Bend Sinister (album)

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Bend Sinister
Studio album by The Fall
Released September 1986
Recorded 1986
Genre Post-punk
Length 52:56
Label Beggars Banquet
Producer John Leckie
The Fall chronology
This Nation's Saving Grace
Bend Sinister
The Frenz Experiment

Bend Sinister is the ninth studio album by English post-punk band The Fall. It was released in September 1986 by record label Beggars Banquet.

Recording and production[edit]

Bend Sinister was the third and last Fall album to be produced by John Leckie. When recording began, the band were without a drummer, as Karl Burns was fired shortly before sessions began. Ex-member Paul Hanley stepped in at first before permanent replacement Simon Wolstencroft was found. However, Leckie and Mark E. Smith argued during the recording, with Smith complaining that "he'd always swamp everything, y'know, put the psychedelic sounds over it". Leckie, for his part, drew the line at Smith's insistence that some tracks be mastered from a standard audio cassette which Smith had been carrying around and listening to on a Walkman.[1]


The album's title is taken from Vladimir Nabokov's 1947 novel of the same name.


Bend Sinister was released in June 1986 by record label Beggars Banquet. It reached number 36 in the UK charts.[2]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[3]

In his retrospective review, Ned Raggett of AllMusic described it as a "distinctly down affair",[3] while Trouser Press called it "a rather gloomy, dark-sounding record".[4] Al Spicer, in The Rough Guide to Rock, called the album "not a great album by Fall standards".[5]

Neither Smith nor Leckie speak highly of the album today.[6][7] Nonetheless, the record contained their version of "Mr. Pharmacist", originally by US garage rock band The Other Half, which gave The Fall their first UK Top 75 entry,[2] and remains a regular feature of the group's live set to this day.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "R.O.D."   Brix Smith, Craig Scanlon, Mark E. Smith, Simon Rogers, Simon Wolstencroft 4:31
2. "Dktr. Faustus"   Scanlon, M. Smith 5:32
3. "Shoulder Pads 1"   B. Smith, M. Smith 2:54
4. "Mr Pharmacist"   Jeff Nowlen 2:17
5. "Gross Chapel – British Grenadiers"   Scanlon, M. Smith, Steve Hanley 7:20
6. "Living Too Late" (CD/cassette only) M. Smith 4:35
7. "US 80's–90's"   B. Smith, M. Smith 4:34
8. "Terry Waite Sez"   M. Smith 1:37
9. "Bournemouth Runner"   B. Smith, M. Smith, Hanley 6:05
10. "Riddler!"   B. Smith, M. Smith, Rogers 6:19
11. "Shoulder Pads 2"   B. Smith, M. Smith 1:56
12. "Auto-Tech Pilot" (CD/cassette bonus track) M. Smith, Hanley 4:51
13. "Town and Country Hobgoblins" (cassette-only live track) Marc Riley, Scanlon, Hanley, M. Smith 3:00


The Fall
Additional personnel
  • Paul Hanley – drums on "Dktr Faustus" and "Living Too Late"
  • John Leckie – production
  • Joe Gillingham – engineering (uncredited)
  • Julia Adamson – engineering (uncredited)[8]
  • Jeff Veitch – sleeve photography
  • Kint B. – sleeve photography
  • Larry Rodriguez – sleeve photography
  • Lars Schwander – sleeve photography
  • Steve Saporito – sleeve photography
  • Sue Dean – sleeve photography


  1. ^ "[Q article]". Q (Special Edition: Morrissey & The Story of Manchester). 2006. 
  2. ^ a b "Fall | Official Charts Company". Official Charts. Retrieved 22 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Raggett, Ned. "Bend Sinister – The Fall | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Azerrad, Michael; Wolk, Douglas; Pattyn, Jay. " :: Fall". Trouser Press. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Spicer, Al (2003). Buckley, Peter, ed. The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. p. 359. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "[Q article]". Q (Special Edition: Morrissey & The Story of Manchester). 2006. 
  7. ^ Taylor, Steve (27 September 2006). The A to X of Alternative Music. A&C Black. p. 106. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  8. ^ Simpson, Dave (2009) [2008]. The Fallen (Paperback). Canongate. p. 225.