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Post Info TOPIC: Interesting Article: Blur, Pulp, Oasis or Suede: who is the best Britpop band?
Ian


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Interesting Article: Blur, Pulp, Oasis or Suede: who is the best Britpop band?
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/blur-pulp-oasis-or-suede-who-is-the-best-britpop-band-035zd8v3q

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Read that earlier, fairly predictable, reductive stuff. It's generally the same article about that "scene" regurgitated every few years.

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 can you paste content, not got times sub



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Blur, Pulp, Oasis or Suede: who is the best Britpop band?
We all have our No 1, but for an objective answer, we looked at the data

Sunday November 20 2022, The Sunday Times

Britpop is back, if it ever went away. Thirty years after Blur, Oasis, Suede and Pulp soundtracked a nation about to be swept up by Euro 96, Tony Blair and Cool Britannia, the songs that playlisted the half decade from 1992 to 1997 are, once again, dominating headlines and you and your best mates Spotify streams.

Did you get your tickets for next summers Blur and Pulp gigs? Suede are touring, and Noel and Liam Gallagher are headlining festivals to, essentially, play Oasis. The nations last great unifying musical era is impossible to resist. Even one of the bit players is back, as the Lightning Seeds redo Three Lions for the World Cup.

So forgive people of a certain middle age for spending more than £200 to see Blur and Pulp in the space of a week in July, where they will probably awkwardly bump into several exes.


It was a question then and remains one now. Who is best? Who has aged the best, and who can claim to have won the battle of Britpop? Because it always was a war. A hyper-competitive slag-off of petulance and arrogance that reached its peak in 1995 when Roll with It by Oasis came second to Blurs Country House in the singles charts, and Noel said that he wished Damon Albarn would catch Aids. Neither track was near the bands best, but the story was on the evening news. It was a weird time. If Oasis lost that chart battle, they have won the war, commercially speaking at least. Our data has them topping nearly all categories, from album sales and number ones to Brit awards and monthly Spotify listeners. With 125,000 fans a night attending two shows at Knebworth in 1996, they dwarf their old rivals live too.

Blur come second in most categories, but Pulp deserve a special nod. Jarvis Cockers band never won a Brit (though he deserved one for thrusting his bum at Michael Jackson) and boast far fewer streams and sales, but can still play to 50,000 people standing in a field. They won the Mercury music prize though, for Different Class, in 1996 beating Oasiss (Whats the Story) Morning Glory? that year. Suede won for their debut album Suede in 1993.

Critical success, however, is down to taste. Which means many will disagree when I say Britpops real champion is Albarn a polymath whose Gorillaz outstrip Oasis on Spotify, while their creator finds time to dabble in opera. His observations about Britain in This Is a Low, The Universal and most of Modern Life Is Rubbish have not aged at all. They just got sadder.

And before anyone says Radiohead are better than the lot, they were too miserable to be Britpop, even if they sold 21 million albums. And this is fun, isnt it? Arguing like we did when it was CDs and Adidas Gazelles. A simpler time. No wonder we pay £100 a ticket to revisit it.



They cite total album sales figures. For Pulp it's the dubiously looking round figure of 10m - I've seen this cited before on Wikipedia but that seems to have been speculative.

Different Class sold 1.2m in the UK, less than 100k in the US. I can't see how they sold enough in smaller markets across the rest of the world to make up the remaining eight and a half million plus.

 



-- Edited by Eamonn on Sunday 20th of November 2022 09:32:16 PM

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Running The World

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Thanks for posting that.  Surprisingly little about suede who are still making great records 30 years on and arguably kicked off the whole Britpop thing.

Personally, of the big 4, I prefer pulp to suede to blur to oasis.  

 



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Eamonn wrote:


I can't see how they sold enough in smaller markets across the rest of the world to make up the remaining eight and a half million plus.


-- Edited by Eamonn on Sunday 20th of November 2022 09:32:16 PM


 Maybe because of idiots like me who have 8 copies of DC (and 7 more in my wantlist). 10m does sound an awful lot though.

