Happy Birthday to Steve Hanley, born May 29, 1959 | Steve Hanley

Steve Hanley is an Irish-born English musician, based in Manchester. He is best known for playing bass guitar in The Fall from 1979 to 1998, and afterwards in The Lovers.

Hanley’s distinctive bass lines were a signature part of The Fall, often carrying a song’s instrumental melody without forsaking the bass guitar’s traditional role as a propulsive element of the rhythm section. He is described by critic Dave Simpson as “one of British music’s greatest bassists”. Second only to founding vocalist Mark E. Smith in longevity in the group, Hanley co-wrote over 100 songs on more than a dozen albums. Smith spoke publicly of his admiration for Hanley, telling Melody Maker in 1983 “The most original aspect of The Fall is Steve…I’ve never heard a bass player like him…I don’t have to tell him what to play, he just knows. He is The Fall sound.”

Career

In 1976 he played in The Sirens alongside Marc Riley and Craig Scanlon. When Riley left to join The Fall, they became Staff 9, but disbanded when Hanley and Scanlon joined The Fall themselves in 1979. During the first half of the 1980s, Hanley’s brother Paul was also a member of The Fall playing drums and keyboards.

Hanley left The Fall in April 1998 following an onstage altercation in New York, which also resulted in the departures of longtime drummer Karl Burns and guitarist Tommy Crooks. Smith regretted the row and asked Hanley to return, but the bassist declined.

Following his departure from The Fall, he joined The Lovers in 2001, a group fronted by Tom Hingley of Inspiral Carpets. Both these bands also featured Paul Hanley, Steve’s brother. The Lovers released two albums, Abba Are The Enemy, released in 2004, and Highlights which was released in March 2008. The band split amicably in 2012.

He was also briefly a member of fellow ex-Fall member Martin Bramah’s group Factory star, as was his brother Paul Hanley.

“The Big Midweek” a book chronicling Hanley’s time in The Fall, written by him with Olivia Piekarski, was published by Route publishers on 15 September 2014

As of May 2015, he was a member of Brix & The Extricated alongside brother Paul, Steve Trafford and Jason Brown.

Discography

With The Fall

Studio albums

Album Date of release Label
Dragnet 26 October 1979 Step Forward Records
Grotesque (After the Gramme) 17 November 1980 Rough Trade Records
Slates 27 April 1981 Rough Trade Records
Hex Enduction Hour 8 March 1982 Kamera Records
Room to Live 27 September 1982 Kamera Records
Perverted By Language 12 December 1983 Rough Trade Records
The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall 8 October 1984 Beggars Banquet Records
This Nation’s Saving Grace 23 September 1985 Beggars Banquet Records
Bend Sinister 29 September 1986 Beggars Banquet Records
The Frenz Experiment 29 February 1988 Beggars Banquet Records
I Am Kurious, Oranj 31 October 1988 Beggars Banquet Records
Extricate 19 February 1990 Phonogram
Shift-Work 22 April 1991 Phonogram
Code: Selfish 23 March 1992 Phonogram
The Infotainment Scan 26 April 1993 Permanent Records
Matador Records
Middle Class Revolt 3 May 1994 Permanent Records
Cerebral Caustic 27 February 1995 Permanent Records
The Light User Syndrome 10 June 1996 Jet Records
Levitate 29 September 1997 Artful Records

Live albums

  • 1982 Live in London 1980
  • 1982 A Part of America Therein, 1981 (Live in USA)
  • 1983 Fall in a Hole (Live Auckland 1982)
  • 1993 BBC Radio One Live in Concert
  • 1997 In the City
  • 1997 15 Ways to Leave Your Man, Live
  • 1998 Live to Air in Melbourne 1982
  • 1998 Live Various Years
  • 1998 Nottingham 92
  • 2000 I Am as Pure as Oranj
  • 2000 Live in Cambridge 1988
  • 2001 Austurbaejarbio (Live in Reykjavik 1983)
  • 2001 Live in Zagreb
  • 2003 The Idiot Joy Show
  • 2003 Live at the Phoenix Festival
  • 2005 Live from the Vaults – Retford 1979
  • 2005 Live from the Vaults – Los Angeles 1979
  • 2005 Live from the Vaults – Glasgow 1981
  • 2005 Live from the Vaults – Hoff Alter Bahnoff 1981

