Live at the Witch Trials is the debut studio album by The Fall. It was released on 16 March 1979, through record label Step-Forward. It is not, despite its title, a live album and was recorded in a studio in a single day and mixed by producer Bob Sargeant.Wikipedia
If you're not in the mood, this is just a drunkard singing pub songs. But i'm always in the mood, and when you are, this is one of the most most clever artist. Those bass-lines are proper good. It has a perfect mix of the madchester funkyness mixed with post punk. RIP.
Production: 13/20 Songwriting: 16/20 Innovation: 17/20 Bangers: 20/20 Emotional response: 16/20 =82 Fuckin crackin mate
Snarling, growling, like a dog in the corner, Mark E Smith is utterly terrifying, all bark and all bite as the band make incredible post punk. I think this might be genius. I think this might be a work of art.
For a while I was waiting for traditinal songcraft to emerge from the assembled disorder of these boldly struck notes. But after spending a few moments considering the title Industrial Estate, I reckon cascading riffs, tumbling drums and vocals on the point of jumping up and running out of the room are better when only loosely connected. To borrow a phrase from Chuck Eddy, call it soundcraft.
Close to what I like but not exactly
I like the energy and attitude, but the songwriting just isn’t there in most cases. I could see later albums by this band really growing into something cool, but this debut just doesn’t do it for me
I am pretty sure that I don't like this album at all, but I was in a peculiar mood on my walk this morning and found myself laughing at a couple of moments that I guess I found absurd...so maybe that is a sign that there is something there. On second listen...I was right, I really don't like this album.
On my first listen, I approached with caution after hearing about The Fall's thorny and abrasive reputation. I enjoyed "Frightened", and then spent the rest of it trying to decipher Mark E Smith's incendiary rants. On my second listen, I started to lose hope that I'd find anything rewarding in "Live at the Witch Trials". It was initially intriguing, but quickly wearisome and seemed more like something to appreciate at arm's length. But then, on my third listen, I was suddenly confronted by the stench of sausage meat, docklands debris, dusty paperbacks and fermented whiskey. I turned round to see the ghost of Mark E Smith, hunched in the doorway and scowling at the books on my shelf. He had absolutely nothing to say to me, but I thought I'd better make conversation. I let him know I was listening to "Live at the Witch Trials" and struggling to enjoy any of it. "Why are you pissing away your time listening to something you haven't the brains or the balls for?" "Well, it's part of this online album generator, it's in the book of 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die". "I always hated those fucking books. Imagine having to be told what to listen to- does this Robert Dimery bloke tell you how to get dressed or wank yourself off as well? Anyway, who the fuck would bother with all that nonsense? I can tell you now that the whole list will invariably be total shite." I steeled myself and pressed on. Told him I couldn’t really connect with the album's format. It degenerated into repetitive, one-note ranting, was poorly produced, had no display of musical skill, and was hindered rather than helped by its "recorded-in-one-day" slapdash feel. He rolled his ghostly eyes to the back of his ghostly head and said I reminded him of all the bum-boys at NME. After some more staggered back-and-forth, I thought I should try and look for common ground. "Do you want to hear what I have given five stars?" "Not really." "The Smiths- The Queen Is Dead." "Never could stand them. Pseudo-intellectual snivelly pap." "Pavement- Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain." "Those rip-off twats have never had an original fart, never mind a song." "The Beatles- Abbey Road." "What the fuck is this, 'Music To Be Breastfed To'?" I gave up after that. He did a very deep sigh, and reached for a swig of my beer but just poured it onto the carpet ("I'm always doing that", he said). He told me he really didn't care what I - or anyone on this website, for that matter - thought. He told me that we were all insignificant to him, he's a legend and we never will be, that if I didn't get it and would prefer to listen to The Beatles it's my fault, not his. So, all things considered, I don't feel remotely bad giving this two stars. Sometimes infamy and reputation just can't account for personal preference.
what a fun album, really weird style but I loved it 10/10
All I could think while I was listening was wow, what a strong debut album. I feel like the opening lyrics to 'Mother - Sister!' really encapsulates this album in the best way. "Er, what's this thing about? Er, nothing." I feel like the artists didn't worry about hitting you over the head with a message or conforming to what might have been expected from a debut album, they just created a series of rocking songs from start to finish. Some might dismiss it as sounding like drunken rambling at times, but I think that's what makes the album special.
