STORY OF MONACO BEGINS WITH
side project that Peter Hook formed in 1990 during a break from New
Order, to indulge in his crippling addiction to touring. David Potts
was working as a humble tape operator in Hook's Suite Sixteen
recording studio during the Revenge album sessions, and was drafted
into the live band. After New Order had reconvened for the 'Republic'
album and tour, Hooky returned ready to pick up where he'd left off,
only to find all but Potts had deserted him, which, as history would
soon prove, was no bad thing.
weird thing with Revenge," Hooky admits, "was that I just wanted to
carry on gigging. I didn't do it for myself or my heart. I did it
for my head. I actually made a conscious effort to make my playing
style different to how it was in New Order. In retrospect it was a
mistake, because I was deserting the very thing that I do best."
With Pottsy's help, Hooky rediscovered the plot and returned to what
he does best - fusing guitar songs and shuffling dance beats, with
his trademark lead bass-lines way up in the mix.
after 4 years of writing and recording, Monaco emerged in 1997 with
a stupidly catchy slice of post-modern pop genius, 'What Do You
Want From Me', which netted the band their first playlist-hogging
chart hit. The subsequent debut album 'Music For Pleasure'
shared the rare pleasure of universal critical acclaim and a Top 10
placing, and spawned two further hits 'Sweet Lips' and 'Shine', thus
cementing Monaco's reputation for writing infectious tunes that
could fell a rhino at 100 paces.
success of the record didn't come as a shock, it was a welcome
surprise," says Pottsy. "The pair of us thought the record would
come out, do all right, then enable us to start doing gigs and build
up from there." How wrong they were - 'Music For Pleasure'
went gold in the UK and sold hundreds of thousands in the USA with
an accompanying sold out tour. However, in the kind of move baffling
to all except major labels, Polydor decided not to option Monaco's
second album and with New Order back in the studio and Pottsy
getting a call from the post-Guigsy Oasis, it looked for a while as
if that would be that for Monaco and their effortlessly classy
good music and receptive ears can't be kept apart for long, and so
Monaco are back with a new label, another stupidly catchy slice of
post-modern pop genius, 'I've Got A Feeling', which is
already hogging the playlists, and an eponymously titled second
album, chock-full of songs whose sheer contagiousness put to shame
99% of the turgid nonsense currently clogging the upper echelons of
the hit parade. The new album consolidates everything in Monaco's
world, whilst broadening it's horizons, and in Pottsy's own words,
"sounds more like a Monaco album than the last one. We spent half
our time chasing our tails and trying to write another 'What Do
You Want From Me' - well you would wouldn't you? And then the
other half trying to avoid writing one.
the end we decided to step back, relax a bit and just write what
comes naturally - and 'Monaco' is the result". And what a
result it is - an away win if ever there was. A heady combination of
dance-rock sensibilities with an overwhelming enthusiasm for the
three-minute pop song. From the sweeping twists and turns of 'A
Life Apart' to the lush landscapes of 'Bert's Theme'.
There's even some glitzy disco in 'See-Saw' and drum n bass
elements to 'Marine'. Hooky gets to sing on 'See-Saw'
and 'It's A Boy', putting his bass to one side temporarily,
but his trademark runs are never far away - most notably leading the
way in 'Black Rain"' and punching out the classic refrain of
'End Of The World'.
that's Monaco in summer 2000.