Then again, and in response to the article, it feels like Pulp's reputation has fared the best of the bands of that era. Perhaps we're biased here, but the way the tour dates sold out seems to support the idea. I enjoyed Oasis, Blur, and other bands of the time, but I seldom play the records now, and they don't have a special place in my heart they way Suede and Pulp do.

I was really quite sad to miss out on tickets, but at the same time astonished and pleased that they did so well. The 'We Love Life' tour played in much smaller venues than DC & TIH, and it felt to me like they were unfairly neglected, and chucked out with the rest of the post-Britpop dishwater. [though the forest tour, and Eden project looked big crowds to me]. Now it's wonderful that they are getting a final valedictory success, and seem to be loved by old fans, middle aged fans (me), and still with young fans finding them.

With Pulp being so special to me for so long, it's easy to take them for granted; but they really were and are something extraordinary, aren't they? I still hope to get resale tickets, because I really want to be, for a final time possibly, among a crowd, and see the delight on faces half my age as well as older fans (though twice my age would be a stretch).



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They're always pointless these arguments but I've been having my own thoughts about similar questions recently. Of the four bands mentioned Suede are the only one who are still a dramatic musical force. Their records post reunion are vital and totally committed artistic works. Judged from that point of view they are clearly the victors on artistic terms. And yet, they are playing the O2 Academy in Sheffield next march and I didn't have any issues buying a ticket for that gig (£50) in the afternoon of tickets going on sale. Why can't they sell out arenas?
I've also been thinking about Jarv Is/Pulp. Why the disparity? I saw Jarv Is at the Octagon last October, again no issues in buying a ticket and I think it was about £30. I think an extra date was cancelled due to lack of ticket sales.bPulp reform and sell out arena all over the country in minutes at £90 a pop. Same with Blue. I know nostalgia is a strong driving force here but there a strong disconnect for me here. Why are Pulp so much more popular than solo Jarvis? I know the answer of course but it does make me scratch my head a little. I guess I'm slightly worried about hearing a DC heavy setlist again next year but I really don't know what else they could do. Conversely I'm expecting Suede to hit their new album hard a few months before. Strange times indeed.

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Ian


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Eamonn wrote:




Blur, Pulp, Oasis or Suede: who is the best Britpop band?
We all have our No 1, but for an objective answer, we looked at the data

Sunday November 20 2022, The Sunday Times

Britpop is back, if it ever went away. Thirty years after Blur, Oasis, Suede and Pulp soundtracked a nation about to be swept up by Euro 96, Tony Blair and Cool Britannia, the songs that playlisted the half decade from 1992 to 1997 are, once again, dominating headlines and you and your best mates Spotify streams.

Did you get your tickets for next summers Blur and Pulp gigs? Suede are touring, and Noel and Liam Gallagher are headlining festivals to, essentially, play Oasis. The nations last great unifying musical era is impossible to resist. Even one of the bit players is back, as the Lightning Seeds redo Three Lions for the World Cup.

So forgive people of a certain middle age for spending more than £200 to see Blur and Pulp in the space of a week in July, where they will probably awkwardly bump into several exes.


It was a question then and remains one now. Who is best? Who has aged the best, and who can claim to have won the battle of Britpop? Because it always was a war. A hyper-competitive slag-off of petulance and arrogance that reached its peak in 1995 when Roll with It by Oasis came second to Blurs Country House in the singles charts, and Noel said that he wished Damon Albarn would catch Aids. Neither track was near the bands best, but the story was on the evening news. It was a weird time. If Oasis lost that chart battle, they have won the war, commercially speaking at least. Our data has them topping nearly all categories, from album sales and number ones to Brit awards and monthly Spotify listeners. With 125,000 fans a night attending two shows at Knebworth in 1996, they dwarf their old rivals live too.

Blur come second in most categories, but Pulp deserve a special nod. Jarvis Cockers band never won a Brit (though he deserved one for thrusting his bum at Michael Jackson) and boast far fewer streams and sales, but can still play to 50,000 people standing in a field. They won the Mercury music prize though, for Different Class, in 1996 beating Oasiss (Whats the Story) Morning Glory? that year. Suede won for their debut album Suede in 1993.

