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The Smiths
Manchester Music in the 2000'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!
Ray Jones, the original bassist in 60's act The Dakotas, dies on 20th January, aged 60
Primal Scream's second studio album with Mani on bass, 'XTRMNTR' reaches no.3 and spawns hits 'Swastika Eyes' (no.22), 'Kill All Hippies' (no.24) and 'Accelerator' (no.34) listen to soundbites [video]
Doves debut album 'Lost Souls' reaches no.14 in April and features the singles 'Catch the Sun' (no.32), 'The Cedar Room' (no.33), 'The Man Who Told Everything' (no.33) & 'Here It Comes' (no.73) listen to soundbites [video]
On July 15th 2000, Sad Cafe and Mike & The Mechanics frontman Paul Young dies suddenly of a heart attack, aged 53. A tribute concert to him later that year at Manchester Apollo features artists like Queen's Roger Taylor, Roy Wood and Fish, together with his previous bands.
Following a huge fight on a ferry between Shaun Ryder and backing vocalist Rowetta, Happy Mondays split up for a second time in August
Monaco split up citing musical differences with Peter Hook returning to New Order
Inspiral Carpets reform after a 6 year hiatus
In April, The Bee Gees release what is to be their final album as a trio with the UK no.6 CD, 'This Is Where I Came In'. The title track reaches no.18 in the singles chart. [video]
In June, a reworking of the 1995 The Smiths 'Singles' greatest hits album is released as 'The Very Best Of The Smiths', with five added tracks. It reaches UK no.31 and is criticised by Morrissey and Marr, who were not consulted over the release. listen to soundbites
With very little promotion, James reach a disappointing no.11 with their 'Pleased To Meet You' album, which only spawns one, albeit minor, hit in 'Getting Away With It (All Messed Up)' (no.22). Shortly later, lead singer Tim Booth announces he will leave the band listen to soundbites
The Charlatans The Charlatans
Wonderland listen to soundbites
The Charlatans' seventh album, 'Wonderland', continues their success into the new century, with hits 'Love Is the Key' (no.16) and 'A Man Needs to Be Told' (no.31) pushing them into the no.2 position in September, held off the top spot by Manchester born, Jay Kay's Jamiroquai. [video]
In October Ian Brown releases his most successful solo album, 'Music of the Spheres' (no.3). It spawns the hits 'FEAR' (no.13) and 'Whispers' (no.33) listen to soundbites [video] 
New Order bounce back with the no.6 album 'Get Ready' (US no.41) in Nov, a more rocky approach to their sound as highlighted in the singles 'Crystal (no.8) and '60 Miles An Hour' (no.29) listen to soundbites [video]
The excellent 40 track Bee Gees retrospective collection, 'Their Greatest Hits - The Record' reaches no.5 in Nov.
James play a sold-out 'farewell' gig at the MEN Arena on Dec 7th 2001 with former guitarist Larry Gott returning for some tracks. The incredible concert is later released on DVD & CD (does not chart)
24 Hour Party People 24 Hour Party People listen to soundbites
The multi award-winning Michael Winterbottom movie, '24 Hour Party People', is released in April, telling the story of Tony Wilson, Factory Records, The Hacienda, Joy Division and The Happy Mondays. Starring Steve Coogan, Andy Serkis, Paddy Considine and John Simm amongst others it's a must for all Manchester music fans. The soundtrack spawns the New Order hit single 'Here To Stay' (UK no.15)
Doves Doves
The Last Broadcast listen to soundbites
In April, Doves second album 'The Last Broadcast' reaches no.1 in the UK (USA no.83) where t stays for 2 weeks. it includes the smash hit single 'There Goes the Fear' (no.3), 'Pounding' (no.21) and 'Caught By the River' (no.29) together with local influences 'M62 Song' and, on the US limited edition version, 'Northenden' [video]
Bernie Dwyer, drummer with 60's legends Freddie & The Dreamers dies on his 62nd birthday
'Evil Heat', Mani's third studio album with Glaswegian's Primal Scream reaches no.9 and produces the hit 'Miss Lucifer'. (no.25) listen to soundbites [video]
John Squire John Squire
Time Changes Everything listen to soundbites
In September, 5 years after enjoying success with The Seahorses, ex-Stone Roses guitarist, John Squire reaches no.17 with debut solo album, 'Time Changes Everything', featuring single 'Joe Louis' (#41) [video]
With the band's input, Silvertone release 'The Very Best Of The Stone Roses' in November. It reaches no.19 in the UK charts and includes tracks from the band's entire career listen to soundbites
Fivepenny Piece founder member George Radcliffe dies in December
On January 12th 2003, Bee Gee Maurice Gibb dies of a strangulated intestine, aged 53
In the same week as his brother's death, Robin Gibb reaches no,23 with the single 'Please', his only solo chart success since the 1960s
The Mock Turtles reform after 'Can You Dig It' is used in a Vodafone advert. The reissue reaches no.19 and is included, with 8 (yes eight!) new tracks on 'The Best Of The Mock Turtles' listen to soundbites [video]
Tim Burgess Tim Burgess
I Believe listen to soundbites
The Charlatans frontman's solo country-pop album won widespread acclaim on it's release in September, however only reached no.38. The singles 'I Believe in the Spirit' and 'Only a Boy' fail to chart. [video]
Primal Scream's 'Dirty Hits' best of compilation reaches no.25 in November listen to soundbites
Mel Pritchard, the drummer with 70's Oldham prog-rockers Barclay James Harvest, dies of a heart attack on 28th January, aged 56.
