Various Artists

The Manchester Story '88-'91: Madchester

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The Beechwood label's 16-track Manchester Story '88-'91: Madchester presents a pretty faithful re-telling of the Factory-led Brit-pop explosion that consumed college radio in the late '80s early '90s. Usually relegated to late-night appearances on MTV's 120 Minutes, bands like New Fast Automatic Daffodils, Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, Charlatans UK, 808 State, and New Order nevertheless found a way to break out internationally, influencing the myriad of shapes that alternative rock would assume in the coming years. Though there are many holes in the story (where are Blur, Ride, Primal Scream or the Manic Street Preachers?) presented here, the inclusion of various remixes, original 12" versions, and extended mixes keeps things interesting, and the songs themselves are all top-notch, resulting in a formidable gateway drug for anybody looking to immerse themselves in genre.

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