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Rebellious Jukebox

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Album Review

If you're familiar with second-tier Fall at all, you're already well aware that there are two or three landfills worth of bogus and underwhelming compilations out already, but Rebellious Jukebox deserves some attention because it's one of the oddest ones yet. There's a heck of a lot of highlights here, but the eras covered are completely perplexing. Disc one and the first quarter of disc two do a fair job of covering the years 1978-1983, missing some great moments but grabbing enough of the classics to give the impression the compilers are on top of it. Then the set skips the years the band made a dent on the U.K. charts and U.S. college radio and jumps to 1990 with six tracks from the Extricate album. Hop another decade, and four tracks off the ramshackle 2001 album Are You Are Missing Winner are included. Fall faithful could ignore this unfathomable comp if it weren't for the packed-in DVD, which features a 40-minute interview with Mark E. Smith in a non-grumpy but hardly sentimental mood. Big chunks of history are dismissed here too, with Smith more fascinated by the interviewer's previous jobs than past Fall lineups. The somewhat amusing DVD is the reason the hardcore should care at all, but newcomers will be left with more questions than answers.


Formed: 1977 in Manchester, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Out of all the late-'70s punk and post-punk bands, none are longer lived or more prolific than the Fall. Throughout their career, the band underwent myriad lineup changes, but at the center of it all was vocalist Mark E. Smith. With his snarling, nearly incomprehensible vocals and consuming, bitter cynicism, Smith became a cult legend in indie and alternative rock. Over the course of their career, the Fall went through a number of shifts in musical style, yet the foundation of their sound was a near-cacophonous,...
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