Author Topic: Mansun appreciation thread  (Read 2121 times)

icehaven

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Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #30 on: April 01, 2021, 01:51:08 PM »
The 'vampire' version of Wide Open Space (not the US version, which was just them performing) was alright too.

Seeing that on MTV2 was the first I ever heard of them and I absolutely loved it all, the song and the video. Nagged the DJ to play it at my local indie club every week for the next two months. Another fun fact; The guy playing the vampire was in Grange Hill for a few years.

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #31 on: April 01, 2021, 02:09:47 PM »
The Taxloss video came out of the band's reaction to the label choosing that as a single instead of Disgusting. They didn't want to appear in the video and just wanted to throw the budget away.
I'd always heard that they were on tour in Japan at the time and had little to do with the video, hence it starring the production crew. Fun Fact #2: Roman Coppolla introduced the crew to his 'Uncle George' - i.e. George Lucas. My sister's friend said he'd have been much less awestruck had it happened a few months later, after the Star Wars Special Editions.

I wonder if any of the fivers with the Taxloss sticker on are still extant. They may not be legal tender any more, but I imagine they'd be worth a few bob to collectors.

I wouldn't say the rest of their videos were cack - Closed for Business, Legacy,  Negative and Being A Girl were all pretty decent. The 'vampire' version of Wide Open Space (not the US version, which was just them performing) was alright too. The video for Six was a bit plain, apart from the homage to Bowie's Heroes video (Draper is, unsurprisingly, a massive Bowie fan) for the 'Life Is A Compromise' section.
I suppose that was a hasty summation. The Six one was at the front of my mind when I said that. I didn't pick up on the Bowie homage at the time, so it was just the epitome of boring band performance videos. Stripper Vicar is pretty much the same thing, but at a church. The Grange Hill vampire one feels like film student trying to emulate the style of a Jonathan Glazer vid. I realise now that I've never even seen the Closed for Business one, even though I had heard a (probably apocryphal) story about one of their video shoots inspiring alien invasion panic.

The [legacy] video (Mike Mills ripping off Adam & Joe's Toy Stories, which he did previously for Les Rythmes Digitales's Sometimes) is very 'meta', and accurately predicts the rise and fall of the band themselves. I think even at that point the single was released (it was the lead single released a month ahead of the album), after the reaction from the label when they were presented with Six the band probably had a bit of a fatalistic view of where they were headed.
The song itself seems to hint at that as well, with lyrics like "I wouldn't care if I was washed up tomorrow" and "Nobody cares when you're gone". I don't know if I'm just inferring stuff, or if there was some behind the scenes hoo hah while it was being written. Despite singing "The lyrics aren't supposed to mean that much", Draper is clearly not shy about airing stuff via his songs. The opening track on Little Kix seems to reference the label interference, "Make it rhyme, make it bland, make it sell."

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2021, 02:10:08 PM »
Always thought that sounded like Tears For Fears, in my world that's a very good thing.
Fucking hell, it does (and I also like Tears for Fears).

Wide Open Space got the most airplay in our house because my mum loved it[1], but She Makes My Nose Bleed is my favourite song off that album. And The Chad Who Loved Me is gorgeous. As is the hidden track.
 1. This is not a diss on the song, my mum has great music taste

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2021, 02:17:44 PM »
I'm a fan of Tears for Fears too (well, their first two and last albums, at least) and don't really see the connection between them and 'Wide Open Space', but I'm aware I can be cloth-eared at the best of times. Maybe a very slight line between it and 'Pale Shelter', perhaps.

buzby

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Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2021, 02:22:37 PM »
I'd always heard that they were on tour in Japan at the time and had little to do with the video, hence it starring the production crew.
The band chose the treatment though. Given the friction with the label over that single I doubt they were willing to promote it either.
Quote
The song itself seems to hint at that as well, with lyrics like "I wouldn't care if I was washed up tomorrow" and "Nobody cares when you're gone". I don't know if I'm just inferring stuff, or if there was some behind the scenes hoo hah while it was being written.
Draper has said that the argument over Disgusting vs. Taxloss being a single was the point the label stopped supporting them, which may well have fed into the lyrics of Legacy on the next album.
Quote
Despite singing "The lyrics aren't supposed to mean that much", Draper is clearly not shy about airing stuff via his songs. The opening track on Little Kix seems to reference the label interference, "Make it rhyme, make it bland, make it sell."
There's a good interview with Draper from the just before the release of Spooky Action where he talks a bit about what went on with Little Kix here:
https://www.xsnoize.com/interview-paul-draper-on-the-17th-anniversary-of-six-getting-sacked-from-mansun-spooky-action/
Quote from: Paul Draper
We were battered into being a pop group with ‘Little Kix‘, so I left loads of subversive clues in ‘Little Kix’ as to why we were there. We were told absolutely definitively “You are not allowed to have any prog rock elements in the album“, so that’s why the album fades in and it’s one second longer than ‘Dark Side of the Moon‘, just to piss the record company off (laughs) and then it ends with a big Dave Gilmour pastiche guitar solo to piss them off, even more, the reason it cuts dead is to replicate the end of ‘Abbey Road‘, to show where my influence from prog-rock comes from, so the whole thing was symbolic.
Quote
I had the lyric “Make it rhyme make it bland, make it sell“. I always had a rule that no Mansun lyrics could rhyme, that was our thing. There were no rhyming couplets in the Mansun records. I just thought that it would be an artistic challenge to not have anything to rhyme, that’s why it says “Make it rhyme to make it bland, make it sell” because we were told to have individual tracks no prog-rock elements and rhyming lyrics, so that’s what ‘Little Kix‘ became.
As for airing things in his songs, the lyrics from Spooky Action have obvious connotations (even just the titles are enough), particularly as most of them were written in a boozed-up depression not long after the band split.

