Britpop

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Britpop

Britpop is a UK based music and culture movement in the mid 1990s which emphasised "Britishness", and produced bright, catchy pop music partly in reaction to the US led grunge music and the UK's own shoegazing music scene. The most successful bands associated with the movement are Oasis, Blur, Suede and Pulp; those groups would come to be known as its "big four". The timespan of Britpop is generally considered to be 1993-1997, with 1994-1995, and a chart battle between Blur and Oasis dubbed "The Battle of Britpop", being the epicentre of activity. While music was the main focus, fashion, art, and politics also got involved, with artists such as Damien Hirst being involved in creating videos for Blur, and being labelled as Britart or Britpop artists, and Tony Blair and New Labour aligning themselves with the movement. Though Britpop is viewed as a marketing tool, and more of a cultural moment than a musical style or genre, there are musical conventions and influences the bands grouped under the Britpop term have in common, such as showing elements from the British pop music of the Sixties, glam rock and punk rock of the Seventies, and indie pop of the Eighties in their music, attitude, and clothing. An influence they shared in particular was the Smiths whose lead singer Morrissey championed a nostalgic view of Britain. Britpop was a media driven focus on bands which emerged from the independent music scene of the early 1990s—and was associated with the British popular cultural movement of Cool Britannia which evoked the Swinging Sixties and the British guitar pop music of that decade. In the wake of the musical invasion into the United Kingdom by American grunge bands, new British groups such as Blur and Suede launched the movement by positioning themselves as opposing musical forces, referencing British guitar music of the past and writing about uniquely British topics and concerns. These bands were soon joined by others including Oasis, Pulp, The Verve, Supergrass, Cast, Placebo, Space, Sleeper and Elastica. Britpop groups brought British alternative rock into the mainstream and formed the backbone of a larger British cultural movement called Cool Britannia. "The Battle of Britpop" brought Britpop to the forefront of the British press in 1995. By 1997, however, the movement began to slow down; many acts began to falter and break up. The popularity of the pop group the Spice Girls "snatched the spirit of the age from those responsible for Britpop". Although its more popular bands were able to spread their commercial success overseas, especially to the United States, the movement largely fell apart by the end of the decade.