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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Falls Masterpiece
I have all the Falls albums and this has always been my favourite. Takes a bit of getting used to. Side 2 was unlistenable for several months, but then suddenly it all made sense and i have actually preferred it ever since. One of my top 10 albums of all time. Awesome.
Published on 31 Aug. 2008 by James Godden

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MES making an early statement.
To many Fall fans Dragnet is the bands White Light White Heat(and Totales Turns is the greatest live recording ever pressed to vinyl).I have heard stories where so called engineers claim bands paid 200 grand just to get close to the Dragnet sound! Its hilarious.
Dragnet is not a bad record and it has its place in every Fall fans collection but how anyone can...
Published on 22 Oct. 2012 by j joseph


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Falls Masterpiece, 31 Aug. 2008
By 
James Godden (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dragnet (Audio CD)
I have all the Falls albums and this has always been my favourite. Takes a bit of getting used to. Side 2 was unlistenable for several months, but then suddenly it all made sense and i have actually preferred it ever since. One of my top 10 albums of all time. Awesome.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is there anybody there? Yerrrr, 19 Sept. 2010
By 
Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles "FIST" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dragnet (Audio CD)
Jingle jangle crash bang..the wallop of angular Fall creating dischord with themes handpicked from the ooze of Mark E Smiths autodidactic brain. The notes are derived from surreal streams of semi consciousness embroiled in speed and bitter with some lightness. The anti rock mode of the late 70's becomes apparent in this seminal album. This was the reaction to the 4/4 middle eight monotone of non imaginary rockists, playing with the playlist of Pavlov's dogs producing salivation and air guitar strumming amongst young pubescent men.

Instead you get the Dice Man, flicking for sixes and fives to decide a musical fate, possibly who was going to turn up for rehearsals and those going home early for their bath. Cary Grants Wedding, Muzorewi's Daughter both nod to the wider world of 70's celebs although what happens within is anybody's guess because she ends in the pot and he invites Buster Keaton and Joe Strummer.

A figure walks behind you; is a song of poetic paranoia, not something easily explained, it does describe a feeling which sums up the album, a vast array of angular lo fo textures resenbling a rock format of Can or early garage but then travelling around the Wigan Pier or Salford Canal via Working Men's Clubs lysergia and art surrealism it pumps out the other end as The Fall.

The singles are more literal, Rowche Rumble is about the beloved makers of Valium, the well known makers of a highly addictive drug meant to calm people down, ensure tranquility. Allaying the side effects of coming off Barbiturates originally. By the time everyone, particulary housewives became addicted, everyone was too happy to care; the perfect con described in the song. "In My Area" is a beautifully bleak song, a nihilist paen to friends and memories mired in the 77 explosion, the Fall playing ice cool whilst all around exploded. Smith ever the irrascible must have been having the time of his life compared to jaunting around 21st century sterile student haunts or playing to the over 40's.

This is a band playing with fire mark e ing their inner implosion, but just like the Phoenix they keep reinventing themselves carving out a carreer over 30 plus years.