Part studio, part live albums

  • 1980 Totale’s Turns (It’s Now or Never)
  • 1989 Seminal Live
  • 1995 The Twenty Seven Points

EPs

  • 1984 Call for Escape Route
  • 1990 The Dredger EP
  • 1993 Kimble

Compilation albums

  • 1981 Early Years 77–79
  • 1985 Hip Priest and Kamerads
  • 1986 North West Gas
  • 1987 Palace of Swords Reversed
  • 1990 458489 A Sides
  • 1990 458489 B Sides
  • 1993 The Collection
  • 1994 Backdrop
  • 1996 Sinister Waltz
  • 1996 Fiend With a Violin
  • 1996 Oswald Defence Lawyer
  • 1997 The Archive Series
  • 1997 The Less You Look the More You Find
  • 1997 Oxymoron
  • 1997 Cheetham Hill
  • 1998 Smile – It’s the Best of The Fall
  • 1998 Northern Attitude
  • 1999 The Peel Sessions
  • 2000 A Past Gone Mad
  • 2000 Psykick Dancehall
  • 2001 A World Bewitched
  • 2002 Totally Wired – The Rough Trade Anthology
  • 2002 The Rough Trade Singles Box
  • 2002 High Tension Line
  • 2002 Listening In – Lost Singles Tracks 1990–1992
  • 2002 Early Singles
  • 2003 Words of Expectation – BBC Sessions
  • 2003 It’s the New Thing – The Step Forward Years
  • 2003 The War Against Intelligence – The Fontana Years
  • 2003 Rebellious Jukebox
  • 2004 50,000 Fall Fans Can’t Be Wrong – 39 Golden Greats
  • 2005 The Complete Peel Sessions 1978-2004
  • 2006 The Permanent Years (Paranoia Man in Cheap Shit Room)
  • 2007 The Fall Box Set 1976 – 2007

Singles

  • 1979 “Rowche Rumble”
  • 1980 “Fiery Jack”
  • 1980 “How I Wrote ‘Elastic Man’”
  • 1980 “Totally Wired”
  • 1981 “Lie Dream of a Casino Soul”
  • 1982 “Look, Know”
  • 1982 “Marquis Cha-Cha”
  • 1983 “The Man Whose Head Expanded”
  • 1983 “Kicker Conspiracy & Wings”
  • 1984 “Oh! Brother”
  • 1984 “C.R.E.E.P.”
  • 1985 “Couldn’t Get Ahead”
  • 1985 “Cruiser’s Creek”
  • 1986 “Living Too Late”
  • 1986 “Mr. Pharmacist”
  • 1986 “Hey! Luciani”
  • 1987 “There’s a Ghost in My House”
  • 1987 “Hit the North”
  • 1988 “Victoria”
  • 1988 “Jerusalem”
  • 1989 “Cab It Up!”
  • 1990 “Telephone Thing”
  • 1990 “Popcorn Double Feature”
  • 1990 “White Lightning”
  • 1990 “High Tension Line”
  • 1992 “Free Range”
  • 1992 “Ed’s Babe”
  • 1993 “Why Are People Grudgeful?”
  • 1993 “Behind the Counter”
  • 1994 “15 Ways”
  • 1996 “The Chiselers”
  • 1998 “Masquerade”

VHS/DVD

  • 1981 Perverted By Language Bis (VHS/DVD)
  • 1990 VHS8489 (VHS)
  • 1991 Shift-Work and Holidays (VHS/DVD)
  • 2004 Live at the Hacienda 1983–1985 (DVD)

With Marc Riley

Albums

  • 1984 Cull
  • 1984 Gross Out

Singles

  • 1983 “Favorite Sister” / “Carry Mi Card”

With Tom Hingley and the Lovers

Albums

  • 2004 Abba Are the Enemy
  • 2008 Highlights

Singles

  • 2003 “Yeah”
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