Mansun were formed in Chester, England in 1995 by Draper and King. The band's foundations were cemented with the addition of Chad, who was bartender at the Fat Cat pub in Chester city centre.
According to Mansun's Kleptomania liner notes, frontman Paul Draper states that "Take It Easy Chicken" was their first song, and that the band really did not know how to play their instruments (let alone play together as a band) when Steve Lamacq and John Peel started to play the song on BBC Radio 1.
The early EPs were followed by the critically acclaimed album Attack Of The Grey Lantern which appeared to contain a conceptual storyline - heavily debated by fans - whilst ending with a hidden track (An Open Letter To The Lyrical Trainspotter, previously featured on Three EP) proclaiming sarcastically 'The lyrics aren't supposed to mean that much'. The band's debut LP knocked fellow Parlophone act Blur's 1997 self-titled album from the top spot of the British album chart. Radiohead are quoted as saying, at that year's Q Awards, that the album was "a real musical achievement".
During the early years of their career, Mansun were noted for changing fashion styles as quickly as musical styles. Such styles ranged from punk fashion, New romantic, Baggy "Madchester" clothes, army fatigues, A Clockwork Orange style "droogs" and even women's clothing. When pressed as to why they did this, the band replied "Because no one dresses like David Bowie anymore".
The second album Six was preceded by the single "Legacy", driven by lyrical references to the Marquis de Sade. The album included a guest monologue by Tom Baker. Several more singles followed, including part 1 of "Being A Girl", "Negative" and a re-recording of the album's title track, "Six" produced by Arthur Baker.
Mansun's third studio album, Little Kix, recorded in Pink Floyd's old studio on a boat, Astoria, was plagued by the record company's desire to bring in an outside producer, and by schisms within the band.
The end came after a UK mini tour in April and May 2002, which was initially promoted under the pseudonym The Masons on Mansun fansites. The band tested out potential tracks from their planned fourth album alongside a handful of old favourites. Due to a Mansun fan petition started on the now defunct Mansunite.com forum, the "sessions" for this unreleased album were released in 2004, along with the non-album singles and a selection of B-sides (chosen by Draper from a top 20 voted for by fans on the band's official website) and rarities, which summarized Mansun's career in a three-CD box set entitled Kleptomania.
Mansun collaborated twice with Howard Devoto (from Magazine and Buzzcocks), who co-wrote EP B-side tracks "Everyone Must Win" and "Railings". They have also covered "Shot By Both Sides" live. The band were remixed by Manchester-based dance outfit 808 State on "Skin Up Pin Up," a song featured on the soundtrack for the 1997 film Spawn.
Legacy - The Best Of Mansun, a greatest hits CD and DVD compilation, was released on 18 September 2006 in the UK. The CD from this package also provides access to download the previous unreleased "South Of The Painted Hall" demo, which was deemed to have been "lost forever" during the compilation of Kleptomania.
|Year||Title||UK Albums Chart||BPI Certifications
|1997||Attack of the Grey Lantern||1||Gold|
|2004||Kleptomania (3 CD Box Set)||-|
|2006||Legacy: The Best Of Mansun (CD and DVD Compilation)||-|
|Release Date||Title||Chart Positions||Album|
|UK Singles Chart||US Mod.|
|1995||Sep 25||"Take It Easy Chicken" [A]||-||-||— [B]|
|Nov 27||"Skin Up Pin Up" / "Flourella" [C]||-||-|
|1996||Mar 25||"Egg Shaped Fred" (One EP)||37||-||Attack of the Grey Lantern|
|Jun 3||"Take It Easy Chicken" (Two EP)||32||-||— [B]|
|Sep 9||"Stripper Vicar" (Three EP)||19||-||Attack of the Grey Lantern|
|Nov 25||"Wide Open Space" (Four EP)||15||26|
|1997||Feb 3||"She Makes My Nose Bleed" (Five EP)||9||-|
|Oct 6||"Closed for Business" (Seven EP)||10||-||— [B]|
|1998||Jun 29||"Legacy" (Eight EP)||7||-||Six|
|Aug 24||"Being A Girl (Part One)" (Nine EP)||13||-|
|Oct 26||"Negative" (Ten EP)||27||-|
|1999||Feb 1||"Six" (Eleven EP)||16||-|
|2000||Jul 31||"I Can Only Disappoint U"||8||-||Little Kix|
|Nov 6||"Electric Man" (EP 13)||23||-|
|2001||Jan 29||"Fool" (Fourteen EP)||28||-|
|2004||Sept 20||"Slipping Away" [D]||55||-||Kleptomania|
- A ^ The original pressings of "Take It Easy Chicken" were paid and produced by the group on their own label: Sci-Fi Hi-Fi Records.
- B ^ "Take It Easy Chicken" (Two Ep Version), "Flourella", "Skin Up Pin Up" & "Closed For Business" were subsequently collected on the second disc of the compilation Kleptomania.
- C ^ "Skin Up Pin Up" / "Flourella" was released on the EMI affiliate Regal Records. All subsequent singles were issued by Parlophone/EMI.
- D ^ "Slipping Away" was commercially released as a 7" Vinyl and Download Release Only, although some promo CDs were produced.
|Special Mini Album||1996||Japan only release - contains material from 'Two' and 'Three' EP.|
|Spawn: The Soundtrack||1997||Includes exclusive version of "Skin Up Pin Up" credited as Mansun & 808 State|
|Desperate Icons||1997||Live Bootleg (Widely Circulated)|
|Xmas Fanclub 7" vinyl||1998||Live versions of "Everyone Must Win" and "Taxloss" recorded at Brixton Academy 23/10/98|
|"South of the Painted Hall"||2006||Free Download available only to buyers of Legacy: The Best Of Mansun|
Biography from Wikipedia