Mansun is a British guitar band, they formed in summer 1995 in Chester. They were called GREY LANTERN orginally. However, They thought that the name was sucks, so they changed their name into a The Verve B-side -- A MAN CALLED SUN. However they discovered there was a band called 'A Man Called Adam', then they changed the name again and they just shortened it into MANSUN.
The band name had spent wrongly
as 'Manson' on their first record (TAKE IT
EASY CHICKEN) because of the printing error. It made the band linked
to the serial killer Charles Manson. Maybe Charles Manson wanted to fool the
band, at his last parole hearing, he spelt his surname as MANSUN. But the band
is REALLY nothing to do with Charles Manson.
HOW THEY MET ?
Paul and Stove already met when they studying in college, they were the classmates in Wrexham Art College. (I think Paul didn't feel happy with his life in college, I just guess from the lyrics of AN OPEN LETTER TO THE LYRICAL TRAINSPOTTER :p) Paul & Stove worked in two different companies which are very closely located after they left the college. And they met the bartender Chad in a cafe-bar called 'The Fat Cat Pub' which near to their companies.
From the nice apperance of Chad, you may think that he is a nice guy. But Chad really isn't a nice guy when he in the early days in the band. Chad was a heavy drinker before, and he got drunk and fought all the time, he can't control his temper and the crazy behaviour. Such as he was cutting his fingers open so badly when he punching on his own image in the mirror. And the band got to cancel some gigs due to Chad couldn't play the guitar. But now, Chad had stopped drinking for years and keeping himself under control, because Paul warned Chad that they might spilt if Chad still can't control himself.
Paul, Chad and Stove wanted Andie Rathbone to join the band because they thought he was the best drummer in Chester, but Andie rejected the offer at first because he thought they are brit-pop band. So the band used drumcomputer and few temporary drummers on the early songs. But when Andie heard the demo of WIDE OPEN SPACE, he contact to the band actively and agreed to join.
THE FORMER MEMBERS
Andie Rathbone is the current drummer in the band, but before he joined the band, there were 3 former members in the band. They are Carlton Hibbert (Hib), Mark Sminnerton and Julian Fenton. Hib was the band's first drummer, and he was kicked out by the band because after chucking a pineapple Chad's head during the Cambridge gig. Mark controlled the samplers and keyboard, but the NME Brats show in January 96 gave him too much stress and he ran away. Julian was the second drummer of the band, he joined because he was Stove's friend. Julian appeared as Mansun's drummer in the 'Stripper Vicar' and 'Take It Easy Chicken' videos. He maybe kicked out when Andie agreed to join.
Before they formed Mansun, Paul wrote songs since he was 11 and played guitar since the age of 8, Chad started to play the guitar around the age of 16, Andie sat behind the drums set at the age of 3. But Stove had never touched an instrument before Mansun and learned to play bass because he wanted to be in the band.
The band were discovered in Liverpool by a man from record company. This guy was just a bystander actually, he just went there to visit another band. Luckily, at that time, the band was practicing, and that guy felt that the tracks were great. So he asked the band for a demo tape. The tape including Take It Easy Chicken, Skin Up Pin Up, She Makes My Nose Bleed and Moronica. Later, Parlophone Records contacted the band and asked them to go to London and sign the contract.
the band did not sign the deal, but instead they set up their own label 'Sci
Fi Hi Fi' and printed 1000 copies of TAKE
IT EASY CHICKEN on vinyl (with their name was misspelled as MANSON on
it as mentioned above). The record was released in the UK in September 1995.
At that time, John Peel and Steve Lamacq from BBC Radio 1 invited the band for
a live session. The record also named as 'record of the week'. Later, the band
released SKIN UP PIN UP on
Regal records. After they released these 2 records, The Charlatans invited the
band to support them on tour at the end of 1995.
In January 1996, they got signed by Parlophone Records UK finally. In February 1997, their debut album ATTACK OF THE GREY LANTERN hit the UK album chart number 1! And they beaten Blur's album in 1997 -- blur. It was a huge success for a newcomer, however, sadly, the music press did not give credit to the band. On the other hand, the record still can built up a huge fan base for Mansun even some of the music press did not appreciate it.
In September 1998, Mansun released the second album SIX entered the chart at number 6. NME described "Six is preposterous, ludicrous and cracked. Each song starts somewhere between the end of I Am The Walrus and The Wall, then gets pretentious... a record hellbent on making Genesis, Pink Floyd and The Doors look as grandiose as tea and biscuits with The Wedding Present. Yet you have to admire their nerve." And Paul later admits, Paul later admits, "Before we released it I thought it was going to be a disaster. We were just throwing away every convention. We were being completely self-destructive, but we thought that was fantastic for some reason." Every Mansun fans agreed to Paul, SIX is a really fantastic ablum, many of fans even thought that it is one of the most under-rated Album they ever seen.