https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnBi-LNM0Og Happy Mondays announced their arrival in the mainstream with Hallelujah, which saw them appear with the goddess that was Kirsty McColl and alongside The Stone Roses on Top of the Pops at the end of the 80s. Step On however was the song that propelled this bunch of street urchins firmly into the public consciousness. In the early 90s Ecstasy had moved from being a drug that was the conserve of ultra-hip New Yorkers into the mainstream, and its cultural impact was heard loud and clear in the new mainstream music and never so blatantly than here, watch Shawn Ryder swinging off the letter E from the hotel sign and thats all you need to know. The Shamen tried to be as brazen with their paean to E with Ebenezer Goode but lacked they the masterful subtlety that the Happy Mondays brought to the party. The term mash-up is seemingly applied to everything in music, but Step on is a perfect example of the art of combining different styles and making something truly original. It features gospel backing vocals, Ibiza themed keyboards, scuzzy blues guitar playing, a rhythm section that dials up the white boy funk of Talking Heads, and last but by no means least, one Shawn William Ryder on vocals who talks his way insouciantly through the story. The opening line Youre twisting my melon man, you know talk so hip man, youre twisting my melon man, call the cops sets the scene perfectly. They were the Rolling Stones to the Stone Roses Beatles, the bad boys in love with the groove of the song as much as the tune and with Step on they created a dizzying mix of how to meld rock and roll, funk and dance. And they talked so hip.
What makes music fantastic? Star quality, amazing music, breathtaking lyrics and the ability to bring something new to the table, even if that means a new take on the classics. That's what I love to listen to and write about.
As well as writing for What Culture, I occasionally write a blog http://tedney.blogspot.co.uk and sometimes use Twitter, but sparingly @TedneyNash