Released on: Roses in the Hospital (Single #12) Columbia Records, 20 September 1993
Peak UK Chart Position: #15
Band Ranking: #17
Cover: Originally by Happy Mondays
Easily interpreted as an expression of the Manics’ long-reserved “right to contradict themselves”, the decision to cover a Happy Mondays track flew in the face of the band’s many prior verbal attacks against the whole Madchester scene. ‘Wrote For Luck’ actually pre-dated those famous insults, as it originated on Happy Mondays’ second album Bummed, released on Factory in 1988. The song was also released as a single, which reached #7 on the UK Indie Chart. The Manics recording would be the first cover they had worked on in the studio since [A38c] ‘Suicide Is Painless’, released a year earlier.
Owing to its origins, ‘Wrote For Luck’ is much bouncier and more buoyant than Manics tracks ever were during this period; although the band put their own spin on the track, it still feels very much like a late-’80s Madchester song, albeit lacking the “claustrophobic” production Martin Hannett contributed to the original Happy Mondays version.
As is usually the case with covers of songs by well-known bands, one of the key appeals of this recording is hearing Bradfield belt out the lyrics, which are quite far removed from the kind of material Edwards and Wire were writing. There are one or two lines that have a Manics-esque touch to them (“I sent for juice / they sent me poison”) but the line “I don’t read / I just dance” is about as ironic a thing that has ever come out of Bradfield’s mouth, in the context of what Manics fans actually knew about the band. Special mention has to go to the hilarious line “and when it’s hot you start to melt / ’cause you’re not made of cheese, you’re made of chocolate”.
Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“You used to speak the truth / But now you’re liar”