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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

on 13 July 2011
"The Marshall Suite" has been a notable absentee in a back catalogue bursting at the seams with scores of reissues and until recently was selling at ludicrously high sums, so Cherry Red's long-overdue 3 disc edition is to be applauded.

Recorded with a brand new line-up following a monumental onstage bust-up in New York, "The Marshall Suite" proves that the often exasperating meltdowns of Mark E. Smith can sometimes be a welcome clearing of the decks: just compare the tired pre-fallout Peel Session version of "Touch Sensitive" on CD 2 with its triumphant studio counterpart, the opening track on what was the best Fall album in years.

"The Marshall Suite" has aged well and its high points are numerous. "Shake Off" and "(Jung Nev's) Antidotes", all looped strings and crashing drums underpinning Smith's echo-laden rants, sound huge without slipping into bombast; the stomping Rockabilly cover of Tommy Blake's "F-Oldin' Money" is another highlight. "Birthday Song" even finds Smith attempting a bit of balladry in the vein of "Edinburgh Man" / "I'm Going To Spain", to great effect.

The album meanders somewhat towards the end (although "Tom Raggazzi" is a great closer), and the template Smith established here would be used to greater effect on 2003's Country on the Click. But those looking for perfection aren't listening to the right band.

The 2 extra discs on this reissue are fairly disposable. The alternate mixes and B-sides are inessential, the Peel Session tracks (already long available) aren't some of their better BBC moments and the live XFM Radio show on CD 3 suffers from a dead "soundboard" mix. But this is nonetheless a noble attempt to collect everything from the period together in one package. Daryl Easlea's ever-reliable sleevenotes provide welcome continuity with the earlier Castle reissues.

"The Marshall Suite" is a great starting point for anyone keen to dive into the Fall's huge catalogue, and a wonderful testament to Mark E Smith's stubborn brilliance for survival and reinvention.
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on 6 July 2014
Another gem, from MES & Co. A good repackage of an intelligent album. The first few songs drag you in immediately and even if the rest of the record doesn't quite match up it finishes in fine style with Tom Raggazzi.
The 2nd disc of alternates and mixes is disappointing and includes arguably their worst Peel session but the live disc is a surprise and should definitely encourage those that have never seen the band live to consider attending in the future.
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on 19 May 2017
An underrated fall album to say the least, some great tracks on this record - would recommend
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on 10 January 2018
Quality cd
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on 26 May 2016
fine everything in order
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on 20 April 2015
as usual they do not disappoint..gotta love the fall!!!
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on 28 May 2002
This is one of those great albums, like the first PiL album or 'Amnesiac' by Radiohead, that, instead of striving for perfection, merely presents a collection of everything the artist could scrape together in the alloted time, containing every available fragment and alternate version just to boost the running time by a few minutes more. The Marshall Suite was the first to be released after the biggest Fall line-up change yet, which saw two long term members replaced by complete unknowns. This album has 13 tracks, two of which are experimental noise collages, three of which are covers, one of which was written by the previous line-up before it disbanded and another one which is basically stolen from the previous album. This leaves you with six bona-fide new songs by the group, two of which share almost the same lyrics, another of which has one one verse repeated over and over, and three of which (Anecdotes, Inevitable and Birthday) are of dubious quality. This may scarcely sound like a recommendation, but honestly, the result is brilliant - the first track, 'Touch Sensitive', manages to be both a rock song of the most basic, thre chord construction, and the most vibrant and original thing you've heard since forever. The first six songs on this record (three of which are those covers I mentioned) would've made an awesome EP - something you need to understand about Fall cover versions is that they are almost never just a verbatim run-through, but more a complete re-write of the song which makes it 10 times better - the version of the Saints' 'This Perfect Day' is a classic. Also there is the poignantly cheesy cod-techno ballad 'On My Own' with some lovely swooping synth noises, and 'The Crying Marshall' - think Meat Beat Manifesto x 12, the most pounding, coolest two part dance-rock song you'll hear with a fantastic cut-up guitar sample.
This record has it all - rockabilly, drum & bass (Shake-Off is awesome!), Led-Zeppelin tributes, dance, techno, meandering wah-wah guitar crap - the fact that it only just manages to cling to it's very existence by the fingernails just makes it that much more exciting. Forget 'Revolver' topping every 'best album ever made' poll - this album is way too messed up to be the best by anybody, and that makes it roughly four-score-and-ten times more fun to listen to.
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on 8 February 2015
Good price and service
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on 6 September 2015
Very entertaining Fall album from 1999. As you know ALL "The Fall" albums have the "Mark E Smith" special slurry vocal chemistry. So choose any from 1978's "Live at the witch trials" to 2015's "Subligual tablet"
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on 6 July 2011
If you love the Fall, you need this. If you don't know the Fall but keep reading interviews with Mark E Smith and wonder what they sound like, this is a good place to start. Go on...treat yourself!
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