The Fall are an English post-punk group, formed in Prestwich, Greater Manchester in 1976. The group has existed in some form ever since, and is essentially built around its founder and only constant member Mark E. Smith. First associated with the punk movement of the late 1970s, the group's music has gone through several stylistic changes over the years. However, The Fall's music is often characterised by repetition, an abrasive guitar-driven sound, and is always underpinned by Smith's vocals and often cryptic lyrics, described by critic Steve Huey as "abstract poetry filled with complicated wordplay, bone-dry wit, cutting social observations, and general misanthropy (sometimes more implied than clearly stated, but apparent nonetheless)."
The group's output is prolific—as of April 2008 they have released 27 studio albums, and more than triple that counting live albums and other releases. They have never achieved widespread public success beyond a handful of minor hit singles in the late 1980s, but have maintained a strong cult following. The band were long associated with BBC disc jockey John Peel, who championed them from early on in their career and cited The Fall as his favourite band, famously explaining, "They are always different; they are always the same."