During the height of the success of Brit-Pop and Indie in the late 90’s in England, Mansun created an antidote to the ‘laddy,’ pub-centric Blur/Oasis juggernaut. The cerebral ‘Attack of the Grey Lantern’ was a nod to story-telling prog rock and was a breath of fresh air. A classic album.
Mansun’s indie, prog-rock, conceptual masterpiece ‘Attack of the Grey Lantern’ was released a week after Blur’s self titled album. It almost immediately knocked that off the number one spot in the UK. Its sprawling lyrical storyline can lead you into putting the album and it’s story onto a pedestal, it’s only at the end of the album you’re informed that the whole story doesn’t mean that much. A cruel joke for muso obsessed teens.
Post ‘Grey Lantern,’ Mansun would never again replicate or better the album, and began a slow descent into obscurity. One thing to be grateful for is that even though their flame burned short, it burned amazingly bright in 1997 on the Grey Lantern.
The Chad Who Loved Me: “This song is just one reason why, for three months in 1997, Mansun ruled the known world…” Paul Banks. An angry song about the frustration of idol worship.
Mansun’s Only Love Song: The daughter of a vicar ponders life whilst observed by the man who holds her on a pedestal? “If I feel God watching me, I control the actions of his destiny, All my sentiments ring true, You feel him in the mirror laughing back at you. If I could tell you how it seems, I would.”
Taxloss: “Sign on the line, and we’ll give you the money, and then you’ll be mine and we’ll fly somewhere sunny…”
You, Who Do You Hate?: I can’t be sure, but I think this song is about a person looking at a picture of themselves as a child, longing for the innocence they once had before they knew how cruel the world could be.
Wide Open Space: “I’m on the top of a hill, I’m lonely . There’s someone here to shout to miles away. I could be back in my house, for I care. They do not hear me, it’s the same old case”. One of my all time favorite songs.
Stripper Vicar: “I was worried so I went to see the vicar, but before I could confess, he first confessed to be a stripper…” Classic song, crazy story.
Disgusting: “You know you’ve been disgraceful, it’s so regretful, You’ve been disgusting”. SHAMED. SHAME.
She Makes My Nose Bleed: I never understood the intent. “Bring her on down from heaven!”
Naked Twister: Can I take a breathe and just be literal? “Tell me stick or twist. Tell me which will it be…”
Egg Shaped Fred: Answers in the comments please. What the heck is this song about?
Dark Mavis: The tragic end to the album, the reprise of Stripper Vicar, Mavis, crushed.
An Open Letter To The Lyrical Trainspotter: This is a treat to all of you who say ‘I never really listen to the words’, perhaps you shouldn’t. No photo for the song that negates my whole effort.