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The Smiths
Madchester - A New Flame
Manchester Music in the 1990's
Margaret Thatcher's Conservative goverment put much of Northern Britain in to serious decline during the 1980's, over 4 million people being declared unemployed, with factories in Manchester closing down left, right and centre. As a result the generation of angry young men that she created picked up guitars and translated their angst into song. The influence some of these bands would have on future generations was incredible. From the ashes of Joy Division, a pioneering dance rock band would change the future of music almost as much as the political pop of Manchester's greatest miserabilists. Oh and then there was The Hacienda, opening a few weeks after Wigan Casino was demolished. Madchester here we come!
 
 
 
 
1990
The Charlatans The Charlatans
Indian Rope listen to soundbites
Northwich based West Midlands band, The Charlatans, fronted by Salford-born Tim Burgess, release their debut single 'Indian Rope' in February. It doesn't chart but creates a huge buzz on the Manchester scene and their local fanbase explodes [video]
Inspiral Carpets rework their 'Find Out Why' single to become the soundtrack for popular Saturday morning kids TV show 'The 8:15 from Manchester' listen to soundbites
In March, The Fall's 'Extricate' album displays a Madchester influence and reaches no.31
'Absolutely', ABC's greatest hits, reaches no.7 in April and proves to be their last chart success listen to soundbites
New Order New Order
World In Motion listen to soundbites
In May, New Order enjoy their only ever no.1 single, when they team up with the England football team to record their official 1990 World Cup theme, under the name of 'Englandneworder' [video]
Inspiral Carpets Inspiral Carpets
Life listen to soundbites
with their baggy psychedelic organ sound, Inspiral Carpets reach no.2 with the album 'Life' in May, beaten to the top spot by The Carpenters 'Greatest Hits'! Along with Manchester influenced track 'Sackville', it includes 'She Comes In The Fall' (no.27), 'Move' (no.49) and 'This is How it Feels' (no.14), a song about unemployment in Thatcher's Britain which features their roadie Noel Gallagher, on backing vocals [video]
Northside Northside
Shall We Take A Trip listen to soundbites
Another band to benefit from the Madchester scene in May is Oldham's Northside. Their debut single 'Shall We Take A Trip' becomes the anthem of the era and is used as the theme tune for Granada Soccer Night. It fails to chart after it's banned from the airwaves because of it's 'LSD' lyrics
The Charlatans The Charlatans
Some Friendly listen to soundbites
The Charlatans go straight to no.1 (USA no.73) with their baggy debut album, 'Some Friendly' in October. It includes the singles 'The Only One I Know' (no.9), and 'Then' (no.12), together with the locally influenced track 'Sproston Green' [video]
In October, Morrissey reaches no.9 (US no.59) with his album, 'Bona Drag', which rounds up all the previous singles including 'The Last Of The Famous International Playboys' (no.6), 'Interesting Drug' (no.9), 'Ouija Board Ouija Board' (no.18), 'November Spawned A Monster' (no.12) and 'Piccadilly Palare' (no.18) listen to soundbites [video]
By now at the height of their career, Happy Mondays reaches no.4 with their third album 'Pills 'N' Thrills And Bellyaches', which includes the hits 'Step On' (UK no.5 / USA no.57), 'Kinky Afro' (no.5) and 'Loose Fit' (no.17)  listen to soundbites [video] 
MC Tunes MC Tunes
The North At It's Heights listen to soundbites
Manchester rapper MC Tunes (real name Nicky Lovett), reaches no.26 with his 'The North At It's Heights' album (Nov). As well as track 'Mancunian Blues', It includes his collaboration with 808 State on both the hits 'The Only Rhyme That Bites' (no.10) and 'Tunes Splits The Atom' (no.18) [video]
Also in November, the compilation album 'The Very Best Of The Bee Gees' reaches no.6 
 
 
 
