“Live at the Witch Trials” is the debut album by The Fall, an English rock band led by Mark E. Smith (vocals) and formed in 1976 in Prestwich, Greater Manchester.
Despite its title, it is not a live album and it was recorded in a studio. It was recorded in 1978 and was released by the Step-Forward label in 1979.
The band name derives from the title of the novel “The Fall (La Chute)” (1956) by Albert Camus.
Most of the songs were co-written by Smith and Martin Bramah (guitar). Co-produced by the band and Bob Sargeant.
The music is post-punk characterized by the heavy use of riff repetition, Smith’s cynical, cryptic lyrics and chanting vocals, serpentine bassline, and Bramah’s dissonant guitar.
It seems to be influenced by punk rock such as Buzzcocks, krautrock such as Can, garage rock such as The Stooges, the Velvet Underground,and Captain Beefheart. It has a combination of elements of punk, garage rock, and experimental rock.
“Rebellious Jukebox” is an especially memorable song.
In 2004, Castle Music released a two-disc CD “Expanded Deluxe Edition” of the album with bonus tracks.
In 2019, Cherry Red Records released a three-disc CD edition of the album with the same bonus tracks as the 2004 Castle Music edition.