There are two different bands named Monaco on Last.FM:
1) Monaco, a duo consisting of New Order bassist Peter Hook and David Potts. Their biggest hit What Do You Want From Me?, came from their 1997 debut album Music for Pleasure. The album was a big hit and sold over 500,000 copies. In 2000 they released the follow-up Monaco, although a lengthy delay and minimal promotion led to it being nowhere near as much of a commercial success as the first album. This and New Order's reformation led to Monaco's break-up.
Monaco was a side project of New Order bassist Peter Hook. Together with David Potts, the other remaining member of Revenge (1989-1993), the band was formed in 1995. The group is best known for the 1997 single "What Do You Want From Me?" and the album from which it was taken, Music for Pleasure, which sold over half a million copies.
Resemblance to New Order
Because New Order was on hiatus during the mid-90s, Monaco was able to find success partly because they made music similar to that of New Order. This similarity of sound derives from the fact that their music were in the dance-rock-pop genre, just as was New Order's music; Hook carried over his recognizable style of playing melody high up on the bass; Potts' vocal timbre and delivery sometimes resembled that of New Order's vocalist Bernard Sumner.
Follow-up album fails
In 1999, Polydor Records rejected Monaco's follow up album, the self-titled Monaco, due to the radically changing trends in music at the time in a money saving move reducing their artists to the more popular music. Papillon Records agreed to pick up the album, though the planned single release of "I've Got A Feeling" was recalled in the UK due to sample clearance issues. Despite favorable reviews, the album was released with almost no promotion at all; it is now sought after as a collector's item and fetches fairly high prices on sites like Amazon.com and eBay.
In 2000, tensions mounted in the studio, partly due Potts' dissatisfaction with the band's failure to depart from a New Order-like sound, and partly due to Potts' workload. Following what Potts called "a disastrous gig" at the Eclipse festival, Hook and Potts had a major argument. They both took a break, and after letting things cool down, they met and decided it was best to split up Monaco. Potts eventually went on to form RAM and has been nurturing a solo career; meanwhile Hook reunited with New Order, playing with them until 2007, and formed Freebass in 2007.
After the success of the Revenge reissues in 2005, Hook announced that he and Potts were working on similar Monaco reissues for release sometime in 2007. This did not materialise.
In March 2007, Hook and Potts performed Monaco songs together at the Hard Rock Cafe in Manchester under the name "Hooky & Pottsy". Original Monaco drummer Paul Kehoe also played along with Hook's son Jack. In October 2007, the same line up performed again as Monaco at the Ritz in Manchester which raised money for Oxfam.
1-Music for Pleasure
Released: 1 June 1997
Released: 21 August 2000
"What Do You Want From Me?" February 1997 11 24 61 75 Music for Pleasure
"Sweet Lips" May 1997 18 - - - Music for Pleasure
"Shine" September 1997 55 - - - Music for Pleasure
"I’ve Got a Feeling" (withdrawn in the UK) July 2000 - - - - Monaco
"See-Saw" (limited vinyl 12" only release) March 2001 - - - - Monaco
2) a Boulder, Colorado four-piece.
Boulder, Colorado’s Monaco is singer/guitarist Brandon Whalen, singer/guitarist/pianist Andrew Martin, bassist Jeff Lambert, and drummer Matt Hayes. The quartet, incepted in September 2006, write and perform anthemic, introspective rock songs with metal—and plenty of melody to go hand in hand with the spacey, atmospheric guitar riffs and angular drumming. Their demo was recently finished and showcases five atomic rock pieces, tying them together with spacey, delicate interludes.
The band share an array of tastes; Hayes enjoys everything from legends like Pink Floyd and The Doors to modern influencers The Bled and Refused; Lambert enjoys post-modern rock acts like The Smashing Pumpkins and Tool; Whalen gets off to today’s metal and rock as shown by bands like Thrice, Every Time I Die, Norma Jean, and Underoath; and Martin encapsulates a wide spectrum of tastes from bands like Circa Survive, Armor For Sleep, Rival Schools, Saves The Day, The Receiving End Of Sirens, and Brand New. It’s this wide span of tastes and loves that makes MONACO all they are—a diverse group of individuals combining forces to form equally diverse songs.
Over the band’s spring break, the four members collaborated and recorded a 9-song demo, filled with songs the band has written over the past 6 months. A result of pure dedicated vigor, the demo showcases the band’s ability to write songs that are belligerent and vicious one moment, calm and serene the next. Sure, it’s a formulae we’re all used to—that is, part screaming, part singing—but it’s the band’s notion for dynamics that makes them something special. The EP was a result of literally 80 hours of hard, rigorous effort; even though it was all self-recorded, the quality is quite astounding.
Whether it’s the blasting opening to “Let’s Talk (In Terms Of) Fashion,” the intense crescendo of “Ambulance,” the poppy, sing-a-long hooks of “Hand To God,” the spacey atmospheres created on “Not All Fertilizers Work,” or the introspective lyrics on “White Light,” there’s a lot of something everyone can enjoy from what MONACO have to offer. If you’re enticed by bands who create sounds truly on their own, who strive to avoid the clear borders and boundaries set by the scope of vanity and trendsetters, you’ll certainly enjoy what MONACO have to offer. Though the influences of today’s Thrice, Circa Survive, Boys Night Out, The Bled, and Underoath are all clearly apparent within the songs the band creates, it’s hard to pin-point exactly what the band sounds like—probably because they couldn’t even tell you themselves.
Download their entire debut demo, “The Hope Sessions EP” album here, and be sure to check them out if you’re in the Denver/Boulder area in 2007.
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