Wikipedia defines Madchester as “…a music and cultural scene that developed in the Manchester area of the United Kingdom in the late 1980s, in which artists merged alternative rock with acid house culture and other sources, including psychedelia and 1960s pop. The label was popularised by the British music press in the early 1990s.” (What Wikipedia can’t do is define how vibrant a music scene it was.)
Someone else once described the Madchester scene as, “a breeding ground for aggressively marketed mediocrity.”
Madchester was short-lived but the effects of the scene reverberate in music and pop culture to this day. There was plenty of talent to be found in the Madchester scene. Bands like the Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets, James, The Charlatans and more gave way to Oasis, and they, in turn, influenced many, many bands (along with Suede and Pulp) during the Britpop explosion that followed Madchester.
Check out some photos from the scene.
Music 101 Madchester playlist