Who are The Fall and what is their connection with The KLF?

The Fall are a British indie group from Manchester led by loud-mouth singer Mark E Smith. They have been releasing uncompromising guitar punk-pop tunes for an incredible 18 years so far. There is no connection to the KLF other than Big In Japan and The Fall started at the same time and they (and members of the Teardrops and Bunnymen) were all hangers on in the Northwest punk scene in 1977.

However there are some connections in the KLF’s body of work. Firstly The Fall’s ‘Totally Wired’ single is sampled in ‘Next’ on 1987. It was the only sample on the LP that they had permission to use, and it is the only sample that appears on 1987 – The Edits (JAMS 25) which is the LP with spaces instead of samples so that it’s legal!

Secondly the lyrics of “The Prestwich Prophets Grin” on “Who Killed the Jams?” contain a reference to The Fall. In a section on changing identities, and the end of the JAMs the lyrics are something like:

Well Mark E Smith, it’s your turn now/
To roll the dice and win/
The tables turned, now we’re The Fall/
The North will rise again!

Around this time the Fall were enjoying their only period of chart success, including a dance-influenced single called ‘Hit The North’.

Then The FALL was listed as one of the alias of the KLF in The Manual, and spelt out as The Forever Ancients Liberation Loophole (and on a 1990 T-shirt). This refers to the liberation loophole which their lawyer David Franks found to release them from their contract with Eternity in the White Room movie. They mention the liberation loophole in the lyrics of the UK LP version of ‘Last Train To Trancentral’ by the way.

Different people pretending to be the same person, is a common situationist-inspired tactic as practised by Stewart Home and friends who produce different magazines all called ‘Smile’ written by multiple Karen Elliots reviewing music produced by multiple Monty Cautsins.

Filed under Miscellaneous
Tag: the-fall

2 thoughts on “Who are The Fall and what is their connection with The KLF?

  1. Brilliant article by Roy Wilkinson of Sounds magazine here;


    He references the ‘Forever Ancient Liberation Liberation Loophole’ (The FALL) and has posted an image of unused sleeve artwork for ‘Burn the Bastards’ / ‘Burn the Beat’ that Bill and Jimmy gave him complete with “The FALL” diamond logo and KLF Communications font;


    – which could explain the reference to “This is a Transition Record” on the label of KLF 002T, The FALL maybe being an abandoned transition name between the JAMS and The KLF?.

    (It’s ‘Ancient’ singular on the artwork, ‘Ancients’ plural in the Manual, and a shortened ‘The Liberation Loophole’ on the T-Shirt),

  2. ‘The North Will Rise Again’ Fall reference is also used on a banner when the KLF performed ‘It’s Grim Up North” on Top Of The Pops.

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