The mid 90s and so begins the so called “Brit Pop” era and my most active music collecting period.
While Kurt Cobain took his own life in April 1994 a group of 5 lads from Manchester were busy recording their debut album, little did anyone know that it was set to change the British music scene for the next decade. That band were Oasis and the album Definitely Maybe.
Released in August 1994 I remember buying the album as everyone at school was talking about it. I enjoyed it but at the time didn’t think it was anything special (what was I thinking!!!) and forgot all about the band and went on with my life. At this time I had lost my strong interest in music after the grunge era had vanished so quickly and I hadn’t found anything to replace it. I didn’t think these 5 out spoken lads from Manchester were the answer.
One morning in December 1995 I was awoken by my radio alarm clock to the sound of the current Oasis single Whatever, in that moment I totally got what all the fuss was about. The sound the band had produced was large and bombastic, the lyrics catchy and the whole thing had a swagger and anthem quality to it that the band would reproduce over the coming years to great affect. I went out and bought the single on CD, something I had never really done before as I was more of an album type of person than a singles person,however the song wasn’t on Definitely Maybe so it was the only way to listen to it. I was amazed by not only how great the artwork was but also the quality of the B sides, these were strong enough to be album tracks or singles of there own, again another feat the band would reproduce over the next few years.
After this I was hooked and revisited Definitely Maybe and discovered it was an amazing album. I waited for what the group were going to do next. Less than a year later in October 1995 (What’s the Story) Morning Glory was released and the rest as they say is history. The band went on to enjoy the kind of mainstream success not seen by a rock band since The Beatles. This was the start of my “Brit Pop” era. Some might say (sorry couldn’t resist) that “Brit Pop” had started with Suede, Blur or Pulp. But like Definitely Maybe I don’t think these bands really broke through to the mainstream until after (What’s the Story) Morning Glory, when this type of British music was given a label.
I had again found a music scene I could relate to, it was guitar based music and many of the artists were from the North of England like myself. It made me feel as a 15 year old teenager that anything was possible!!!!
The amount of bands that created music around this period is staggering by todays standards. It felt like a new band or album was coming out every week. Maybe this was the case or maybe I was young and had nothing else to take up my time than following the music industry?
Between 1995 to 1998 I spent all my spare cash on CD albums and collected all of these albums plus many many more:
These were all played on my new Awia 7 CD player. Everyone had Awia CD players in the mid 90s. I used to fill this will 7 CDs and then play all of them on random, it was like having your own personal juke box (this was way before randomised playlists).
Discovery of music was easy during this time as all these bands were mainstream so made it on to Radio and TV. Radio 1 had a great line up at the time with Chris Evans in the morning and Mark and Lard in the afternoon followed by Chris Moyles, before and after school was a joy with these talents showing us the way. TV had a bunch of shows also with Top of the Pops, TFI Friday and Live and Kicking all showing most of my favourite groups on a weekly basis.
Around this time a friend got a guitar, I remember going around to his house and trying to play Oasis song but hardly been able to put 2 chords together. Thinking anything was possible I bought a guitar off another friend and had dreams that in a few months I’d be rocking on stage!!! Sometimes reality is very different, I soon found that a great deal of time and effort would be needed to play. I was a 17 year old lad and has lots to do, so 6 months later I sold the guitar and gave up the dream of becoming a rock star!
Maybe I was lucky that music that really hit a chord with me was all released just at the right moment in my teenage years, or maybe this happens to all teenagers with a love for music. Either way it’s a special moment in your life when you start to take an interest in something that gives you great happiness and memories that last a life time.