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Attack Of The Grey Lantern [3CD] Original recording remastered, Collector's Edition, Box set
|Price:||£35.56 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details|
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Formed in 1995 by Paul Draper (vocals, guitars and piano), Mansun comprised of Dominic Chad (lead guitar, piano), Stove King (bass), and Andie Rathbone (drums).
Attack Of The Grey Lantern was the band's debut album produced by Mark Stent and Paul Draper. Originally released in 1997, amid a fanfare of media expectation, it spawned four hit singles "Stripper Vicar" (no. 19), "Wide Open Space" (no. 15), "She Makes My Nose Bleed" (no. 9) and "Taxlo$$" (no. 15). The album was a success, remaining in the UK album chart for 19 weeks and peaking at number one; knocking off Blur's self titled album in the process.
This three CD collector's edition consists of the original album remastered, with two bonus discs full of pre-album E.P.'s ("Take It Easy, Chicken", "Skin Up Pin Up"), alternative, acoustic and live versions; b-sides ("Rebel Without A Quilt", "Flourella", "The Duchess", and many more), and Draper's co-write with Magazine's Howard Devoto, "Everyone Must Win". Extensive sleeve notes written by the lead singer are also featured, as is a remix of "(I'm In A) Wide Open Space" by Greg Downey.
The second wave of Britpop introduced various bands of dubious merit–Rialto, Symposium, the truly wretched Gay Dad–but Mansun were one of its genuine successes.
They were a rum bunch, though: Chester lads with a thing for the more cerebral end of post-punk (Magazine), a whole heap of Bowie and Prince and a disarming tendency to wander into the great proggy beyond. 1997 debut Attack of the Grey Lantern was even trumpeted as that most progressive of indulgences–the concept album. One in which singer Paul Draper, in the guise of superhero The Grey Lantern, exorcised the inhabitants of a small English village from their life of wanton depravity. It was all done with tongue firmly wedged in cheek of course, Mansun's opulent pop songs making merry with the likes of Penelope Cheapskate, Albert Taxloss, Dark Mavis and a lusty vicar with an S&M obsession.
The songs themselves were guitar-driven with a playful, experimental edge. The band's use of orchestral strings, ambient noise and sideways lyrics led to them becoming leading players in what the British music press somewhat unconvincingly called New Grave (alongside supposedly similar moodists Placebo and Radiohead). The Chad Who Loved Me has more than a hint of Ride's Leave Them All Behind, while Disgusting carries traces of late-80s Tears for Fears in its bold ambition. Draper could certainly write killer singles. Taxloss was a near-perfect conflation of The Beatles and the Stones, borrowing from Taxman and We Love You respectively. Wide Open Space was blissful pop with a soaring solo from guitarist Dominic Chad, soon adopted by the clubland massive thanks to Paul Oakenfold's dance remix.
This reissue includes two extra discs of alternative, acoustic and live takes. Take It Easy Chicken and Moronica are indicative of the Mansun's vivid spirit, as is Skin Up Pin Up, whereby they run amok like the snotty younger brothers of The Charlatans. The original album knocked Blur off the top bunk of the LP charts for a time, with Radiohead proclaiming it "a real musical achievement". Thirteen years on, you can still see their point. --Rob Hughes
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Top Customer Reviews
However, I imagine most will want to know if it's worth parting with a bit more money to get the two extra discs that come with this version. In short, yes it most certainly is. Mansun, as others have pointed out, knew their way around a quality b-side. The b-sides (EP tracks), like with many a great band, serve to show the bands musical progress. From the punky/cheeky 'Take It Easy Chicken' and the (almost) Oasis sounding 'Ski Jump Nose' to the shimmering guitars and paranoia present on 'Things Keep Falling Off Buildings'- Mansun knew what they were doin'. Paul Draper describes 'Flourella' as "Led Zeppelin with loops. Led Zooplin" in the liner notes, which comes close to describing the unhinged genius of this track. Paul also reveals that he swore never to write a love song (spare from the obvious- 'Mansuns Only Love Song') so the songs topics/lyrics are always interesting. Personal favourite 'No One Knows Us' seems to be about an imaginary friend called Scruffy ("Me and Scruffy , we float above the crowd. Scuffy's birthday, balloons are all around"). Another highlight is the track they co-wrote with Howard Devoto of Magazine, the drunken, propulsive 'Everyone Must Win'.Read more ›
The album itself is still superb and hasn't suffered too badly at the hands of time. As for the bonus discs, well, in my opinion they are a little repetitive and don't add too much for the none hardcore fan (who probably has most of the tracks anyway). There are a couple of gems on there but by and large it is more filler than killer.
Still a classic album though!
However, to get to the point, the release of this 3CD set has prompted me to write this brief testimonial. 'The Attack of the Grey Lantern' is without doubt one of the greatest albums ever released and is in my top 10 greatest albums of all time.
Beatle-esque in its scope and construction, it flows from one brilliantly memorable track to the next. At the time of its release (for a change) the UK music buying public agreed and it was briefly a massive seller. However, Mansun currently seem now to be largely forgotten. Hopefully, at some point they will receive the reappraisal they deserve. Great, sorry, wonderful band.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is probably my favorite album from the so called brit pop era.Not quite sure why mansun were lumped into this.
This album is like sgt pepper for the 90s. Read more
Brilliant cd package from Mansun. I have all these recordings but spread over tapes, 7" and single CD's. These cd's are destined for the car so that I can play them continually. Read morePublished on 13 Aug. 2010 by jane holiday