Let’s step out of the Wayback Machine for a minute and ask this: Has Mark E. Smith ever had a better year than 2007? He’s dropped two albums himself: the well-publicized-for-a-Fall-album Reformation Post T.L.C and, as Von Südenfed, a bananafied Mouse On Mars collaboration Tromatic Reflexxxions. Plus, The Fall’s sticky influence gets nasty all over Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Is Is EP and Liars’ incredible self-titled album, and (something remarkably like) his voice is showing up on some of the best albums and singles of the year—from LCD Soundsystem to Prinzhorn Dance School to Grinderman. We at The Factual Opinion would like to say: Word. You, the TFO Faithful, know that, up here in the Factual Central Offices, we love us some careerists—the Waitses and the Costellos and the Dylans. So it should come as no surprise that Mr. Smith has carved himself a nice little place in that company. Nor should it surprise you that he’s cuddled up right next to perennial Factual homeboy Tom Waits on our 1983 countdown.
What with all The Fall’s cultural seepage, you probably already have a good idea of what Perverted By Language sounds like—Smith shout-singing manic poetry over intrusive rock grooves—and the album also has its fair share of crafty surprises (one of my favorites is the sequence in album-opener “Eat Y’Self Fitter” where Smith rants, “Where's the cursor?/ Where's the eraser?/ G-O-H-O-H-O-I-O/ G-O-H-O-H-O-I-O/ G-O-H-O-H-O-I-O/ H-O-I-O-G-O-H-O/ What's a computer?”) But the real pleasure in doing these countdowns is the fun you have seeing rock history through the prism of now, and no one this side of Bruce Springsteen has more cultural cache right now than Mark E. Smith—which makes this YOUR perfect opportunity to go back to the source. Hit it.
-Marty Brown, 2007