Soundtrack Of Our Lives: Rowetta from The Happy Mondays

Whether its “twistin’ yer melon” with The Happy Mondays or paying homage to Ian Curtis alongside Peter Hook and the Light, Rowetta is the undisputed Queen of Madchester. A very influential artist in her own right, we wanted to know what songs she loved, the ones that she would say made the Soundtrack of Her Life…

BM: Can you remember the first record you ever bought?

Ro: The first album I bought with my own money was ‘Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols’
My mum’s record collection was filled with motown and crooners like Tony Bennett and Perry Como. I enjoyed all that as a kid, but it was hearing the Sex Pistols that made me want to be in a band and I related to punk, like I’d never related to any other subculture. I loved the music, fashion and original form of expression. Although looking back, we all thought we were unique and being revolutionary but a lot of us looked the same.


BM: Do you have a tour bus favourite?

Ro: I never tire of Revolver – The Beatles on the tour bus. I love every song on that album except Yellow Submarine which is too novelty for me. I also like anything funky on the road.

BM: What’s your Saturday night tune?

Ro: I actually like to get ready to Justify My Love by Madonna. I love the tune I love her sexy speaking voice. Written by Lenny Kravitz & Ingrid Chavez with additional lyrics by Madonna. This song gets me in the mood for everything!!!

BM: And your Sunday morning record?

Ro: Anything by Marvin Gaye on a Sunday morning as his voice is so soothing. my favourite male voice and some stunning songs.

BM: Whats the favourite song you’ve ever covered?

Ro: Really honoured to have been asked by Hooky to record this for the EP ‘1102 -2011’ – Peter Hook & The Light
One of the most beautiful songs ever written. It’s perfect.

BM: Is there a song you’d like to cover, but can’t or won’t?

Ro: It would probably be a song by Chic as I am such a fan of Nile Rodgers and he has been really kind to me, but the songs are just perfect as they are and the female vocalists are outstanding, but i love to sing along to ‘I want Your Love’ at Chic gigs.

BM: Is there a song we might be surprised that you like?

Ro: Mother Earth by Crass from Stations Of Crass was my favourite song as a teenager. I was fascinated by the lyrics. It’s so real, so true and so strong. Steve Ignorant’s delivery is so powerful… questioning us. Had a huge impact on me and made me question a lot of things in the news etc, that I probably wouldn’t have before.

BM: A favourite track from people you call friends?

Ro: Anything by the Roses, but ‘This Is The One’ is special to me as my team Manchester United come out to it at every home game and I got to sing it on stage with some Man United legends including Sir Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson and Denis Law at a United event. One of the greatest honours. Something I’ll never forget.

BM: Is there a record in your parent’s record collection that attracted your attention?

Ro: I remember hearing Perry Como’s – A Your Adorable and Loving It.
Shaun and I did dirty version of it years ago messing about in rehearsals which was actually pretty good from what I remember.

BM: Is there a song who’s lyrics you find really inspiring?

Ro: ‘The Morning Of My Life’ – written by The Bee Gees. Great song.
The versions that I often have on loop are a reggae version by John Holt and a version by one of my favourite female singers, Esther Ofarim. I never know if it’s going to make me smile or sob but I always feel inspired by this song.

BM: I know there’s probably 100’s but if you had to pick one whats the song most likely to get you on the dancefloor? 

Ro: A song called ‘Rise Up’ by Sunkids feat Chance. I can’t sit down when this comes on.

BM: Do you have a karaoke tune?

RoI don’t really do karaoke and try to avoid bars that do it, but my & Clint Boon do a wicked karaoke version of Kinky Afro.

BM: Do you have a song you’d like played at your funeral?

Ro: I love ‘Take My Breath Away’ by Eva Cassidy and ‘Atmosphere’ by Joy Division but I will probably change my mind and go for something happier… depends if I want people to party or cry!

BM: From your own back catalogue, which song are you most proud of/means the most to you? And why?

Ro: Apart from the Peter Hook & The Light EP. I love everything I’ve done with the Mondays as it’s stood the test of time and people know my voice from that, but most proud has to be a song I wrote and recorded in 1989 called ‘Reach Out’ as it’s been sampled by so many people and still is sampled weekly now.

Ro: It was most famously sampled by Black Eyed Peas on ‘Boom Boom Pow’, which was number 1 in America alone for 12 weeks and my voice runs right through the song. It’s also on ‘Show Me Love’ – Robin S and Steve Angello & Laidback Luke’s ‘BE’.
I’m very proud of that vocals as 26 years later it’s still used and has made my voice heard more than anything else.




For an earlier interview with Rowetta from October 2013 click HERE

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