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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

BP#3 - Madchester

So Acid House and Rave from mainly Chicago, but also NY and LA hit Britain in the mid eighties and had a huge impact on rock.

This music inspired rock groups to incorporate beats and samples and a whole lifestyle grew up around it in Manchester. Those that did this best were the Happy Mondays and Stone Roses. The Happy Mondays went full tilt with sampling, beats, and rapping. The drugs made the band and they broke the band:

The Stone Roses were a guitar band who took some of the hooks and rhythms from Acid House and turned it into rock. Their first album blew the music scene apart and they never really recovered from all the hype (The follow up was still great, it just took to long to come out):

This is brilliant:

Here are two others that were a part of the scene. They didn't have the same impact as the Mondays or Roses but are still worth a mention:
The Charlatans UK were just an unlucky group. They had hits but every time things started going well they would suffer a set back (like having to add UK to their names or having a band member go to jail).

The Inspiral Carpets had a great psychedelic and garage sound, and were more important because they hired Noel Gallagher as a roadie before Oasis. It gave Noel time to learn the ropes. Sorry but the best I can do is a link to the Inspiral Carpets - This Is How It Feels

If you want more on Madchester you can watch this great documentary on youtube: The Sound of the North

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

BP#2 - Before There Was Suede, Blur, and Oasis

The core of Britpop groups (Suede, Blur, and Oasis) drew direct influence from the likes of The Smiths, Happy Mondays, and The Stone Roses. All of these Manchester groups were truly British in their focus and themes.

Suede owes a huge debt to The Smiths. The Smiths were the British indie band of the 90's that abandoned synthesizers and embraced guitars. Brett Anderson certainly was influenced by Morrissey's lyrics and sexuality. However all the bands from Britpop must of felt the influence of The Smiths. This would be the music on the radio, playing in record shops, and being written about in NME as these band members were kids and teenagers.

Is it possible that Suede took their name from this brilliant Morrissey song?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Great little Short Film

Stumbled upon this short film through Sixeyes blog and think it is brilliant. "Mixtape" by Luke Snelling is the recent winner of the Virgin Media Shorts contest. Why do I love it, well this is how I spent large chunks of my life from the age of 12 till about 22. Only I rarely had the guts to pass on the mixtape.

Here is the key track from the film The Kinks - Wonder where My Baby is Tonight

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

BP#1 - The Early Roots

I am currently reading "The Last Party: Britpop, Blair, and the Demise of English Rock". To give this blog some more focus, I thought I would provide my own little music and video summary of the book via this blog. I'll keep doing the cheat sheet and adding any other new music I find, but because of the book I am discovering plenty of other older music, so once a week I'll add my little blip on Britpop. I've always been a fan of Blur, and Pulp; and "Wonderwall" has to be one of the greatest songs ever,

but now I have also added Suede and not just the one track I used to know "Metal Mickey."

So before we get to the Britpop, we need to get some history. The Britpop movement was a reaction to what was happening in America. In 1992 Nirvana and grunge ruled the musical landscape; loud music filled with angst and self loathing.

A handful of artists in England, who did not always get along with each other started to make music that was the opposite. It was pop guitar music filled with hooks and it was British. It was music that hearkened back to classic British bands of the 60's and 70's.

The obvious one!

An even bigger influence were the Kinks:

The Kinks again, with the most British song ever written:

The Jam:

and lastly The Squeeze:

Other influences from the 60s: include The Who, Small Faces, and The Rolling Stones
from the 7os: David Bowie, Roxy Music, The Buzzcocks, The Jam, and Elvis Costello
from the 80s: Madness, XTC, and The Smiths who we will talk about again

Next time on BP: The Smiths and Madchester!