 
1991
The High The High
Box Set Go listen to soundbites
Buzzocks offshoot band Flag Of Convenience become baggy Manchester act The High. Featurng ex-Stone Roses bassist Andy Couzens, they reach no.28 in January with the single 'Box Set Go'. It's their only hit, with the excellent album 'Somewhere Soon' failing to chart. Lead singer John Matthews later spends some time in an institution after it's claimed his drink was spiked in a Manchester club [video]
In February, The Railway Children enjoy their only chart success when the single 'Every Beat Of The Heart' reaches no.24 in the UK listen to soundbites [video]
In March, Morrissey reaches no.8 (US no.52) with his album, 'Kill Uncle', which spawns the hit singles 'Our Frank' (UK no.26) and 'Sing Your Life' (no.33) listen to soundbites [video]
Sad Cafe frontman Paul Young, re-joins Mike & The Mechanics for their third album, 'Word Of Mouth', (UK no.11). He sings vocals on the hit lead single of the same name (no.13) as well as album tracks 'Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow', 'Stop Baby' and 'Let's Pretend It Didn't Happen' listen to soundbites
In March, The Fall reach the lofty heights of the Top 20 with their album, 'Shift-Work' (no.17)
John Baker leaves The Charlatans, with Mancunian Mark Collins taking over on guitar
The Bee Gees reach no.24 in April with their 17th album, 'High Civilization', with the top 5 single 'Secret Love'
In May 808 State enjoy their biggest success with the no.4 album 'Ex:El', which features vocals from Bjork and New Order's Bernard Sumner. It includes the hits 'Cubik' / 'Olympic' (no.10), 'Lift' (no.38), 'Oops' (no.42) and the biggest hit of their career, the classic acid house track 'In Yer Face' (no.9). listen to soundbites [video]
Also in May, Inspiral Carpets reach no.5 with their second studio album 'The Beast Inside', yielding the organ driven baggy hit 'Caravan' (no.30) listen to soundbites [video]
In June, Northside's only album, 'Chicken Rhythms', reaches no.19 and includes the singles 'My Rising Star' (no.32), 'Take 5' (no.40) and their debut single 'Shall We Take A Trip' [video]
Electronic Electronic
Electronic listen to soundbites
Selling over a million copies worldwide, Electronic's debut album reaches no.2 in July 1991 (bettered only by Seal's debut). It includes hits 'Get the Message' (no.8) and 'Feel Every Beat' (no.39). Busy with the Pet Shop Boys, Neil Tennant only sings on one track (two on the reissue, which includes 'Getting Away With It'). [video]
The Mock Turtles, enjoy a no,18 hit with the extremely baggy 'Can You Dig It', which is included on their second album, 'Two Sides' (no.33) in July. With all the other singles from the album failing to chart, they are soon dropped by their record company and split up shortly afterwards [video]
The Other Two The Other Two
Tasty Fish listen to soundbites
The side project from Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert (so named because they were the only members of New Order not to have branched out), reaches UK no.41 in October with the single 'Tasty Fish', named after a fish & chip shop in Stockport. Later singles and 2 albums fail to chart and they concentrate on TV soundtracks. [video]
On 8th November, Dave Rowbottom, the original guitarist in Manchester art rockers, The Durutti Column is found in his Burnage home axed to death. The Happy Mondays later write the song, 'Cowboy Dave' about him.
ABC's 'Abracadabra' album only reaches no.50. The band decide to call it a day
Sub Sub Sub Sub
Space Face listen to soundbites
Electronic dance act, Sub Sub, comprising Jimi Goodwin, Andy Williams and Jez Williams release their debut single 'Space Face'. It doesn't chart, which considering the future the band's career later takes, makes it an expensive highly collectable release
 
 
 