Critical success, however, is down to taste. Which means many will disagree when I say Britpops real champion is Albarn a polymath whose Gorillaz outstrip Oasis on Spotify, while their creator finds time to dabble in opera. His observations about Britain in This Is a Low, The Universal and most of Modern Life Is Rubbish have not aged at all. They just got sadder.

And before anyone says Radiohead are better than the lot, they were too miserable to be Britpop, even if they sold 21 million albums. And this is fun, isnt it? Arguing like we did when it was CDs and Adidas Gazelles. A simpler time. No wonder we pay £100 a ticket to revisit it.



They cite total album sales figures. For Pulp it's the dubiously looking round figure of 10m - I've seen this cited before on Wikipedia but that seems to have been speculative.

Different Class sold 1.2m in the UK, less than 100k in the US. I can't see how they sold enough in smaller markets across the rest of the world to make up the remaining eight and a half million plus.

 



-- Edited by Eamonn on Sunday 20th of November 2022 09:32:16 PM



At a stretch, I'd say 5 million including singles and compilations may be realistic, but not 10. "Different Class" sold 1.2m, "His n Hers", "This is Hardcore", "We Love Life" and the "Countdown 1992-1983" compilation all made the top 10. The "Different Class" singles in particular sold by the bucket load. Also, I'm guessing when Pulp became big in 1994-5, a lot of new fans went out and bought some of the older albums which had been reissued on CD by Fire. Granted, none of them ever troubled the charts but they probably sold a lot more then than they did originally.

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saw119 wrote:

And yet, they [suede] are playing the O2 Academy in Sheffield next march and I didn't have any issues buying a ticket for that gig (£50) in the afternoon of tickets going on sale. Why can't they sell out arenas?


London dates have sold very quickly, but then they were the Electric Ballroom and Brixton Academy.   I dont understand why suede dont sell out fields like Pulp or stadiums like blur.  FWIW Id rather spend £50 watching suede in a small venue, though last time out at Electric Ballroom it was only £30.  



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Suede are curious. They had a zeitgeist all to themselves in '92/93 and a front man who looked amazing and gave great quotes. But maybe they got trapped in the weekly music magazine world too much to break out.

Their second coming in '96 was a year after the other three had usurped them with era-defining singles and albums.

 

Pulp's catalogue is slimmest and their commercial heyday also the shortest but Common People and Disco 2000 are still so potent to a general music audience. Wedding party/karaoke stone-cold staples 27 years on. Suede never managed that.

 

Add in the cult of Jarvis - his looks and moves from those days were an iconic part of British culture and the Brit Awards debacle just made him more (in)famous.

 

It is ironic as Saw mentions that Jarv Is... would just never be offered the type of slots that the Pulp "brand" can command. And Jarv Is... doing a Pulp-heavy set including CP and Disco2K live probably wouldn't make a difference.

 

Yet, 90%+ of people who go to see Pulp play live next summer wouldn't be able to name another band member and Steve (or Russell) not being there, won't make a blind bit of difference to them. Funny how it all falls away.



-- Edited by Eamonn on Monday 21st of November 2022 11:25:16 PM

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I agree with Eamonn that Pulp secured a general audience, or have more casual fans that're willing to go to a show even if they only know songs from the His 'n' Hers and Different Class eras (with even fewer This Is Hardcore songs, and almost no We Love Life songs). The sort of people that can sing Disco 2000 and Something Changed for karaoke but maybe not Party Hard or Bad Cover Version. If Pulp play pre-HnH songs like Countdown and My Lighthouse, these are the people that won't sing along.
They've got the disposable incomes that're necessary for seeing bands that they only care about loosely. "Hey, that band I heard on the radio a lot when I was 15 are getting back together. Might as well see them!" If young people see Pulp live it's because they're intense hardcore fans, since young people can't afford to see bands they only mildly like.

Did Suede have enough huge hits to drawn in the casual audience that Pulp have? And from what I can tell, none of the Suede guys became media personalities. Seems like Jarvis became "that funny singer guy" (alongside Albarn and the Gallaghers) judging by his TV and press appearances. The mere presence of a personality is good for attracting the attention of non-fans and casual fans.

