The decade that brought us the last truly great chart battle, some of the most iconic songs to ever grace a gig – from small stage to stadium – and the now almost unimaginable notion of Cool Britannia, is both brilliantly analysed and celebrated by Peter Richard Adams and Matt Pooler in Britpop: Decades. With a similar journalistic style to the Q or NME of the 1990s, these two past members of post-Britpop band And What Will Be Left Of Them? have divided the 10 years up to the turn of the millennium into birth, boom and bust of Britpop.
The subheadings – Yanks Go Home, Mad For It, Millennium Mania – sum up the mood of the times very well and offer a brief introduction before delving deep into the music. And that is the true gem of this distinctly different cultural review: detailed track-by-track breakdowns of 75 essential albums, band bios and even extended listening suggestions.
Kicking off with Happy Mondays’ Pills ‘n’ Thrills And Bellyaches and going as far as Muse’s Showbiz, there’s a lot more here than the expected trawl through the obvious big hitters. The big three – Pulp, Blur and Oasis – are given the room they deserve, but it’s great to see acts as diverse as Radiohead and Saint Etienne explored in the contexts that Adams and Poole establish so well.
Britpop Decades, Peter Richard Adams & Matt Pooler (Sonicbond)
Price: £15.99. Info: here
words JOHN-PAUL DAVIES
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