We are the Fall Northern white crap that talks back We are not black. Tall. No boxes for us. Do not fuck us. We are frigid stars. We were spitting, we were snapping "Cop Out, Cop Out!" as if from heaven. PREFS: TOUT MOINS PREFS: RIEN
Wow I more knew of The fall and Mark E Smith before, but damn I loved that. Raw but crucially great tunes and lyrics, middle of the album sagged a little, but was great!
The Mighty Fall! Didn't know this first album, but as good as e.g. Wonderful & Frighening World of and Kurious Oranj. Saw them live once and was amazing, Mark E Smith made sure everything rhymes by e.g. putting "Uh" after each word, my FriendsUH dont count up to one HandUH!. 5 stars!
Unhinged, weird, but I kinda loved it in all honesty. I think I prefer this one to another The Fall album the generator gave me a month or so ago, This Nation's Saving Grace. Favourite: Mother-Sister! "-Uh, what's this song about?" "-Uh, nothin'."
A raucous, melodic good time. Melodies and countermelodies balance the punk aggression without muting it in the slightest.
A surprisingly decent, very old album. Has meaningful and cryptic lyrics with an abrasive sound throughout
actually quite liked this, do like a manchester band to be fair
Had forgotten how good it is.
I guess this is punk without the aggressive/fast music. Also, the riff on the last track sounded like Republica's "Ready to Go"
Punk Fuckin Rock!
The roots of punk!
Das hat doch Hand und Fuß - 4
Thought I was listening to the artic monkeys. Cool.
Wreszcie powrot na lono wyspiarskie, gdzie tym razem wylosowalo post punkowa perelke, bo live at the witch trials to jeden z tych albumow, ktory raczej nie podejdzie szerokiemu gronu sluchaczy, ale tych ktorych zauroczyl zmieni w the fallowych fiendow, laknacych wiecej tego typu materialu, co stanowi o jego unikatowosci tego krazka, zaczynajac od tytulu, live at the witch trials, pasowaloby do zapisu jakiegos wystepu, ale jest to debiutancki numer grupy, a nazwa moze nawiazywac do tego, ze calosc zostala nagrana podczas jednodniowej sesji, co do samych livowych albumow, to w dyskografii zespolu jest ich 55 co z 31 albumami studyjnymi tworzy naprawde gigantyczna kolekcje, co jest w tym wszystkim najciekawsze jest to jak wygladal sklad grupy w przeciagu tych prawie 40 lat, jedynie wokalista i osoba odpowiedzialna za teksty byla czlonkiem ktory pozostal z orginalnej ekipy i zakonczyl swoj zywot jako ojciec zalozyciel bandy, dajac wystepy z wozka inwalidzkiego, po smierci Marka Smitha banda zakonczyla dzialanosc w 2k18, wiec juz to daje wskazowke gdzie bedzie lezec jedna z glowych sil zespolu, kontencie lirycznym, 38 minut materialu nagrania ma w sobie tyle pomyslow, ktorych ciezko szukac na calej dyskografii niektorych zespolow, tak patrze na ciebie U2 i radjohedzie, glownym poruszanym tematem sa narkotyki, z dosc wyraznym protestem przeciwko szuakniu wolnosci w niewoli substancji, co najlepiej slychac na trakach frightened, no xmas for john quays, jedna z lepszych gier slownych jakie widzialem w tytulach piosenek, ale nie jest plyta wylacznie o drugach, bo kawalki takie jak rebellious jukebox ladnie podsumowuje brytyjska scene muzyczna, porownojac ja do grajacej szafy, jest to jeden z najbardziej catchowych songow calej plyty, zwlaszcza fragment refrenowy i wykorzystane tam klawisze, ale co do powtorzen, to jest nawet caly kawalek na ten temat repetition, song stworzony zeby byl jak najbardziej monotonym songiem plyty, akurat nie pojawia sie na orginalnym wydaniu, ale spotifaj mial ultra giga deluxe z ponad dwoma godzinami materialu i prawdziwymi livowymi nagraniami, niestety wiekszosc w dosc garazowej jakosci, repetition moglby byc nihilistycznym hymnem stwierdzajacym nijakosc wszystkiego wokol, jak na post punka to nie moglo zabraknac takze tematow zwiazanych z nierownosciami spolecznymi, zwlaszcza jesli chodzi o los klasy pracowniczej jak na kawalku industrial estate, wiec jest czego sluchac, a przygrywa temu dosc klasyczny sklad, bo gitarka, basior, drumy i klawisze, ktore najbardziej sie wybijaja na tle innych instrumentali i czuc ich obecnosc, pewnie dlatego tez pan Pawlett ktory na nich gra pojawia sie jeszcze na kilku materialach bandy, ale jak na material nagrywany podczas jednej sesji to nie ma sie za bardzo czego przyczepiac do reszty ekipy, produkcja odwalila takze kawal dobrej roboty, majac porownanie sluchajac prawdziwych livowych wersji, instrumenty sa wyraznie zaznaczone na kanalach, a jednoczesnie czuc buntowniczy charakter i lajwowosc nagrania na orginalnym wydaniu, plyta z pewnoscia przekonala mnie do zapoznania sie z reszta tworcznosci the falla i sama persona jej zalozyciela i osobe wokol ktorej sie zespol obracal Marka Smitha, co do kawalkow ktore leca na plejke, to beda to otwierajacy frightened, swiateczny songers i powtorzeniowy majstersztyk
Incredible album. Mark E. Smith has an very unique voice. Top 3 Fall album. 8/10
It's incongruous that I don't really know the music of the Fall. Late 70s early 80s alternative music is MY era, so why did the Fall escape my grasp? Anyhow my first listen to this album and I very much enjoyed it. It's got some dissonance that reminds me of PiL. Definitely has an avant-garde feel which might explain why it escaped my radar. But even using these descriptors it still had some accessibility. 3.75 🌟
This the shit im looking for. Cool stuff ive never heard of.
