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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Martin Hannett's last great production, 17 Jan 2008
This review is from: Bummed (Collector's Edition) (Audio CD)
So, with the recent Happy Mondays reunion and long-awaited new LP "Uncle Dysfunktional" release, it was to hope some inspired label would dare have a look back at the past releases of that seminal band who inspired so many other bands up to this day. "Bummed" (1988) and its more polished sequel "Pills'N'Thills'N'Bellyaches" (1990) are arguably the Mondays' best records (and for the latter, their most successful), so it's quite logically the first two to be reissued in the wake of their new found fame.

I chose to review "Bummed" not only because it's my favourite of the two, but also 'cause I deeply think it's still unique in its own kind 20 years after its original release. Two things make it a landmark record in British music in my opinion; first, Martin Hannett's spacier-than-ever take on effects and overall sonic architecture, and second and not least, guitarist Mark Day's acid pickings through most of the tracks featured here, which provided the obvious Mondays' legacy over the sound that was to come so popular two years later with that whole "Madchester" scene. Not to mention, of course, Shaun Ryder's mumbled yet hypnotic nonsense lyrical garbage over a tight rythm section sounding like headless chicken on a roll.

From the acid psychedelia opener "Country Song" to the harder robotic single "Wrote For Luck", from the trippy disco-pop of "Brain Dead" to the frantic assault of "Do It Better", the whole album is built like a rollercoaster designed to burn your mind and body on the floor (and dance yourself down to your knees, as would say Morrissey). Also featured in this expanded edition are the "Madchester EP" (1989), also produced by Hannett, which would happen to be their first underground hit (in the shape of its main track, the monumental "Hallelujah"), and a second disc of remixes, including the famous Paul Oakenfold rework of "Wrote For Luck", the "Think About The Future" mix of said track. Funny, cause I still think the original 12" mix (also featured here) is superior and (shock!) has better stood the test of time. Check, if you don't believe me.

When you compare either this or its highly successful follow-up to their relatively poor comeback soundtrack, it's fair to say the Mondays' have somewhat lost it, but a whole generation of "new" bands would kill to have a small fraction of the panache these legendary records had and still have.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Cockey Lockey, Turkey Lurkey , Goosey Loosey"....a great British album of the eighties, 8 Jan 2008
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bummed (Collector's Edition) (Audio CD)
With massive irony , considering the bands propensity for getting slaughtered whether it be via drink or as is more likely drugs Bummed was recorded at The Slaughterhouse in Great Driffield ,East Yorkshire. Bummed , released in 1988, came out prior to the outbreak of the "Madchester" rave scene but if anything sums up the vibe of the whole thing its this album.It has a swaggering devil may care hedonistic verve but one filtered through the working class estates of Manchester's suburbs rather any glitzy showbiz ephemera.
That the relatively vibrant tones was,nt necessarily matched by the lyrical themes- dealing with drug addiction , crime, and a song originally titled "Some C*** From Preston"-later changed to the "Country Song" is no great surprise considering then bands background .But the furiously funked up grooves and sheer danceable rhythms were .That said Sean Ryders lyrics-frequently described as street poetry - are an inspired mash-up of dextrous phraseology and converse imagery and are often very funny at that.
Happy Mondays at that time were memorably described as P.I.L. meets Parliament which as good a way to describe them as any though Joy Division on Prozac melding Can and Chic is another. What ever way you want to describe this music the bands unique council estate fusion of funk and rock allied to producers Martin Hannett,s astute production( The use of echo and reverb on the drums is especially distinctive) make Bummed a stand alone album in terms of sound .
What really makes Bummed essential though are the songs. Moving on from the rather chaotic bent of their debut album "Squirrel G Man" these were songs with tangible melodies , straight to the hips rhythms and with the odd song -sheer infectious pop sensibilities. " Do It Better" is a jollified knees up for a forgotten generation . "Lazyitis" filches the Beatles "Ticket To Ride" to it,s twanging chords. "Fat Lady Wrestlers" is propelled by an inexorable tumbling melody and "Moving In With"has steely guitar chords slicing through like a reprobate shark fin. Only the comparatively morose keyboard strains of "Brain Dead" interfere with the flow of the albums scuffed pop diffidence. The tour de-force is "Wrote For Luck" a quite magnificent track with a phalanx of blunt edged guitars allied to forceful percussion and a salient nod to the dance floor.
This collectors edition CD comes with a bonus disc featuring various remixes of songs off the album, some of which became staples of the burgeoning rave scene. Most significant is the "WFL" Vince Clarke remix and the Paul Oakenfold "WFL"(Think About The Future) remix. Oakenfold would go on to work on the bands more commercial follow up to Bummed -"PIlls Thrills & Bellyaches", an album that nearly bankrupted "Factory". There are three mixes of "Hallelujah" and the "Lazyitis" (One Armed Boxer Remix)" which bizarrely featured wholesome country legend John Denver.
One of the most important British albums of the 1980,s Bummed also harked back to the punk aesthetic that anyone could pick up instruments and form a band . Bummed took that principle and then subverted it slightly , eschewing much of the the middle class voyeuristic social commentary of that era and really giving us the sounds of the suburbs.Working class boys , telling us, in their own idiosyncratic way , what their lives were really like. It,s not pretty but its hugely entertaining and it heralded a movement that was soon going to have a massive cultural impact Whether you class it as "Cockey Lockey" , Goosey Loosey" or indeed "Turkey Lurkey" Bummed is essential....though whether this special edition is worth the extra money, considering how cheap the original album is, is open to debate.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant reissue of a classic, 19 Dec 2007
A. G. James "Jim Glyn" (Dorchester, Dorset, England, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bummed (Collector's Edition) (Audio CD)
People forget the Happy Mondays were a brilliant band and Bummed is the best thing that they ever did and so this reissue is very welcome.

A few things though - why the 7 inch edits of some tracks as well as 12 inch ones? What's the point of that? Why no full version of Mad Cyril (Hello Girls)?

Ignore my trainspotting points and just buy it.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About time, 9 Dec 2007
This review is from: Bummed (Collector's Edition) (Audio CD)
This must be one of the finest Manchester albums ever (with perhaps the exception of pills n thrills...) produced by one of the worlds finest producers (Martin Hannett RIP).
At long last i can give my rare cd singles a bit of a rest and play this cd instead.
Its a shame Tony Wilson (RIP) isn't here to see this re-released.
But, this cd is a must for any "Madchester" fan
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Bummed (Collector's Edition)
Bummed (Collector's Edition) by Happy Mondays (Audio CD - 2007)
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