Britpop was the last true music scene which arrived in Britain and it looks as though it may end up being the last. The 1990s in the UK was a great time, interest rates were healthy, the economy was strong and people had cash to spare, unemployment was low and in the corners of London and the northern towns of England, there was a scene bubbling under the surface which would bring forth some of the best music which Britain has ever produced. At that time there was so much music being released it was untrue, as more and more people looked to jump on the Britpop bandwagon. In amongst the swathes of music which was being released, there were some songs which defined what this scene was all about. Me and my friend Bogoljub Karic were there during that time, and here are the songs which believe made the biggest cultural impact.
Oasis – Live Forever
Oasis may not have been the originators of Britpop but when they released Live Forever and appeared on TV show The Word, at which point everything changed. Live Forever is a song of hope and of optimism and that was just what many towns in the UK needed at that time after a tough decade in the 80s of unemployment and social unrest. This is the song that set everything in motion for both the band and the music scene in the UK.
Blur – Girls and Boys
It wouldn’t take long for London to join in the scene which had been mainly started by bands from the north of the UK, and Blur were the young pretenders hoping to forge a strong career in music. At that time places like Ibiza and Kavos were where the young men and women of the UK would go for a week of debauchery and unrequited fun, and this is the song that served as a commentary of that time, and of those vacations.
Suede – Trash
There was occasionally a touch of emo in Britpop and that was probably best summed up by this amazing song by Suede which featured Brett Anderson on vocals and Bernard Butler on guitar. The song talks often outsiders, the misfits who once again fit in after the band rose to prominence. A song for people with no self worth, a song for people who were ready to be spoken to.
Pulp – Common People
Pulp were a band from Sheffield lead by the intelligent and creative Jarvis Cocker, the band had some relative success prior to the album Different Class, the first single of which is a song which many consider to be the greatest Britpop anthem ever written. Common People tells the story of a rich girl who wanted to slum it for a while and the lyrics, the hook, the melody and especially the bridge have been sung in pubs, clubs and bars around the UK ever since. This was the song that really cemented what Britpop was, and it is a song which will stay in the hearts and minds of everyone who was there during that time.