Really enjoyed this one, especially from a band I hadn't heard before. Will get more play time from me, for sure!
Sounds like an album I should have already listened to. Very enjoyable
I'm only somewhat familiar with The Fall. I've heard This Nation's Saving Grace a long time ago, but I already forgot what it sounded like. I know, that sounds crazy, but it didn't click with me at the time. This album, however, clicked almost instantly. I'm excited to return to this one. I like the punk-ish sound it has. There were some areas that lost me, but for the most part it's good!
Enjoyed this one. Punk rock vibes. Great lyrics. Love bass and drum parts.
Pretty solid post-punk
I am actually starting to love the Fall, just a little bit
Pretty great! 2nd listen. Standouts: Frightened, Rebellious Jukebox, more…
It's a solid album. I honestly don't have too many thoughts other than I thought it was very good but not quite great.
A very cool album. O e that I missed back in the day but I'm happy to discover it at this late date. It does get a little avant garde here and there but it ne er loses its pop song way. 3.75 🌟
“An album of staggeringly rich, mature music, inner questioning hand in hand with rock and roll at its fiercest, its finest, its most honest, rock and roll at its naked, most stimulating prime.”
I like the Fall and this is a good one. My biggest issue with this album and the Fall in general is more isn't better. There output is impressive but there songs are highly repetitive. Still good stuff.
Angry, almost toxic album that screams '1979'. They finished it in a day, took me a little longer.
Liked the album and it's fun to hear where all the post-punk bands I regularly listen to come from. 4/5
Punk como melódico. Está bien. Un 4.
This is why this list is so great. It introduced me to albums like this. Love it.
Another album from The Fall and another album that took a few listens to 'get'. Superb album
If this record was a person it'd be Johnny from NAKED. So a pretty good portrait of Mark E. Smith, then.
Punky, in the dad kind of way. Clearly inspired the likes of I, Ludicrous and Sultans of Ping. Enjoyable.
Look mate, I am always biased when it comes down to The Fall. This album rocks. Love how young Mark E Smith handled the mojo in this record. You can hear many bands drinking from this nectar in the decades to come. Hit the north!
"Live at the Witch Trials" is the debut studio album by English punk/post-punk band The Fall. This album was recorded in a single day and mixed by Bob Sargeant. Impressive. At the time the album was released, only vocalist/guitarist Mark E. Smith remained from the original band formed in 1976. This is a unique and eerie sounding album. Both qualities I like in an album. Eerie guitars open "Frightened." An interesting, slower beat. He's in a trance from doing drugs. The drug-theme continues in "Crap Rap 2/Like To Blow." We're pretty much in punk territory here with the pace. Great bass. Scratching guitars. Smith screaming "I Like to Blow." The band gets more of a groove going in "Rebellious Jukebox." Great guitar chorus. A song very much of its late 70's/early 80's time. Smiths' stance against prevailing trends. They're back to drugs in "No Xmas for John Quays." And back to more straight-forward punk. A dark song. Hüsker Dü was listening. There is no Xmas for junkies. A high-pitched guitar starts "Industrial Estate." A punk beat. Smith commenting on the pollution from industry. I dug Smith's I-dont-give-a-fuck tone. He uses that quite a bit. "Futures and Pasts" is more pop-punk. A guitar sounding like a keyboard carries the melody. Smith offers a depressing view of both the past and future. Oh, how punk. And they continue the "Oh-how-punk" attitude on the album closer "Music Scene." Heavy bass and drums. Guitar sounding quite a bit like early P.I.L. A tirade against the music industry. They purposely made it 8-minutes long as a statement and to piss people off. They should have made it 25 minutes. I liked this album quite a bit. I've liked most things I've heard from The Fall. Bits sound like other bands but The Fall is very unique. I know there's a few more Fall albums upcoming and I'm waiting.
