For those of you who enjoyed The Mancunian Way – the amazing BBC documentary series about Manchester and its music – or those who were a little too lazy to listen to the whole thing, I’ve put up a selected playlist of the best tracks featured in the series. You can check it out on Spotify:
In the 90s, while everyone in Manchester was still dancing to the sound of the best DJs in the world at the Haçienda, something unexpected happened. Anthemic stadium rock made its return, with the rise of the biggest band that ever came out of Manchester: Oasis. In this final part of the Mancunian Way, Mark Radcliffe nostalgically chats with Noel Gallagher about the early days of Oasis and tells the story of other bands that kept guitar-based music evolving in the rest of the 90s, such as The Doves, Badly Drawn Boy and Elbow.
In the late 80s and early 90s Manchester was the most fashionable place of earth. It was the era of the Haçienda, a music venue/club set up by Factory Records in a former warehouse that played the most eclectic music. And with its no door policy, it attracted the widest variety of people. The Haçienda saw the explosion of cult bands like The Happy Mondays and The Stones Roses, brought the Chicago and Detroit electronic music scene to Europe and played a huge part in defining the acid house and rave movement. Whether its success relied on great records, cheap lager or cheap drugs is, however, open for debate.
All the bands that have been discussed in the Mancunian Way so far were, and still are, hugely influential. But not many of them have achieved commercial success. In this episode Mark Radcliff talks about mainstream pop giants that are not usually associated with Manchester. Acts like Simply Red, 10CC, M People or Take That. Take That. Yes, Manchester also started the boy band craze.
This is the third part of the Mancunian Way, a BBC documentary series about Manchester and its music. Listen to the previous parts here: Part 1, Part 2.
The 3rd part of the Mancunian Way explores the world of the quintessential Manchester record label: Factory Records. Founded in the rise of punk, it lead the way during the post-punk era due to its specific way of working with artists. It soon became the first record company outside London to achieve international succes.
Mark Radcliffe talks to Factory founder Tony Wilson, in-house producer Martin Hannett and many others about record sleeve design, urban angst, raincoat sales and the tremendous influence of the label and its bands such as Joy Division, New Order or the Happy Mondays.