Search - Black Grape :: Stupid Stupid Stupid

Stupid Stupid Stupid
Black Grape
Stupid Stupid Stupid
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

The second album, originally issued in 1997, by Shaun Ryder's post-Happy Mondays band. Ten tracks including the singles 'Get Higher' & 'Squeaky'. Radioactive.


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CD Details

All Artists: Black Grape
Title: Stupid Stupid Stupid
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 3
Label: Mca Import
Release Date: 2/24/1998
Album Type: Import
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, Rock
Styles: British Alternative, Dance Pop, Pop Rap
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 008811171629


Album Description
The second album, originally issued in 1997, by Shaun Ryder's post-Happy Mondays band. Ten tracks including the singles 'Get Higher' & 'Squeaky'. Radioactive.

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CD Reviews

A work of genius...surprisingly!
D. M. Farmbrough | Wisconsin, USA | 11/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"You only need to look at the careers of Robbie Williams and Terry Hall to know that the most talented members of a group don't always become the most successful solo artists. In the first year since the Beatles split, while John and Paul looked away for a moment, Ringo had had two U.S. Number ones! Which brings us to Shaun Ryder. Seemingly a wrecked druggie, just the vocalist of the Happy Mondays, he has proved to have a rare talent for lyric, combined with catchy aggressive melodies reminiscent of Ian Dury's best work. He also has some measure of charm, however you may disapprove, you can't help but like him. It's Great When You're Straight was a good album, but this one is even better. Every song shouts out of your speakers and makes you want to dance, sing, or fight. The additional vocals of both Bez and Kermit help to get that laddish feel just right, whilst some of the rapping adds a dancefloor authenticity where it's needed. All of the tracks are great, and the album is one that can be listened to again and again, but the standouts are the openers 'Get Higher' and 'Marbles', and 'Dadi Waz A Badi'. Be prepared for some bad language, and if you can, get hold of the copy with the wibbly eyes on the front cover!"
Misunderstood Misfire
S. Nyland | Six Feet Of Earth & All That It Contains | 11/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Black Grape's 1997 followup to their "It's Great When You're Straight ... Yeah" masterpiece is very correctly named "Stupid Stupid Stupid" and is one of the most frustrating misfires in the annals of indie Britrock. Shaun Ryder scored a resounding hole in one with their 1995 debut -- "secretly" created in the wake of Happy Mondays' disintegration in 1993 due to drugs, sketchy management, rampant egos and a contemptible lapse into apathy -- and it's too easy to me for one to quip that there is probably no way they could have equaled or bettered it. But there is some truth to opining that Ryder no doubt was aware of the latter, and so for lack of a better expression he didn't bother to try and repeating the unexpected success.

He was also 100% wrapped up in his heroin addiction by then, pummeled by lawsuits and personal life issues that are inevitable when junkies aspire to do anything more with themselves but sit around being junkies. The problem with Shaun Ryder is that he's also an artist of the first rate, a species of mankind whom are hard to keep down and are prone to keep right on creating even when it would probably be a better career move to bag it all and take up duck farming. Black Grape was Ryder's vehicle of the era and as such he used them again as a method of expressing himself, though the scattershot effect will no doubt leave casual listeners somewhat nonplussed. Of the 10 tracks on the album half of them work, the rest sound strangely like they kept on playing while Ryder was off doing something he deigned better with his time.

Even the album's would-be anthem track, "Get Higher" with a sampled re-construction of a Ronald & Nancy Reagan speech concerning their war on drugs (which is NOT an impostor, it's the real thing, just digitally re-arranged to say what the editor had in mind and existed as an internet oddity long before the album was made) comes off as a gimmick rather than a work of impassioned art, the likewise sampled bass line from the Monday's "Loose Fit" not helping the matter any. "Squeaky" comes off somewhat better and sounds like a genuine band-effort, and "Marbles" was a brilliantly missed single that sadly nobody heard at the time. Songs like "Daddy was a Baddi" and "Money Back Guarantee" come across as extensions of "It's Great ..." and it's wonderfully understated commentary on the consumer obsessed culture Ryder was drawing from. But the majority of the album comes across as the band performing, Ryder selecting words/phrases that seemed to fit the music, and leaving it at that, the miserable album mix of "Rubberband" being the most obvious offender. And why the cover of "Lonely"? It does absolutely nothing for the source material & sounds suspiciously like a producer suggesting an old soul cover as a way of re-sparking the old "Step On" days. It doesn't work.

One thing which is important to remember, though, when listing to this album, is that Black Grape were very much a "live" band who would use the album tracks as a departure point for what would be performed live, unlike Happy Mondays of the 1990s who would re-create their hit songs onstage. Black Grape had a more experimental approach and aside from "Get Higher" this album should be viewed as studio takes of what would have been most of their live set from the time. The problem is that removed from that live setting dynamic the songs really aren't as much fun as the otherwise may have been. The music sounds forced, where "Its Great ..." sounds like it came together naturally over time, and I suspect that pressure from Ryder's management of the time had a lot to do with it. Time would reveal that Ryder had signed an abysmal contract that basically promised all of his royalties for the rest of his life, of which he would get a cut, and my suspicion has always been that the mounting realization that he'd been totally screwed ultimately led to the friction within the group that eventually forced them apart: In 1998, Ryder fired rapper Kermit and Jed following a row after a show, disbanded the group within a week and found himself the subject of a truly despicable lawsuit that forced him into seclusion until he could find a way out of the terms that he had agreed to work under.

These days I like to look upon "Stupid Stupid Stupid" as a cautionary tale of what happens when commerce and art meet, which will always result in a compromise of form -- or somebody getting screwed. Ryder was released from his contract in 2006 and immediately sprang back into form with the reformed Happy Mondays and "Uncle Dysfunktional", which is very much an extension of Black Grape's sound & approach rather than a return to the old days of the classic era Mondays. And when compared to "Stupid Stupid Stupid" represents a huge leap in artistic growth, even if the sound is more or less the same. The lesson to be learned is that nobody can decide to be a genius spontaneously, and that artists need the freedom to make the occasional misfire. I grant it to Ryder, and when all is said and done a less than masterful Shaun Ryder album is better than anything else -- I'd rather hear this record for all it's shortcomings than pretty much anything of it's ilk from the time. Making a duff work is part of the artistic process, and as such this is a very important record in Ryder's career, maybe even more so than some of his more brilliant moments, and fans of his work should seek it out. Get a used copy for a couple dollars, you may not necessarily adore it but you sure won't regret it."
Better than you might think
R. Goss | Seoul Korea (South) | 11/25/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I can understand why so many people rated this album low. After the absolutely incredible "It's Great When You're Straight, Yeah" debut of Shawn Ryder and crew (which should be in anyone's collection of top 10 alternative albums of the '90s), this one might have been a bit of a disappointment.

Initially, it was for me. But then I had to remind myself of what I was comparing it to, which was not only the previous album, but the entire Happy Mondays anthology. Quite a tall order for any group to fulfill, and I'm not surprised they couldn't hold up to it.

That being said, this is a pretty darned good album, all in all. There are some particularly outstanding tracks, notably the opener, "Get Higher," the funky "Lonely" and the sole hit of the album, the gradually endearing "Marbles." No, it's not the best album you've ever heard. But in my opinion, it's better than a lot of people are giving it credit for, and certainly better than a lot of the other crap that came out in the 90s...