 
1992
The original 10cc line-up reforms with Godley & Creme returning for the '...Meanwhile' album. It doesn't chart and Godley & Creme part company with Stewart and Gouldman once more
In February, the New Order 'BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert' album reaches no.33 in the UK listen to soundbites
In March, The Fall show a techno-influence on the album 'Code: Selfish' (no,21) with its politcial Top 40 hit 'Free Range' (no.40) [video]
The Charlatans second album 'Between 10th and 11th' only reaches no.21 in April. It includes the no.19 hit single 'Weirdo' listen to soundbites   [video]
In May, Swing Out Sister, reach no.27 with the album 'Get In Touch With Yourself'. It includes the singles 'Am I The Same Girl?' (UK no.21 / USA no.45) and 'Notgonnachange' (UK no.49) [video]
In July, Morrissey reaches no.4 (US no.21) with his album, 'Your Arsenal', featuring hits 'We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful' (UK no.17), 'You're the One for Me, Fatty' (no.19) and 'Certain People I Know' (no.35). It's his most controversial album yet with tracks like 'The National Front Disco' seeing him accused on racism whilst 'Glamorous Glue', hinted at an anti-American feeling listen to soundbites [video]
The Smiths The Smiths
Best of The Smiths Volume 1 listen to soundbites
In August, The Smiths, enjoy their second no.1 with the retrospect 'Best Of' compilation album. It includes 'This Charming Man' (UK no.8) and 'How Soon Is Now' (no.16) which are reissued to promote the album, both enjoying greater chart success than their original releases [video]
The High's single 'More' is disqualified from the charts because of sales irregularities (their record label was buying their own releases). As a result, the band split up.
In September, 'Yes Please!', the fourth album from Happy Mondays only reaches UK no.14, with its singles 'Stinkin Thinkin' (no.31) and 'Sunshine & Love' (no.62) also flopping. Having been recorded in Barbados, it's said to be the record that bankrupts Factory Records listen to soundbites [video] 
Another band to be affected by the media's shift away from anything Madchester is Inspiral Carpets, who only reach no.17 with their harder sounding third album 'Revenge Of The Goldfish' in October - singles 'Generations' (no.28), 'Two Worlds Collide' (no.32) & 'Bitches Brew' (no.36) listen to soundbites [video]
In November, Factory Records goes into receivership with debts of over £2 million
Meanwhile, 'The Best of The Smiths Volume 2' reaches no.29, with the promotional single 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out' reaching no.25. listen to soundbites [video]
The Charlatans keyboard player Rob Collins is arrested and imprisoned for 8 months, after driving the get-away car in the armed robbery of an off-license near his home
 
 
 
 
1993
In February, without original member Martin Price, who left shortly before recording, 808 State reach no.17 with the album 'Gorgeous'. It includes the remix of UB40's 'One In Ten' (UK no.17), a song written in 1981 about unemployment in Thatcher's Britain listen to soundbites [video]
Amid reports of fights and drug addictions, Happy Mondays split up
The Fall's uncharacteristically accessible 'The Infotainment Scan' gives them their only Top 10 album, reaching no.9 in March and boasting a cover of Sister's Sledge's disco hit 'Lost in Music' listen to soundbites
The same month, Elkie Brooks reaches no.27 with the album 'Round Midnight'.
Melanie Williams Melanie Williams
Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use) listen to soundbites
In April, Sub Sub, now signed to Rob Gretton's Rob's Records label, enjoy their only chart success with the huge no.3 hit 'Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use)', which features Bury vocalist Melanie Williams. It launches her solo career and she goes on to have hits 'Everyday Thang' (no.38) and 'You Are Everything' (no.28) [video]
New Order New Order
Republic listen to soundbites
In May, New Order's first album since the demise of Factory Records, is also their most successful on both sides of the Atlantic, reaching no.1 in the UK (no.11 in USA). It includes the hit singles 'Regret' (UK no.4 / USA no.28), 'Ruined In A Day' (no.22), 'World (The Price Of Love)' (UK no.13 / USA no.92) and 'Spooky' (UK no.22). Despite the success, the band split up during their USA tour. [video]
Also In May, the live Morrissey album, 'Beethoven Was Deaf' reaches UK no.13 listen to soundbites
On August 13th, Georgie Fame's wife, Nicolette, commits suicide by jumping from the Clifton Suspension Bridge
The Bee Gees reach no.23 in September with their 18th album, 'Size Isn't Everything' which spawns the hits 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' (no.4), 'Paying The Price Of Love' (no,23) and 'How to Fall in Love, Part 1' (no.30)
Tim Burgess appears on St.Etienne's 'I Was Born On Christmas Day' festive hit (no.37) [video]
 
