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Happy Mondays

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Along with the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays were the leaders of the late-'80s/early-'90s dance club-influenced Manchester scene, experiencing a brief moment in the spotlight before collapsing in 1992. While the Stone Roses were based in '60s pop, adding only a slight hint of dance music, Happy Mondays immersed themselves in the club and rave culture, eventually becoming the most recognizable band of that drug-fueled scene. The Mondays' music relied heavily on the sound and rhythm of house music, spiked with '70s soul licks and swirling '60s psychedelia. It was bright, colorful music that had fractured melodies that never quite gelled into cohesive songs. Unwittingly or not, Happy Mondays personified the ugly side of rave culture. They were thugs, purely and simply -- they brought out the latent violence that lay beneath the surface of any drug culture, even one as seemingly beatific as England's late-'80s/early-'90s rave scene. Under the leadership of vocalist Shaun Ryder, the group sounded and acted like thugs, especially in comparison with their peace-loving peers, the Stone Roses. Ryder's lyrics were twisted and surrealistic, loaded with bizarre pop culture references, drug slang, and menacing sexuality. Appropriately, their music was as convoluted. Happy Mondays were one of the first rock bands to integrate hip-hop techniques into their music. They didn't sample, but they borrowed melodies and lyrics and, in the process, committed rock blasphemy. For a band that celebrated their vulgarity and excessiveness, Happy Mondays appropriately were undone by their addictions, but they left behind a surprisingly influential legacy, apparent in everyone from dance bands like the Chemical Brothers to rock & rollers like Oasis. With their second album, 1988's Bummed, Happy Mondays became British superstars, particularly Ryder. Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches, released in 1990, marked the height of the band's popularity, creativity, and influence; although the record made the Top 100 albums chart in America, it didn't establish them as stars in the U.S. After that, the fall was quick. By the time they released their next studio album, Yes, Please, Manchester had disappeared from public consciousness; it sold respectably, but the group didn't have the commercial impact that they had just two years before. Besides the lack of public interest, Shaun Ryder had become addicted to heroin, tearing the band apart in the process. At a high-level record contract meeting, Ryder walked out for some "Kentucky Fried Chicken," which was the band's slang for heroin. He never returned and the group quickly fell apart. Ryder and the Mondays' full-time dancer, Bez, re-emerged in the mid-'90s with Black Grape. The band released its critically acclaimed debut, It's Great When You're Straight...Yeah, late in the summer of 1995. Black Grape's sound pursued the same direction as the Mondays, only with a harder, grittier edge to their sound and lyrics. In 2007, 15 years since their last record, the band (minus about half the original members, including guitarist Mark Day) released their fifth studio album, Uncle Dysfunktional. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Stations Featuring
Happy Mondays

    '80s Alternative

    '80s Alternative
    1 song

Albums by
Happy Mondays

Top Songs by
Happy Mondays

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Step On
  3.   Kinky Afro
  4.   Bob's Yer Uncle
  5.   Boby's Yer Uncle by Rowetta
  6.   Grandbag's Funeral
  7.   Brain Dead
  8.   Harmony
  9.   Bob's Yer Uncle
  10.   Hallelujah
  11.   Tokoloshe Man
  12.   Step On
  13.   Loose Fit
  14.   Jellybean
  15.   24 Hour Party People
  16.   Stayin' Alive
  17.   The Boys Are Back in Town
  18.   Little Matchstick Owen
  19.   Weekend S
  20.   'Enery
  21.   Freaky Dancin'
  22.   Total Ringo
  23.   Dennis and Lois
  24.   Stinkin Thinkin
  25.   W.F.L.
  26.   Rave On
  27.   Holy Ghost
  28.   Clap Your Hands
  29.   Oasis
  30.   Russell
  31.   Bring a Friend
  32.   Wrote for Luck
  33.   Do It Better
  34.   Delightful
  35.   Tart Tart
  36.   Stinkin' Thinkin'
  37.   Judge Fudge
  38.   Donovan
  39.   Loose Fit
  40.   Holiday
  41.   E
  42.   Tokoloshe Man
  43.   God's Cop
  44.   Monkey in the Family
  45.   Sunshine and Love
  46.   Dustman
  47.   Angel
  48.   Cut 'Em Loose Bruce
  49.   Theme from Netto
  50.   Lovechild
  51.   Cowboy Dave
  52.   Country Song
  53.   Moving in With
  54.   Mad Cyril
  55.   Fat Lady Wrestlers
  56.   Performance
  57.   Lazyitis
  58.   Kuff Dam
  59.   Olive Oil
  60.   Cob 20

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