| 27 November 1990|
NME Award for Best LP
| The Peel Sessions 1989
Paul Oakenfold, Steve Osborne
Happy Mondays albums, Madchester albums, Other albums
Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches is the third studio album by English alternative rock band Happy Mondays. It was produced by Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne at Eden Studios in London and was released in 1990 by Factory Records.
The original album cover for Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches, designed by Central Station Design, consisted of a montage of popular children's sweet wrappers. The cover was changed for subsequent issues of the album following objections from the U.S. manufacturers, resulting in the new, somewhat plainer album cover.
In November 2007, the album was re-released by Rhino Records with extra tracks and a DVD of music videos.
Stuart Maconie of NME hailed Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches as "a tremendous record, and a gauntlet chucked at the feet of all the other would-be legends in town." In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, critic Robert Christgau cited "Grandbag's Funeral" and "Kinky Afro" as highlights and was more impressed by the band's rock music on the album: "their Voidoids is hotter than their 'dance music'". He later gave it a two-star honorable mention, indicating a "likable effort that consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well enjoy." In a less enthusiastic review, Bob Mack of Entertainment Weekly said that apart from "Step On" and "Donovan", the album shows that the band is less interesting than their Madchester contemporaries and do not warrant comparisons to The Rolling Stones. Simon Reynolds, writing in The New York Times, called it a "perplexing mishmash" that can alienate listeners outside of Manchester's rave scene.
In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine called Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches a hedonistic album that was the peak of Happy Mondays' "career (and quite arguably the whole baggy/Madchester movement) ... a celebratory collage of sex, drugs, and dead-end jobs where there's no despair because only a sucker could think that this party would ever come to an end." Q magazine called it their "artistic peak" and a "top-hole album". In 2000, the magazine placed Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches at number 31 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2005, the album was voted the 51st greatest album of all time by Channel 4 viewers. The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
All tracks written by Shaun Ryder, Paul Ryder, Mark Day, Paul Davis and Gary Whelan except as noted.
- "Kinky Afro" – 3:59
- "God's Cop" – 4:58
- "Donovan" – 4:04
- "Grandbag's Funeral" – 3:20
- "Loose Fit" – 5:07
- "Dennis and Lois" – 4:24
- "Bob's Yer Uncle" (Happy Mondays, Steve Osborne, Paul Oakenfold) – 5:10
- "Step On" (John Kongos, Christos Demetriou) – 5:17
- "Holiday" – 3:28
- "Harmony" – 4:01
Tracks 1–10 per original release
Disc 2 – DVD
- "Step On (Twisting My Melon mix)"
- "Kinky Afro (7" Euro mix)"
- "Loose Fit (12" version)"
- "Bob's Yer Uncle (12" version)"
- "Tokoloshe Man"
Step On: originally a single by John Kongos, also featured on his 1972 album Kongos; the full title of Kongos' version is "He's Gonna Step On You Again".
Tokoloshie Man: also originally a single by John Kongos, Kongos' version is spelled "Tokoloshe Man". Happy Mondays' version was spelled correctly when originally released as a B-side in 1991.
The song "God's Cop" was featured in the Masterpiece Theatre production of White Teeth. It was also featured in the opening credits of the documentary film "One Night in Turin"
The songs "Loose Fit" and "Kinky Afro" were featured in the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People, a dramatisation of the Manchester music scene during the time of the Happy Mondays, New Order & Joy Division.
The song "Loose Fit" was featured on Clarkson's Car Years in "The New Romantics" episode in 2000.
- "Tart Tart"
- "24 Hour Party People"
- "Wrote for Luck"
- "Clap Your Hands"
- "Step On"
- "Kinky Afro"
- "Loose Fit"
- "Judge Fudge"
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