 
 
 
1994
Electronic and former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr leaves The The.
without a record contract for 2 years, The Railway Children split up. Singer Gary Newby continues under the band's name
Morrissey Morrissey
Vauxhall & I listen to soundbites
Morrissey enjoys his second UK no.1 album (US no.18) in March with his sixth solo release, 'Vauxhall & I'. It includes his only USA Billboard hit single, 'The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get' (UK no.8 / US no.46) together with flop singles 'Hold On To Your Friends' (no.47) and 'Now My Heart Is Full' [video]
The excellent 'Devil Hopping' album from the Inspiral Carpets, reaches no.10 in March and includes the hits 'Saturn 5' (no.20) & 'I Want You' (no.18), featuring Mark E Smith on guest vocals listen to soundbites [video]
The Charlatans third album, 'Up To Our Hips', reaches no.8 in April. It includes singles 'Can't Get Out of Bed' (no.24) & 'I Never Want an Easy Life If Me & He Were Ever to Get There' (no.38) listen to soundbites[video]
In December, 'the Best Of New Order' compilation album reaches no.4 in the UK, and includes the promotional singles, the 'True Faith 94' remix (UK no.9) and 'Nineteen63' (UK no.21) listen to soundbites [video]
 
 
 
 
1995
In February, 'The World Of Morrissey' compilation album reaches UK no.15. It pulls together some of the none album singles and b-sides including 'My Love Life' (no.29) and 'Boxers' (no.23) listen to soundbites [video]
In March, the retrospective The Smiths greatest hits album 'Singles' reaches no.5 in the UK, although is criticised by the music press for including album versions rather than the single edits. As a result of the new found exposure, the four original Smiths albums all rechart at the same time. listen to soundbites
Paul Young reaches no.13 with Mike & The Mechanics album, 'Beggar On A Beach Of Gold' listen to soundbites
Despite contributions from Paul McCartney, Wax's Andrew Gold and the inclusion of the no.29 acoustic hit single of 'I'm Not in Love', 10cc's 'Mirror Mirror' album fails to chart in March and Eric Stewart bitterly leaves the group, predicting that Graham Gouldman would "try to squeeze the last drop of blood out of it". Gouldman has continued to tour with Rick Fenn, Paul Burgess and others under the name of 10cc
The retrospective Joy Division collection 'Permanent' reaches no.16 in July listen to soundbites
The Charlatans The Charlatans
The Charlatans listen to soundbites
The Charlatans self-titled fourth album sees a return to the big time and gives them their second UK no.1, selling over 300,000 copies in September and spawning the hit singles 'Just When You're Thinkin' Things Over' (no.12), 'Crashin' In' (no.31), 'Just Lookin' & 'Bullet Comes' (no.32) [video]
The same month, Morrissey's 'Southpaw Grammar' reaches no.4 in the UK album charts (US no.66). It includes the hit singles 'Dagenham Dave' (no.26) and 'The Boy Racer' (no.36) [video]
The remix album 'The Rest Of New Order' reaches no.5 in the UK, featuring yet another remix of 'Blue Monday' (UK no.17), it's third outing as a single listen to soundbites [video]
Inspiral Carpets decide to split-up and their 'Singles' collection reaches no.17 in September, with the 1989 single 'Joe' be re-issued to promote it (no.37) [video]
On 5th October, former Sweet Sensation frontman, Marcel King, dies of a brain haemorrhage, aged 38. 2 years later, his son Zeus, 19, was shot dead in an outbreak of gang warfare in Moss Side.
Black Grape Black Grape
It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah listen to soundbites
Despite drug problems Happy Mondays members Shaun Ryder and Bez return with a new band, Black Grape, which features ex-Paris Angels guitarist Paul Wagstaff and Ruthless Rap Assassin Kermit. Incredibly their debut album 'It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah!' spends two weeks at no.1 in the UK and spawns the Top 10 hits 'In The Name Of The Father' (no.8), 'Reverend Black Grape' (no.9) plus 'Kelly's Heroes' (no.17) [video]
 