The Fall is my favorite kind of Post-Punk. The kind that is still pretty damn punk.
I'd never listened to this album before, but have liked everythibthing I heard from The Fall in the past. I thought this was great, interesting lyrics and a lot of interesting things going on musically. More complex than I was expecting for a punk band, I can see why they're considered so influential.
This was my introduction to The Fall and I’m a fan. This is an excellent post punk album, I carried on listening to the extended version and live tracks as well. I liked the classic punk snarl delivery and sharp guitars. Didn’t find any of the tracks to be filler really, standouts for me were Rebellious Jukebox, Two Steps Back and Music Scene. Great stuff 4 stars
I enjoyed this much more than previous Fall albums I checked out, it actually made me laugh a bit. Loved Rebellious Jukebox and the "SIX MINUTES" in Music Scene was funny.
I don't mind this at all.
Gott post-pönk. Stendur alveg fyrir sínu, enn þann dag í dag.
It’s as if whenever Mark E. Smith opens his mouth he is possessed by post-punk itself - also amphetamine - but mainly post-punk. The album opens perfectly with the hauntingly great “Frightened” that really helps set the tone for the entire record. Throughout I was mesmerized by Karl Burns’ erratic drumming. It really encapsulates almost everything I want in a punk drummer. Nothing short of phenomenal. There are a few misses along the way, but not once did I lose interest. What a stroke of luck that Mark E. Smith fell ill during the first days of recording. Being limited to only one day of recording must’ve been the main factor in the frantic vibe on this. And for that I’m glad.
The title of this STUDIO album is either brilliant or idiotic. I can't quite figure it out. But the music itself is exceptionally fierce and thoroughly enjoyable. A post-punk album recorded in a single day sounds like an awful idea, but it's clear that all members must have practiced an insane amount prior to the recording session. Especially the playful drumming of Karl Burns stands out on this frantic, yet quite streamlined collection of tracks. While there are less enjoyable moments ('Industrial Estate'), the highs definitely outweigh the lows: the awesome changes in tempo on 'Mother - Sister!', the perfect opener 'Frightened' and the almost prototype mathrock on 'Rebellious Jukebox'.
When punk was very raw.
lacking that punch yknow i like some
jonkees. bri ish init. guitar reminds me of my dad lol. jonkees.
Carried on listening to The Fall after, they do be having better albums
Great punk elements throughout, a little too free form for my tastes but can definitely appreciate the sound they were going for
New wave/post punk. It's lacking the post-punk sound both in instrumentation and vocals, and is quite safe tonally. 5/10, lukewarm.
Ja gut, das alles klingt, gemessen an den vielen großen Würfen des späteren Outputs noch recht statisch, Mark E. Smiths Sneer ist noch unterentwickelt und auch rumpeln tut es noch nicht so schön. Wenn auch Schlagzeug und Bass schon damals wussten wo sie hin wollten und wie lange der Kaugummi kaut. Aber da musste man ja auch erstmal drauf kommen, 1979 in einem untergehenden England, und eine vage Idee gibt mir dass ja auch Smith einer der ca. 45 oder so Besucher des legendären Sex-Pistols-Gigs in der Lesser Free Trade Hall im Juni 1976 war (sonst noch dabei: halb Joy Division, die Buzzcocks, Morissey, Tony Wilson und natürlich Mick Hucknall), und auch er seine Lehren daraus gezogen hat. Wollte ich aber nur so loswerden, hat nichts mit der Platte zu tun. Die kriegt von mir 3 Punkte, schon allein wegen "No Christmas for John Quays", für "Music Scene" und für "Rebellious Jukebox".
I love the way Mark E Smith adds a vowel to the end of the last word of every sentence. Makes his rants sound more caustic. I like his attitude and style, and while the first song is a classic, a whole album is a bit much. Hard to believe he/they released 30+ studio albums.
