Tag Archives: Happy Mondays

Happy Mondays – Yes, Please! (1992)

IMG_5168My review of Devo’s Shout! last month caused me to consider the term “disaster album”.  Yes, Shout! was a critical and commercial failure which got Devo dropped from their label and (temporarily) split up the band, but I figured I could do one better.  When I think of a total disaster album, the first thing that comes to mind is Yes, Please! by the Happy Mondays.  Not only was it a commercial flop that was savaged by nearly everyone (including the infamous Melody Maker review – “No, thanks”), but it wound up costing so much money that Factory Records went bankrupt.  The money of course ended up going mostly up the noses of the band members – in an attempt to get the group off heroin, the label sent them to Barbados, resulting in the Mondays developing a newfound affinity for crack cocaine.  When they ran out of money, they sold Eddy Grant’s furniture to buy more drugs.  Which then led to Shaun Ryder rather infamously holding the master tapes hostage for more cash, even though the songs were still very much incomplete.  (He got £50)  Bez wound up crashing a car and breaking his arm, halting production of the album (and sucking up more Factory cash).  And so on.
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Happy Mondays – Bummed (1988)

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Madchester was all about two bands, The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays. No disrespect to the others, but those were the two big turkeys, and to hear those that lived it tell the story, you were either on Team Roses or Team Mondays. They were more the same than they were different, what with the fuck-all attitude and willingness to borrow liberally from the past. But there was this sense that the Stone Roses really were the Next Big Thing, as gifted as perhaps The Beatles themselves, while the Mondays didn’t seem to have any musical talent whatsoever.  Their most famous members were a singer who couldn’t sing and a dancer who couldn’t dance, becoming heroes to the warblers and shamblers who just wanted to pop pills and ride the vibes.

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