Slates was a crucial turning point because it defies working class stereotypes, specifically in relation to art. The Fall’s lyrics aren’t restricted to the usual kitchen sink realism in the vein of ‘That’s Entertainment’ by The Jam. Rather than having a “woe is me” perspective on life, Smith liberates himself using working class intellectualism to reclaim art as a thing for the people, not academics. This teaches us a vital life-lesson: you don’t need to be privileged to be cultured. You can be into Ezra Pound and Philip K. Dick but also get shit-faced and neck a couple of double dippers on match-day afternoon. He created work that matches the smart intensity of his literary influences, but it’s still firmly grounded in Prestwich.