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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
#1 HALL OF FAMEon 29 January 2003
I was expecting to loathe this, not having listened to it in some time & an unadmirer of Ryder's charmless Black Grape. But I found myself having that Proustian thing & being surprised at how good this album was...
The late, legendary producer Martin Hannett did what John Cale mostly could not on the patchy 24 Hour Party People debut- taking the strange indie-funk of the Mondays & giving it a groove. Of course lots of people were doing similar stuff before this: The Wolfgang Press, The Woodentops,A Certain Ratio, 23 Skidoo, Gang of Four, The Slits, This Heat!. A listen to Can's 1972 classic Tago Mago (featuring a song called Halleluwah!) will demonstrate that the Mondays/Madchester thing was a slightly ignorant media creation.
But the songs here are fun, and the album has dated better than the over-rated Stone Roses debut- which has about as much resonance for me as the second James album & appears less original the more I hear 60's compilations like Nuggets. Brain Dead quotes a line Jagger spoke from Altamont (see Gimme Shelter) & Performance references the classic Jagger-starring film of the same name from Nic Roeg & Donald Cammell. Mad Cyril sounds like a funky mess (the Peel session is even better), though Moving in With is a superior song (Ryder offerring a nursery rhyme chorus: turkey-lurkie etc- the kind of inspired stuff you'd expect from Mark E Smith).
Lazyitis drifts into the post-modern, quoting bits of Ticket to Ride, Family Affair & David Essex (!)- though Fat Lady Wrestlers appears to sum up the album best (especially if gazing at the pornographic image on the sleeve!). But the best song here is Wrote for Luck, here in all it's guitar glory & those great lines like "I sent for juice/you gave me poison"- pity the WFL/Think About the Future mixes, the Karl Denver Lazyitis (1 armed Boxer) & Madchester ep didn't make it here as extra tracks.
Bummed, along with Pills Thrills & Bellyaches (1990) has dated very well- it's quite deranged, which has made it more enjoyable with the passage of time. One of the two great albums Ryder has been associated with & an example of the state of things at the end of the 80s.
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