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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
16
Bend Sinister
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£7.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 12 May 2013
This record is the sound I have been searching for all my life. I prefer the Brix Smith albums, and this has fast become my favourite. Some proper dark yet melodic stuff here.
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on 11 March 2013
Have this album on cassette since about 1987, when I was a serious fan of The Fall. Great to have it now on CD. I'd consider this their best album, with brilliant tracks such as 'Mr Pharmacist', 'Living Too Late' and 'Riddler'. Kind of brings me back to a mad but happy time in my life.
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on 10 September 2003
Named after Nabokov's startling novel of the same name, The Fall manage to drum up the same atmosphere of dark gruesomeness with just the hint that they are in fact laughing about it all over an early evening sherry. I first heard 'Realm of Dusk' on John Peel in 1986 and realised that here was a band like no other. You can never make a compilation tape with the Fall on it because they simply do not fit in with any musical genre. 'Mr Pharmacist' is probably their best known song, and is the most easily accessible on this album, but to get to grips with Bend Sinister properly you have to listen to the triumvirate: 'Gross Chapel...' 'US 80s 90s' and 'Bournemouth Runner'. The latter is about the band's concert-set backdrop being stolen by some wag in Bournemouth.... no really it is! These three songs will draw you in a bit further on each listen and once you're over the border of recognition you will wonder how you ever lived without them. The hypnotic and incessant baseline to 'US 80s 90s' has been going around my head for 17 years and shows no sign of abating. If you're new to the Fall, this is definitely the place to start, as some of their earlier 1980s material and later 1990s stuff can be a bit 'difficult', and their later 1980s albums never quite captured the real Fall sound as did Bend Sinister. A classic that defies adequate description.
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on 19 June 2013
Still after all these years for me their best work, I have it on tape but wanted it on my pod and in the car.
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on 29 August 2013
I really love side one and US80s 90s. Never got on with the rest of side 2. But what a great side one!
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on 26 January 2015
Excellent
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on 8 June 2015
Get this if you like music.
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on 27 October 2013
This was the album that drew me into the world of The Fall, and I have never left. It was 1986, I was a sixth-former at Mangotsfield School (near Bristol in England), a nervous, shy, country-dwelling, poetry-loving Smiths fan with a deep interest in Science Fiction, an unhealthy obsession with Kate Bush, and an even unhealthier obsession with "Doctor Who" (an obsession which eventually bore fruit as I went on to write a couple of Doctor Who novels for the BBC in the late Nineties). private universe of imagination was full of horrors of my own making, I could see darkness and gloom everywhere and, though not wanting for anything, the future seemed mysterious, murky, scary and thrilling. What sort of music could take me through these teen-angst years? Kate Bush, as mentioned above, The Cure, The Smiths, David Bowie... but there was something missing. Where was the horror, the terror and thrill of the unknown? The cosy cardigans of Morrissey and the dark forests of Kate Bush"~ viewed safely from the window of a fire-lit room were soon to be challenged by - The Fall."~ etc, put something on the system which changed my life."~ ravening machine set loose; dangerous, yet thrilling; drop-dead cool and totally unconnected to anything before or since. I remember thinking, "How did they arrive at this?" It was from out of nowhere. Listening to it now, 14 years later, has the same effect. Never has a piece of music affected me so much. of dark machines and imagination unfettered. I have every Fall album, and though I like some of them better,"Bend Sinister" is the very heart of The Fall, a glinting, obsidian monolith to which the listener has no choice but beautiful surrender.
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on 25 November 2015
Because of it's strange content, and fuzzy, incoherent vocals, 'Bend Sinister' (52:56) is not the easiest album to review. Released in October 1986 on the Beggars Banquet label, it was produced by John Leckie, who has also worked with 'The La's'.

Here are the related single releases for the album:

'Living Too Late' / 'Hot Aftershave Bop' / 'Living Too Long' (7/86)
'Mr Pharmacist' / 'Lucifer Over Lancashire' / 'Auto Tech Pilot' (9/86)
'Hey Luciani' / 'Entitled' / 'Shoulder Pads No. 18' (12/86)

Out of the album's 12 tracks, 4 were recorded for John Peel sessions at the BBC, and included on the 2005 6CD 'Peel Sessions' boxed set. Also included was a version of the above B side 'Hot Aftershave Bop'. The power and greater clarity of the following BBC performances make them superior to the album recordings, in my opinion:

'R.O.D.' (Realm Of Dusk) (7/86)
'Faust Banana' (Dktr Faustus) (10/85)
'Gross Chapel - British Grenadiers' (7/86)
'US 80's - 90's' (7/86)

The first song to catch my attention was the intriguing 'Realm Of Dust', which is still a favourite. I also find 'Riddler' ! to be an interesting track. The single 'Living Too Late' appears to be about ageing, and 'living too long'. It has a weird 'middle-eight' or 'bridge' which appears twice. I would nominate the short song 'Terry Waite Sez' (1:37) as the albums weakest track.

Mark E. Smith's enigmatic vocals are often low in the mix, perhaps deliberately so, which makes it hard to tell what the songs are about, and makes the material seem opaque and mysterious. Although I have mixed feelings about this sometimes baffling album, it remains the most played CD in my (incomplete) 'Fall' collection, and is a curiosity piece.
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on 24 June 2005
I came across this album having heard of the Fall but never having listened to them. I took a chance and this album converted me. Ranting, intelligent, funny, indecipherable lyrics, muttered or spat outover a tight band playing funky and catchy drum-rhythms, basslines and guitar-riffs. I've listened to it many times, with increasing enjoyment.
It's not of course for people who like pretty music, or songs that have singable melodies, but this album might please other people who like such things as the Pixies' abrasive "Surfer Rosa" or the Stooges demented "Raw Power" . It doesn't sound anything like either of those (much less "rock": "US 80s" is very early-80-s electro-rap sounding), but has a similar weirdness and a disdain for standard musical / lyrical choices. The lyrical scorn displayed on Bend Sinister sounds completely genuine -- making most pop/rock-stars' "rebellious" attitudes look stupid, imitative, unengaged and unthreatening. (What put-downs! "Couldn't tell Lou Reed from the Cure. / It was like being back at school!") And it also makes me want to do a mad dance.
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