Help me learn as much as I can about the Manchester music scene
June 8, 2008 10:13 AM   Subscribe

I just watched 24 Hour Party People and I love the music. I want to know as much as I possibly can about the Manchester music scene that produced these people and the people themselves. Please recommend some films,books or television programs that can inform the crap out of me
posted by carefulmonkey to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Control- The story of Joy Divison and it's lead singer. It came out last year and just was released on DVD. Brilliant film.
This book
and this book
and this search yields some really interesting results.

Music by:
Happy Mondays, A Certain Ratio, Joy Division, New Order, Sex Pistols (sort of), The Buzzcocks...
posted by dearest at 10:29 AM on June 8, 2008

Freaky Dancin' by Bez. Great book.
posted by essexjan at 10:53 AM on June 8, 2008

Give Bez's Madchester Anthems a listen, or at least look at the track listings for ideas. How could you go wrong with the recommendations of the dancer of the Happy Mondays?!?!

I can vouch for the coolness of the Factory Records book you link to. Pre-ordered it when I heard it was coming out. It does NOT disappoint, and made an awesome birthday gift for my sweetie, who shares my fondness for all thing musically Mancunian.

rave on!
posted by kuppajava at 10:55 AM on June 8, 2008

A new Joy Division documentary is currently out.

Shadowplayers : Factory Records 1978-81 is a great documentary on the Factory scene.

The book Who Killed Martin Hannett? looks at legendary producer Martin Hannett.
posted by panboi at 11:09 AM on June 8, 2008

There's a very good thread on the blue that features the inestimable Miguel Esteves Cardoso, who wasn't just there when it happened, but was there when it was happening.
posted by holgate at 11:11 AM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

In case you missed them, the special tracks on the 24 Hour Party People DVD are pretty good, too. A lot of commentary on the Manchester music scene.
posted by zippy at 11:52 AM on June 8, 2008

If you have 24 Hour Party People on DVD, you should definitely watch it again with the Tony Wilson commentary track on. It is the real history of the period there and is a real riot. I love how he goes into detail about the people and the places and sets right the realities behind the various fictive plot lines of the film.
posted by parmanparman at 12:07 PM on June 8, 2008

Seconding Brautigan's recommendation for the Stone Roses book. Also, the very cool 33 1/3 series has put out books on the Roses' self-titled debut, as well as the Smiths' Meat is Murder.
posted by scody at 12:22 PM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

they only get a passing nod in 24hr Party People, but any talk of the Manchester music scene without The Fall is missing the point. here's one book (disclaimer: haven't read it...yet)
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:43 PM on June 8, 2008

But don't buy that Fall book, buy leader Mark E Smith's new autobiography. I can't remember the title, but I've read it and it's genius. Anyway, I second the Fall - really *the* crucial Manchester band, who've been around since 1977 and have managed to make important records fairly consistently. (And they're much more "about" Manchester than the Smith or Joy Division.)

But you may wish to start with the Blue Orchids, who were formed by the original guitarist and keyboardist of the Fall - they left after only a couple of records. That said, they made one of the best albums ever, "The Greatest Hit (Money Mountain)," which featured songs later covered and referenced by all kinds of people, from Aztec Camera to Slovenly to the Teardrop Explodes. The sound is sort of pastoral psychedelic and it influenced not only many of the later Manchester bands, but also much later developments like some of the new, strange folk-type stuff. It's on CD with their two earlier singles, a later EP and a track in which some members back up Nico. (They were her backing band for a number of years.) I've never met anyone who wasn't entranced by the music and lyrics after hearing it a couple of times - especially, "Work," "Bad Education," "A Year With No Head," "The Flood" and "Conscience." They didn't sell many records, but they cast a pretty big shadow over the Manchester music scene.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:46 PM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Renegade: The Lives and Tales of Mark E. Smith
Loads of Tony Wilson on YouTube
posted by Dr.Pill at 3:57 PM on June 8, 2008

Celebration: Madchester - The Sound of the North (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) - contemporary documentary
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:08 PM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Casting a wider net than Manchester, there's always Simon Reynolds, "Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-84". Good for breadth over depth, unless you consider a million variations on the adjective "angular" to be deep.
posted by Beardman at 9:05 AM on June 9, 2008

« Older How to get my photos off my camera?   |   Might wanna watch your speed in Wyoming, partner..... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.