From July 2008
BETTER THAN W.B YEATS AS A POET?
Tony Wilson once made the claim that Shaun Ryder was a better poet than William Butler Yeats, and that in the fullness of time, he’d come to be regarded every much as talented a genius as Mozart.
I’m sure my dear friend Greer, who, in addition to making fabulous weekly contributions to the Contrast Podcast, writes an equally fabulous poetry blog called A Sweet Unrest, would be horrified at such a comparison, but I do suspect Tony’s tongue, and not for the first time, was parked right into his cheek.
Having said that, the opening four lines to Kinky Afro, in which a dad directly addresses his young offspring, are as good as any representation of misogynist and unreconstructed man I’ve ever read in my life:-
Son, I’m 30
I only went with your mother cos she’s dirty
And I don’t have a decent bone in me
What you get is just what you see, yeah.
And as much as I love Kinky Afro, not just for the lyrics but the catchy tune that immediately makes me want to get off my backside and dance, there is no better Happy Mondays song than the opening track to their 1989 LP, Bummed:-
mp3 : Happy Mondays – Wrote For Luck
A truly astonishing bit of music, and the only thing that stopped it making the 45 45s at 45 rundown the other month was that I missed out on it when it originally appeared as a single. I only heard it a couple of months afterwards courtesy of it being included on a compilation tape made up for me by my old friend Jacques the Kipper (older readers might remember that JtK often left comments in the early days of TVV…he’s now too busy being a modern dad to stop by and say hi…..)
But having missed out first time around, I made sure I picked up the single when it was given the remix treatment and re-released a few months later. And as much as I love the original, produced to perfection by Martin Hannett, there are days when I prefer one or other of these mixes:-
mp3 : Happy Mondays – W.F.L. (the Vince Clarke Mix)
mp3 : Happy Mondays – W.F.L. (Think About The Future)
Vince Clarke is of course, the electro-pop superstar who had made the Top 10 with four different acts – Depeche Mode, The Assembly, Yazoo and Erasure – as well as releasing a single with the mighty Paul Quinn.
Think About The Future was a mix made by an up and coming DJ and mixer called Paul Oakenfold, who went on to become one of the biggest phenomena of the 90s – maybe ctelblog at Acid Ted can fill us all in properly….
Anyways, the inspiration for this posting is merely that on the train to work yesterday morning, feeling a bit low as I was going to be stuck indoors on one of the few warm and dry days we’ve had in Glasgow this past month or so, the original version of Wrote For Luck came round on shuffle on the i-pod.
Instant happiness without the need to ingest drugs or alcohol.
Oh and I got up from my seat, stood near the exit door and did a little dance (in my head it was a big dance – all Bez moves and shapes – but in reality I only sort of moved my head from side to side and tried hard not to sing along in case I scared the passengers).
Maybe Tony was slightly wrong about Shaun’s poetic abilities, but alongside his brother and his mates in the band, you can’t argue against the claim that he was one helluva songwriter…..
Shaun Ryder has since come to the attention of a much wider audience thanks to his exploits in the 2010 TV reality series ‘I’m A Celebrity….Get Me Out Of Here!’. His autobiography. Twisting My Melon, was the published to great critical acclaim in 2011, acclaim that was entirely justified.
mp3 : Happy Mondays – Kinky Afro