Jarv Is... don't draw the same crowds as Pulp simply because they aren't Pulp (which we already know). A Jarv Is... tour poster in the street isn't a Pulp tour poster. The casual fans need that Pulp poster to jog their memory and signal that the few Pulp songs they like will be played. To them, Jarvis Cocker is an iconic public personality responsible for the songs of their adolescent years (and Jackson drama), but not an artist who is continuing to make interesting art that they would want to keep up with.
I bet most Jarv Is... fans are also Jarvis Cocker and Pulp fans who see Jarv Is... because they are generally interested in his projects. Like, someone who LOVES John Carpenter's movies would see John Carpenter play live. Someone who doesn't wouldn't.

LONG STORY SHORT: Pulp (Blur and Oasis too) have that casual appeal in their palatable hits. Perfect radio singles and tantalising/engaging media presence garners support from people who don't consider themselves fans. Casual fans with enough money to see plenty of bands they're not THAT passionate about can afford to fill ticket sales. Like most bands, only a small amount of fans are actually die-hard fans - and maybe this is what Suede are left with. Jarv Is... fans tend to be Pulp/Jarvis Cocker fans, but Pulp fans may not be interested in Cocker's projects.

BTW I don't think casual fans are bad, I just think the distinction between fans is interesting.

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Eamonn wrote:

Pulp's catalogue is slimmest and their commercial heyday also the shortest but Common People and Disco 2000 are still so potent to a general music audience. Wedding party/karaoke stone-cold staples 27 years on. Suede never managed that.


Very true.  Interesting that suede had 14 top 20 hits, yet pretty sure if I asked my sisters (the women in the street), I doubt either of them could name a suede hit as readily as they could a pulp hit.  Similar with oasis & blur.  

Next weeks Sunday Times needs to debate the best glam act.  Sweet, Slade, Bowie, T. Rex or err Glitter

perhaps not.



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ArrGee wrote:

 

Next weeks Sunday Times needs to debate the best glam act.  Sweet, Slade, Bowie, T. Rex 


 Waste of time if half the readership haven't heard of them... University Challenge last night, music round, name the band; they play T.Rex doing 20th Century Boy: 4 blank faces, no clue. Astonishing.



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inspirit wrote:
ArrGee wrote:

 Next weeks Sunday Times needs to debate the best glam act.  Sweet, Slade, Bowie, T. Rex 


 Waste of time if half the readership haven't heard of them... University Challenge last night, music round, name the band; they play T.Rex doing 20th Century Boy: 4 blank faces, no clue. Astonishing.


That was very funny when they answered Pink Floyd biggrin

I suspect there are a lot of Times readers who havent heard of Pulp, Blur, Oasis and Suede.  My daughter (18) thinks pretty much every thing I listen to is Pulp, often when it isnt.  It was Roxy Music the other day.  Happy Mondays another time.   And weirdly my son (23) came in when I was listening to The Damned and proclaimed "what is that racket you are listening to?" . Just like my dad in 1977 biggrin .  Kids today

 

 



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ArrGee wrote:
inspirit wrote:
ArrGee wrote:

 Next weeks Sunday Times needs to debate the best glam act.  Sweet, Slade, Bowie, T. Rex 


 Waste of time if half the readership haven't heard of them... University Challenge last night, music round, name the band; they play T.Rex doing 20th Century Boy: 4 blank faces, no clue. Astonishing.


That was very funny when they answered Pink Floyd biggrin

I suspect there are a lot of Times readers who havent heard of Pulp, Blur, Oasis and Suede.  My daughter (18) thinks pretty much every thing I listen to is Pulp, often when it isnt.  It was Roxy Music the other day.  Happy Mondays another time.   And weirdly my son (23) came in when I was listening to The Damned and proclaimed "what is that racket you are listening to?" . Just like my dad in 1977 biggrin .  Kids today

 

 


 Haha I recognise this a bit too much. My 23 year old son is constantly moaning and complaining about the volume I play my music at. He can often be heard mumbling about 'that noise' I'm listening to.



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