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Double Easy - The US Singles

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Album Review

Oddly enough, a greatest-hits set from the Mondays surfaced in America first rather than the U.K., but whatever the reason for its existence, Double Easy is a nicely random treat. Arranged more or less in chronological order, with the exception of the killer one-two punch of "W.F.L. (Think About the Future)" and the club mix of "Hallelujah" at the end of the disc, Double Easy makes a good primer for the baggy era's notorious group. Though leaving out a variety of strong album cuts means that it's by default an incomplete collection (and probably a couple of Yes, Please cuts could have been dropped from the running order), enough good times are in the grooves to summon up instant party vibes. Shaun Ryder and company's genius was that, unlike any number of stereotypical indie Brit groups, they felt the funk — if the likes of early Kool & the Gang and Funkadelic were the true gods, at the very least the Mondays were good disciples. Combine that with a healthy take on everything from Mark E. Smith's ramalama style to electro beats and Beatles references and more, and what Double Easy demonstrates best in the end is that Beck's own formula had already been established years before. "Wrote for Luck," "Lazyitis," the "MacColl" mix of "Hallelujah," the "Stuff It In" mix of "Step On," "Kinky Afro," and the 12" version of "Loose Fit" help make this a great starting point for new fans, but hardcore followers will appreciate some rarities beyond the remixes. "Tokoloshe Man" — like "Step On" a John Kongos cover, in this case recorded for the Rubaiyat tribute album — makes for an intense romp, a bit Madchester by numbers but with a fine slick speed to it. Meanwhile, the underrated groove of "Judge Fudge" makes its first debut on album after its stand-alone appearance in 1991, with what sounds like a Marlena Shaw sample adding a swooping, just paranoid enough atmosphere to the proceedings.


Formed: 1985 in Manchester, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Along with the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays were the leaders of the late-'80s/early-'90s dance club-influenced Manchester scene, experiencing a brief moment in the spotlight before collapsing in 1992. While the Stone Roses were based in '60s pop, adding only a slight hint of dance music, Happy Mondays immersed themselves in the club and rave culture, eventually becoming the most recognizable band of that drug-fueled scene. The Mondays' music relied heavily on the sound and rhythm of house music, spiked...
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