Today we travel back to the mid-1990s and remember some of the biggest Britpop groups that brought British alternative rock into the mainstream and formed the backbone of a larger British cultural movement called Cool Britannia. If this doesn’t ring a bell, it was a movement developed as a reaction against various musical and cultural trends in the late 1980s and early 1990s, particularly the grunge phenomenon from the United States.
In the wake of the musical invasion into the United Kingdom of American grunge bands (in particular Nirvana), new British groups such as Suede and Blur launched the movement by positioning themselves as opposing musical forces, referencing British guitar music of the past and writing about uniquely British topics and concerns. These bands were soon joined by others including Oasis, Pulp, Supergrass, and Elastica.
Of course all good things end, so the whole thing started to slow down in 1996-97, when many acts began to falter and broke up. While established acts struggled, attention began to turn to the likes of Radiohead and The Verve, who had been previously overlooked by the British media, but that’s a story for another post.