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The Happy Mondays

From Academic Kids

The Happy Mondays were a band formed in Manchester, England in 1985. The band was fronted by Shaun Ryder, who formed the band with his brother Paul Ryder, who played bass, and their friend Bez, who danced, played percussion and provided moral support, plus guitarist Mark Day, keyboardist Paul Davis, and drummer Gary Whelan.

Under the guidance of one-time Manchester-based pop svengali, Anthony Wilson, the band released its first album, Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out), in 1987 on the Factory Records label.

A number of other albums followed, most of which were released in the United States on the Elektra Records label. By the late '80s, the Happy Mondays were an important part of the Madchester music scene and personified rave culture. Shaun Ryder fought against a serious drugs problem which typified the scene and the era.

Musically the band fused indie pop guitars with a rhythmic style that owed much to House music, techno and Northern Soul. Much of their music was remixed by popular DJs, emphasising the dance influences even further. Examples of their best songs include Step On and Loose Fit. In terms of style and dress, they crossed hippy fashion and ideals with Seventies glamour. Sartorially and musically the band helped to encourage the psychedelic revival associated with acid house.

After the Happy Mondays disbanded in 1992, Shaun Ryder and Bez formed Black Grape. However, after 7 years apart the Happy Mondays reformed in 1999, minus Paul Davis and Mark Day. The reunion with a world tour and the release of a new single, The Boys are Back in Town, was to be, however, short-lived. The single sunk in the charts, reaching only number 30 in the UK, and with mixed reaction to the live shows, Shaun Ryder called it a day in 2000.

2004 saw the band reform, with Bez, Gary Whelan and Shaun Ryder (following an unsuccessful solo career). They released a live DVD that year, and current rumour suggests that the band is recording a new album. The Mondays will play a variety of festival dates in 2005 (including Glastonbury), capping it off with a concert at the Manchester Evening News Arena in their hometown.

The band is featured in the 2002 movie 24 Hour Party People, with Danny Cunningham as Shaun Ryder. Paul Ryder himself had a cameo role in the movie.


Quotations

"I grew up in New York in the Seventies, and I've seen a lot of people who live life on the edge, but I've never before seen a group of people who had no idea where the edge is." - Tina Weymouth on the Happy Mondays [1] (http://film.guardian.co.uk/interview/interviewpages/0,6737,661059,00.html)

"Amazingly enough I could remember the songs, [which surprised me] considering it took me six months to remember my name." - Shaun in an interview during the reunion in 2000 [2] (http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/jfiles/files/s232280.htm)

Discography

External link

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