Britpop

Auteurs, The

Formed in 1992 by arch cynic Luke Haines and girlfriend Alice Readman alongside drummer Glenn Collins and cellist James Banbury, The Auteurs (named for the French movie term denoting both author and director) signed to Virgin offshoot Hut, debuting with the deceptively bright single Showgirl that December. The single brought a wry arch-Britishness to its story(...)

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(...)

Blur

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.(...)

Britpop

The mid-90s was a golden era for British music, with several fine bands all coming good at the same time. There was, though, little camaraderie among the practitioners of what came to be called 'Britpop' - as evidenced by the 1995 chart war between the top two bands of the genre, the arty pop-oriented middle-class(...)

Cool Britannia

Cool Britannia

Cool Britannia (a play on the title of the popular British patriotic song Rule, Britannia) was a period of increased pride in the culture of the United Kingdom throughout most of the 1990s - largely inspired by 1960s pop culture. A change of government from many years of Conservative rule to New Labour under Tony Blair(...)

Elastica

Elastica were the most crush-inspiring gang of the 90s Britpop set. Their DM's, eyeliner, jeans and leather jackets non-look set a new standard in what-the-fuck-you-staring-at attitude while singer Justine Frischmann's legendary fringe became a haircut almost as copied as Jennifer Aniston's. Frischmann had impeccable credentials. She had been in Suede, lived with Blur's Damon Albarn and was the(...)

Gene

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(...)

James

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(...)

Menswe@r

Daydreamer (1995) was the only song this short-lived band had in their arsenal when they started. It turned out to be the only one they would ever need. Featuring the kind of riff Graham Coxon would have swapped Song 2 for, the single was as essential to Britpop as overpriced cocaine. Johnny Dean Vocals Simon White Guitar, vocals Chris Gentry Guitars Stuart(...)

Oasis

Guitarist Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs, bass player Paul 'Guigsy' McGuigan and drummer Tony McCarroll originally formed as 061 (after the telephone area code for their home city of Manchester), then changed their name to The Rain. Lacking direction - and decent songs -  they sacked their original singer in favour of stroppy, loud-mouthed Liam Gallagher. Changing(...)

Pulp

In November 1985, Jarvis Cocker (pictured at right) was at a party at bandmate Russell Senior's flat above a Sheffield sex shop called Sven Books. While attempting to impress a girl by crawling out of one window and in through another, he fell and fractured his pelvis. Six weeks in hospital and gigs in a(...)

Suede

1992 had been Suede's breakthrough, landing a Melody Maker cover before releasing a single track and cracking the UK Top 20 with Metal Mickey. The first (self-titled) Suede album was brilliant. Provocative, pan-sexual and blessed with a glam-rock crunch courtesy of guitarist Bernard Butler, Brett Anderson’s neon-lit world of beautiful losers hit a nerve untouched since The Smiths.(...)

Supergrass

Singer/guitarist Gaz Coombes and his older school friend, drummer Danny Goffey had been playing together in The Jennifers since their early teens, releasing one single (Just Got Back Today) on Suede's label Nude Records and developing a following in their hometown of Oxford. But it was when they split that band and joined up with bassist(...)

Top 20 Best Selling Britpop Songs

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