Better Midlands

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Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #35 on: April 01, 2021, 02:40:18 PM »
I'm a fan of Tears for Fears too (well, their first two and last albums, at least) and don't really see the connection between them and 'Wide Open Space', but I'm aware I can be cloth-eared at the best of times. Maybe a very slight line between it and 'Pale Shelter', perhaps.

I think it's the vocal rather than the instrumentation, if you listen to this acoustic version and imagine Roland Orzabal singing it's very SFTBC era TFF, maybe it's Head Over Heels it reminds me of.

purlieu

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Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #36 on: April 01, 2021, 03:23:38 PM »
Yeah, I've always heard a TfF influence in Mansun. To me it's most obvious on I Can Only Disappoint U, but the overall atmosphere is often in a similar ballpark.
Prince is the other obvious reference point that makes them stand apart from most britpop.

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #37 on: April 01, 2021, 03:35:38 PM »
The "Oh, I feel so" and the outro from "This is my four leaf clover" on from Head Over Heels especially could so easily be Draper.

The structure of the album version of Six is very reminiscent of Sowing The Seeds Of Love as well.

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #38 on: April 01, 2021, 03:37:51 PM »
I can sort of see Draper's voice as being a cross between yer man Orzabel and Curt Smith. And I'm sure Mansun wish they'd had a tenth of Tears for Fears' success in America!

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2021, 04:02:36 PM »
Draper has said that the argument over Disgusting vs. Taxloss being a single was the point the label stopped supporting them, which may well have fed into the lyrics of Legacy on the next album.
God damn! I can't quite imagine Disgusting as a single (and after all I've read about him, I can well imagine Draper overreacting about it) so I'm almost tempted to side with the label in that matter. For them to sour on the band so early on in their career, though (after the album had already topped the charts, no less) is a crying shame. What might have been if they'd had more faith. Maybe Kid A (no singles at all!) would be some curious footnote in indie rock history while the follow up to Six soaked up all the plaudits.

Then again, maybe the band would have imploded anyway.

daf

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Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2021, 04:16:12 PM »
Yeah, Taxloss seems like an obvious choice of single to me - Beatle Bass and all that - I can see why that caught the ear of the record company.

As a Trojan Horse for the album, I think it did a good job.

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #41 on: April 01, 2021, 04:55:25 PM »
Yeah, Disgusting might just be the best song on the album, but it's not a single.

Could Mansun have hit the same heights as Radiohead? Probably not. They could barely play properly when they were signed and Stove never got any better. They didn't have to fight to get to the top, so they didn't know which fights to pick to stay there.

They were born in fire and always destined to burn out, I reckon.

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #42 on: April 01, 2021, 05:34:37 PM »
I had to give Six a listen after reading this thread. It’s a real work of art. I’d forgotten how good the title track was. Or Cancer, which completely changes tack halfway through.

PaulTMA

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Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #43 on: April 01, 2021, 06:43:12 PM »
Surely Disgusting would have been a terrible choice of single, even if the band wanted it?  At least Taxloss did well.  EDIT COULDN'T BE BOTHERED READING THE WHOLE THREAD EDIT

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #44 on: April 01, 2021, 07:00:09 PM »
I had to give Six a listen after reading this thread. It’s a real work of art. I’d forgotten how good the title track was. Or Cancer, which completely changes tack halfway through.

I could happily shave off 'Shotgun' - the only song on the album that sounds to me like a jokey jam that never grew into something beyond the sum of its parts.  Replace it with 'Railings' but somewhere near the end (perhaps between Legacy and Being A Girl).

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #45 on: April 01, 2021, 07:59:56 PM »
I was going to post that in the other thread. Ben (Soundhog) is a massive Mansun fan. Just don't let him catch you using the term 'mashup'  - he positively loathes it.
I'm not a fan of the word either (we called them remixes, back in my day) but that's what the youth are calling it now (20 years ago).

