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There’s something about the industrial town of Manchester in the North of England that has caused it to produce some of the finest bands in history, something the rest of the UK only woke up to in the mid to late 80s. Starting really with The Smiths in the mid-80s, the British obsession with Manchester culminated in ’89 with the so called Madchester movement, when suddenly it was incredibly cool to drink Boddington’s and have messy hair.

Facetiousness aside, the brief but pretty damn exciting Madchester scene centred around the Hacienda club, and the ideas of Situationist movement, and was gave rise to a growth in mellow, uplifting rock, characterised by syncopated basslines. This was partly responsible - via bands like New Order and the Happy Mondays - for the creation of modern dance music, as well the Brit Pop and Indy scenes in the UK.

The movement died a death of sorts as time went on, mainly because all its key-bands faltered - The Smiths broke up in 1987 with their last controversial album, The Roses didn’t do anything from 1990 onwards (except go to football matches), and Sean Ryder and Bez did pretty much anything from 1990 onwards.

It’s interesting the sheer variety of styles created by bands that are often grouped together as Those Bands From Manchester. There’s the fast, funky rock of the Roses and the Charlatans, the much more dance-oriented Happy Mondays, the largely electronic New Order, and the unique acoustic sound of The Smiths.

Though the Manchester scene has certainly peaked, and the Hacienda has gone bankrupt (God knows how – one of the world’s great mysteries), Manchester still continued to produce fantastic bands, like James, Electronic, The Seahorses, and, of course, Oasis.

So, here’s a table that summarises the main Manchester bands of the 80s and early 90s, along with their genres, and an example of their best work for those who those who’ve not heard them before. If you think I’ve missed out any crucial groups, or totally missed the feel of the band in my choice of genre, don’t hesitate to /msg me.

Joy Division
First Album Date:  1978
Broke Up:  1980
Genre: Light Punk with electronic stylings
Example: Love Will Tear Us Apart

New Order
First Album Date:  1980
Broke Up:  1993
Genre: Electronic Dance
Example: Bizarre Love Triangle

The Smiths
First Album Date:  1984
Broke Up:  1987
Genre: The Smiths.
Example: This Charming Man

Primal Scream
First Album Date:  1987
Broke Up:  Still Together
Genre: Varied rock styles
Example: Loaded

The Stone Roses
First Album Date:  1989
Broke Up:  1996
Genre: Indy rock with dance overtones
Example: She Bangs The Drums

The Inspiral Carpets
First Album Date:  1988
Broke Up:  1994
Genre: Mellow rock
Example: This Is How It Feels

First Album Date:  1986
Broke Up:  Still together
Genre: Light rock
Example: Laid

The Happy Mondays
First Album Date:  1987
Broke Up:  1990ish
Genre: Very dancey rock
Example: Step On

808 State
First Album Date:  1988
Broke Up:  Still together
Genre: Electronic dance
Example: Pacific 808

The Charlatans
First Album Date:  1990
Broke Up:  Still Together
Genre: Psychedelic rock
Example: The Only One I Know

First Album Date:  1991
Broke Up:  Still together
Genre: Progressive dance
Example: Getting Away With It

First Album Date:  1994
Broke Up:  Still together
Genre: Indy rock
Example: Don't Look Back In Anger

Black Grape
First Album Date:  1995
Broke Up:  1999
Genre: Funk soul dance-rap
Example: In the name of the father
Many thanks to station23 and Teiresias for their help in creating this node.

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