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4.3 out of 5 stars18
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Inspiral Carpets were a band that, at the height of their popularity, pretty much passed me by. They were a staple of the "Madchester" baggy indie scene in the late 1980s, alongside The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays. At that point, in my early teens, I was busy listening to my Beatles, Stones and Bowie albums and didn't have a great deal of interest in new music. However, in the early nineties, I became aware of them thanks to listening to good late night radio programmes and really loved Clint Boon's swirling Hammond Organ sound, particularly enjoying "Dragging Me Down" and "Saturn 5". In 2009, I finally got around to buying their Greatest Hits for a relatively small amount of money. Thankfully, I only spent a few quid on this purchase because, to be frank, I was disappointed when I first heard it. It's not that this is a particularly bad collection (far from it), it's just that this isn't an album that I can easily appreciate by listening to it from start to finish. It's like having a huge box of chocolates and having to eat a lot of chocolates you don't particularly enjoy just to get to the ones you do. None of them are that terrible, far from it, but by the time you reach your favourites, you don't enjoy them as much because you've overdosed on the flavour.

Without delving any further into their back catalogue, it still seems glaringly obvious that the Inspiral Carpets were very much a singles band, because not exactly everything on their twenty track "Greatest Hits" is brilliant. It does, therefore, leave you to wonder what their other tracks were like. Their early material is full of energy, but a little devoid of melody and more than a little samey. It does, in my opinion, get a lot better as the album goes on and, as the last track finishes, the latter part of the album almost tricks you into thinking that you've heard an absolutely brilliant collection, but the first half of this album is slightly unremarkable. I'm guessing that makes me more of a fan of their later output. Still, I think, to absolutely love this album, you have to have been there, to have lived it. If you weren't, then there are still some cracking tracks on their "Greatest Hits", but I wouldn't necessarily recommend listening to everything on this collection to get to the good stuff. It's actually a good album to rip to a digital music player and hear tracks from at random, singularly, amongst other artists. They really do sound better when separated from each other, so you aren't overwhelmed by a particular distinctive sound.

My personal favourites from their "Greatest Hits" are the early career highlight, "Caravan", the laid back "Please Be Cruel", the absolutely classic "Dragging Me Down", the sensational "Saturn 5" (the song that got me interested in the Inspiral Carpets in the first place), the catchy "Generations", "I Want You", which has a similar musical feel to The Jam's "Funeral Pyre" and the gently melodic "Uniform". I've listened to this album a couple of times today and certainly think that it's a little better than I first thought, but it's an album that could be a lot shorter than the mammoth twenty tracks on here and the inclusion of everything but the kitchen sink does put you off listening to the whole album on from start to finish. The highlights are certainly excellent, but you have to wade through so many tracks to get to them, so it remains an album I'm happy to own, but not one I will be listening to very often.
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on 27 May 2004
The Inspiral Carpets have always been one of the forgotten bands of the 80's & 90's. Lost amongst the Manchester scene of The Smiths, New Order, Happy Mondays et al, they, like the Farm, are seldom referred to when the scene is discussed. The quality and diversity of their music is brilliant however, and let's not forget the fine, fine use of the Hammond Organ! Dragging Me Down is my personal favourite, but there are plenty of tracks on here that most will remember fondly, especially This Is How It Feels To Be Lonely.
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on 19 November 2015
great classic Madchester indie band, like Lee Mavers & the La's (check out cast, as well), were the original's, perhaps also Aztec Camera?, were the first of the burgeoning indie scene, along with Morrisey & The Smiths, they all came about in the beginning, before the rave scene and in many way's before the Madchester scene as well, following on from Echoe And The Bunnymen, The Psychedelic Furs, Modern English , Orange Juice, New Order, then came Prefab Sprout, The Blow Monkeys, The Primitives, Voice Of The Beehive, Transvision Vamp, Strawberry Switchblade, The Housemartins/The Beautiful South, Crowded House, Suede, The Charlatans, Ocean Colour Scene, with it's roots in New Wave & the Manchester independent music scene, i.e-Joy Division, A Certain Ratio, Factory Records & Rough Trade, Clay Records, Inspiral Carpets are 1 of the best by 1988, at the tail end, followed by of course EMF, House Of Love, The Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses, The Mock Turtles, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Jesus Jones, The Stereo Mc's, The Wonderstuff, Blur,The Divine comedy, this cd give's testament to the quality of the band, I was amazed by The Inspiral Carpets and their great music, having known about and of them, but not hearing for a long time, great!
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on 8 December 2004
They wrote some of the catchiest singles EVER!!!! If their albums had been as consistent, they'd have been huge!!! This is a really good way to find out what they were really about. 3 Quality minutes of pop, You'll be singing along after a couple of listens...All classics...
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on 10 August 2009
Fun and catchy music from the early 90's which somehow got overshadowed by certain other bands from Manchester at the time, notably The Stone Roses, but how could anyone resist Saturn 5 at full volume. Hasn't aged a bit. Unlike me.
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on 21 January 2010
Inspiral Carpets / Stone Roses / Happy Mondays

The Inspiral Carpets were never as cool as the Stone Roses, or the kings of the 'E' scene like the Happy Mondays, but they were the great singles band of the Madchester era.

They hit the charts more frequently than their fellow Mancunians of the late 1980s and early 90s.
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on 3 September 2010
i saw them live about 10 times in the early 90s... even met the guys at a party once(they were all lovely), brings back memories of a really great band, they never got the credit the roses, mondays et al got but they wree musically great.... just too nice to be part of that scene.
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on 11 December 2014
Good product delivered promptly.
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on 26 April 2015
brilliant band. fab album.
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on 6 November 2015
Good but Nothing special.
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