Tim Booth Tim Booth
Bone listen to soundbites
In February, former James frontman Tim Booth releases the debut solo album 'Bone'. Despite critical acclaim and the singles 'Down To The Sea' and 'Wave Hello', it fails to chart [video]
John McGeoch, the highly influential original guitarist of Manc post-punk act Magazine, dies in his sleep on March 4th, aged 48.
Morrissey Morrissey
You Are The Quarry listen to soundbites
In May, Morrissey returns after a 7 year hiatus with the smash hit album 'You Are The Quarry', his biggest hit in America (UK no.2 / USA no.11). It spawns the worldwide hits 'Irish Blood, English Heart' (UK no.3), 'First of the Gang to Die' (no,6), 'Let Me Kiss You' (no.8) and 'I Have Forgiven Jesus' (no.10). A limited edition version of the album also includes the track 'Munich Air Disaster 1958', a tribute to the Manchester United players who lost their lives in the 1958 air crash. His new found popularity sees 'The Best Of - Suedehead' re-enter the chart at no.25 (higher than when it was originally released) [video]
Also in May, Shaun Ryder, Gaz Whelan and Bez reform again as Happy Mondays, playing another sell-out gig at the MEN Arena
The same month, fellow Madchester faves, The Charlatans return to their trademark sound with their eighth studio album 'Up At The Lake'. It's their least successful release in 12 years (UK no.13) although it does spawn the singles 'Up at the Lake' (no,23) and 'Try Again Today' (no,24) listen to soundbites  [video]  
Ian Brown has a cameo appearance in 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'
Morrissey's homecoming gig at the MEN Arena is released on DVD as 'Who Put The M in Manchester?'
Incredibly, 15 years since it's original release, The Stone Roses self-titled debut album finally reaches the UK Top 10 (no.9) in July 2004 listen to soundbites
In September Ian Brown returns with his fourth studio album, 'Solarized', (UK no.7). It spawns the singles 'Keep What Ya Got' with Noel Gallagher (no.18) and 'Time Is My Everything' (no.15) listen to soundbites [video] 
The 18 track collection of the Bee Gees chart toppers, 'Number One's' reaches no.7 in November
In December former Happy Mondays backing vocalist Rowetta comes 4th in the first ever X-Factor
In January Happy Mondays dancer Bez wins Celebrity Big Brother
Adidas release a limited edition Ian Brown 35th Anniversary Superstar trainer, designed by the artist himself using the colours of his beloved Manchester United and being made in the most sturdy material to survive the Manchester rain
Doves Doves
Some Cities listen to soundbites
In February, Doves third album 'Some Cities' spends a week at the top of the charts and features the singles 'Snowden' (no.17), 'Sky Starts Falling' (no.45) and the hit single, written about their hometown of Wilmslow 'Black And White Town' (no.6) [video]
Meanwhile, 60's Manchester music legend Wayne Fontana fights off banktrupcy but is arrested at his home in Glossop after setting fire to a car with a bailiff inside. He attends the court case dressed as the lady of justice, with a sword, scales, crown, cape and dark glasses, claiming "justice is blind". He's held under the Mental Health Act 1983.
in April, New Order reach no.5 (US no.46) with their ninth (and final) studio album, 'Waiting For The Sirens Call', which includes the hit singles 'Krafty' (no.8), the title track (no.21), and 'Jetstream', featuring Ana Matronic from the Scissor Sisters (no.20) listen to soundbites [video]
In the same month, Morrissey's 'Live At Earl's Court' CD reaches no.18 and spawns the no,11 hit single 'Redondo Beach / There Is A Light That Never Goes Out'. listen to soundbites [video]
In June, former James frontman, Tim Booth, appears as Mr. Zsasz in the film 'Batman Begins'
The excellent New Order 'Singles' 2 CD collection reaches no.14 in August. Unlike their previous compilation albums, it chronciles every one of their 7" hits, including some which have never been issued on CD before listen to soundbites
Shaun Ryder Shaun Ryder
Dare listen to soundbites
Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder provides vocals on Gorillaz no.1 hit 'Dare' in September. He also appears live at their Manchester Opera House concerts [video]
In Oct Ian Brown releases 'The Greatest' collection (no.5) with single 'All Ablaze' (no.20) listen to soundbites [video]
As a new generation latches on to the music of The Stone Roses, their self-titled 1989 debut album enjoys it's sixth run in the charts, reaching no.19 in October. listen to soundbites
In January, ex-Smiths bass player Andy Rourke organises the massive Manchester V Cancer charity night at the MEN Arena. Highlight of the night, sees him rejoined on stage with Johnny Marr.
