Re: Blur vs. Oasis
posted at 3/12/2014 11:34 AM EDT
In response to ccnsd's comment:
I would argue this isn't even close. Blur was a great band in my opinion. One of the best of the 90's. Never really had a bad album, though the first one is spotty at times. Oasis on the other hand had 2 good records and a couple of good B sides and one great one (Acquiesce). There is a good book about Britpop called Cool Britannia And The Spectacular Demise Of English Rock by a British writer called John Harris. It's very critical of the movement and it's quick demise into blatant formulas. It goes into pretty good detail about the fueds, hypocrisy and the rampant substance abuse of many involved.
In my opinion the 5 best Britpop albums are (in this order):
1 Suede - Dog Man Star
2 Elastica - Elastica
3 Blur - Blur (their least Britpop sounding album)
4 Blur - Parklife
5 Suede - Suede
Radiohead is not Britpop in my opinion. Not even close, even though they had big hits during the era. I can't imagine Radiohead partying with super models or rewriting their favorite "classic rock" songs into modern rock hits. Radiohead were more influenced by American alt rock bands like REM and the Talking Heads or German bands like Can than they were the Britpop classic rock canon (The Who, The Beatles, The Kinks the Small Faces). Britpop, despite some terrific albums was really a singles driven genre. These bands cared about their B sides and they produced massive cd single sales in the UK during this period because of them. The first CD of Suede's B side collection Sci Fi Lullabies is probably better than their self titled album I have listed as #5 above. Radiohead was more of an album band than singles band in my opinion which is another reason I can't consider them as Britpop.
Oasis first 2 albums are good but neither are great in my opinion. The Verve's third album Urban Hymns is Britpop in my opinion but it's first two albums which are closer to shoegaze are better. Like Ride they sort of split the differance.
Great post. You obviously have done some research on the topic, so I'll defer.
To me, the first Stone Roses LP was the inception of the genre (sons of B.A.D...?), which was then followed by Primal Scream and Happy Mondays, among others mentioned here. Perhaps you see it differently.
As you say, if the movement was more singles-based, then would the overall quality of the albums be more incidental? I never really thought of it as a "sound", per se, but more of a stylistic thing. (I wouldn't class Radiohead as Britpop, either...just mentioned them in terms of popularity during the 90s.)
In the end, I agree Blur takes this particular cake given the two bands' overall output and influence, but I'll submit that Oasis is probably the most recognizable gateway to most people exploring the genre (neither here nor there really).
Thanks for sharing your thoughts....