If you’re unsure whether Shaun Ryder’s lyrics for Happy Mondays and Black Grape really deserve the full Faber-poetry treatment, then you’re not alone...Wrote for Luck does add up to a rich and at times arresting portrait both of the man himself and of the 1980s Manchester scene from which he emerged...The trouble is, of course, that even at their most darkly lyrical, these are the words to songs — which means the best way to appreciate them is to listen to the records...All in all, then, Wrote for Luck might well be one of the strangest publishing decisions in Faber’s 90-year history.
Ryder’s lyrics – or oddball captions – are never straightforwardly descriptive. He captures scenes in little details, or moods... Not WB Yeats, then, as Tony Wilson always claimed of Ryder (Wilson chose Happy Mondays’ Bob’s Yer Uncle, a song about dirty sex, to be played at his funeral). But not captions either. Unique, hilarious, vicious, oddly logical, Ryder’s lyrics are all his own.