Smith formed the Fall in
1976, but by 1979, all of the original members had already left the band, with
only Martin Bramah returning for a brief period in the 1990s. The band went
through more than 60 members during Smith's lifetime, and about one-third of
them played for less than a year, with Smith himself once quoted saying
"If it's me and yer granny on bongos, it's the Fall." Some of their
major influences included Can, the Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart, the
Monks, and the Stooges. As a result, his albums were very much not for the
mainstream, but the Fall still gained fans, and they had a major cult
following. Although their music was not for the easy-listening people, there
was a period in the late '80s that produced some modest hits, including "Hit
the North" and a cover of "Victoria" by the Kinks. Smith released
a lot of albums in his lifetime, and because of that—despite a few songs that
have gained a cult following, such as "Mountain Energy"—his quality
of work generally declined over time.
As for why he appeared
on my list, I noticed that he was canceling a lot of gigs last year due to
health reasons, as well as his very poor body shape during his final live
performances. I mean, he never looked the greatest, but his shape in his final
performances looked very alarming, which gave me a big gut feeling that he
wouldn't see 2019. I was surprised that I was the only person who went for him.
He gave me (Joey Russ) 16 points (11 for hit, 5 for solo). I am doing
surprisingly well in my first year of this.