 
 
 
1996
Madchester faves, Northside split up
In March, Paul Young appears on Mike & The Mechanics best of compilation 'Hits' (UK no.3) listen to soundbites 
On July 2nd 1996, a week before The Charlatans are set to play their biggest ever gig, supporting Oasis at Knebworth, keyboard player Rob Collins is killed when his red BMW crashes in Rockfield near Monmouth in Gwent. He was later found to have been over the legal alcohol limit and was not wearing a seat belt, which police say would have saved his life. He was 33 years old
The Charlatans go ahead with their Knebworth concert, drafting in Primal Scream keyboardist Martin Duffy for the show
In July, Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr return, without Neil Tennant, for Electronic's second album, 'Raise The Pressure' (UK no.8). Featuring Kraftwork's Karl Bartos, it includes the hits 'Forbidden City' (UK no.14), 'For You' (no.16) and 'Second Nature' (no.35) listen to soundbites [video]
In December, The Smiths drummer Mick Joyce is awarded £1 million when he takes Morrissey and Marr to court for unpaid royalties. Bass player Andy Rourke settles out of court for £80,000
A fire destroy's Sub Sub's recording studio, with all their equipment and recordings
 
 
 
 
1997
Monaco Monaco
Music for Pleasure listen to soundbites
New Order bassist Peter Hook' returns in February with new band Monaco. Featuring Bernard Sumner-sounding Bolton vocalist David Potts (from Revenge, Hook's previous unsuccessful project), they enjoy a UK no.11 album 'Music For Pleasure', with hit singles 'What Do You Want From Me?' (no.11), 'Sweet Lips' (no.18) and 'Shine' (no.55) [video]
The Bee Gees enjoy their biggest chart success in 15 years, reaching no.2 in March with the album 'Still Waters' (US no,11). Selling over 4.5 million copies it boasts the hits 'Alone' (no,5), 'I Could Not Love You More' (no.14) and 'Still Waters (Run Deep)' (no.18)
In March, 'The Very Best of Elkie Brooks' reaches no.23.
The Charlatans The Charlatans
Tellin' Stories listen to soundbites
The Charlatans spend 2 weeks back at the top of the charts in April with fifth album 'Tellin Stories', which features 'North Country Boy' (no.4), 'How High' (no.6), 'Tellin' Stories' (no.16) and the biggest hit they ever produce 'One To Another' (no.3). Largely recorded ahead of Rob Collins death, it includes the tribute tracks 'Rob's Theme' and 'How Can You Leave Us'. [video]
'The Very Best Of 10cc' reaches no.27 in April
After 15 years, The Hacienda nightclub closes down in June 1997. It is later demolished to make way for luxury apartments, licensed under 'The Hacienda' name by it's owner New Order's Peter Hook
In August, Morrissey's 'Maladjusted' album reaches Uk no.8 (US no.61) and features the hit singles 'Alma Matters' (no.16), 'Satan Rejected My Soul' (no.39) and the brilliantly titled 'Roy's Keen' (no.41), which lends a nod to the Manchester United legend, Roy Keane. The track 'Sorrow Will Come In The End' is pulled from UK editions as it obviously refers to the Mick Joyce court case [video]
In September, the Greatest Hits compilation 'Suedehead - The Best Of Morrissey' only reaches no.25, despite including previous non-album hits 'Pregnant for the Last Time' (no.25), 'Sunny' (no.42) and 'Interlude' (no.25), his duet with Siouxsie Sioux listen to soundbites [video]
Martin Fry resurrects the ABC name with the album 'Skyscraping', a collaboration with Sheffield musicians Glenn Gregory (Heaven 17) and Keith Lowndes. It enjoys no commercial success although, as a solo artist, Fry continues to record and perform under the ABC name. listen to soundbites
In November, Black Grape's second album only reaches no.11 despite featuring plastic googly eyes glued to the front cover and including singles 'Get Higher' (no.24) & 'Marbles' (no.46) listen to soundbites [video]
 
