The Marshall Suite
|The Marshall Suite|
|Studio album by|
|Released||12 October 1999|
|Recorded||Battery Studios, London, 1998|
|Producer||Mark E Smith, Steve Hitchcock|
|The Fall chronology|
The Marshall Suite is a 1999 album by the Fall (their 20th). The album builds on the techno-influenced beats of its predecessor Levitate (1997), while also returning to a more rockabilly-influenced sound reminiscent of earlier Fall line-ups. The end result has songs like the catchy "Touch Sensitive", and the strange, complex, thumping jungle beats of "The Crying Marshall". The album was long out of print, but a new 3-disc edition was released in the summer of 2011.
The Marshall Suite was made immediately after an American tour during which Mark E. Smith had an onstage fight with members of the band and was arrested following ongoing altercations at the hotel where the group were staying. While the remaining band members quit and returned to England, leaving Smith in a cell in Manhattan, Nagle chose to stay in the band, helping to assemble a new line-up of the group. This new line-up was still taking shape during the recording of the album; the group shed a drummer before recording could even begin, and the album features two different bassists. For these reasons, it is something of a patchwork: out of 13 tracks, "On My Own" is a reworking of the previous album's "Everybody But Myself", three tracks are covers, two are sound collages, and "The Crying Marshal" is a remix by producer Steven Hitchcock of a Smith collaboration with the Filthy Three ("Real Life of the Crying Marshal"). Two songs use some of the same lyrics (a 14th track, "Tom Raggazzi" - a reggae-tinged reprise of "Anecdotes..." - was included on the vinyl version). Nevertheless, the album was well received.
Around the time of its release, rumours circulated that The Marshall Suite was a concept album about "The Crying Marshall". Smith stopped short of denying this, telling The Wire that "I thought it would be good to do it as the story of his life, a themed LP, with a thread running through it. It's such an unhip thing to do". An unpublished section of the interview, later placed on the magazine's website, suggested Smith was not yet finished with his creation: "I do want to continue the Marshall theme, develop it. Maybe a five-sided thing next, the return of the Marshall". However, he does not appear to have returned to the theme on any subsequent Fall album.
2011 reissue (3CD)
- Mark E. Smith – vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass guitar on "Tom Ragazzi (Finale)", production
- Julia Nagle – keyboards, guitar, computer programming
- Neville Wilding – guitar, vocals
- Adam Helal – bass guitar
- Karen Leatham – bass guitar
- Tom Head – drums
- Allmusic review
- The Guardian review
- "The Marshall Suite: The Fall: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-01.
- "Wire-Adventures in Sound and Music". Thewire.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-01.