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Buy *Britpop!: Cool Britannia and the Spectacular Demise of English Rock* online

Britpop!: Cool Britannia and the Spectacular Demise of English Rock
John Harris
Da Capo Press
426 pages
October 2004
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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The English have always commanded the lexicon of music. Their keen ability to re-shape and texture old influences, many of them, ironically enough, American, has kept the British music scene at the vanguard of all important movements. In the '90s, Nirvana opened the floodgates of grunge, a loud and rather dimensionless music that eschewed melody and would be dead less than ten years later.

The Brits, usually quick on the uptake, gave only a passing nod at the Seattle-originated sound, turned the tables and created what was variously described as Cool Britannia and ultimately Britpop. Led by the likes of Blur, Suede, Oasis, Pulp and Elastica, the genre was founded on soaring vocal harmonies and carefully crafted compositions (though some of it was little more than synthesized pablum).

Here, Harris looks at the bands, the times, and the ups and downs of that musical style. Interviews with the musicians and those who were there turn this into a valuable source for anyone with an Oasis CD in their collection. More importantly, it reveals the self-absorbed egomaniacal narcissism of these same Gallagher brothers. And for that reason alone, it's worth reading.

© 2004 by Steven Rosen for

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