Britpop At The BBC (Rhino) ***



First published in CD reviews York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

IT’S a title that should attract the attention, and the ire, of trading standards. What does it say to you – Britpop At The BBC? I’m guessing your answer is the same as mine and you would be wrong.

Save for a single disc containing a selection of more obscure live recordings, Britpop At The BBC is nothing of the sort. Instead, it’s a compilation – a “Now That’s What I Call Britpop” if you will – and a somewhat sketchy one at that.

It begins in brilliant fashion: Oasis’ Wonderwall, Blur’s Parklife, Pulp’s Common People and Lucky Man, by The Verve, are some of the defining moments of the musical era.

Supergrass and Ocean Colour Scene maintain a strong start. But what’s this? New Order? Age, and hard living, may be eradicating my brain cells at a faster rate than I would like, but I don’t remember Manchester’s finest being the essential part of the mid1990s guitar scene.

And this is where things start to get complicated. Purportedly chosen by former Evening Session DJs Steve Lamacq and Jo Whiley, the three-CD set soon starts to steer off course.

Radiohead, thanks to The Bends and OK Computer, were one of the defining bands of Britpop but, from a wealth of wonderful tracks – Just, My Iron Lung and Karma Police to name three – our dynamic duo opt for Creep, a song released in 1992.

Motorcycle Emptiness, one of the Manic Street Preachers’ seminal hits, was just as early. It’s as if the compilers have had their arms tied behind their backs.

And there is a good reason why Kula Shaker’s Tattva should have stayed in the drawer marked ‘Never Play Again’.

For all that, though, this is is a rose-tinted blast down Memory Lane. It just doesn’t quite do what it says on the tin.


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