|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2008)|
|Studio album by Happy Mondays|
|Released||22 September 1992|
|Label||Factory - FACT 420|
|Producer||Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth|
|Happy Mondays chronology|
Yes Please! was the last studio album that the British band Happy Mondays recorded before leaving Factory Records. Generally seen as their poorest work, it was released in 1992 and was produced by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads. The album is most famous for allegedly driving independent label Factory Records to bankruptcy, having cost too much to record.
It is reasoned by many[who?], including Shaun Ryder in his autobiography, that one of the reasons for the album's failure was the change of producer between the third album, 1990's Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches and this one. Paul Oakenfold, the third album's producer was unavailable to produce Yes Please! The new production team, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, drastically changed the band's sound from that of the previous album. Whilst before, the Happy Mondays sound had been grounded in a fusion of Rock and Acid House music, here it was changed to a more out-of-date style of '80s Synth Pop combined with Caribbean influences. With grunge-rock becoming more mainstream at the time, particularly through Nirvana, the Mondays sound was seen as becoming increasingly out of date.
While the band had previously enjoyed almost universal critical approval for their music, the change of sound on this album garnered a huge critical backlash against the band. Music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine writes of the album: "In the hands of Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, the group's music loses much of its distinctive, thuggish edginess, as well as its reliance on current dance trends, becoming faceless, undistinguished dance-pop sludge."  Even more cruelly, the now-defunct UK music paper Melody Maker dismissed the album with a two-word review: "No thanks."
Recording in Barbados
The band along with their families went to Barbados to record the album. It was recorded in the studio at Eddy Grant's house, where they bumped into Mick Jagger on a few occasions, who was staying nearby. This trip was nothing short of a disaster; although the band were sent there so that Shaun Ryder and his brother would not take heroin, they ended up taking crack cocaine. Shaun Ryder did bring enough methadone to last him for four weeks, but inadvertently smashed the case at Manchester Airport. After running out of money, they then took extreme measures such as selling the furniture from Eddy Grant's studio (to fund the drugs) and creating "crack dens" out of sun-loungers in Eddy's own swimming pool. Bez ended up breaking his arm after overturning a hire car, while Shaun had failed to write any lyrics.
When the band returned to the UK, Shaun got hold of the master tapes for the album, threatening to destroy them if Tony Wilson and Factory Records did not cough up any money for them. When Factory did finally get hold of them (for £50), the recordings contained no vocals (since Shaun failed to write any lyrics while in Barbados), which meant the whole exercise was a waste of time and money for Factory. Shortly after the album was finally released, Factory Records was officially declared bankrupt.
On a more humorous, but bizarre note, Shaun attempted to "kidnap" legendary guitarist Johnny Marr to join them on their excursion to Barbados. Marr says he was a member of Happy Mondays for "about 25 minutes".
The final song of the album, "Cowboy Dave", was written in reference to Dave Rowbotham, former guitarist of The Durutti Column who was murdered in 1991. The lyrics alluded to the group's suspicions about the circumstances of his death.
All tracks written by Happy Mondays.
- "Stinkin' Thinkin'" – 4:17
- "Monkey in the Family" – 4:41
- "Sunshine & Love" – 4:46
- "Dustman" – 3:44
- "Angel" – 5:51
- "Cut 'em loose Bruce" – 4:26
- "Theme from Netto" – 4:13
- "Love Child" – 5:12
- "Total Ringo" – 3:38
- "Cowboy Dave" – 7:43
- "Stinkin' Thinkin'"
- "Sunshine & Love"
- "Angel" (no release at retail)
- Chris Frantz - Producer
- Tina Weymouth - Producer
- Steven Stanley - Mixing
- Mark Roule - Recording
- Simon Machan - Programming and Sampling
- Scott Hull - Editing
- Paul Ryder - Bass Guitar
- Shaun Ryder - Vocals
- Mark Day - Guitars
- Bez - Bez
- Rowetta - Backing Vocals
- Gary Whelan - Drums
- Paul Davis - Keyboards
- Bruce Martin - Percussion
- Kermit - Additional Vocals on "Cut 'em loose Bruce"
- Allmusic review
- Ryder, Shaun (October 17, 2011). Twisting My Melon. Bantam Press. ISBN 0593068270.
- Allmusic.com Review
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BgbvjvAWuY&feature=fvwrel. Missing or empty
- Simmonds, Jeremy (2008). The Enciclopedia of Dead Rock Stars. Chicago Reviews Press. pp. 279–280. ISBN 1-55652-754-3.