Music playlist week #21 (The Manchester edition)
The Manchester music scene is famous worldwide, not just for the bands that came from there, but also for the number of musicians that it has influenced around the globe.
We're proud of being from the North of England and proud to have grown up listening to such iconic music from such an iconic city.
Here's our list of Damson's favourite acts from the Manchester Music scene...
Yes, you are reading this correctly. Even if you don't like their style of pop music, you cannot deny that Take That have been immensely successful over the years, even if there are only three original members left nowadays. And they are Manchester born and bred (mostly). You may claim not to know anything by Take That, but you'd be a liar. They have had hit after hit after hit, and in Gary Barlow have one of the greatest British songwriters of the last 30 years. Deny them all you like, but as a successful group to come from the Manchester music scene, they are almost unbeatable.
Yes, OK, not technically from Manchester, but they met and formed in the city. Plus, it's our list and we wanted to include them so fight us if you must! Along with Fatboy Slim and The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers (not actually brothers, in case you care), were pioneers at bringing the big beat genre to the forefront and dance music to the masses. Even now, 35 years into their career, they still put on one of the most astounding live show's you are ever likely to see! They won't be around forever, so make next time you see them going on tour, you'd be mad to miss out.
Buzzcocks are almost just as famous for their music as they were for being the guys that invited The Sex Pistols to perform in Manchester for the first time. It seems odd that their fast style of punk would sound just as relevant now almost 45 years later. Their most famous track remains to be Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't' Have) and is an essential dancefloor filler at any self-respecting indie club night.
James formed in Whalley Bridge in 1982 but weren't actually known as James until singer Tim Booth arrived. The origin of their name is still up for debate 30 odd years on, you'll have to make up your own mind. They didn't have a huge amount of success until the end of the decade with the release of Come Home and Sit Down made huge waves in the charts. They still remain one of the staples of the Manchester music landscape.
When people tend to talk about the great Manchester bands, Elbow often don't get a look in, which hardly seems fair to us. A steady climb in popularity and notoriety since they released their debut album Asleep in the Back in 2001, it wasn't until 2008's Seldom Seen Kid release that people really started to sit up and take notice. Elbow are an outstanding band, and fronted by one of the nicest, and funniest guys around in Guy Garvey.
The Smiths baffle us. Yes, they have some amazing tracks, but the content they have is sometimes a little too morose for our taste, but you cannot deny their influence worldwide. Andy Rourke, Mike Joyce, Johnny Marr & Steven Morrisey formed "The Smiths" in the 1980s and weren't around all that long before splitting up in 1987. Rumours have swirled for 33 years of a reunion, but if they haven't done it by now, it's unlikely that they ever will. Plus, it doesn't help that Marr and Morrisey can't stand each other.
The Stone Roses
Ian, John, Mani and Reni met and formed The Stone Roses in the mid 1980s, and the release of their self titled debut album garnered some serious critical acclaim and made them megastars almost overnight. It's regarded by many as one of the greatest British albums ever made, and we'd have to agree. They called in quits after their second album in 1996, but announced comeback shows in 2011, to the delight of many. Fast forward to June 2017, and at a gig at Hampden Park in Glasgow Ian told the crowd "Don't be sad that it's over, be happy that it happened", leading many to believe that would be their show. Whether or not that is the case, it can't be denied that The Stone Roses changed the landscape of British music for the better.
Fronted by the magnetic Ian Curtis and supported by Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner and Steve Morris (More on them later). Joy Division started out as brash punks, until an obsession with all things Bowie and The Velvet Underground, plus all things synth related took them into slightly darker places. They only ever released two albums, Unknown Pleasures and Closer, but what albums! By the time Closer was actually released, Ian had unfortunately committed suicide after some severe mental illness issues. As awful as Joy Division disbanding was, without that we would never have had...
It's important that New Order follow on this list. Following Ian Curtis' death in 1980, the surviving members agreed to retire the Joy Division name. Starting again from scratch, adding in a keyboard player and with Bernard Sumner taking vocal duties, New Order was born. A shift away from port-pink and prog rock and more of an interest in electronica and production lead to the release of the biggest 12" single of all time with Blue Monday, one of the most instantly catchy songs you are ever likely to hear.
When anyone mentions the Manchester music scene, there's a good argument to be had that most people will think of Oasis first. While they never made an album as good as their first two (despite Be Here Now being criminally underrated in our opinion), they're still the quintessential Manchester band. The Gallagher Brother's may be almost as famous nowadays for their public argument, but between them, they have written some of the greatest songs of all time. They split up in 2008 (You might have heard) but many fans, ourselves included hold out hopes for a reunion and one more huge tour, for nostalgia sake if anything. Now if they could only avoid the need of wanting to kill each other for more than 5 minutes, they could possibly get their arses into gear...
M People, The Verve, Happy Mondays, 808 State, Inspiral Carpets
January 2, 2020