 16 March 1979, through record label Step-Forward. It is not, despite its title, a live album, but was recorded in the studio in the period of one day and mixed by producer Bob Sargeant the next.
No singles were taken from the album, a practice that would be commonplace for the group until 1986. Some songs dated from earlier incarnations of the group with both Tony Friel and Una Baines featuring on the writing credits. By the time the album was released, drummer Karl Burns had left the band and guitarist Martin Bramah also quit shortly afterwards to form Blue Orchids, leaving Mark E. Smith as the sole remaining founder member. The album was generally well-received by music critics.
The album was recorded at Camden Sound Suite on 15 December 1978 and mixed by producer Bob Sargeant the next day. The group had been booked into the studio for a week but Mark E. Smith had fallen ill, leading to the cancellation of the first three days. Some songs dated from earlier incarnations of the group with both Tony Friel and Una Baines featuring on the writing credits.
|1.||"Frightened"||Mark E. Smith, Tony Friel||5:02|
|2.||"Crap Rap 2 / Like to Blow"||Martin Bramah, Smith||2:04|
|3.||"Rebellious Jukebox"||Smith, Bramah||2:51|
|4.||"No Xmas for John Quays"||Smith||4:38|
|5.||"Mother-Sister!"||Smith, Una Baines||3:20|
|6.||"Industrial Estate"||Friel, Bramah, Smith||2:00|
|1.||"Underground Medecin"||Bramah, Smith||2:08|
|2.||"Two Steps Back"||Bramah, Smith||5:03|
|3.||"Live at the Witch Trials"||Smith||0:51|
|4.||"Futures and Pasts"||Bramah, Smith||2:36|
|5.||"Music Scene"||Bramah, Yvonne Pawlett, Smith, Marc Riley||8:00|
The album was released on 16 March 1979, through the record label Step-Forward. The US release of the album, also in 1979, came in alternate artwork and removed "Mother-Sister!" and "Industrial Estate", replacing them with "Various Times", the B-side of the group's second single, "It's the New Thing". All subsequent editions have followed the original UK tracklisting.
The album was available in its original form until the late 1980s, being reissued on vinyl, cassette and CD by I.R.S. Records in 1989. In 1997, Mark E. Smith's own Cog Sinister label issued a CD edition that was poorly mastered from a below-standard vinyl copy. However, in conjunction with Voiceprint, Cog Sinister reissued the album again in 2002 as Live at the Witch Trials +, claiming to be remastered but was, in fact, simply a clone of the I.R.S. disc, and adding the tracks from the group's first two singles, "Bingo Master's Breakout" and "It's the New Thing". In 2004, Castle Music released a two-disc CD "Expanded Deluxe Edition" of the album, mastered from the original tapes and with a vastly expanded tracklisting. However, the Castle Music reissue used a vinyl source for the three "Bingo Masters Break Out" EP tracks, the original tapes having been lost.
No singles were taken from the album, a practice that would be commonplace for the group until 1986.
|Drowned in Sound||9/10|
|Tiny Mix Tapes||favourable|
The album was given a generally positive reception from critics upon its release, with Record Mirror in particular giving it a full five stars and describing the album as "a rugged, concerned, attuned, rebellious jukebox".Melody Maker was less impressed, being especially negative about the group's then-rhythm section of Marc Riley and Karl Burns.
- The Fall
- Mark E. Smith – vocals, guitar ("Live at the Witch Trials"), tape operation ("Music Scene"), production
- Martin Bramah – guitar, backing vocals, production
- Marc Riley – bass guitar, production
- Karl Burns – drums, production
- Yvonne Pawlett – keyboards, production
- Bob Sargeant – production
- John Wriothesley – front cover artwork
- Graham Rhodes – sleeve photography
- Steve Lyons – sleeve photography
- Marc Riley interview with the BBC, 2004
- Raggett, Ned. "Live at the Witch Trials – The Fall : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: The Fall". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- "The Fall – Live at the Witch Trials / Dragnet / Releases / Releases // Drowned in Sound". Drowned in Sound. 10 March 2004. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- "[Melody Maker review]". Melody Maker.
- "[Record Mirror review]". Record Mirror. 31 March 1979.
- Scaruffi, Piero. "The History of Rock Music. Fall: Biography, Discography, Reviews, Links". scaruffi.com. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- Smith, Chris (1 September 2003). "The Fall – Live at the Witch Trials – On Second Thought – Stylus Magazine". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- "The Fall – Live at the Witch Trials | DeLorean | Tiny Mix Tapes". Tiny Mix Tapes. 21 September 2007. Retrieved 7 March 2013.