Who would have predicted that in 77?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best Fall album, 23 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Dragnet (Audio CD)
Dragnet is quite possibly the best Fall album, certainly from the early period. It boasts a lo-fi sound that was really quite radical when first heard in '78 and it still sounds absolutely great today. You just couldn't imagine it being done on a big studio budget and the improvised feel makes it light years ahead of the previous album, their debut Live at the Witch Trials. Dragnet sounds like it was made by a different band, and it's the sound and the personnel here that produced the following run of brilliant albums from Grotesque to Hex Enduction Hour (the other candidate for best album). From the first shout of 'Is there anybody there' on Psykick Dancehall we're lead through track after track of witty, demented garage pop as well as some really quite stunning atmospherics - just turn out the lights and put Spectre vs Rector on loud for an unsettling experience. All in all a masterpiece from a unique and prolific band just discovering their own sound - and boy did it stand head and shoulders over anything else at the time.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars These are your new words today:, 11 Feb. 2004
By 
Jason Parkes (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Dragnet (Audio CD)
Dragnet, the second Fall album from 1979, is the second release of the current Fall-reissue programme that will see the great back catalogue reissued in a remastered form, with sleevenotes & a wealth of bonus tracks. This version of Dragnet comes with almost an album's worth of bonus tracks, songs that made up the second side of 1981-compilation 'Early Fall 77-79' (In My Area, Rowche Rumble, Psykick Dancehall II, Fiery Jack)- though the many alternate takes of several of these tracks will be of more academic interest to the hardcore Fall-head. Of the two albums reissued, Live at the Witch Trials is a sounder purchase, as the album proper is more upbeat and it's been expanded to a two-disc, 41-track version.
Dragnet is bleaker stuff, moving towards that lo-fi claustrophobia apparent on later releases like Grotesque(After the Gramme) & Slates. Perhaps this is due to the fact Martin Bramah & Una Baines left to form The Blue Orchids (whose classic, 1980's The Greatest Hit, has recently been reissued)- the album is keyboard-based & has a different kind of tension. MES is joined by long-serving members Craig Scanlan & Steve Hanley and one-time drummer Mike Leigh- the only other member from the Witch Trials- line up being Marc'Lard'Riley, who had shifted instruments in an attempt to replace Bramah. Dragnet is minimal stuff, definitely predicting such lo-fi releases as Confusion is Sex (Sonic Youth), Dial M for...(Pussy Galore) & much of the career of Royal Trux. Recorded over just a few days, it creates a new internal world- MES's paranoia moving into darker climes with such songs as Before the Moon Falls, A Figure Walks & the M.R.James-referencing Spectre Vs. Rector (which predicted a ghost-element in Smith's lyrics, see Jawbone & The Air Rifle & Wings). The closest thing to the demented pop of the debut album is found in Choc-Stock (once covered by St Etienne) & Dice Man (Smith advising us not to read the book of the same name, "the song is much safer").
Grant Showbiz (who would be associated with several Fall albums, as well as The Smiths' Rank & Billy Bragg/Wilco's Mermaid Avenue)helps out on production & helps make such songs as Psykick Dancehall, Muzorewi's Daughter & Put Away a jangly joy like such later songs as City Hobgoblins, Cruiser's Creek & Barmy. Perhaps Dragnet was a response to the over-produced sounds of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures, it sounds like Trout Mask Replica recorded in the time it took to record White Light/White Heat.
Dragnet is one of the most angular albums in an angular career, & extra tracks like classic singles Fiery Jack (the first time The Fall did that rockabilly thing) & Rowche Rumble sweeten the sinister climes of the album. Perhaps not the best Fall album for someone to start on, but like many Fall albums, could easily be described as, "The best Fall album in the world ever"...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MES making an early statement., 22 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Dragnet (Audio CD)
To many Fall fans Dragnet is the bands White Light White Heat(and Totales Turns is the greatest live recording ever pressed to vinyl).I have heard stories where so called engineers claim bands paid 200 grand just to get close to the Dragnet sound! Its hilarious.
Dragnet is not a bad record and it has its place in every Fall fans collection but how anyone can seriously claim that it is some kind of masterpiece is just
ridiculous. Listen to,say, Put Away from The Peel Sessions to get an idea what this record could have sounded like if MES hadnt applied the hatchet.
Dragnet was all about MES making a statement at the expense of a great record.
That said, you have to cut the old grump a bit of slack here for he nailed it on
most of the subsequent releases ( at least up until '83 ).Hexenduction Hour/Perverted by Language/Slates - most bands can only dream of making records as great.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Records that changed my life.........Part 3, 25 May 2015
By 
S. A. Gordon (Enfield, Middlesex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dragnet (Audio CD)
"Is there anybody there?" "Yeah" comes the resounding answer. A positive start to my love affair with The Mighty Fall Group that has lasted for many years. Why did I buy this album in the first place? Well I probably heard something by The Fall on John Peel and thought they sounded interesting. This was the first Fall album that I bought and it is still one of my favourite albums (ever).
I have seen The Fall live more than any other band and I have probably seen them at loads of different venues. They never seemed to play the same venue in London.
What was the appeal of this particular band? I think it was that they were so ordinary. I remember seeing them at The Marquee and they put all their own instruments on stage before the gig started. There did not appear to be any roadies.
Why this particular album? Well it is certainly different. After the opening call at the start, Psykick Dance Hall lumbers in. The Fall are an acquired taste. You either love or hate Mark E Smith's vocals - he doesn't sing, he just shouts, all on one note or so he claims on Your Heart Out.
The production has been criticised in the past but for these particular songs it is quite perfect. The guitars sound great throughout and lay the background for Mark E Smith's vocals, especially on Muzorewi's Daughter, Flat Of Angles and Before the Moon Falls.
