Arguably the essential period of the Fall was the tenure the legendary Manchester group spent signed to Rough Trade, during which time they produced their most arresting and original work in what is undoubtedly one of the greatest recorded anthologies in the history of British post-punk rock. Essential Records had the genius to compile this low-priced, two-disc set surveying the seminal 1980-1983 period; it serves as an excellent starting point for newcomers to the group and an essential upgrade for the owners of the group's thrashed LPs and singles. While the Fall continued through two more decades, producing an enormous amount of material, they never topped the vital era that produced these recordings. Every track still sounds as uncompromising as the day it was released, and close to 30 years later, this collection is a startling reminder that alongside the recorded works of Sonic Youth, it's hard to imagine a world without the Fall. In that, it's safe to say that this is the holy grail collection of one of the most vital and influential groups of the '80s.
AllMusic Review by Dean McFarlane
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2