You’re twistin’ my melon, man. You mean today marks the 25th anniversary of the release of the Happy Mondays’ “Step On”? Has it really been 25 years?
Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches, the album it’s on that in November celebrates its own 25th birthday, was a highpoint of Madchester’s sexy drug hedonism – and the highpoint of the Mondays’ blokes-will-be-blokes brand of it.
“Step On,” in particular, was at the vanguard of that complicated final bit of good times before it all fell apart in a sea of abuse, insolvency, and fried ideals. It represented a fun type of colorful, organic dance-music escapism that persisted before the scene was either displaced or ate itself up. Only in recent years have bands like Delorean made a suitable attempt to revive a less hedonistic version of it.
The song is essentially a cover of John Kongos’ glammy “He’s Gonna Step On You Again.” I enjoy that original, but I think the Mondays made it a much more exciting experience.
I think I’ve probably listened to “Step On” and Pills a good several thousand times in my day, especially during a time in my 20s when I only listened to Factory artists. Although New Order is my go-to in that family, I’ll always leave a special place in my world for the caddish genius of the Ryder Brothers.