Freddie & The Dreamers frontman Freddie Garrity dies aged 69 in Bangor, North Wales of emphysema 
Morrissey Morrissey
Ringleader Of The Tormentors listen to soundbites
In April, Morrissey scores his third no.1 album in the UK (US no.27) with 'Ringleader Of The Tormentors', which includes the hits 'You Have Killed Me' (no.3), 'The Youngest Was the Most Loved' (no.14), 'I Just Want to See the Boy Happy' (no.16) & 'In the Future When All's Well' (no.17) [video]
With very little radio promotion, The Charlatans reach no.10 in April with their reggae influenced ninth album 'Simpatico' (no.24). It includes the hit 'Blackened Blue Eyes' (no.28) 'listen to soundbites  [video]
On Good Friday April 14th, a huge play is performed on the streets of Manchester city centre and is broadcast live by the BBC. Entitled 'The Manchester Passion', it tells the story of the last hours of Jesus Christ by using the music of Oasis, Morrissey, Joy Division, M People, Smiths, James, New Order, Stone Roses, Robbie Williams, Elkie Brooks, Happy Mondays, Buzzcocks, 808 State and Black Grape. Former James frontman, Tim Booth stars as Judas, Denise Johnson stars as Mary, and there's cameos from Bez and Anthony Wilson [video]
As part of his 2006 tour, Morrissey incredibly plays homecoming gigs at The Lowry, Manchester Apollo, Manchester Opera House, Bridgewater Hall and two nights at the G-MEX
Meanwhile his The Smiths nemesis, guitarist Johnny Marr joins American group Modest Mouse
Mani's fourth studio album with Primal Scream, 'Riot City Blues', reaches no.5 in June and produces the band's biggest ever hit, 'Country Girl' (no.3), as well as 'Dolls (Sweet Rock n Roll)' (no.40) listen to soundbites [video] 
in November, The Charlatans 'Forever' singles collection, reaches no.38 in the UK
Lead singer Dermo is the only original member on Northside's reunion tour in December
After a 5 year hiatus, James, complete with Tim Booth and Larry Gott, reform in April, playing the MEN Arena at the end of a small tour to promote the 'Fresh As A Daisy - The Singles' collection, which boasts 2 new recordings (UK no.12)
In May, bass player Peter Hook announces his departure from New Order. The remaining band members vow to continue without him, leading to an argument as to who owns the name of the band
On 15th September, a bronze statue of George Formby is erected in his home town of Wigan
Control Control listen to soundbites
Anton Corbijn's Cannes Film Festival Award-winning cinema biopic of Joy Division frontman, Ian Curtis, is released on the 5th October. Adapted from Deborah Curtis's biography, 'Touching From A Distance', the movie wins many awards and brings the music of the Manchester punk band to the attention of a whole new generation.
Despite reaching UK no.4, Ian Brown's fifth studio album 'The World Is Yours' disappears from the charts almost immediately. The anti-Iraq single 'Illegal Attacks' (with Sinead O'Connor) reaches no.16 but other singles flop largely due to the highly political nature of the album listen to soundbites [video]
In February Morrissey's 'Greatest Hits' reaches no.5 in the UK and features two brand new tracks, 'That's How People Grow Up' (UK no.14) and 'All You Need Is Me' (no.15) listen to soundbites [video]
Meanwhile his Smiths nemesis, Johnny Marr joins Yorkshire band The Cribs, whilst also remaining Modest Mouse's guitarist
Despite being described as their best since 1999, The Charlatans tenth album 'You Cross My Path', initially released as a ground-breaking free download, indicates the bands 18 year career may have stalled as it only reaches no.38 in March listen to soundbites
In April, James reach UK no.10 with the superb album, 'Hey Ma', despite no promotional singles listen to soundbites
30 years and 96 (yes, ninety six!!!) albums into their career, The Fall reach no.35 in May with the album 'Imperial Wax Solvent', 15 years since their last chart success listen to soundbites
Mani's fifth studio album with Primal Scream, 'Beautiful Future', reaches no.9 in July listen to soundbites [video]
In August, 25 years after being sacked, Limahl rejoins Kajagoogoo for a retro 80's tour
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