Bend Sinister (album)

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Bend Sinister
Bend Sinister.jpg
Studio album by the Fall
Released September 1986
Recorded 1986
Genre Post-punk
Length 45:05
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 was 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 that Smith had been carrying around and listening to on a Walkman.[1]

Julia Adamson, who engineered some of the recording sessions, would eventually join the Fall in 1995 as a keyboard/guitar player.


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


Bend Sinister was released in June 1986 by Beggars Banquet. It reached number 36 in the UK charts.[2] It also became the first Fall album to be released on CD, with the addition of single "Living Too Late" and B-side "Auto-Tech Pilot".

The record was released in the USA and Australia in 1987 on Big Time Records re-titled as The Domesday Pay-Off Triad -Plus! with a different track listing and cover.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[4]

Bend Sinister was ranked number 7 among the "Albums of the Year" for 1986 by NME.[5] In his retrospective review, Ned Raggett of AllMusic described it as a "distinctly down affair",[4] while Trouser Press called it "a rather gloomy, dark-sounding record".[6] Al Spicer, in The Rough Guide to Rock, called the album "not a great album by Fall standards".[7]

Neither Smith nor Leckie spoke highly of the album in later years.[8][9] Nonetheless, the record contains the group's 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 remained a regular feature of the group's live set.

Track listing[edit]

Vinyl LP[edit]

Side One
1."R.O.D."Brix Smith, Craig Scanlon, Mark E. Smith, Simon Rogers, Simon Wolstencroft4:31
2."Dktr. Faustus"Scanlon, M. Smith5:32
3."Shoulder Pads 1#"B. Smith, M. Smith2:54
4."Mr Pharmacist"Jeff Nowlen2:17
5."Gross Chapel – British Grenadiers"Scanlon, M. Smith, Steve Hanley7:20
Total length:22:34
Side Two
1."US 80's–90's"B. Smith, M. Smith4:34
2."Terry Waite Sez"M. Smith1:37
3."Bournemouth Runner"B. Smith, M. Smith, Hanley6:05
4."Riddler!"B. Smith, M. Smith, Rogers6:19
5."Shoulder Pads 2#"B. Smith, M. Smith1:56
Total length:20:31


1."R.O.D." 4:31
2."Dktr. Faustus" 5:32
3."Shoulder Pads 1#" 2:54
4."Mr Pharmacist" 2:17
5."Gross Chapel – British Grenadiers" 7:20
6."Living Too Late"M. Smith4:35
7."US 80's–90's" 4:34
8."Terry Waite Sez" 1:37
9."Bournemouth Runner" 6:05
10."Riddler!" 6:19
11."Shoulder Pads 2#" 1:56
12."Auto-Tech Pilot"M. Smith, Hanley4:51
13."Town and Country Hobgoblins" (live recording of "City Hobgoblins", cassette only)Marc Riley, Scanlon, Hanley, M. Smith3:00



  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. ^
  4. ^ a b Raggett, Ned. "Bend Sinister – The Fall | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year". NME. 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  6. ^ Azerrad, Michael; Wolk, Douglas; Pattyn, Jay. " :: Fall". Trouser Press. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  7. ^ Spicer, Al (2003). Buckley, Peter, ed. The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. p. 359. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  8. ^ "[Q article]". Q (Special Edition: Morrissey & The Story of Manchester). 2006.
  9. ^ Taylor, Steve (27 September 2006). The A to X of Alternative Music. A&C Black. p. 106. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  10. ^ Simpson, Dave (2009) [2008]. The Fallen (Paperback). Canongate. p. 225.