Music-News.com met up with the legendary Black Grape and Happy Mondays frontman at The Social in central London Shaun Ryder for a chat about the latest Black Grape reissue and new album.
Check out the full uncut interview above and below.
On November 4th Radioactive/UMC will release a three-disc Deluxe Edition of one of the greatest British albums of the 1990s, Black Grape’s It’s Great When You’re Straight…Yeah.
Black Grape was founded in 1993 by legendary Happy Mondays Shaun Ryder and Bez, who recruited former Rap Assasin Paul ‘Kermit’ Leveridge, Carl ‘Pyscho’ McCarthy, drummer Ged Lynch and guitarist Wags (formerly of Paris Angels). After signing to Radioactive Records, in 1995 they released their debut album It’s Great When You’re Straight…Yeah. The album debuted at number 1 (eventually going platinum) and spawned three, instantly recognisable Top 20 singles: ‘Reverend Black Grape’, ‘In The Name Of The Father’ and ‘Kelly’s Heroes’.
It’s Great When You’re Straight…Yeah is a surreal, funky, profane and perversely joyous party album, overflowing with casual eclecticism and giddy humour. Working with a band that is looser and grittier than the Mondays, Ryder sounds reinvigorated, creating bizarre rhymes that tie together junk culture, drug lingo, literary references and gobbledygook. Ryder’s lyrics have always been freewheelingly impenetrable, but working with Kermit, a rapper that is equal of his skills, the pair pushed each other into some of the wittiest wordplay ever recorded.
Soundtracking this chaos is music of deep groves and catchy pop hooks that comes straight out of the leftfield. From the blaring harmonica of the swaggering ‘Reverend Black Grape’ and the trippy sitar of ‘In The Name Of The Father’ to the seedy, rolling ‘Shake Your Money Maker’ and the infectious guitar riff of ‘Kelly’s Heroes’, It’s Great When You’re Straight…Yeah is filled with music that goes in unconventional directions without ever sounding forced. Not only was the album a triumphant return for Ryder and Bez, but it fused everything that was brilliant about the Mondays with a love of hip hop and funk, taking their work to new, dizzying heights.
To celebrate 21 years since the album’s release, this Deluxe Edition contains three discs, encompasses the original album rare B-sides with remixes from artists such as Goldie and tracks (including the band’s unofficial Euro ’96 football song, ‘England’s Irie’, which featured guest vocals from legendary Clash frontman Joe Strummer), live tracks from the band’s 1996 Brixton Academy performance, a DVD featuring official music videos, TOTP and Later With Jools Holland appearances, and a 20-page booklet featuring postcards and rare photos, with sleevenotes by Paolo Hewitt.
Order from the Official Universal store to receive a limited signed Deluxe copy and have the chance to win a pair of tickets to a show of your choice on the upcoming UK Nov / Dec tour.
The album will also be available as a one disc standard CD and on 180g heavyweight vinyl.
Disc 1 1. Reverend Black Grape 2. In The Name Of The Father 3. Tramazi Party 4. Kelly’s Heroes 5. Yeah Yeah Brother 6. A Big Day In The North 7. Shake Well Before Opening 8. Submarine 9. Shake Your Money 10. Little Bob
Disc 2 1. Tramazi Parti (Live – Brixton Academy 1996) 2. Shake Well Before Opening (Live – Brixton Academy 1996) 3. Little Bob (Live – Brixton Academy 1996) 4. Kelly’s Heroes (Live – Brixton Academy 1996) 5. Shake Your Money (Live – Brixton Academy 1996) 6. A Big Day In The North (Live – Brixton Academy 1996) 7. England’s Irie 8. Yeah Yeah Brother (Outlaw Josie Wales Mix) 9. Kelly’s Heroes (Milky Bar Kid Mix) 10. Fat Neck (Beat The Fuck Down Mix by Goldie) 11. Reverend Black Grape (The Crystal Method Edit) 12. Pretty Vacant (Live) 13. In The Name Of The Father (Choppers Mix) 14. Yeah Yeah Brother (Clockwork Orange Mix) 15. Reverend Black Grape (Dark Side Mix) 16. England’s Irie (Pass The Durazac) 17. Land Of 1000 Karma Sutra Babes
DVD • Reverend Black Grape (Top Of The Pops 1995) • Tramazi Party (Jools Holland 1995) • In The Name Of The Father (Jools Holland 1995) • Reverend Black Grape (Jools Holland 1995) • Fat Neck (Top Of The Pops 1996) • England’s Irie (Top Of The Pops 1996) • Reverend Black Grape (Official Video) • In The Name Of The Father (Official Video) • 2X Handy Hints from Bez
SIDE A A1: Reverend Black Grape A2: In The Name Of The Father A3: Tramazi Party A4: Kelly’s Heroes A5: Yeah Yeah Brother A6: A Big Day In The North
SIDE B B1: Shake Well Before Opening B3: Submarine B4: Shake Your Money B5: Little Bob
1CD 1. Reverend Black Grape 2. In The Name Of The Father 3. Tramazi Party 4. Kelly’s Heroes 5. Yeah Yeah Brother 6. A Big Day In The North 7. Shake Well Before Opening 8. Submarine 9. Shake Your Money 10. Little Bob
To celebrate this 21st anniversary reissue, Black Grape will take to the road in November for a 13-date UK tour.
NOVEMBER 11TH NORWICH – WATERFRONT 12TH CAMBRIDGE – JUNCTION 13TH MINEHEAD - SHIIINE FESTIVAL – BUTLINS 17TH LIVERPOOL – O2 ACADEMY 18TH HULL – WELLY 22ND NEWCASTLE - RIVERSIDE 23RD GLASGOW – O2 ABC 24TH EDINBURGH – LIQUID ROOMS 25TH ABERDEEN – BEACH BALLROOM 26TH CARLISLE – OLD FIRE STATION
DECEMBER 7TH LONDON – ELECTRIC BALLROOM 8TH NOTTINGHAM – ROCK CITY 9TH WAKEFIELD – WAREHOUSE 23 10TH NORTHAMPTON - ROADMENDER
UK tickets are available at www.blackgrapeofficial.com/live.html