With Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches, Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder finally got to work with the producer that he was vouching for: Paul Oakenfold, no doubt thanks to the success of his "Think About The Future" mix of Wrote For Luck. Their singles would be typically remixed by DJ's anyway so really a more dance oriented album was a pretty natural move I think. In any case, the sound on Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches was the sound that Shaun had always hoped the band would go for. Happy Mondays were always a band that lent towards the dance end of the music spectrum but with Pill N Thrills and Bellyaches they finally embraced their dance influences. By doing so, they created their defining album and many people agree. The album reached #4 in the UK charts which was a colossal leap from previous album Bummed, which only reached #59.
Another thing I must pay special attention to is Shaun Ryder's lyrics on the record. Shaun Ryder has always been a really good lyricist in a twisted and manic sort of way. Its his lyrics coupled with Happy Mondays hard hitting dance rhythms that give them a certain edge I think. On Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches his lyrics are particularly strong. Kinky Afro has got some of the most twisted and consequently funny lyrics I have heard and the same can be said for God's Cop. Really, the whole band are at their peak here. No aspect of the band has ever sounded stronger than on Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches in my view.
- Dennis and Lois
- Bob's Yer Uncle
- God's Cop