Dragnet (album)

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Studio album by The Fall
Released 26 October 1979
Recorded 2–4 August 1979 at Cargo Studios, Rochdale, England
Genre Post-punk, art punk
Length 45:42
Label Step-Forward
Producer The Fall, Grant Showbiz
The Fall chronology
Live at the Witch Trials
Totale's Turns (It's Now or Never)

Dragnet is the second studio album by English art punk band The Fall. It was released on 26 October 1979, through record label Step-Forward. Reissues have included the non-album track "Rowche Rumble", which had been released as a single in the UK earlier that year.

Background and recording[edit]

The album was recorded on 2–4 August 1979, less than eight months after its predecessor, Live at the Witch Trials, establishing at an early stage two key patterns of the group's work; that of high productivity and that of a regular turnover of group members. Only Mark E. Smith and Marc Riley remained from the début album and Riley had changed his role from bass guitar to guitar. Dragnet is most notable for the arrivals of both guitarist Craig Scanlon and bassist Steve Hanley. Both were just 19 when they joined the group and would form The Fall's musical backbone until the mid 90s. This is the only studio album recorded with drummer Mike Leigh.[1]

The album is somewhat self-referential lyrically, with several songs referencing the music industry. At least two tracks, "Printhead" and "Your Heart Out", quote or paraphrase reviews of the band's live shows. "Printhead" even verifies this fact within its own lyric. Dragnet's production is muddy – Riley has claimed this was a deliberate contrast to the sharp, clean sound of Live at the Witch Trials.[1] It would be their final album for Miles Copeland III's Step-Forward label, with the group signing to Rough Trade Records in early 1980.

"Dice Man" takes its title from the novel The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
Drowned in Sound very favourable[3]

Reviews for Dragnet have been generally favourable. The album was ranked at No. 35 among the top "Albums of the Year" for 1979 by NME, with "Rowche Rumble" ranked at No. 21 among the year's top tracks.[4] Trouser Press opined that Dragnet is "not one of The Fall's best efforts, but contains at least two classic numbers, 'Spectre vs. Rector' and 'A Figure Walks.'".[5]


The most recent edition of the album (remastered for the first time from the original master tapes) issued via Castle Music in January 2004 added not just the B-sides from the two singles on either side of the album but also some previously unheard alternate takes and breakdowns from the session for the "Rowche Rumble" single.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks arranged by The Fall except "Printhead" (arr. by The Fall and Martin Bramah).

Side A
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Psykick Dancehall" Mark E. Smith, Marc Riley 3:48
2. "A Figure Walks" Smith 6:08
3. "Printhead" Smith 3:15
4. "Dice Man" Smith, Riley, Craig Scanlon 1:45
5. "Before the Moon Falls" Mike Leigh, Scanlon, Riley, Steve Hanley, Smith 4:31
6. "Your Heart Out" The Fall 3:07
Side B
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Muzorewi's Daughter" Kay Carroll, Smith 3:43
2. "Flat of Angles" Leigh, Scanlon, Riley, Hanley, Smith 4:55
3. "Choc-Stock" The Fall 2:37
4. "Spectre Vs Rector" Smith, Leigh, Scanlon, Hanley 7:56
5. "Put Away" Smith 3:26


The Fall
  • Mark E. Smith – vocals, electric piano, kazoo, tape, co-production
  • Steve Hanley – bass guitar, backing vocals, co-production
  • Marc Riley – guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals, co-production
  • Craig Scanlon – guitar, electric piano, kazoo, tape, co-production (credited as 'Craig Scanlan')
  • Mike Leigh – drums, co-production
  • Kay Carroll – backing vocals (credited as Mrs. Horace Sullivan)
  • Yvonne Pawlett – keyboards ("Rowche Rumble" and "In My Area")


  1. ^ a b Myers, Martin (2006). "Dragnet vs. Dub Housing". Pseud Mag (9). 
  2. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Dragnet – The Fall : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Fall – Live at the Witch Trials / Dragnet / Releases / Releases // Drowned in Sound". Drowned in Sound. 10 March 2004. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year". NME. 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  5. ^ Azzerad, Michael; Wolk, Douglas; Pattyn, Jay. "trouserpress.com :: Fall". trouserpress.com. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 

External links[edit]