It had been brewing for a while...
It had been brewing for a while, but to the rest of the world, the rise of Madchester was as sudden as it was welcome. Former goths The Stone Roses formulated the perfect fusion of pop and grooves and effortlessly produced not only one of the greatest debut albums of all time, but possibly the album of the decade. In their wake came the slightly dirtier and certainly more dangerous Happy Mondays, plying a disjointed but seriously funky hybrid. Both were perfect post-acid house pop and by the end of the year The Roses were playing to 7,500 at Alexandra Palace. Indie had finally gone mainstream.
Gone: The 80s. We didn’t even mention A Flock of Seagulls, Toyah, Classix Nouveau, Baltimora, Aneka, Samantha Fox, Alphaville, Transvision Vamp, Tiffany, Nik Kershaw, Go West, Kajagoogoo, Brother Beyond, Modern Romance, Milli Vanilli, The Flying Pickets, Kenny Loggins….
Album of the year: The Stone Roses – ‘The Stone Roses’
Single of the year: Happy Mondays – `Wrote For Luck’
Band of the year: The Stone Roses
1989 belonged to: Madchester
Event of the year: The Berlin Wall came down. The Cold War was finally over. No more worrying about nuclear annihilation. Did someone mention global warming? Meanwhile a Sub Pop package tour featuring Tad and Nirvana hit these shores, following on from Mudhoney‘s earlier success. You could probably try and impress your mates by telling them you were there, although if you were one of the unfortunates who ended up underneath a Tad stage-dive, you probably won’t remember it.
Still, the 80s wouldn’t be the 80s if they didn’t end with Jive Bunny the biggest chart sensation of the year and a charity record (a redone ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’) at number 1. Thank God they were over.