Jockice

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Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #46 on: April 01, 2021, 08:13:03 PM »
I'm fairly neutral on them but they are one of only two bands who have given me a headache while watching them live. The other is the Screaming Blue Messiahs

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #47 on: April 02, 2021, 10:10:36 AM »
I'm sure some full-time Prog bore could tell us why they're not a patch on this, that or the other, but chuff that.

I was a gigantic teenage Mansun fan, and am now a full-time Prog bore - I don't think Mansun really have much to do with prog at all. Their music stood out so much like a ray of more interestingly coloured light in the gray landscape of post-Oasis indie, that I think people went looking for labels for it that might explain where it came from. Draper's writing to me seems more inspired by people who were inspired by prog than prog itself - XTC and Cardiacs and so forth. Which I don't say sniffily at all, those are great things to draw on. I think what they were mainly about was fucking with the template of new wave pop songs. And Draper's depressive lyrics meant they were able to add a fanbase of disaffected Manics fans for whom Tsunami wasn't really nailing their angst.

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #48 on: April 02, 2021, 10:16:46 AM »
As an aside, watching the Top Of The Pops 1990 reruns made me notice how much Hello by The Beloved sounds like Mansun. Just me?

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #49 on: April 02, 2021, 11:00:16 AM »
Yeah, it’s got an air of Egg Shaped Fred about it; the driving drum machine and the juxtaposed listing of nonsense and serious names for comic effect. Sing it in a higher key and pop a bit of guitar on it, it could be an early Mansun track.

purlieu

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Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #50 on: April 02, 2021, 01:48:01 PM »
I don't think Mansun really have much to do with prog at all.
Six has long tracks with suite-like structures and changing time signatures, so I get why prog - or more appropriately, neo-prog - is used to describe them. But yes, they're not exactly Genesis.

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #51 on: April 02, 2021, 02:36:19 PM »
Oh yeah. If the genre is a spectrum with Girls Aloud's Biology at one end and King Crimson's Fracture at the other, then they're on it but closer to the former end than the latter. And there is great music to be made therein...

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #52 on: April 02, 2021, 06:16:37 PM »
Appreciation for the Mansun appreciation thread, which has introduced me to a band I'd never heard of. So far, it is Wide Open Space which is chaining itself to my ears. Six is brilliant. I'm going to listen to these first two albums soon. The first one is here, if anyone wants it.

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #53 on: April 02, 2021, 09:09:15 PM »
I'm envious that you get to hear them for the first time. On the other hand, I'm not jealous, because that would mean I hadn't been listening to them for the last 20-odd years.

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #54 on: April 02, 2021, 10:05:56 PM »
Six has long tracks with suite-like structures and changing time signatures, so I get why prog - or more appropriately, neo-prog - is used to describe them. But yes, they're not exactly Genesis.
I know what you mean, but prog in general has never done anything for me and is an album 'Six' I hold up a high water mark of English rock music over the last 30 years - for me, only British Sea Power have come close since. I think I'm able to connect with it a lot easier than most of yer more 'traditional' prog due to the lyrics.

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #55 on: April 02, 2021, 11:16:04 PM »
Appreciation for the Mansun appreciation thread, which has introduced me to a band I'd never heard of. So far, it is Wide Open Space which is chaining itself to my ears. Six is brilliant. I'm going to listen to these first two albums soon. The first one is here, if anyone wants it.
Enjoy! I don't know Little Kix that well but Attack of the Grey Lantern is great (look out for the hidden track). Stripper Vicar and Egg Shaped Fred are the most Britpoppy it gets. Disgusting actually would have made a decent single but Taxloss did really well, so it all worked out. Six is more of a grower.

Johnny Textface

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Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #56 on: April 03, 2021, 08:43:55 AM »
Yep "Six" definitely takes a few listens but once it clicks it's superb. In their relatively short time together they really knocked out the great songs. Like Suede, they also spunked out a load of great B-sides that could easily have been album tracks or even singles.  Just listening "It's OK" off Kleptomania (Disc 3), a great song that never got on anything.

I seem to remember the bass player having an answering machine that fans could call for some reason. That's a good laugh. I think he's a farmer now?

purlieu

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Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #57 on: April 03, 2021, 09:53:53 AM »
Mansaphone I think it was called. I think they took it in turns phoning fans back. They seemed like a genuinely lovely bunch back in the day. Last year's 25 disc boxset comes with a book of reproduced fanzines from back in the day and there's loads of stories about them phoning fans, hanging out with them and such.

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #58 on: April 03, 2021, 11:11:20 AM »
Bit of trivia: they named themselves after this excellent early Verve track

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyoqLOcDQ9k&ab_channel=EmanueleMiraglia

Re: Mansun appreciation thread
« Reply #59 on: April 03, 2021, 12:32:20 PM »
Bit of trivia: they named themselves after this excellent early Verve track

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyoqLOcDQ9k&ab_channel=EmanueleMiraglia

The exact origin of their name always intrigued me. On very early releases they were credited as 'Manson'. If the Verve thing is true, they could've saved themselves a lot of silly bother.

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