Plus special guests: Peter Hook & The Light
Happy Mondays formed in 1980 in Salford, Greater Manchester. The original line-up – Shaun Ryder on lead vocals, with brother Paul Ryder on bass, lead guitarist Mark Day, keyboardist Paul Davis, and drummer Gary Whelan. Mark ‘Bez’ Berry later joined the band onstage during a live performance after befriending Shaun Ryder and served as a dancer and percussionist. Rowetta then joined the band to provide backing vocals in the early 1990s.
Their first official release was the ’Forty Five EP’ on Factory Records in September 1985. Tony Wilson discovered them and they signed to Factory Records. Their first album ‘Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile’ (White Out) released in 1987 and was produced by John Cale. This was followed by two classic albums, ‘Bummed’ in 1988, produced by Martin Hannett.
‘Pills ’n’ Thrills and Bellyaches in 1990 produced by Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne went platinum in the UK selling more than 350,000 copies. This put the band firmly on the map as one of the most influential bands to come out of the UK in the early 1990s. The album was recorded at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles.
Singles ’Step On’ and ‘Kinky Afro’ from this album both reached number 5 in the UK singles chart. ‘Yes Please!’ followed in 1992, produced by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, recorded at Eddy Grant’s studio in Barbados. By the late 1980s the Happy Mondays were an important part of the Manchester music scene. Numerous world tours meant the band had international success as well as massive success in their home country.
The line up of the band during this first and most important ten year phase never changed, and the six original members Shaun Ryder, Paul Ryder, Gary Whelan, Paul Davis, Mark Day and Bez remained together until the first incarnation came to an end in 1994. Following a series of re-formations the band returned with a definitive line-up of Shaun, Paul, Mark, Gary, Rowetta and Paul in 2012 and they’ve been going strong ever since.
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