Mansun - 'Attack Of The Grey Lantern (21st Anniversary Edition)' Album Review
1. The Chad Who Loved Me
2. Mansun's Only Love Song
4. You, Who Do You Hate?
5. Wide Open Space
6. Stripper Vicar
8. She Makes My Nose Bleed
9. Naked Twister
10. Egg Shaped Fred
11. Dark Mavis
12. An Open Letter To The Lyrical Trainspotter
1. Disgusting (Demo)
2. Rebel Without A Quilt (Original Version)
3. Naked Twister (Demo)
4. Dark Mavis (Demo)
5. The Dutchess (Backing Jam)
6. Ski Jump Nose (Original Version)
7. She Makes My Nose Bleed (Strings Only)
8. The Chad Who Loved Me (Backing Track Take 1)
9. Stripper Vicar (Take 1)
10. Stripper Link (Full Length Version)
11. Dark Mavis (Rejected Version)
12. She Makes My Nose Bleed (Version 1)
13. An Open Letter To The Lyrical Trainspotter (Take 1)
14. The Greatest Pain (Backing Track Take 1)
15. You, Who Do You Hate? (Early Version)
16. She Makes My Nose Bleed (Demo)
17. Egg Shaped Fred (Mix 1)
18. Skin Up Pin Up (Radio One Session 14/9/95)
19. Grey Lantern (Radio One Session 14/9/95)
20. Flourella (Radio One Session 15/5/96)
21. Naked Twister (Radio One Session 15/5/96)
22. Drastic Sturgeon (Radio One Session 15/5/96)
23. Egg Shaped Fred (Soho Live Radio One Evening Session 12/11/96)
24. Take It Easy Chicken (Soho Live Radio One Evening Session 12/11/96)
25. Stripper Vicar (Mark Radcliffe Session 16/12/96)
26. She Makes My Nose Bleed (Mark Radcliffe Session 16/12/96)
27. Wide Open Space (Mark Radcliffe Session 16/12/96)
28. The Chad Who Loved Me (Mark Radcliffe Session 16/12/96)
29. Ski Jump Nose (Mark Radcliffe Session 16/12/96)
Mansun formed in Chester in 1995 and during a relatively short lived career (the band imploded in 2003) they released three albums, including, in my opinion, perhaps one of the finest debut albums ever released by a British band; 1997’s ‘Attack Of The Grey Lantern’. The band were initially called Grey Lantern after head honcho Paul Draper’s alter ego which was derived from DC Comics Green Lantern.
The album went platinum and reached the top of the UK album charts when originally issued in 1997. Across 1996 and 1997 it also spawned five UK top 40 singles with four of those making the top 20. Is the world ready for another take on this album? A previous Collector’s Edition was first given to the world across a three CD set in 2010. For the 2018 reissue everything is remastered and packaged so much better than in 2010. It is available in multiple formats including CD and vinyl. It includes previously unheard demos, tracks recorded for the BBC and outtakes.
When the original album came out Mansun were unfairly tarred with the BritPop brush, but ‘Attack Of The Grey Lantern’ transcended that so called movement with ease. More than twenty one years later it is still stunning. “Wide Open Space” is one of the finest singles released that decade (it also gave Mansun their biggest US success) Meanwhile “Stripper Vicar” and “Egg Shaped Fred” knock Oasis into a cocked beanie hat and “Naked Twister” could spar successfully with any Blur release. At the time I felt that opening song “The Chad Who Loved Me” earmarked Mansun as potential providers of the theme to a future Bond movie, sadly that never happened.
Mansun understood Punk, Psych, Rock, Prog, Indie, Pop and how to write great songs. At more than seven minutes “Taxloss” is a timeless classic great single. The drive and production on “Dark Mavis” is stunning and the orchestration could grace a great film soundtrack. Do you remember the heady days of the hidden track at the end of a CD? You do? Well Grey Lantern had a great one with “An Open Letter To The Lyrical Trainspotter” which is included here and for me has a little touch of XTC to it. Paul Draper has rightly gone on to become a much admired and revered artist and performer and this record is testament to his genius.
The original twelve tracks from ‘Attack Of The Grey Lantern” are what it derives its greatness from. The extras which are available across a myriad of formats don’t add much for me, although I am sure Mansun completists will be salivating over them. The radio sessions do pass muster, but some of the demos and other extra tracks really don’t do much for me. But if you do not yet own or have not yet heard ‘Attack Of The Grey Lantern’ why not? You need to change that right now! But if you are new to it, then personally I would not spend too much time with the extras.
Extra tracks on the 2018 Collector’s Edition
Website - mansun.co.uk
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Mansun/
Review - Bill Adamson