Music – 1990s

Beautiful South, The

The brainchild of former Housemartins Paul Heaton and Dave Hemmingway, The Beautiful South smuggled political lyrics into jaunty, singalong tunes and acerbic commentary on domestic violence and emotional angst into the charts wrapped in pop-friendly melodies delivered by the trio of complimentary voices - Heaton, Rotheray and Corrigan - which was to become their trademark.(...)


Bek David Campbell - professionally known simply as Beck - was born in Los Angeles in 1970 to an established artistic heritage. Mother, Father and both grandfathers had all performed in different ways. Beck grew up surrounded by a myriad of influences which seeped into his own late 80s output on a series of indie-label(...)

Belle & Sebastian

Formed in Glasgow in 1995, Belle and Sebastian were initially brought together to complete singer-songwriter Stuart Murdoch's music course at Stow College. They became one of indie rock's best-loved institutions . . . The initial line-up created a 60's-influenced folk, soul and baroque pop that was labelled twee, despite a penchant for smutty, witty lyrics(...)

Black Crowes, The

In 1990, as The Black Crowes released their debut album, American rock was in the midst of change. Heavy Metal was now well into its decline, while Seattle’s alternative grunge sound was about to storm the charts. When Atlanta, Georgia-based siblings Chris and Rich Robinson released Shake Your Money Maker, it was completely unlike anything else(...)

Black Grape

Britpop wasn't just about the vanguard of brand new bands sounking forth from Camden's Good Mixer pub. It was also about older acts tweaking their sound to hop on the gravy train - hence Teenage Fanclub, James, The Charlatans and many more enjoyed a career-topping second wind. One of the most surprising comebacks was that of Shaun Ryder, whose Happy Mondays had(...)


Released on 10 May 1993 as a response to grunge, Modern Life Is Rubbish showcased Blur's new aesthetic - an evocation of modern British life that formed the template for their next three albums. Behind a sleeve depicting a Mallard locomotive, Damon Albarn sang about being lost on the Westway, Sunday roasts and shopping in Portobello Road market.(...)

Boo Radleys, The

Five years after forming as shoegaze wannabes in 1988, The Boo Radleys issued their third album, Giant Steps (1993), which took them into the Top 20 and saw them scoop the album of the year  award from NME. The band excelled at appealing to the general music fan. Full of hand-claps, sun-soaked vocal harmonies, upbeat drums and blasts(...)


Boston leader and guitarist Tom Scholz got a masters degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked as a researcher and product designer for Polaroid before applying his brain-power to feel-good soft rock. He interested Epic in a demo his band had recorded in his 12-track basement studio, and there endeth his(...)

Boyz II Men

The 80s had seen the New Jack Swing sound of R&B acts like New Edition and Keith Sweat sell massively, but it took Boyz II Men's slicker, more sugary harmonising style to send sales stratospheric. In the great tradition of the Motown label the four vocalists - Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, Nathan Morris and Michael McCary -(...)


Father and Son was Boyzone's closest brush with #1 to date when it hit the charts at the end of 1995. 18-year-old Ronan Keating sang lead on the group's high-gloss version of the old Cat Stevens chestnut. While Stevens dramatised the song's message by singing in one pitch as the father and another as the son,(...)

Breeders, The

Formed in 1990 when Kim Deal was still the bassist for The Pixies, The Breeders gave her an outlet to play the guitar and write eccentrically poppy melodies, first heard on Pod (1990) for 4AD. The follow-up, Last Splash (1993) featured the hit Cannonball. Kim Deal Vocals, guitar Kelley Deal Vocals, guitar Josephine Wiggs Bass James Macpherson Drums

Cardigans, The

On record, The Cardigans followed in the exalted Swedish rock & roll tradition of fellow countrymen ABBA: bubbly smooth Euro-pop buoyed by the breathy vocals of an attractive frontwoman. The Cardigans were fuelled by a deep and abiding faith in novelty, with the word kitsch rapidly earning a permanent place in most descriptions of the group. Nina(...)


Welsh band Catatonia mastered the art of the perfect hook on their third album (Equally Cursed and Blessed) with the addictive She's a Millionaire. Rolling Stone described bodacious singer Cerys Matthews as sounding like "the drunk unwanted daughter of Marianne Faithfull, teasing the listener with the promise of a thousand personas all rolled into one". Cerys Matthews(...)

Charlatans, The (UK)

The Charlatans came into existence after Jon Baker and Martin Blunt were crushed between Morrissey and Marr's monitors at a Smiths gig in the 80s. They discovered Tim Burgess rolling around a stage topless as singer with a support band called The Electric Crayons. Some Friendly (1990), their debut album of atmospheric, enigmatic Hammond organ-driven rock went gold only(...)

Chemical Brothers, The

Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons first met at Manchester University, bonding over a shared love of old-school Hip Hop and My Bloody Valentine. The duo originally played as The Dust Brothers, until legal action from The Beastie Boys' collaborators of the same name enforced a moniker change in 1995. A benchmark release for the big(...)

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