Inspiral Carpets PhotoFORMED: 1986, Manchester, England

Of all of the Manchester bands of the early '90s, Inspiral Carpets were arguably the least interesting. They didn't explore the deep psychedelia of the rave scene as thoroughly as the Happy Mondays, nor did they have the classic pop skills of the Stone Roses. What the band did have was some massive organ hooks, courtesy of Clint Boon; the organ recalled the classic garage punk of the '60s. When the Inspiral Carpets could write a song that matched the sheer pleasure of their sound -- and they managed at least two on each album, as well as their U.K. hit singles -- the group made some wonderful pop gems; unfortunately, their hit-miss ratio was too low to make their albums consistent. When the Manchester fad passed, the Inspiral Carpets were still around and managed to keep scoring hits in the U.K. by losing some of the dated club beats and experimenting with their music slightly, including a collaboration with Mark E. Smith of the Fall on their 1994 album.

It was generally well-received, with the singles "Saturn 5" and "I Want You" (the latter a duet with the Fall's Mark E. Smith, who did not appear on the album version) returning them to the Top 20. In late 1995, Mute released a compilation called The Singles, and soon after it was announced that label and band were parting ways. Inspiral Carpets called it quits not long after; Boon formed the Clint Boon Experience, while Hingley formed a group called the Lovers with Jerry Kelly of the Lotus Eaters. Hingley went solo in late 2000, issuing the album Keep Britain Untidy. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Photography By: Michael Levine