Live from the Vaults: Retford 1979 is a fantastic gig for the early Fall with leader Mark E. Smith sounding angry and authoritative while his band throbs behind him. Unfortunately, this Hip Priest release of the band in Retford, 1979 sounds awful by official release standards and no better than the bootleg that's long been a staple of the band's sizeable "tape trading" community. The traders would have done a better job than Hip Priest, who don't bother to list which lineup this is (it's the great Marc Riley and Craig Scanlon gang), or what date it was recorded (November 16). Only 2000 copies were made so you'll have to decide quickly whether you can forgive the harsh distortion and dropouts. Tolerant fanatics will be rewarded.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries