Thursday, 23 July 2009

Happy Mondays 'Step On'

Chart Peak: 5


It's probably just as well for people who bought this album on vinyl or cassette that there's a side-break here, as the segue between Phil Collins and the Mondays must be rather a dramatic one.

I've come to the conclusion that, by and large, Shaun Ryder is one of those figures in rock music whom people tend either to buy into or not (Paul Weller is another example of this). Personally, I've never really got it, but I can't deny the impact of this track, which took them into the Top 10 for the first time and became one of the first "baggy" tracks I can remember hearing on the dubious commercial radio station I used to listen to at the time, which was also playing the aforementioned UB40 and Phil Collins hits. And it also seems to have rather displaced the original John Kongos track from posterity. Perhaps you could argue that this is unfair on the original writer but then again, the most memorable part of the track (except maybe "Twistin my melons man!") is the piano riff, which isn't directly lifted from the original; and of course there's that chiming guitar they liked so much they used it again in their next single 'Kinky Afro'.

I think I may have mentioned before the addiction I've developed to watching old Chart Show indie charts on YouTube, and I learnt from this one that this track was originally knocked off for a covers album on their US label, but they decided it was a bit too good for that and kept it for themselves, supplying a version of the other Kongos hit 'Tokoloshie Man' instead. They made the right choice. Meanwhile, Def Leppard show us how much worse it would have been to do a completely straight cover.

Available on: Pills 'N' Thrills And Bellyaches

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