Sunday, 13 July 2008

Sunday night rock 'n' roll

Happy Mondays are an English alternative rock band from Salford, Greater Manchester. Formed in 1980, the band's original line-up was Shaun Ryder on lead vocals, his brother Paul Ryder on bass, lead guitarist Mark Day (aka "Moose" or "Cowhead"), keyboardist Paul Davis (aka P.D), and drummer Gary Whelan. Bez would later join the band onstage during a live performance after befriending Shaun Ryder (known to him as "X") and served as a dancer/percussionist. Rowetta Satchell joined the band to provide backing vocals in the early 1990s.

The first official release from Happy Mondays was the "Forty Five E.P.", often incorrectly called the "Delightful E.P." after its first track. It was released on Factory Records in 1985.

Manchester pop impresario Tony Wilson discovered the Mondays (then managed by Phil Saxe) at a battle of the bands contest held at his Ha├žienda nightclub. The story goes that Wilson signed them to his label, Factory Records, even though they came in last. Their first album, Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out), debuted in 1987 and was produced by John Cale. This was followed by Bummed in 1988, produced by Martin Hannett, Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches in 1990 produced by Paul Oakenfold and Yes Please! in 1992, produced by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth. By the late 1980s, the Happy Mondays were an important part of the Madchester music scene and personified rave culture. Shaun Ryder fought against a serious drug problem which typified the scene and the era.

And, of course, it all went downhill from there. At least they left behind some great tunes including the infectious Kinky Afro.

Kinky Afro

Step On

(Nothing Follows)

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