The Light User Syndrome

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The Light User Syndrome
Studio album by The Fall
Released 10 June 1996
Recorded The Dairy, London, 1996[1]
Genre Post-punk
Length 59:30
Label Jet
Producer Mike Bennett, Mark E. Smith
The Fall chronology
The Twenty-Seven Points
The Light User Syndrome
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]
NME (7/10)[3]

The Light User Syndrome is an album by The Fall, released in 1996 on Jet Records. It was preceded by 8 minute, 3-part single "The Chiselers" and was the group's first album to feature keyboard player and guitarist Julia Nagle, It was the last to feature Brix Smith and the group were without Craig Scanlon for the first time since their debut, Live At The Witch Trials. The album features a rare lead vocal from drummer and guitarist Karl Burns on a cover version of Johnny Paycheck's "Stay Away (Ol' White Train)."

Brix Smith told Simon Ford that the album was recorded very quickly, with Mark E. Smith absent for much of the recording, delivering nearly all his vocals on the final day.[4] Despite this, alternate versions of many of the album's tracks featured heavily across the series of compilation albums issued by the Receiver label in the late '90s. The tour supporting the album was disastrous, with Brix walking out of the group after the soundcheck at Motherwell Concert Hall and a gig in Worthing being declared by long-serving bassist Steve Hanley to be the worst Fall gig ever.[5] By the end of the year, they were playing without Brix, Julia Nagle and Karl Burns, although both Nagle and Burns would return during 1997 for follow-up album Levitate.[5]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "D.I.Y Meat" (Smith/Smith)
  2. "Das Vulture Ans Ein Nutter-Wain" (Smith/Hanley)
  3. "He Pep!" (Smith/Wolstencroft)
  4. "Hostile" (Smith/Smith)
  5. "Stay Away (Ol' White Train)" (Johnny Paycheck)
  6. "Spinetrak" (Smith/Smith)
  7. "Interlude"/"Chilinism" (Smith/Burns/Hanley/Wolstencroft/Nagle/Bennett)
  8. "Powder Keg" (Smith/Burns)
  9. "Oleano" (Smith)
  10. "Cheetham Hill" (Smith/Wolstencroft/Bennett)
  11. "The Coliseum" (Smith/Spencer)
  12. "Last Chance To Turn Around" (Milrose/Bruno/Elgin)
  13. "The Ballard Of J. Drummer" (Smith) (this is the correct title, it was misprinted on early copies as "The Ballad Of J. Drummer")
  14. "Oxymoron" (Smith/Nagle)
  15. "Secession Man" (Smith/Burns/Bennett)


The album has been reissued twice, firstly by Receiver in 1999 and then by Castle Music in 2002. Both of these editions added the other two tracks from The Chiselers single; "The Chiselers" and "Chilinist".



  1. ^ The Fall Discography.The Light User Syndrome
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ NME review
  4. ^ Ford, Simon (2003). Hip Priest: The Story Of Mark E Smith And The Fall. London: Quartet Books. ISBN 0-7043-8167-2
  5. ^ a b The Fall gigography | 1996

External links[edit]

A web page with photos, about the recording of the album The Light User Syndrome from