Times Of Our Lives: 1996 – Thus Life Was Designed

1996; the year everyone suddenly became a football supporter again. Football came home, too. No, wait, it came back to England rather than China hosting an international tournament. That’s coming, by the way.

Anyway, you couldn’t move for people in pubs watching Euro ’96 although there genuinely was no substitute for being at Wembley as the team progressed. Especially when David Seaman’s penalty save morphed into the second English goal.

It was a moment when the football was the perfect accompaniment to the summer sunshine. And Manchester United bought Karol Poborsky off the back of one outrageous goal (at Villa Park, I think).

We said “Hi” to,

  • A relatively successful England football team,
  • Arsène Wenger as Arsenal manager,
  • Our Friends In The North,
  • Never Mind The Buzzcocks,
  • as well as the bizarre sight of Paul McGann as the eighth Doctor Who. Then again, during the early to mid ’90s, you couldn’t watch a tv show without one of the McGann’s pitching up in it, if only to deliver a line which complains about the lack of McGann’s in the show.

And we said “Ciao” to,

  • Jackanory,
  • Spitting Image,
  • Michael Bentine,
  • Gene Kelly,
  • Bob Paisley,
  • Margaux Hemingway.
  • George Burns,
  • Jon Pertwee (Crap gag time: “I don’t feel well darling . Would you call me a doctor?” “Who?”),
  • Ella Fitzgerald,
  • Bruce Rioch as Arsenal manager,
  • Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli, who found out the hard way you only live once,
  • Leslie Crowther, for whom the price of a funeral was right,
  • Beryl Reid,
  • Willie Rushton,
  • Carl Sagan found all the answers to his questions about the universe (it’s all a big gag by the Duckbill Platypus)

The British record-buying public continue to astound me as I look back on what made it to the top of the charts. For a nation which has produced a myriad of original musicians and songwriters, you lot have a long history of waging war on good taste by buying genuinely crap records.

1996 was no different as somehow, Babylon Zoo, Boyzone, Deep Blue Something, Gary Barlow, George Michael, Gina G, Mark Morrison, Michael Jackson, Peter Andre, Robson & Jerome, Spice Girls, Take That, and The Fugees, all topped the charts.

Why, Britain, why?

Breaking the monotony was the last half-decent record Oasis recorded, Keef from the Prodigy scaring your granny, and the Chemical Brothers.

While you lot bought that, I was listening to this:

1 England’s Irie Black Grape
2 King of New York Fun Lovin’ Criminals
3 Apollo Go Go The Solarflares
4 You’ve Got A Lot To Answer For Catatonia
5 You’re Gorgeous Babybird
6 Something 4 The Weekend Super Furry Animals
7 Dance Of The Bad Angels Tim Booth, Angelo Badalamenti
8 Dark Angel Electronic
9 Slight Return The Bluetones
10 Goalhanger Billy Bragg
11 Light Aircraft On Fire The Auteurs
12 The Noise Of Carpet Stereolab
13 Something’s Missing The Lemonheads
14 Paintball’s Coming Home Half Man Half Biscuit
15 6 Underground Sneaker Pimps
16 I Believe Tim Booth, Angelo Badalamenti
17 The Riverboat Song Ocean Colour Scene
18 Where It’s At Beck
19 Unsolved Child Murder The Auteurs
20 Electrolite R.E.M.
21 Jesus Is My Girlfriend Babybird
22 A Design for Life Manic Street Preachers
23 In It For The Money Supergrass
24 Forbidden City Electronic
25 Carnt Be Trusted The Bluetones
26 Funk Off A Certain Ratio
27 Jack The Lad Dodgy
28 Policemen & Pirates Ocean Colour Scene
29 God! Show Me Magic Super Furry Animals
30 What’s In the Box? (See Whatcha Got) The Boo Radleys
31 Something for the Weekend The Divine Comedy
32 Undertow R.E.M.
33 Cybele’s Reverie Stereolab
34 Becoming More Like Alfie The Divine Comedy
35 Scooby Snacks Fun Lovin’ Criminals
36 If I Could Talk I’d Tell You The Lemonheads
37 Lovefool – Radio Edit The Cardigans
38 One To Another The Charlatans
39 Sugar Is Sweeter – Original Mix CJ Bolland
40 Semtex The Third Eye Foundation
41 Setting Sun (Full Length) The Chemical Brothers
42 Firestarter The Prodigy
43 Three Lions Baddiel, Skinner & Lightning Seeds
44 Female Of The Species Space
45 Girl About Town Helen Love
46 Fluorescences Stereolab
47 2, 3, Go The Wedding Present
48 The Man Don’t Give a Fuck Super Furry Animals
49 Everything Must Go Manic Street Preachers
50 Richard III Supergrass
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4 thoughts on “Times Of Our Lives: 1996 – Thus Life Was Designed

  1. Odd you haven’t included the ManUre FA Cup dirge. I would have included (well actually, I would have gone for the 80s) Born Slippy, Killing me Softly and Missing. Think California Love was that year too. And knocking out Spain or was it Holland on a loop.

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