 
 
 
1998
Georgie Fame joins Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings
The best of The Charlatans, 'Melting Pot', reaches no.4 in February listen to soundbites
In May, 808 State's greatest hits, '808:88:98', scrapes into the Top 40 (no.40), with the promotional re-issue of the singles 'Pacific' & 'Cubik' reaches no.21 listen to soundbites
In July, The Bee Gees join Celine Dion on the UK no.5 single 'Immortality'
in July, New Order reform, without Gillian Gilbert, after a 5 year hiatus. They also start to play Joy Division songs in their set for the first time
The same month, Black Grape disband after Shaun Ryder sacks all the group whilst on tour
In September 1998 The Bee Gees play to over 56,000 people at Wembley Stadium.
In November 1998 The Bee Gees enjoy their best ever sales since 1979's 'Spirits Have Flown Album', selling over 6 million copies of the live concert CD & DVD, 'One Night Only', recorded at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, their first concert in over 10 years. It reaches UK no.4.
Doves Doves
The Cedar EP
In the same month, Sub Sub return after the fire that destroyed their studio. They change their name to Doves, adopting a rockier sound and release 'The Cedar EP' which includes the tracks 'Rise', 'Zither' and 'The Cedar Room'. It doesn't chart
 
 
 
 
1999
On May 5th, Doves receive another dose of bad luck, when their manager, Rob Gretton, dies of a heart attack, aged 46. Gretton had been manager of Joy Division and New Order amongst many bands and was part owner of Factory Records and The Hacienda
In May, Happy Mondays reform, playing a sell-out concert at the MEN Arena and reaching no.24 in the charts with a cover of Thin Lizzy's 'The Boys Are Back In Town' (with amended lyrics, 'back in the MCR'). It's included on their 'Greatest Hits' CD, which reaches no.11. Shaun Ryder later jokes "it took us two meetings to get Bez back in the band, the first one lasted about five hours but the next one was cool. We knocked him down from his £50,000 to £15 and a free Admiral T-shirt." listen to soundbites
In July, Bernard Sumner & Johnny Marr recruit Sub Sub's Jimi Goodwin & Black Grape's Ged Lynch, for Electronic's third album. 'Twisted Tenderness' reaches UK no.9 & includes the single 'Vivid' (no.17) listen to soundbites [video]
On what is to be his last recording, Paul Young appears on the Mike & The Mechanics 'Mike And The Mechanics M6' album in June. (UK no.14) listen to soundbites 
The Charlatans The Charlatans
Us and Us Only listen to soundbites
The Charlatans' seventh studio album, 'Wonderland', featuring new keyboard player Tony Rogers, is kept from the top spot by Shania Twain. It owes more than a nod to Bob Dylan, Tim Burgess's hero, and includes the hit singles 'Forever' (no.12), 'Impossible' (no.15) and 'My Beautiful Friend' (no.31). [video]
The Twisted Wheel re-opens as a monthly Northern Soul club night in the original Whitworth Street premises
 
 
 
 
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