Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Britpop
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Britpop

Britpop is the common term used for a variety of popular British bands from the mid to late 90s.  Britpop arose from the "indie" scene of the eighties, and was inspired by by bands such as The Smiths, and its successors: "baggy", typified by Manchester's (or should that be Madchester's) The Happy Mondays and "shoegazing" bands such as Ride. 

The Britpop groups also incorporated influences from the 1960s and 70s, particularly the mod style of groups like The Small Faces, The Kinks and The Jam, and the pre-Britpop New Wave Of New Wave scene, typified by These Animal Men and S*M*A*S*H shows these influences particularly strongly. It should also be noted the The Stone Roses and their referencing of 70s rock music was an influence on the later Britpop sound, which in the case of bands like Kula Shaker moved towards psychedelia.

Overall, Britpop tended to emphasise the use of guitars as opposed to the electronic crossover style of the indie-dance scene that preceded it, though some synth bands, such as Stereolab and Saint Etienne (both of whom had existed long before the emergence of Britpop itself), did find themselves hailed as part of the Britpop scene. Indeed, Saint Etienne's Foxbase Alpha (1990) was even hailed - in retrospect - as first real Britpop LP. Although its synth-and-sample-based arrangements bore little resemblance to anything else that came out of the scene, bands like Blur and Elastica also incorporated synthesisers into their sound.

Unlike their predecessors, Britpop crossed firmly into the mainstream, exemplified by chart battles between rivals Blur and Oasis.  Their songs tend to be either pure pop music (Blur's "Girls and Boys") or anthemic (Oasis' "Don't Look Back In Anger"), with a strong "sing-along" factor. On the fringes, the dry wit of Pulp's "Common People" made an unlikely star of singer Jarvis Cocker. While male-dominated bands such as Supergrass and Heavy Stereo took much of the glory, female-fronted groups like Echobelly, Sleeper and Salad also enjoyed substantial album sales. 

By the year 2000, the initial wave had subsided: Oasis had all but collapsed under the weight of expectation, cocaine and self-indulgence, Blur had rejected pop for a more introspective college-radio-friendly sound, and Radiohead had decided they were a progressive rock band. However, these earlier bands have influenced a number of more recent acts. Amongst these are more sensitive singer songwriters such as David Gray, Travis, and Coldplay. Others, though, such as Muse, have a decidedly louder and rawer sound.

See also: List of Britpop musicians

Alternative music | Subgenres
Britpop - College rock - Dream pop - Gothic rock - Grunge - Indie rock - Jam band - Madchester - New Wave - Shoegazing - Twee
Bands