Seminal Live

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Seminal Live
Seminal Live.jpg
Studio album by The Fall
Released June 1989
Genre Post-punk
Length 41:13 (vinyl)
59:59 (CD/cassette)
Label Beggars Banquet
Producer Shan Hira,
Mark E. Smith
The Fall chronology
I Am Kurious Oranj
Seminal Live
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[1]
Alternative Press favourable[2]
NME 6/10[3]
Record Mirror 3/5[4]

Seminal Live is a 1989 album by British rock band The Fall, recorded partly in the studio and partly at live performances in 1988. The album was the last to be released by the group through Beggars Banquet Records, and as such is often seen as a "contractual obligation" album. It was also the last Fall album to feature Brix Smith, former wife of lead singer Mark E. Smith, until her return for 1995's Cerebral Caustic.

The studio recordings on Seminal Live were all new songs and make up the first five tracks of the album—side one on the original vinyl release. The live recordings on side two, meanwhile, are all versions of previously-released tracks.

In a 2006 interview with The Pseud Mag fanzine, keyboardist Marcia Scofield called Seminal Live "the worst piece of shit I have ever worked on [...] Talk about exhausted and out of ideas. It was one of those-we've just come off tour and have to make a record so what shit covers can we bung on it?-album".[5]


Critical response to the album was somewhat mixed. Andrew Collins, writing in the NME, suggests: "Seminal Live is worse than an intellectual letdown, it's a tease".[6] The songs themselves also provoked a variety of responses from journalists. Jason Pettigrew of the Alternative Press writes: "For pure weirdness value, look no further than "Mollusc in Tyrol", a musique concrete rave-up on top of a Neubauten "Yu-Gung" rhythm track that's been buried alive".[7] A reviewer for the Record Mirror, by contrast, says: "'Mollusc In Tyrol' is a totally unbearable drone which should never have found its way from the vaults".[8]

Track listing[edit]

Vinyl version[edit]

Side one (Seminal)
  1. "Dead Beat Descendant" (Mark E. Smith, Brix E. Smith) – 2:25
  2. "Pinball Machine" (Lonnie Irving) – 2:53
  3. "H.O.W." (M. Smith) – 4:18
  4. "Squid Law" (M. Smith, Steve Hanley, Craig Scanlon) – 3:42
  5. "Mollusc in Tyrol" (M. Smith, Craig Leon) – 5:10
    • A home recording of Mark E. Smith singing over "Donkeys Bearing Cups" from Leon's Nommos LP)
Side two (Live)
  1. "2 × 4" (M. Smith, B. Smith) – 3:55
  2. "Elf Prefix"/"L.A." (M. Smith, B. Smith) – 5:02
  3. "Victoria" (Ray Davies) – 2:57
  4. "Pay Your Rates" (M. Smith) – 3:52
  5. "Intro/Cruisers Creek" (M. Smith, Simon Rogers) – 6:58

CD/cassette version[edit]

  1. "Dead Beat Descendant" (Mark E. Smith, Brix E. Smith) – 2:25
  2. "Pinball Machine" (Lonnie Irving) – 2:53
  3. "H.O.W." (M. Smith) – 4:18
  4. "Squid Law" (M. Smith, Steve Hanley, Craig Scanlon) – 3:42
  5. "Mollusc in Tyrol" (M. Smith, Craig Leon) – 5:10
  6. "Kurious Oranj" (M. Smith, Hanley, Simon Wolstencroft) – 5:59
  7. "Frenz" (M. Smith) – 5:23
  8. "Hit the North" (M. Smith, Simon Rogers, B. Smith) – 3:12
  9. "2 × 4" (M. Smith, B. Smith) – 3:55
  10. "Elf Prefix"/"L.A." (M. Smith, B. Smith) – 5:02
  11. "Victoria" (Ray Davies) – 2:57
  12. "Pay Your Rates" (M. Smith) – 3:52
  13. "Intro/Cruisers Creek" (M. Smith, Rogers) – 6:58
  14. "In These Times" (M. Smith) – 4:12
  • All additional tracks are further live recordings
  • Tracks 8–10, 12 and 14 recorded at the Arena, Vienna, Austria on 16 April 1988
  • Tracks 6, 7, and 11 recorded at an unknown venue, possibly in Manchester,[7] in 1988. Track 13 recorded at Manchester G-Mex; Bill Grundy introduced the band onstage and his intro was used on the album.



  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Alternative Press review
  3. ^ NME review
  4. ^ Record Mirror review
  5. ^ PSA Marcia Schofield - Reformation!
  6. ^ Collins, Andrew (1989). "Frenz Again". NME.
  7. ^ a b Pettigrew, Jason (1989). Review. Alternative Press.
  8. ^ "The Fall—Seminal Live" (1989). Record Mirror

External links[edit]