Happy Songs for Happy People

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Happy Songs For Happy People
Mogwai-happy songs for happy people.jpg
Studio album by Mogwai
Released 17 June 2003
Recorded Cava Studios, Glasgow, Scotland
Genre Post-rock
Length 41:50
Label Play It Again Sam, Matador
Producer Tony Doogan
Mogwai chronology
Rock Action
Happy Songs for Happy People
Mr Beast
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 85/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[2]
Alternative Press 5/5[3]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[4]
Mojo 5/5 stars[5]
NME 8/10[6]
Pitchfork Media 7.1/10[7]
Q 4/5 stars[8]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[9]
Uncut 3/5 stars[10]

Happy Songs for Happy People is the fourth full-length studio album by Mogwai. It represents a further evolution of Mogwai's toned down, more electronic sound: all songs are based on electric guitars and live drums, but synthesizers are used frequently and often take the main stage on this album, with strings and piano also making the occasional appearance. The songs on the album are subdued, with the only exceptions being the towering "Ratts of the Capital," and the closer "Stop Coming to My House".

Mogwai's usual vocalist Stuart Braithwaite does not sing on this album at all. Barry Burns ("Hunted by a Freak", "Killing All the Flies") and John Cummings ("Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep") accept vocal duties, however nearly all the vocals are heavily processed and incomprehensible.

The CD also contains a demo version of Cubase and the individual tracks for each instrument in "Hunted by a Freak" allowing remixing and reconstructing of the song.

The pre-release MP3s of this album circulating on the net had a sample of "Happy Tree Friends" cartoon main theme mixed in at the end of the last track. Some of the fans were frustrated buying the released CD afterwards and not finding the sample there.[citation needed]

It was the first Mogwai album to appear in the US charts, spending one week on the Billboard 200 at #182.

A computer animated video was released for the song "Hunted by a Freak", depicting a person throwing pets to their death.

The song "I Know You Are But What Am I?" is used as the closing of Episode 8, Season 1 of the TV show Person of Interest.

The song "Kids Will Be Skeletons" was featured in the 2015 video game Life Is Strange.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Mogwai

No. Title Length
1. "Hunted by a Freak" 4:18
2. "Moses? I Amn't" 2:59
3. "Kids Will Be Skeletons" 5:29
4. "Killing All the Flies" 4:35
5. "Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep" 3:05
6. "Ratts of the Capital" 8:27
7. "Golden Porsche" 2:49
8. "I Know You Are but What Am I?" 5:17
9. "Stop Coming to My House" 4:53
Total length: 41:50
Japanese version Bonus Track
  • "Sad DC" - 4:34


Additional musicians
  • Luke Sutherland - violin on "Killing All the Flies" and "Stop Coming to My House", guitar on "Ratts of the Capital"
  • Caroline Barber - cello on "Hunted By a Freak", "Moses? I Amn't" and "Golden Porsche"
  • Donald Gillian - cello on "Killing All the Flies"
  • Scott Dickinson - viola on "Killing All the Flies"
  • Greg Lawson - violin on "Killing All the Flies"


  1. ^ "Reviews for Happy Songs For Happy People by Mogwai". Metacritic. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Phares, Heather. "Happy Songs for Happy People – Mogwai". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "Mogwai: Happy Songs for Happy People". Alternative Press (181): 94. August 2003. 
  4. ^ Peschek, Dave (13 June 2003). "Mogwai: Happy Songs for Happy People". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 
  5. ^ "Mogwai: Happy Songs for Happy People". Mojo (116): 98. July 2003. 
  6. ^ Jonze, Tim (13 June 2003). "Mogwai: Happy Songs For Happy People". NME. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  7. ^ Carr, Eric (18 June 2003). "Mogwai: Happy Songs for Happy People". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  8. ^ "Mogwai: Happy Songs for Happy People". Q (204): 109. July 2003. 
  9. ^ Blashill, Pat (24 July 2003). "Mogwai: Happy Songs For Happy People". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 15 February 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 
  10. ^ "Mogwai: Happy Songs for Happy People". Uncut (74): 111. July 2003.