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The Verve=The Rolling Stones
What's with all the hating for The Verve? First of all, they shouldn't be included here, they were (are) not a Britpop band - none of their albums would fall into that category. But if they did, for me it would go
The Verve > Pulp > Oasis > Blur > Suede
but none of those gaps are big ones.
(The Verve >) Pulp > Blur > Suede
Oasis > (The Verve >) Pulp > Blur > Suede
Pulp>Turd Sandwich>Oasis>The Verve>Suede>Blur
Blur > Oasis > Pulp > Manic Street Preachers > Suede > The Verve
I was going to put this on the “Love for Artists Voted Out of Survivor” thread, but it seems more topical here.
Basically, I think Midaso got the order right.
Like most of my favorite bands (except the Ramones), Blur can do anything…but in their case it takes a wide perspective to see it. Every one of their seven albums gives a different perspective on the band, and five of them are fantastic. They mastered art-punk, disco, stadium anthems, country stroll, music hall, house…and I’m just getting started.
No other English band of the last 25 years has been as versatile. Radiohead, the only English band contemporary with Blur to have a comparably long career, is thought to be elevated above mere “Britpop,” but while Thom Yorke’s musical palette is vast and staggering, his emotional range is…limited. The Verve and Pulp each meandered in the wilderness for a long time before producing a classic album, then flamed out shortly thereafter. MSP and SFA are good, but a notch below (and I don’t know them as well).
Which leaves Oasis, the band with whom Blur will always be linked. It was silly of Blur to rise to the bait of a publicity battle with the Gallaghers. In the so-called court of public opinion, witty, Kurt Weill-and-Pavement-loving intellectual types from southern England are no match for wilfully dim, self-consciously working-class, football-loving Mancunian oiks. Of course the “soft” “southern” “stoodints” are going to lose (imagine if there had been a similar battle in the US between Springsteen and Talking Heads…no contest).
For my money, Oasis released one classic album, followed by a series of progressively more inadequate reprises of it. Like or dislike Blur, it’s undeniable that they have almost always worked to stretch themselves musically. Most of that is down to Damon Albarn's ambition, but Graham Coxon consistently trying to push the band into a more lo-fi direction provided a productive tension (and, to round out, Dave Rowntree's an immensely skilled, precise drummer, and Alex James...looks good).
(Actually, if you throw out the Blur/Oasis battle, I don’t think the term “Britpop” means much.)
Blur > (Pulp + Oasis + The Verve) > Oasis > Pulp > The Verve
That's not to say I don't like The Verve, but that I just really really really like Blur.
Thanks for the writeup schleuse.
Britpop= The Beatles + The Kinks = Oasis, Blur and the rest.
For me personally, the term Britpop summons up nothing more than the point at which the British music press went into terminal decline. The very name runs contrary to everything music should be about-great music is, after all, great music, and this tribalistic, jingoistic bullshit made a mockery of music criticism in this country and I'm not sure
we ever recovered from it.
Oasis made a great first album, Pulp peaked in 94/95, Blur evolved into an experimental outfit, Verve (without The) were a great band who wandered into uninteresting self-indulgence and Super Furry Animals were, and are, one of the greatest bands on the planet. And Suede sountracked many trips to the bathroom at nightclubs in the early 90s.
Do you remember Menswear, Gene, Shed 7, Marion, Sleeper ?
Besides the great 4 (Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Suede) I would add to the list of good britpop bands like Dodgy (I love it), Supergrass, Mansun, Manic Street Preachers, The Boo Radleys and Elastica.
1995... A very good year.
the Verve, the Boo Radleys and Lush were all at one point considered shoegaze but later transitioned into britpop.
Lush>Super Furry Animals>Boo Radleys>Supergrass>Stone Roses(the band that started it all)
I like Gene a little bit Dumbangel. Olympian is a pretty good album if you can't get enough of the Morrissey.
As strange as it can be, I hate The Smiths but I don't dislike Gene. I had baught "Olympian" when it comes in 1995 but a few months later I sold it (I really don't know why, this was a good album, but maybe I was so tired about 2 years full of britpop). I still own the "Be my light, be my guide" EP with 5 really good songs. My favourite one is "For the dead", a pure britpop gem.
In the mid-'90s, I also like the other band I've mentioned (Menswear, Shed 7). I'm just a little ironic because I don't much listen to them anymore and they seems to be erased from everybody's memory.
I think Gene is the one of worst bands of Britpop.
For those interested, Rhino issued a "Brit Box", and I read an excellent review by French critic Nicolas Ungenmuth that I'm gonna sum up for you, because I agreed with most of what he said, and especially his disliking of Gene.
So this is what he wrote :
For him the great are : La's (the first authentic britpop group with the Stairs), Supergrass, Suede, Cast, Pulp, Blur, Oasis, St Etienne, Elastica, Teenage Fanclub, My Bloody Valentine, Stone Roses, Spacemen 3, Spiritualized, Happy Mondays,The House of Love, Wedding Present, Radiohead...
The problem is that in the mid-90s, with the climax of Britpop, for one of these groups there were 9 awful others who signed with record companies.. Always the same in the history of British pop/rock
If we consider that Britpop starts when post punk stops, then the Smiths, Jesus & Mary Chain and Cocteau Twins are the first.
The influenc of the first 2 was gonna give birth to the awful C 86 movement, and the combined influence of the last 2 would generate the awful shoegazing movement (with the exception of the excellent My Bloody Valentine).
