This BBC documentary goes deeper into exploring an era of music that has already been mentioned in The Mancunian Way and The Great Bleep Forward: Madchester, or how in the late 80s, Manchester became the world capital of pop. Who could have predicted that such an industrial city, characterised by massive unemployment and bad weather, would give birth to such a vibrant and hedonistic scene?
In part 1, Stuart Maconie tells the story of how Manchester’s effervescent post punk scene inspired New Order members and head of Factory Records’ Tony Wilson to create the Hacienda, a place that quickly went from being an art space to an eclectic club venue. Its cheap drinks and no door policy allowed bohemian working class Mancunians to escape their hard lives and enjoy Chicago’s and Detroit’s all new techno and acid house rhythms. A mix of two cultures that established Manchester as the coolest place on earth and inspired The Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses, and many more.
Like the declining cost of synthesizers in the late 70s early 80s lead to a new era in popular music, the introduction of the microchip offered bands a whole new way to make music. As their equipment became more and more sophisticated and cheap, they mastered the art of sampling. Making music became so much easier that soon they didn’t need studios anymore. In fact they didn’t need musicians either, starting with the drummer, so easily replaced by the lastest drumbox.
All this pushed people to make sounds that had never been heard before, bringing us the Dance Music revolution with the advent of Chicago House and Detroit Techno.