1995; the year Britpop ruled the waves. Blur v Oasis dominated the evening news when their record labels cashed in on the willingness of the Gallaghers to rise to the Blur’s bait.
A north-south divide when the two groups released the singles “Country House” and “Roll With It”. And two awful records they were. The Blur single grated and as Damon Albarn rightly called it, “Quoasis”. A shame the pair didn’t pit “The Universal” and “Wonderwall” against each other.
That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the record labels fabricated the ‘war’ on the basis that the records were crap.
Other crap records made it to Number One, so Blur – the eventual winners – were in good company. I don’t recall The Outhere Brothers song, nor ones by Celine Dion, Cher, Chrissie Hynde & Neneh Cherry with Eric Clapton, East 17, Livin’ Joy, Take That, Michael Jackson, Simply Red, or (thankfully) Robson & Jerome.
The later duo is a curious case. In my mind’s eye, I can see the black & white, layered video playing on the television but the sound is muted. I’m grateful for that but disturbed by the image, nonetheless.
Number One’s I can’t unhear (alas) are Rednex “Cotton-eyed Joe”, Take That’s “Back for Good”, Shaggy’s “Boombastic” and Coolio’s “Gangsta Paradise”, although the latter does bring forth the altogether more soothing images of Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds. Anything to get rid of Robson & Jerome.
Looking at the list of the top of the charts, Oasis’ “Some Might Say” looks to be the only one I genuinely liked.
1995 was the only year I saw them live and once was enough. Musically great but inanimate on stage. Indeed, the curiously captivating memory of that gig in Gloucester was of an extraordinarily drunk gig-goer, limbo dancing. I’m not sure it was intended, he was just having extreme difficulty in standing up.
The year finished at Wembley, with John Squires final gig in the first generation of The Stone Roses. Memorable because they were on good form that night, albeit Ian Brown as off-key as ever – but more than anything, their roadies performing at the end, showing how instruments could really sound!
Anyway, this year we welcomed:
- They Think It’s All Over (although it got more than a bit crap after a while)
- Soccer AM (ditto)
- Father Ted
- Dennis Bergkamp (to Arsenal)
And bade a fond farewell to:
- George Graham (as Arsenal manager)
- John Squire (of the Stone Roses)
- Viv Stanshall
- Kenny Everett
- The Tomorrow People
- Knowing Me, Knowing You
- Jeremy Brett
- Paul Eddington
- Peter Cook
- Fred Perry
- Donald Pleasance
- Doug McClure
- Harold Wilson
- Fritz Freleng
- Ted Drake
- Jerry Garcia
- Mickey Mantle
- Alec Douglas-Home
- Jimmy Jewel
- and on Christmas Day, Dean Martin
And so to the whole point of today, here’s the 1995 playlist, “We Need Each Other”.
|Leave Home||The Chemical Brothers|
|A Girl Like You||Edwyn Collins|
|Yes – Full Version||McAlmont & Butler|
|Reverend Black Grape||Black Grape|
|Contenders||The Men They Couldn’t Hang|
|King of the Kerb||Echobelly|
|Neil Jung||Teenage Fanclub|
|Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over||The Charlatans|
|Wake up Boo!||The Boo Radleys|
|Sick & Tired||The Cardigans|
|Young Livers||Rocket From The Crypt|
|Where the Wild Roses Grow||Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (with Kylie Minogue)|
|Tonight, Tonight||The Smashing Pumpkins|
|High And Dry||Radiohead|
|C’mon Billy||PJ Harvey|
|Broken Stones||Paul Weller|
|Born Slippy (Nuxx)||Underworld|
|Sparky’s Dream||Teenage Fanclub|
|Stargazer||Siouxsie and the Banshees|
|April in Kings Cross||The Tyrrel Corporation|
|Henry Lee||Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (with PJ Harvey)|
|Love And Mercy||Brian Wilson|
|Working For The Man||PJ Harvey|
|The Changingman||Paul Weller|
|Gangland||The Men They Couldn’t Hang|
|Army of Me||Björk|
|Straight At Yer Head||Lionrock|
|Loving You More||BT (with Vincent Covello)|