Here’s a collection of neutered radio edits of what started off as bizarre and...
Lou Thomas 2007
Kicking off a 'Best Of' compilation with a song titled "I Can Only Disappoint U" is not a usual tactic but then Mansun never even thought about approaching usual in their seven year recording history.
Their debut album Attack of The Grey Lantern, six tracks of which appear on Legacy, included an ace song about bondage based around a Bryan Adams riff in "She Makes My Nose Bleed", the hilarious Buzzcocks-style ditty of "Stripper Vicar" and a warped Bond theme that never was: "The Chad Who Loved Me".
Attack... was a surprising listen in 1997 and a ballsy, sexually ambivalent record that didn’t just wink back at the Britpop it followed, but spanked its naked buttocks.
Fans soon began idolising Mansun in ways not seen since the glitter-heavy early days of the Manic Street Preachers five years before. After Cast, Shed 7 and the rest banged through 60s pastiches, Mansun larged it with nail varnish and songs about twisted little towns where the sun didn’t always sh-iii-iii-ne, as surely as the introspection of The Smiths followed punk.
The next year Chester’s finest musical export put out Six, an astounding, baffling seventy-minute tour de force. It included a guest vocal from sometime Dr Who, Tom Baker, samples from Swan Lake, approximately one chorus, a jittery yarn about getting an AIDS test ("Negative", included here) and references to Taoism and the title track, also included here. It was despised and admired in equal measure, but any day you listened to it the world leapt from monochrome into mind-melting Technicolor.
Mansun couldn’t top Six or Attack... and limped along for one more LP (the underwhelming Little Kix) before splitting up. So here’s a collection of neutered radio edits of what started off as bizarre and interesting songs coupled with the odd non-descript filler track. They’ve even missed off "Everyone Must Win", a soaring race into the sky that summed up the odd vision of frontman Paul Draper and his bandmates better than this sorry cash-in. Seek out that and the first two albums instead.