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

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