Black Grape - It's Great When You're Straight Yeah!

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:1999-06-18

One of rock's most spectacular re-inventions, it was strangely comforting to see chemical generation poster-boys Shaun Ryder and Bez shrugging off the Happy Mondays' legacy, enlisting the ragga-voiced Kermit (Ryder's old drug-buddy) and returning as funk-splattered day-glo rap-rockers Black Grape. It's Great... is powered by those irrepressible Madchester vibes, but all conducted with a Hannah-Barbera charm that made Ryder's narcotically-inspired charms appealing again. Ryder, indeed, is on top form: "In The Name Of The Father" features the couplet "Neil Armstrong, astronaut, had balls bigger than King Kong / first big suit on the moon and he's off to play golf--hole in one." Elsewhere, "Shake Your Money" plundered the vault of the Rolling Stones and "Reverend Black Grape" received accusations of blasphemy from the Catholic church. Sure signs that It's Great To Be Straight...Yeah! found Black Grape in rude, nay, obscene health. --Louis Pattison

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