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)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau (1-star Honorable Mention)[3]

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 [4] 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.[4]

According to Ryder, the album title refers sarcastically to being free of mood-altering substances.[5] 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.

The song "A Big Day In the North" was used as the opening song in the 1995 scifi movie Virtuosity with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

The song "Yeah Yeah Brother" featured in the film The Devil Wears Prada (2006). The line "It's Frothy Man" in the song is partly a reference to advertising the 1970s soft drink Cresta.[6]

Throughout the album there are lyrical references to The Beatles.

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.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Shaun Ryder and Danny Saber, except where noted.

No. Title Lyrics Length
1. "Reverend Black Grape" (Ryder)   5:12
2. "In the Name of the Father"   4:21
3. "Tramazi Parti" (Ryder, Stephen Lironi, Paul Levedge)   4:45
4. "Kelly's Heroes"   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" (Ryder)   3:50
9. "Shake Your Money"   4:13
10. "Little Bob"   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 It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah liner notes.[7]

  • 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, Ewan Davis - additional engineering
  • Tom Lord-Alge - mixing
  • Ted Jensen - mastering
Preceded by
I Should Coco by Supergrass
UK number one album
19 August 1995 – 1 September 1995
Succeeded by
Said and Done by Boyzone

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. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: Black Grape". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Official Charts - Black Grape". Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  5. ^ Thompson, Ben (1 October 1995). "The Interview: Shaun Ryder, Pop Star Talks to Ben Thompson". The Independent. 
  6. ^ Sample Cresta ad on YouTube
  7. ^ It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah (liner notes). Black Grape. Radioactive Records. 1995.