The two standout tracks are A Figure Walks and Spectre Vs Rector. When I first bought the album, I always played A Figure Walks with the lights off because I thought it sounded better. Spectre Vs Rector is a very strange unique track and sounds like it was recorded in a tunnel for the most part. Suddenly it changes and comes much clearer. This is probably when I realised that here was a band that was different and it changed my perspective on music from then on.
Other tracks such as Choc-Stock, Your Heart Out and Put Away seem like throwaways in their simplicity at first but the more you listen to them you realise they are much more.
Overall it can be a difficult listen but it is certainly challenging, which is what music should be.
I eventually wore out my vinyl copy and upgraded to the expanded CD edition which has numerous versions of the overplayed Rowche Rumble. However, it does include the classic B side In My Area plus the Fiery Jack EP.
The Fall went on to make other great albums but Dragnet was the first one for me and remains my favourite.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the fall -take two!, 11 April 2012
This review is from: Dragnet (Audio CD)
Ah, the falls" difficult" second album. At the time of release, punk was dead and new wave was mainstream and the fall were different, very different indeed! Their sound here is harder,claustrophobic even. The lyrics darker,abstract but intriguing, inviting you into a deep,dark place. But its not all doom and gloom. Imagine your eight and on the ghost ride. Its scary but enjoyable. Welcome to dragnet. Not the best fall album but vital in understanding their later works. Granted some of the filler bonus material is just filler, the package as a whole beats the other reissues. Here the falls ugly duckling doesn't become the swan. Just grows teeth.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the first of many from The Fall., 7 Feb. 2001
This review is from: Dragnet (Audio CD)
This followed a (fairly) polished debut 'Live At The Witch Trials' but was some departure from that album. Lo-fi before the term was invented, it features the terrifying 'Spectre Vs Rector' a long track that sounds as if it was recorded underwater, the more straightforward 'Diceman' and 'Printhead' and a truly wonderful album opener in 'Psykick Dancehall'. Not exactly a punk classic - they've always been outside any 'scene' - but certainly an album that won't go down too well at dinner parties...
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Caught in the Cobwebs of Dragnet, 9 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Dragnet (Audio CD)
Stark, dark, Gripping and interesting. The second studio album by the fall is much more dark and disturbing than Live at The Witch Trials but Dragnet is probably a more consistently interesting album. Whilst the first album has some great quirks with brilliant tracks like Frightened, Futures and Pasts and Industrial Estate where the drums and keyboards are more prominent in the music Dragnet has overall more emphasis on the Mark's lyrics which are more idiosyncratic and compelling in this album.
The Fall had completely changed the line-up since eight months before when they recorded Live at The Witch Trials and due to this the sound is different. At this point Craig Scanlon (guitar) and Steve Hanley (bass) join the band and Mark Riley moves from bass to Guitar while new drummer Mike Leigh supplies less snare orientated drumming with more use of the toms. There is not much keyboards but I will credit Horace Sullivan for his contribution of electric piano and kazoo. This album has much more emphasis on bass and twos guitars. The drums are still a major part of the sound but the drumming is deeper. You can see that Mark E Smith as more influence and control over the sound in Dragnet. However the musician's behind The Fall are always essential to the sound whether they get the credit for it or not.
The opening tune Psykhick Dancehall is a gripping repetitive bass and drum tune with the opening line "Is there anybody there?" suggests what Mark E Smith has previously said about the change of sound for this album it's to get more different people into the music. This is why the album is called Dragnet. The Fall were trying to catch people which also explains the cover showing a butterfly caught in a spiders web.
A Figure Walks is a more disturbing track with more prominent use of the toms on the drums while Mark shouts some creepy lyrics; "A figure walks behind you, A shadow walks behind you". Printhead completely contrasts to this with its ramshackle, garage sound where Mark discusses his animosity with people who write about him and The Fall (so he'll probably hate me for writing this review). Dice Man is a quick, catchier, guitar orientated tune whilst Before The Moon Falls is a stronger haunted tune which sound great. Your Heart Out starts off with this sort of catchy riff but then becomes more disturbing (like something out of a horror film) with mark's sarcastic lyric's discussing a wide range of topics from drugs to his shouting supported by some haunting backing vocals echoing "your heart out". Muzorewi's Daughter has a thudding, drowning sound and Mark screams the title which can be irritating and too harsh but at least it's an interesting tune. Flat of Angles (the title track) in some ways is the strongest track on the album with its acoustic guitar riff, its gripping bass line in the chorus and some Chock Stock is a weaker tune, it's alright though because it acts as medium between the more sinister tunes with its good bass line and it's lighter sound. Spectre Vs Rector is an gripping haunting tune which takes you on some kind of distorted journey as goes through transitions and ends up somewhere different to where it started. Mark's interesting lyric's relating to horror writer M.R. James and supernatural, mental madness guide you through this eight minute trance. Put away ends the album in a sarcastic mad way with great lyrics; "They're putting me away but I'll be back someday". Along with its fast ramshackle sound this track has the addition of a Kazoo, something later used on the next Fall album in New Face In Hell. The bonus tracks on the CD include Fiery Jack (one of the best Fall tunes written), Rowche Rumble, 2nd Dark Age, In my Area and various takes of these tracks from when they were recording the album.
Dragnet is a gripping album which delves into indefinable sounds in a haunting way. However this album is not for the faint heated so it might not be wise to buy this as your first fall album (which I did) because it may take a while to get into it. In any case it's a fascinating album and if your fans of Velvet Underground, The Stooges, Joy Division. It is certainly an original album a definitely worth having if you're an intense Fall fan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 24 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Dragnet (Audio CD)
great Cd
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