THE FALL's first two albums have their 40th birthday celebrated with the start of a new reissue programme.

Live At The Witch Trials was recorded in a single day at Sound Suite Studios in Camden and released in March 1979 on Miles Copeland's Step-Forward label. It included material written by some of the then three-year-old band's previous members, while drummer Karl Burns had left the notoriously fluctuant band before it was released with guitarist Martin Bramagh to follow soon after. It has since, however, become a landmark and hugely influential release.

It was followed just seven months later by Dragnet, which saw Mark E Smith, Marc Riley and Mike Leigh joined by Craig Scanlon and and Steve Hanley, two of the longest serving members of the Fall family. It was recorded at Cargo Studios in Rochdale, with co-producer Grant Showbiz.

Both albums will be available on limited edition coloured vinyl and as 3-CD box sets. The ...Witch Trials box set features numerous bonus tracks, including tracks from the debut 'Bingo Master's Break-Out!' single and the 'Dresden Dolls' bootleg single, plus Peel Sessions tracks, and a live set from Mr Pickwick's, Liverpool from August '78.

The expanded Dragnet, meanwhile, features several takes from the recording of the 'Rowche Rumble' single, plus live sets from Retford and Los Angeles. The vinyl edition also includes a replica 7" of the 'Rowche Rumble' single.

Set for release on 24 May, these reissues represent the first salvos in Cherry Red's deluxe reissue programme, Fall Sound Archive.

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