Music – 1990s


Felt leader Lawrence (no surname was ever listed in press releases, interviews or on their album covers) was once described by fellow eccentric Momus as "one part Andy Warhol, one part your retarded cousin Kev". Despite the departure of guitarist Maurice Deebank, Lawrence persisted in his unrealisable dreams of stardom. Turning up the teenage Martin(...)

Flaming Lips, The

From their obscure acid punk beginnings in Oklahoma City in 1983, through to critical acclaim in the 90s and mainstream success in the new millennium, The Flaming Lips consistently defied definition. For more than two decades they brought an uncompromising originality to the pop arena. The band spent the 80s and 90s striving to find(...)

Foo Fighters

Kurt Cobain's suicide in 1994 left the rock world in shock. To his eternal credit, Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl pulled himself together smartly to create a platform for his own considerable talents: Foo Fighters - named after the US military's nickname for fighter planes dispatched to investigate UFO sightings. Their eponymous debut album (1995) was(...)


One day producers Butch Vig, Steve Marker and Duke Erikson were in a studio remixing a track for Nine Inch Nails when a visiting friend commented that what they were recording sounded like "garbage". The trashy sound they were producing became the basis for their new project and was christened after their friend's remark. Scottish(...)


At the hedonistic peak of Britpop, Gene's more melancholic, Smiths-influenced strains were a lad-free anomaly. The obviousness of their influences would ultimately be their downfall, but their first Top 20 single (and title track of their debut LP), Olympian (1995), injected genuine heart into a scene that was, at times, becoming a caricature of itself. Splitting on a relative(...)


Rather than succumb to the usual solo-project indulgences, Blur frontman Damon Albarn teamed up with animator Jamie Hewlett in 1998 to create Gorillaz - a prefab cartoon virtual anti-boy band. The 'band' comprised the fictional characters 2-D, Murdoc, Russel and Noodle, and their sound came courtesy of Albarn, producer Dan 'the Automator' Nakamura, rapper Del Tha Funkee(...)

Green Day

The formula was simple. Take a few power chords, a catchy tune, some tongue-in-cheek humour, and do it all fast so kids will want to jump up and down. It's hardly revolutionary: Green Day's sound and sense of irony was heavily borrowed from The Ramones and The Sex Pistols - lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong(...)

Gun Club

Originally named Creeping Ritual, The Gun Club channelled punk energy into a vivid exploration of American roots music, drawing on rockabilly, country and the Delta blues. The Los Angeles punk-blues quartet was fronted by hell raiser and former Blondie fan club president Jeffrey Lee Pierce. Fuelled by the feral slide guitar of Ward Dotson, their 1981 debut(...)

Happy Mondays

Manchester (UK) band Happy Mondays took their name from a New Order song but came last in a 'Battle of the Bands' contest at New Order's Haçienda Club. The band released their debut album in May 1987. The album, Squirrel & G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out), was produced by  and proved very(...)


Hole's debut LP Pretty On The Inside was hard work - and melody certainly took a beating on the album. In contrast, Live Through This (1994) was a shout-along sensation. Many of the songs on the album were composed in the Courtney/Cobain cocoon - hence lines like "I don't do the dishes, I throw them in the crib" - that(...)

Hummingbirds, The

Formed in Sydney, Australia, in 1986, The Hummingbirds comprised singer/guitarist (and principal songwriter) Simon Holmes, singer/guitarist Alannah Russack, singer/bassist Robyn St Clare and drummer Mark Temple. Their debut LP, LoveBUZZ (1990), was produced by Let's Active founder Mitch Easter, and featured a bumper crop of 14 melodic, hummable and deliciously abrasive original songs, most of them about soured friendships(...)

Inspiral Carpets

Formed initially as The Furs in Manchester, England, by schoolboy Graham Lambert. He was joined in the mid-80s by Stephen Holt, Tony Welsh and Chris Goodwin. In 1986, now called The Inspiral Carpets, they replaced Goodwin and Welsh with Craig Gill, Dave Swift and Clint Boon. Early in 1987 they recorded a version of Garage for a(...)

Iron Maiden

In the East End of London, Steve "Arry" Harris and Dave Murray joined forces in 1976 with Paul Di'anno (real name, Paul Andrews) and Doug Sampson to form Iron Maiden, a band determined to keep hard rock going in the face of advancing punk and New Wave. Ironically, in years to come Iron Maiden would be hailed as(...)


Through an early interest by Morrissey, James managed to get a recording contract with Factory Records based in their hometown, Manchester. In 1990 they signed to the Fontana label and had three minor hits before reissuing an earlier recording, Sit Down, in 1991. It became their biggest hit to date. 1993's album Laid, produced by Brian Eno, had(...)


Best known for a video where a room tries to escape from him, Jay Kay is more familiar to the 30 million people who bought his albums as Jamiroquai, and to the bitter minority of haters who found him annoying as The Twat In The Hat. In the mid-90s, the UK charts were full either(...)

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