Obits — January 24, 2018 at 1:33 pm

Mark E. Smith, one-of-a-kind force behind post-punk icons The Fall, 1957-2018

Mark E. Smith, the irascible and utterly one-of-a-kind frontman — and only constant member — of Manchester post-punk icons The Fall, died at home today following months of illness and concert cancellations, his manager announced. He was 60.

In a statement provided to the Fall News website and Cherry Red Records, the band’s manager wrote:

It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Mark E. Smith. He passed this morning at home. A more detailed statement will follow in the next few days. In the meantime, Pam & Mark’s family request privacy at this sad time.

Pam Van Damned
The Fall – manager

The Fall last month canceled its upcoming seven-night residency in Brooklyn that already had been rescheduled once from last year due to Smith’s health issues. At the time, Vander wrote, “Mark is settled and resting up, and we don’t wanna screw that up. Sorry to all/fans/friends in NYC and thanks to venue/promoters etc for the opportunity for The Fall to hit NYC again. We will see you there at some point in the future, but for now, more rest & recovery.”

She also provided a somewhat cryptic statement from Smith himself:  “BACK SOONER THAN LATER PALS!!! M.E.S. Shock House Now, Woodpecker, Peon Son… titles that await!”

Smith’s ill health initially forced the postponement of the Brooklyn shows, which had been planned for September, as well as a headlining slot at the the Cropped Out Festival in Louisville, Ky. Then, in October, Smith returned to the stage in the U.K., strapped into a wheelchair, but still delivering his trademark vocals.

By November, though, the 60-year-old Smith’s health was again an issue following a reported major surgery, and The Fall canceled several planned dates in the U.K. and Portugal.

Smith formed The Fall in Manchester, England, in 1976, and has kept the shambolic post-punk act going since then with dozens of different musicians. All told, he’s released 32 studio albums under The Fall banner, most recently 2017’s New Facts Emerge.

The tributes to Smith immediately began spreading across social media:





















  1. So sad. Our heroes are departing for eternity. God bless them.

  2. James vandegrift

    A true original. Thanks for the tunes.

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