Earlier this year, what's left of Happy Mondays dutifully went on the road in support of a new album that limped to No 73 in the charts. Shaun Ryder sang the hits slumped on the drum riser, a man doomed to spend the rest of his days on the touring treadmill by the kind of business deals that people on too many drugs tend to make, his glory years a distant memory.
Listening to this expanded reissue of their breakthrough album, it seems remarkable that Happy Mondays had any glory years to start with, at least commercially. Almost 20 years on, Bummed sounds extraordinary, but wildly abstruse. If you were making a list of Happy Mondays' inspirations, you would start with the clattering, syncopated drums and wayward vocals of Tago Mago-era Can, and the phantasmagorical, chemically altered view of northern working-class life found in the Fall's lyrics - to which Ryder added his own distinctive spin, not least an unerring ability to make sexual intercourse sound like the most repellent activity known to man. "Come on in, grease up yer skin, bring a friend," he leers at one juncture.