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THE ESSENTIAL: Britpop

The term may have been a tenuous catch-all that bands turned their noses up at, but the mid-90s Britpop boom saw the UK music scene at the centre of a feelgood factor not witnessed since the 60s. Ben Wardle is mad for it…

Like Fight Club, the first rule of Britpop was don’t talk about Britpop. Any band from the era would immediately bristle if a hapless NME or Melody Maker journalist ever brought up the genre. Indeed, the recently issued and highly recommended Britpop Top Trumps (we kid you not) has a ‘We’re not Britpop!’ category - Suede score 22, Elastica just 9. Just like punk euphemism ‘new wave’ in the late 70s, Britpop was a club to which few wanted to belong.

Yet 25 years on, the term has acquired a respectability because, guess what? The public liked it! Britpop was always a useful catch-all for the diverse array of bands that emerged during that period. But only now are they lining up to play festivals like Starshaped, happy to be associated with the term.

Of course, it means different things to different people; look up the term on US websites and you’ll find every UK artist from the 90s and often 00s. Some lists (UK included) put Radiohead in their Britpop round-ups which, for reasons apparent to anyone who knows anything, is just wrong: the Oxford quintet may have made two of the best albums of the 90s but they simply did not share the urban irony and retropop aspirations of most Britpop bands.

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About Long Live Vinyl

Issue 37 of the new-look Long Live Vinyl comes complete with the official Record Store Day Guide – a free 40-page magazine bring you the lowdown on all 500+ Record Store Day releases and where to get them… There’s also a handy map to help you find your nearest of the 237 participating independent record shops and the chance to win £100 of Record Tokens to spend in the shop of your choice. Inside the regular mag, our cover feature takes an in-depth look back at the heady mid-90s Britpop boom and we round up 40 essential 90s classics to add to your collection. Our features section is bulging at the seams, including interviews with Tame Impala about new album The Slow Rush, Nada Reid, Cornershop, Jeffrey Lewis, Jonathan Wilson and Lanterns On The Lake. There’s also a look at the MTV Unplugged series on vinyl, a history of legendary New York Label Sire, a guide to buying Brazilian vinyl and our Classic Album is Radiohead’s 1995 monster The Bends. If that’s not all enough, Long Live Vinyl brings you the most comprehensive range of new album, reissue and hi-fi gear reviews anywhere on the newsstand. Order your copy now, get your highlighter pen out and let the countdown to Record Store Day commence!

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