The Second British Invasion Music Series — The Brit Box, Disc 1, Track 14 “Step On,” by Happy Mondays

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Happy Mondays

Happy Mondays are an English rock band formed in Salford in 1980. The band’s original line-up was Shaun Ryder (vocals), his brother Paul Ryder (bass), Gary Whelan (drums), Paul Davis (keyboard), and Mark Day (guitar). Mark “Bez” Berry later joined the band onstage as a dancer/percussionist. Rowetta joined the band as a vocalist in 1990.

Step On” was a single from Happy Monday’s 3rd album, “Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches,” released in November 1990. DJ Paul Oakenfold and collaborator Steve Osbourne were previously enlisted by the band to create remixes of some of their songs. The success of these led to the pair producing “Step On”, released in March 1990, which is a cover of a John Kongos song. “Step On,” written by John Kongos and Christos Demetriou, was the 8th track on the album.  “Kinky Afro,” was another single released from the album, released in October, 1990.

Tidbits:

From Happy Mondays Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine at allmusic.com:

Along with the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays were the leaders of the late-’80s/early-’90s dance club-influenced Manchester scene, experiencing a brief moment in the spotlight before collapsing in 1992. While the Stone Roses were based in ’60s pop, adding only a slight hint of dance music, Happy Mondays immersed themselves in the club and rave culture, eventually becoming the most recognizable band of that drug-fueled scene. The Mondays’ music relied heavily on the sound and rhythm of house music, spiked with ’70s soul licks and swirling ’60s psychedelia. It was bright, colorful music that had fractured melodies that never quite gelled into cohesive songs.

Unwittingly or not, Happy Mondays personified the ugly side of rave culture. They were thugs, purely and simply — they brought out the latent violence that lay beneath the surface of any drug culture, even one as seemingly beatific as England’s late-’80s/early-’90s rave scene. Under the leadership of vocalist Shaun Ryder, the group sounded and acted like thugs, especially in comparison with their peace-loving peers, the Stone Roses. Ryder’s lyrics were twisted and surrealistic, loaded with bizarre pop culture references, drug slang, and menacing sexuality. Appropriately, their music was as convoluted. Happy Mondays were one of the first rock bands to integrate hip-hop techniques into their music. They didn’t sample, but they borrowed melodies and lyrics and, in the process, committed rock blasphemy. For a band that celebrated their vulgarity and excessiveness, Happy Mondays appropriately were undone by their addictions, but they left behind a surprisingly influential legacy, apparent in everyone from dance bands like the Chemical Brothers to rock & rollers like Oasis.

Please click on Stephen’s name link above for more from him on the group’s biography, discography, etc.

I definitely hear the influence Happy Mondays had on The Chemical Brothers and Smash Mouth.  Very smooth and breezy stuff.

(Whistling)

You’re twistin’ my melon man, you know you talk so hip man
You’re twistin’ my melon man… Call the cops!

Hey rainmaker, come away from that man
You know he’s gonna take away your promised land
Hey good lady, he just wants what you got you know
He’ll never stop until he’s taken the lot

(Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey)

Gonna stamp out your fire, he can change your desire
Don’t you know he can make you forget you’re a man
Gonna stamp out your fire, he can change your desire
Don’t you know he can make you forget you’re a man
You’re a man

(You’re twistin’ my melon man, you speak so hip)

Hey rainmaker, he got golden plans I tell you
He’ll make a stranger in your own land
Hey good lady, he got God on his side he got a double
Tongue you never think he would lie

(Oh he lied, ooh he’s twistin’ my melon man)
(Oh he lied, ooh he’s twistin’ my melon man)

Gonna stamp out your fire, he can change your desire
Don’t you know he can make you forget you’re a man
Gonna stamp out your fire, he can change your desire
Don’t you know he can make you forget you’re the man
You’re the man

He’s gonna step on you again, he’s gonna step on you
He’s gonna step on you again, he’s gonna step on you

Hey rainmaker, get away from that man you know

He’s gonna take away your promised land
Hey good lady, he got God on his side he got a double
Tongue you never think he would lie

Gonna stamp out your fire, he can change your desire
Don’t you know he can make you forget you’re a man
Gonna stamp out your fire, he can change your desire
Don’t you know he can make you forget you’re the man
You’re the man

You’re twistin’ my melon man, you know you talk so hip man
You’re twistin’ my melon man…

(Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey)

(Whistling)

Songwriters:  John Kongos and Christos Demetriou

7 Comments Add yours

  1. memadtwo says:

    I didn’t know about their dark side. Of course I never paid that much attention to the lyrics. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I’m glad you know them, K.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. memadtwo says:

        At one time in my life the radio was on pretty much all the time.

        Like

  2. While I’m generally not a fan of house and rave music, the way how Happy Mondays combine these grooves with rock is intriguing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Christian, I agree with you. It’s an intriguing combination.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    Dark themes with happy music…like a troan horse…love the upbeat catchy music plus the guitar sounds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Wonderful comment, Max!

      Liked by 1 person

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