Re: Blur vs. Oasis
posted at 3/13/2014 12:51 AM EDT
In response to MattyScornD's comment:
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....
I like Primal Scream and the Happy Mondays a lot but neither are really Britpop in my opinion. Happy Mondays was a baggy/Madchester band (the British genre's are so confusing at times, remember the "Grebo" genre of the early 90's) who undoubtedly influenced Blur's first album as well as some of the boorish behavior of the Britpop bands. The Happy Mondays clearly moved British alternative rock away from the fey jangling politically correct 80's to a much more hedonistic 90's that clearly influenced the britpop bands that followed. I think Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches is a great album but the band was done in by drugs and never lived up to it's potentiel.
I love Primal Scream, one of my favorite all time bands, who had some serious drug issues of their own. They were too ugly (look at some pictures) and stylistically wishy washy to be Britpop in my opinion. Their main influences were the Detroit bands of the late 60's as well as the "altamount' era Stones. Primal Scream went from MC5/Stooges rip off (Primal Scream - okay with a couple good songs) to acid house rock (Screamadelica, which is great) to southern boogie rock (Give Out but Don't Give Up, which is awful) on to something I will call Trip Hop punk (Vanishing Point - which may be my favorite album of the 90's). They may be the most underrated rock band of the last 20 years but when they are bad (Give Out but Don't Give Up or Riot City Blues) they are truly awful.