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4.6 out of 5 stars
Pills 'n' Thrills And Bellyaches
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2001
This album was once described as sounding like Bernard Manning reciting Phillip Larkin poetry in a Ibiza nightclub. Thats a pretty good description, but its also one of the most inspirational and original rock records ever made. The Happy Mondays were probably the last of the truly great rock bands. Part of their appeal was their authenticity. They were real people, they didn't write songs about what they thought 'normal' people did, they were doing it. 'Pills 'n' Thrills' hasn't dated in the 10 years since it release, in fact it actually sounds more modern than a lot contemporary music. 'Kinky Afro' sets the tone for this sleazy roller-coaster ride, with the fantastic line 'Son I'm 30, I only went with your mother cos she's dirty', and just gets better and better. Clocking in at just under 44 minutes this album covers so much musically and takes you to so many places it really is breath taking. Its such a shame there aren't any rock bands making records as good as this any more. Buy it now!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2001
This album was once described as sounding like Bernard Manning reciting Phillip Larkin poetry in a Ibiza nightclub. Thats a pretty good description, but its also one of the most inspirational and original rock records ever made. The Happy Mondays were probably the last of the truly great rock bands. Part of their appeal was their authenticity. They were real people, they didn't write songs about what they thought 'normal' people did, they were doing it. 'Pills 'n' Thrills' hasn't dated in the 10 years since it release, in fact it actually sounds more modern than a lot of contemporary music. 'Kinky Afro' sets the tone for this sleazy roller-coaster ride, with the fantastic line 'Son I'm 30, I only went with your mother cos she's dirty', and just gets better and better. Clocking in at just under 44 minutes this album covers so much musically and takes you to so many places it really is breath taking. Its such a shame there aren't any rock bands making records as good as this any more. Buy it now!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2012
In February of this year The Guardian newspaper ran an online poll on the Happy Mondays. They asked their readership to choose their favourite album from the group's erratic back catalogue. Did they choose this evocatively-titled LP of dance-inflected guitar rock? No, they did not. Instead they plumped for the album which preceded it: 1988's Bummed. I disagree with that decision. Though that collection of brittle punk-funk jams - masterminded by the mercurial Martin Hannett - is good, Pills 'N' Thrills and Bellyaches is far better. The 3 UK singles to this strikingly presented 10 song set provide evidence of that. 'Step On', 'Kinky Afro', and 'Loose Fit', are powerful songs that merged Shaun Ryder's stream-of-conscious lyrics and undulating vocal performances to chunky bass lines, big guitar licks, funky drumming, and light, Balearic dance beats, in a fashion that was both radio-friendly and commercially successful. They are a reflection of the shrewdness to choose Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne as the producers for their bright-and-breezy third studio album - they bring a lush, club-friendly vibe to the Happy Monday's recordings. The rest of this release from the renowned Factory Records label isn't bad either. Highlights include a conga-driven piece of sleaze, entitled 'Bob's Your Uncle', the drum-driven 'God's Cop', and 'Donovan', a light and lyrical, Latin-flavoured tribute to the 1960s folk-pop artist. Therefore, I was unsurprised to see Pills 'N' Thrills And Bellyaches included in the contentious book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die - with its mixture of daft phrases, fashion statements, and cocksure attitude, this career high point makes for an engrossing listen.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2001
Ah, it's the heady days of autumn 1990 - baggy trousers, funny hats, this funny new thing called dance music still settling in. Ministry still doesn't exist and it ain't mainstream - but THESE guys bring the rock, mix it with the dance and create a complete classic. Really, you need the vinyl version to get this album - because that cover is such an intricate mish-mash of things cheesy but bright, American and British, tongue-in-cheek but with some kind of point to make. I never quite got what that point was, but with phrases like "Twisting my melons" and "Ain't gonna wear no skin tights today" bouncing around the tracks, you don't really NEED to make any sense of it. Jump around and enjoy: if you were there, you should re-buy it's worth buying this just to remind yourself of different (not better or worse, just different and FUN) times.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2002
Really and truly, if you need a party album with an attitude, songs, grooves, guitars, beats, keys and braindead/jawdropping (delete as applicable) lyrics then this can be the only choice. Try puttin this on at a party and people will move (especially if they're drunk enough not to notice the difference between 'Kinky Afro' and 'Lady Marmalade' - always a winner).
A standout album of the early nineties, it revolutionised British Indie/Rock music along with The Roses' debut and The Scream's 'Screamadelica' (another great party record).
Memories of happy days I bet (just play 'Step On' for christ's sake)...and I was only 10 or 11...even still, with this album at the forefront it must have been a great time in British music at the turn of that decade. In fact, the Nineties were bloody ace, weren't they?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 December 2007
i listened to this to death when it came out - and i dont' think i've heard it since - it 100% stands the test of time - great to have it back in my life!
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on 24 February 2012
Hey, man, are you ready to partyyyy? Shaun Ryder is. He always is, apparently. Despite his horrible voice, he can get a party started in a second with his ultra-catchy lyrics (that lie on the fine border between genius and moronic) and the band's Madchester grooves.
I'd be hard pressed to name my favorite songs on this album. `Pills n' Thrills and Bellyaches' seems to be the perfect party record, no track is a dud. It's hard to believe, especially if you hear Shaun in interviews, but the man is brilliant. Buy this record.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2006
...amazing what vast quantities of hard drugs can produce? From God's Cop (a glorious send up of the ex-Police chief of Greater Manchester), to Step On, Holiday to Grandbag's Funeral, Dennis and Lois to Bob's Yer Uncle, an exemplary masterpiece of all Manchester had to offer at the time. Why wasn't I born ten years earlier?!!
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on 15 August 2014
Good album, takes me back to the time when 'madchester' was everything...1 thing, i didnt receive the original in the picture as advertised with the withdrawn sweet wrapper cuttings cover. Got the reissue with the cuttings of old happy mondays covers on the cover, small issue maybe but perhaps you should picture the release you have in stock as it gives the customer the choice whether or not to buy that particular version. Thanks tho
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on 9 March 2014
I bought this album after hearing it on a flight home. It was one I had played regulalry in my younger days and I wanted to listen again. The CD was delivered promptly and was used straight away to play in my car and download to my Itunes Library. Very good service from vendor
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