This included the indie music scene that gave us groups like The Farm, The Charlatans, The Soup Dragons and Pixies. Then came the birth of Madchester, a name given to the cultural and music scene that developed in Manchester with groups like Happy Mondays, James, The Stone Roses and Inspiral Carpets.
By the mid-90s bands like Oasis, Blur, Pulp and Suede were dominating the UK charts, signaling the arrival of Britpop. The name was media driven and allowed labels to promote the music to American audiences in a similar way to the ‘Cool Britannia’ period of the 1960s, making it possible for British guitar bands to have hits on both sides of the Atlantic.
It's generally agreed that Britpop had its peak years between 1993 and 1997. The 1995 chart battle between Oasis (‘Roll With It’) and Blur (‘Country House’) was dubbed ‘The Battle of Britpop’ and it ensured plenty of coverage amongst the British press, including a frontpage article by the NME entitled ‘The British Heavyweight Championship’.
Both songs were released on the same day and the whole country was caught up in the euphoria, with Oasis pronounced representatives of the North and Blur the South. A slanging match ensued between both bands, the media hyped it all up, and record sales were the best they’d been for over a decade. Blur finally edged out Oasis to hit the UK top spot, leaving the Manchester band to settle for second place. Blur performed their track on Top of the Pops with bassist Alex James cheekily sporting an Oasis t-shirt.
That period of the Britpop era ensured the scene was cemented in music history. It also paved the way for numerous hit singles and albums by both bands, as well as other emerging artists, who were happy to surf Britpop’s success.
Despite the Britpop scene fading at the end of the decade – when the charts were invaded by pop acts including Spice Girls, Boyzone, Westlife, Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys – there was a plethora of post-Britpop bands who emerged to continue the guitar music scene, including Travis, Coldplay and Stereophonics.
Britpop will remain popular with audiences of all ages and has seen a resurgence with the age group that remember the scene from their teen years. Mastermix have created a 50-track collection for you to add to your DJ music library: Essential Hits Britpop.
1// ‘You're Gorgeous’ – Babybird
2// ‘Girls & Boys’ – Blur
3// ‘Wake Up Boo’ – Boo Radleys
4// ‘Alright’ – Cast
5// ‘Mulder & Scully’ – Catatonia
6// ‘Good Enough’ – Dodgy
7// ‘Connection’ – Elastica
8// ‘Tattva’ – Kula Shaker
9// ‘She Said’ – Long Pigs
10// ‘Rock & Roll Star’ – Oasis
11// 'The Riverboat Song’ – Ocean Colour Scene
12// ‘Nancy Boy’ – Placebo
13// ‘Sorted For 'E's & Wizz’ – Pulp
14// ‘Blinded By The Sun’ – Seahorses
15// ‘Going For Gold’ – Shed Seven
16// ‘Sale Of The Century’ – Sleeper
17// ‘Me & You Versus The World’ – Space
18// ‘The Bartender & The Thief’ – Stereophonics
19// ‘Beautiful Ones’ – Suede
20// 'Caught By The Fuzz’ - Supergrass
You can legally download all of these tracks from:
The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 121, Pages 68-69.