Renegade : The Lives and Tales of Mark E. Smith, Paperback Book

Renegade : The Lives and Tales of Mark E. Smith Paperback

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Still going after thirty years, The Fall are one of the most distinctive British bands, their music - odd,spare, cranky and repetitious - an acknowledged influence on The Smiths, The Happy Mondays, Nirvana and Franz Ferdinand. And Mark E. Smith IS The Fall - 47 members have come and gone over the years yet he remains its charismatic leader, a professional outsider and all-round enemy of compromise, a true enigma.

There have been a number of biographies of the legendary Smith, but this is the first time he has opened up in a full autobiography.

For the first time we get to hear his full, candid take on the ups and downs of a band as notorious for its in-house fighting as for its great music; and on a life that has endured prison in America, drugs, bankruptcy, divorce, and the often bleak results of a legendary thirst.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages, Illustrations
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Rock & Pop music
  • ISBN: 9780141028668

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Don't come to Smith's book expecting a tell-all from the enigmatic leader of the Fall. As someone who's been into the band since the mid-80s, I kinda want MES to keep secrets. However, the book--essentially a series of Smith's spoken rants transcribed--does shed some light on his family life, his working methods, the fact that he likes "Dead of Night" (an old UK horror anthology film), his regrets, and his philosophy. It does all ramble on a bit, but if you can hear MES' voice in your head and take everything as half-truth, half-windup, then it is most enjoyable. Many laugh-out-loud passages, too.

Review by

It's not bad -- it was diverting enough that I consumed it in a day -- but it's not exactly great, either. In fact, it wound up being exactly what I expected ... that is, I was not surprised in any way. Kind of a shame.As lead "shouter" and lyricist of The Fall, Smith is often astounding and revelatory. In that role he has forever changed my life for the better. If you like MES, chances are you will enjoy this book. Just don't set your hopes too high.

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