Black Grape was founded in 1993 by legendary Happy Mondays Shaun Ryder and Bez, who recruited former Rap Assasin Paul ‘Kermit’ Leveridge, Carl ‘Pyscho’ McCarthy, drummer Ged Lynch and guitarist Wags (formerly of Paris Angels). After signing to Radioactive Records, in 1995 they released their debut album It’s Great When You’re Straight…Yeah. The album debuted at number 1 (eventually going platinum) and spawned three, instantly recognisable Top 20 singles: ‘Reverend Black Grape’, ‘In The Name Of The Father’ and ‘Kelly’s Heroes’.


It’s Great When You’re Straight…Yeah is a surreal, funky, profane and perversely joyous party album, overflowing with casual eclecticism and giddy humour. Working with a band that is looser and grittier than the Mondays, Ryder sounds reinvigorated, creating bizarre rhymes that tie together junk culture, drug lingo, literary references and gobbledygook. Ryder’s lyrics have always been freewheelingly impenetrable, but working with Kermit, a rapper that is equal of his skills, the pair pushed each other into some of the wittiest wordplay ever recorded.


Soundtracking this chaos is music of deep groves and catchy pop hooks that comes straight out of the leftfield. From the blaring harmonica of the swaggering ‘Reverend Black Grape’ and the trippy sitar of ‘In The Name Of The Father’ to the seedy, rolling ‘Shake Your Money Maker’ and the infectious guitar riff of ‘Kelly’s Heroes’, It’s Great When You’re Straight…Yeah is filled with music that goes in unconventional directions without ever sounding forced. Not only was the album a triumphant return for Ryder and Bez, but it fused everything that was brilliant about the Mondays with a love of hip hop and funk, taking their work to new, dizzying heights.


    1. Reverend Black Grape
    2. In The Name Of The Father
    3. Tramazi Party
    4. Kelly’s Heroes
    5. Yeah Yeah Brother
    6. A Big Day In The North
    7. Shake Well Before Opening
    8. Shake Well Before Opening
    9. Submarine
    10. Shake Your Money
    11. Little Bob
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