This was fun, I've heard a lot about the Fall but never listened to them. What I found here was a post punk record filled with quick catchy hooks
This is an interesting album from a time when desperately needed new sounds had finally emerged. I never heard of this band. Not surprising since, other than college radio stations, there was zero chance a station (especially in Northern Ontario) would pick this up. I quite like the drumming and read that Karl Burns was fired from The Fall multiple times. Their loss (and gain when rehired!)
A little rough but not too shabby.
Pretty good, sounds like Punk mixed with New Wave and Alternative music.
Semi weird punk. Later half was good!
I liked the music but can only handle one song at a time, not a whole album. Not their fault.
A little clashy and out there for my taste!
One of the weakest of the early Fall albums but still some moments to savour
I’ve long wondered where this kind of sound came from - the sort of punky, speak singing, repetitive riffs and rhythms - I’m mainly thinking Idles and their ilk. And I’ve also long wondered what exactly it is The Fall do to be revered so. I guess now I know on both counts.
3.3 - Sneering post-punk with noisy-busy guitar, punk vocals, minimal production. But synthesizer sounds exceptionally weak. More tongue-in-cheek than pretentious. A cool enough vibe without any standout tracks.
I've struggled with The Fall over the years and only a couple of months ago developed an appreciation for them. There's a certain style of early post punk that kind of blurs together for me - The Fall, Gang of Four, Wire, Mission of Burma... some of it is good, but it lacks some of the personality that set apart some of the better examples of the genre for me (Talking Heads, Joy Division, The Pop Group, Pere Ubu, This Heat).
Paunkað, áhugavert, ætti að hlusta aftur
A refreshingly raw sounding album for The Fall's debut. I didn't know what to expect as I haven't listened to much from The Fall, and it was a pleasant surprise. A good punk record. I quite liked it, not loved, but I'll listen to more from the band!
Early light heavy metal?
Interesting punk album, didn’t really move me
Not bad sound, I guess they were pioneers of this genre? Not what I was expecting but pretty good.
Great title and album cover. Another fun quirky punky romp from The Fall. Last time I gave them 4 stars. This album feels more like a 3 from me. I am not well-versed enough in The Fall to know if I truly think this is a lesser album than This Nation’s Saving Grace, or if maybe I just wasn't in the mood.
It is a punk rock album. I was not familiar with the band or any of the songs. It was alright.
A beguiling slice of proto-punk. Lyrically very interesting - probably more so than musically
ehhh þetta er svona allt i lagi nema hvað röddin og hreimurinn hja söngvaranum er frekar fokkin pirrandi, gef þessu tæpar 3 stjörnur
I didn't care for it.
Like most Fall albums it gets a bit samey but still sounds great
I saw one person describing this as a "drunkard singing pub songs". For me that was exactly it. It's not bad, it's kinda decent.
Buena onda, suena súper
I'm strangely into this... Weird coincidence... I read a book (Sellout) that talked about a historic performance by At the Drive In at Big Day Out. They give an extended shout out to the Fall who'd I'd never heard of.
Very 70s punk sound. ok
My first exposure to this band was given to me by this generator 10 months ago, their 90s Infotainment Scan, and it was absolutely horrendous, and I absolutely hated the conflict with Mark Smith's vocals. But I gave their earlier work a chance, and I actually really enjoyed their range of styles over the decades. This is my first time hearing their debut, and I immediately enjoyed it from start to finish. I immediately knew going in this would get poor reviews from this site. It's super abrasive and hard on the ears not used to post-punk. The production is intentionally low too, but the instruments are well-balanced, which I believe works in their favor. It's post-punk at its rawest yet true to form. The lyrics are nonsensical and punk in spirit, the vocals are energetic and goofy, and the instrumentals are tight and dynamic. I bet if the album were 100% instrumental, people would appreciate it much more. It's dark and mysterious (props to the bassist), and the keyboard serves as an ode to krautrock, sticking out from the rest of the crowd. The solos are quick and subtle, lasting for only a few seconds and lacking flashiness. They're small treats if you can pick them out. As a whole, the tracks roll from one to the next, distinctive yet cohesive. I'm giving 3 stars merely because it doesn't live up to the standards of similar style post-punk records (think Killing Joke). The record is full of creativity, but I only saved "Frightened" and "Rebellious Jukebox" as standalone pieces I'd enjoy listening to on their own. No doubt I'll listen to this time and time again; post-punk is my favorite genre.
This was fine. Nothing amazing, but it wasn't terrible.
Pink rock, pleasant enough but did not hold my attention
Fun album, enjoyed it.