With the mix of funk, psychedelism, soul and house, Happy Mondays was one of the most celebrated bands in British rock from the turn of the 1980s to the 1990s and also one of the main exponents of the musical and cultural scene that became known as Madchester, a pun between the words Mad and Manchester, the English city where the movement was born, characterized by the fusion of independent rock with elements of acid house and psychedelia, and fueled by the use of MDMA, a drug popularly known as Ecstasy.
The band's formation started in 1980 in the city of Salford with Shaun Ryder (vocals), his brother Paul Ryder (bass), Mark Day (guitar), Paul Davis (keyboards), Gary Whelan (drums) and Mark "Bez" Berry, known as the band's dancer, but who also acted as a percussionist.
The band signed to Factory Records and in 1987 their first album, Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out) arrived. Produced by John Cale, the work brings a groove with a gray sound. From that LP the song "24 Hour Party People", which gave title to the film released in 2002 on the Manchester scene between 1976 and 1992, and mainly on Factory Records.
Produced by Martin Hannett, the second album, Bummed, was released in 1988. The peak of the band came with the LP Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches (1990). Co-produced by DJ Paul Oakenfold, this work has house music as its main influence. "Step On", "Kinky Afro" and "Loose Fit" were the singles taken from that album.
Yes Please!,, the band's fourth album, was recorded in Barbados and produced by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, both from Tom Tom Club and Talking Heads. The excessive use of drugs by members during the recording and change of sound contributed to the failure of the album released in 1992, and consequently, the failure of Factory Records.
In 1993, Happy Mondays disbanded and Shaun Ryder and Bez formed the Black Grape group. The band returned with a new album in 2007, when they released Uncle Dysfunktional.