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10 songs that prove Britpop was awesome

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20 years ago (roughly), something happened.

OasisOf course, things always happen, but this ‘something’ saw a load of home grown guitar bands climb to the top of the charts bringing with it a change in popular culture, politics and fashion that is still felt today.

The charts were crammed with indie-bands that a few years before would not have got a look in.

It sounded great, the bands looked great and it was mega exciting. If you need convincing check out these ten tunes that prove Britpop was awesome:

Elastica – Connection

OK, so they ripped-off The Stranglers and Wire, but few bands exuded effortless cool like Elastica. Their self-titled debut album was a masterpiece and this was one of its many highlights.

Suede – Animal Nitrate

Oozing androgyny and a very British aesthetic Suede were the band that first became the media darlings of the new British indie assault on the mainstream. Anthems like ‘Animal Nitrate’ put them there – ambiguous drug references, catchy riffs and a massive sing-along chorus – classic.

Blur – Girls and Boys

They arguably kicked off the whole Britpop sound with the album Modern Life Is Rubbish, after a horrible tour of the US and wanting something truly British. Its kitchen-sink narratives and eccentricities didn’t make a commercial splash but influenced everything! Parklife wasn’t the same, it exploded.

This the first single from it captured an air of optimism and hedonism that was becoming rife in 90s youth culture, whilst also poking fun at it. Its funky disco beats and easy to sing-(shout?)- along–too lyrics made it a guaranteed hit.

Oasis – Supersonic

It might hard to understand in 2014, but in 1994 there was literally nothing more exciting than Oasis. They exploded with a self-assured swagger and a batch of incredible tunes. Their first single ‘Supersonic’ might not be their best track but its sheer seismic impact gives it a place here.

Supergrass – Caught By The Fuzz

While everyone remembers Supergrass for ‘Alright’ (which was pretty crap) they had some truly excellent songs. The teen reprobates had a punky edge that made debut I Should Coco essential. This regretful ode to youth criminality is a classic of the era.

Radiohead – Just

Before they started to hate guitars and went all experimental, Radiohead were pretty good at making guitar anthems. This is an epic tune from the album that made them one of the biggest bands in the world – The Bends. This also has one of the best videos from the period.

Pulp – Common People

Pulp had been at it since 1981, but it wasn’t until the album His n Hers that they made an impact. But it was the follow-up Different Class that captured the nation’s hearts. ‘Common People’s disco edge and social realism (one of the greatest deconstructions of the British class system in song?) made it a relatable and anthemic chart hit.

The Longpigs – She Said

A band that weirdly gets forgotten these days. They were one of the best bands around in the mid-nineties as proven by ‘She Said’.

Sleeper – Inbetweener

Initially, I think I probably just liked Sleeper because Louise Wener was gorgeous! But a fair few of their tunes still hold up. ‘Inbetweener’ is one of them, and yes that is Dale Winton in the video.

Mansun – Wide Open Space

Mansun were the great outsiders of Britpop, the band that deserved so much more than their limited success. The wrote smart and complex songs that somehow fell through the tracks. ‘Wide Open Space’ is a solid-gold indie classic.




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