It's Great When You're Straight...Yeah

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It’s Great When You’re Straight…Yeah
BlackGrape GreatWhenYoureStraightYeah.jpg
Studio album by Black Grape
Released 7 August 1995[1]
Genre Alternative dance, Britpop
Length 46:16
Label Radioactive
Producer Danny Saber, Stephen Lironi, Shaun Ryder, Gary Kurfirst (exec.)
Black Grape chronology
It’s Great When You’re Straight…Yeah
(1995)
Stupid Stupid Stupid
(1997)Stupid Stupid Stupid1997
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[3]
The Guardian4/5 stars[4]
The Irish Times4/5 stars[5]
Mojo4/5 stars[6]
NME10/10[7]
Q4/5 stars[8]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[10]
Select5/5[11]

It's Great When You're Straight...Yeah is the first album by British band Black Grape. Released in 1995, the album was a critical and commercial success, particularly in the UK, where it topped the UK Album Charts for two weeks [12] and yielded two Top 10 hit singles and a third Top 20 hit.

The album was seen as something of a triumphant comeback for both Shaun Ryder and Bez, who had suffered from a decline in popularity and interest in their former band, the Madchester and pre-Britpop indie dance/rock innovators, the Happy Mondays. It's Great... represented what some considered an evolution of the Happy Mondays sound on their 1990 album Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches, with a stronger hip hop influence, down mostly to the rapping of Kermit, formerly of the band The Ruthless Rap Assassins. Radioactive Records released three singles from the album, all of which were commercial and critical successes in the UK. "Reverend Black Grape" was released first and reached number 9 in the UK Singles Chart and was followed by "In The Name of the Father", which eclipsed the first single, reaching number 8 in the same chart. A third single, "Kelly's Heroes" also charted within the Top 20 UK Singles Chart, at number 17.[12]

The line "It's frothy man" in the song is partly a reference to advertising the 1970s soft drink Cresta.[13] Throughout the album there are lyrical references to The Beatles. The line "We lead double lives. We deal in sex and beautiful women" is sampled from the Burke's Law episode "Who Killed Alex Debbs?" scripted by Harlan Ellison and spoken by John Ireland.

The album was certified platinum by the BPI on 1 April 1996 and got nominated for the Mercury Prize, which lost to Pulp's Different Class.

Background[edit]

According to Ryder, the album title refers sarcastically to being free of mood-altering substances.[14] The album art features a famous photograph of infamous international terrorist Carlos the Jackal colored in pop art style, and was inspiration for Issue 2 of the Image Comics series, Phonogram. The opening lines of 'In the Name of the Father' are quoted in the novel The Demented Lands by Alan Warner.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Shaun Ryder and Danny Saber, except where noted[15].

No.TitleLength
1."Reverend Black Grape" (Paul "Kermit" Leveridge, Ryder)5:12
2."In the Name of the Father"4:21
3."Tramazi Parti" (Ryder, Stephen Lironi, Leveridge)4:45
4."Kelly's Heroes" (Leveridge, Ryder)4:22
5."Yeah Yeah Brother" (Ryder)4:10
6."A Big Day in the North"4:10
7."Shake Well Before Opening"5:40
8."Submarine" (Leveridge, Ryder)3:50
9."Shake Your Money" (Ryder, Lironi)4:13
10."Little Bob" (Leveridge, Ryder, Saber)5:33

Charts[edit]

AlbumBPI (UK)

Year Chart Position
1995 UK Album Chart 1

Singles – BPI (UK)

Year Single Chart Position
1995 "Reverend Black Grape" UK Singles Chart 9
1995 "In The Name of the Father" UK Singles Chart 8
1995 "Kelly's Heroes" UK Singles Chart 17

Personnel[edit]

Adapted from the liner notes of It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah.[16]

  • Shaun Ryder – vocals
  • Kermit – vocals
  • Psycho – vocals
  • Helen Vigneau – backing vocals
  • Paul "Wags" Wagstaff – guitar
  • Anthony Guarderas – bass
  • Ged Lynch – drums, percussion
  • Danny Saber – guitars, bass, keyboards, hammond organ, programming, mixing, engineering, production
  • Stephen Lironi – keyboards, hammond organ, slide guitar, programming, production
  • Martin Slattery – saxophone
  • Michael Scherchen – programming, engineering
  • Bez – vibes/dance
  • Phil Ault – additional engineering
  • Ewan Davis – additional engineering
  • Tom Lord-Alge – mixing
  • Ted Jensen – mastering

Appearances in media[edit]

  • The song "A Big Day In the North" was used as the opening song in the sci-fi film Virtuosity (1995).
  • The song "Yeah Yeah Brother" featured in the film The Devil Wears Prada (2006).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BPI > Certified Awards > Search results for: Black Grape (from bpi.co.uk)". Imgur.com (originally by British Phonographic Industry). Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah – Black Grape". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8. 
  4. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (11 August 1995). "CD of the week: Black Grape". The Guardian. 
  5. ^ Clayton-Lea, Tony (3 November 2016). "Reissue of the Week: Black Grape – It's Great when you're Straight . . . Yeah". The Irish Times. Retrieved 14 July 2017. 
  6. ^ Harris, John (December 2016). "The wild bunch". Mojo (277): 103. 
  7. ^ Kessler, Ted (5 August 1995). "Black Grape – It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah". NME. Archived from the original on 17 August 2000. Retrieved 14 July 2017. 
  8. ^ "Black Grape: It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah". Q (108): 113. September 1995. 
  9. ^ Cohen, Jason (16 November 1995). "Black Grape: It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 23 October 2003. Retrieved 14 July 2017. 
  10. ^ Pearlman, Nina (2004). "Happy Mondays". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 362–63. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  11. ^ Higginbotham, Adam (September 1995). "Triumph of the ill". Select (63): 92–93. 
  12. ^ a b "Official Charts - Black Grape". Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  13. ^ Sample Cresta ad on YouTube
  14. ^ Thompson, Ben (1 October 1995). "The Interview: Shaun Ryder, Pop Star Talks to Ben Thompson". The Independent. 
  15. ^ https://www.discogs.com/Black-Grape-Its-Great-When-Youre-StraightYeah/master/99844
  16. ^ It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah (booklet). Black Grape. Radioactive Records. 1995.