It is one of the worst eras of British rock (basically 1985-89), hardly better than the 2000's.
The comes the baggy scene and its new drug, who puts some color and dance, and then Britop, who first was a reaction against the hippie music of Manchester and house, and also against sloppy grunge;
Guitars and roots (Beatles, Kinks, Who, Small Faces) made a come back and England became a big party which would end in pain, medicrity and oblivion, except for a happy few, smart enough to reinvent themselves (Blur, only survivors of this era).
Gene, Republica, Echobelly, Marion, Thurman, Shed Seven, Sleeper, Northern Uproar, Cast, Powder, Menswear...ahh, heady days.
The period loosely defined as the Britpop era (c.1993-1996) was a blatantly cynical music press fabrication designed as a formidable anti-grunge broadside which in reality delivered a four year celebration of retro mediocrity.
In contrast, the 'shoegazing' scene which preceded it produced some amazing records. I suppose it became a bit generic towards the end, but the big problem was the bands' lack of marketability. The term itself implies introversion and discomfort in the spotlight, and bands like Ride, Slowdive and even MBV lacked the self-publicising zeal of rent-a-gobs like Gallagher, Albarn and Brett Anderson.
"Blur, only survivors of this era"
Well, I'm not going to let you get away with that one. For all of you Oasis-bashers, like it or not, the Gallaghers are still around. Not only that, they released an album in 2005 that received the most acclaim of their career since "What's the Story...".
While the other egomaniacs hung up their boots a while ago, Oasis - the biggest culprits when it comes to arrogance - are still around.
C86 and Shoegaze are infinitely better than that awful Rhino boxset.
1) Anthony, I guess the guy meant that only Blur were able to re-invent themselves after 1996. IMO they indeed reinvent themselves, but I don't like the result. Oasis was a good band in its genre, but after 96...
2) I knew this article would raise sand, and I forgot to mention those groups the writer found awful.
Let's do it, it's funny, particularly because I don't know them, don't know, and don't care much about Britpop, except for Supergrass and The Divine Comedy, if you accept the latter as Britpop.
When I want to hear good British pop, I listen to them or the Beatles, Who and Kinks.
BUt I found it interesting to translate the article for the guys on AM, so this is the complete version (excuse the poor translation)
" Anglophile Americans decided to compile the "best" of British pop since the '80s in a 4 Cd box. Pretty exhaustive, even if some odds and ends are missing. Result of neglect or lawyers' rejection, nobody knows, but Denim, The House of Love, Wedding Present, the Pastels (without whom the JAMC would have never existed), Transvision Vamp, Radiohead, Stairs or Slowdive aren't included.
Apart from those ones, almost everything is in this box : the excellent, the good, the bad and the awful. Among the awful, completely forgotten stuff can be found, whose names instantly brings back bad memories. Or T-shirts.. Can someone imagine a worse legacy for a band than to be remembered, 15 years after, as T-Shirts ?
It is nonetheless the case of all these Thousand Yard Stares, Marion, Sleeper, Echobelly, Gene, Ned's Atomic Dustbin (those ones really formidable), Swervedriver, James, Gay Dad (world champions for the stupidest band's name), Bluetones, Hurricane #1, These Animal Men, Kula Shaker, Curve, Menswear, Lush, Chapterhouse, Catherine Wheel, Pale Saints, Inspiral Carpets et al, all being worse than the other, and often very ugly.
And then there are the others, often brillant (La's - the first group authentically britpop with the Stairs- Supergrass, Suede, Cast, Blur, Oasis, Saint-Etienne, Elastica, Teenage Fanclub, My Bloody Val, Stone Roses, Spacemen 3, Spiritualized, Happy mondays) and sometimes responsible for one perfect single ("Crash" by the primitives, "Brimful of Asha" by Cornershop, "There's Where The Story ends" by the Sundays).
British pop has been, during those years a long rise to the climax that was 1994 britpop, when for a good group, 10 awful others were signed by the record companies eager for success. We've seen that movie before (the 1976-80 era)...
Creators of the box decided to start when post-punk stops, so with the Smiths, then Jesus & Mary Chain and the Cocteau Twins. Combined influenced of the first 2 gave birth to the awful C-86 movement, and the first two's will generate the dreadful shoegazing style, although endorsed by the excellent My Bloody Valentine..
It is one of the worst eras of British rock (basically 1985-89), hardly better than the 2000's.
Then comes the baggy scene and its new drug, who brings a little color and dance, and then Britop, which was first a reaction against the hippie music of Manchester and house, and also against invading and sloppy grunge.
Guitars and roots (Beatles, Kinks, Who, Small Faces) made a come back and England became a big party which would end in pain, mediocrity and oblivion, except for a happy few, smart enough to reinvent themselves (Blur, only survivors of this era).
This boxset does justice to everyone, even if the tracks' choice leaves a lot to be desired : "Lips Like sugar" by Echo, while everybody knows that it's "The Killing Moon" that should have been chosen ? "Regret", by New order instead of "Blue Monday" ? "April Skies" by the Mary Chain if only one should have been chosen, instead of "Upside Down" or "You Trip Me Up" ?
Apart from those little errors, for those who missed the era, there's a good movie to be watched."
Oasis #1 and #2 with a bullet in the Q list of favourite British Albums
What a crap list! Not even worth making a new thread...