“Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words.”― Robert G. Ingersoll
Beetlebum – Blur
Blur propelled themselves to superstardom in the early-mid 1990s, as one of the leading players in the Britpop scene that took the nation by storm. By the time The Battle of Britpop became front page news in 1995, the London band had become known for a quirky approach to songwriting led by Damon Albarn, compared to rivals Oasis’ more traditional take on things. They sought to reinvent themselves on 1997’s self-titled album, with lead single ‘Beetlebum’ signalling a stylistic change inspired by American alternative rock. Albarn has since admitted that the song was written about his experiences with heroin, in an attempt to capture what he called the “sexy and sleepy” feeling.
Groovy Train – The Farm
With the release and subsequent success of their debut album ‘Spartacus’ in 1991, Liverpool band The Farm proved that the popularity of the baggy subculture wasn’t exclusive to neighbouring Manchester. Peter Hooton and co. scored a #6 hit in the singles charts with their second single ‘Groovy Train,’ aided by its distinctive guitar intro, understated dance beat and feel-good chorus. The warm reception to ‘Groovy Train’ – including a front-page NME feature with the headline “When Harry Met Scally” – paved the way for the band to score their biggest success with the following release of their crowning moment; the wonderful ‘All Together Now.’
Love Shack – The B-52’s
Wonderfully unique and irrepressibly quirky, the B-52’s blended elements of disco and surf rock in creating their individual take on new wave. The band landed themselves a smash-hit in 1989, just missing the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic with ‘Love Shack.’ Inspired by a real-life cabin in which the group penned their first single, ‘Rock Lobster,’ the song was their first to reach the Billboard Top 40 in the US and remains undoubtedly their biggest hit. Complete with goofy lyrics, background noise from a party and a sharp pop chorus, it’s easy to see why this was such a hit upon its release.
Good Enough – Dodgy
It’s testament to the sheer scale of the Britpop phenomenon that bands like Dodgy achieved such success. Never ones to take themselves all too seriously, Dodgy gained a cult following in the mid-1990s thanks to their easy-as-you-like tunes which captured the element of fun whilst also being undeniably catchy. Along with ‘Staying Out For The Summer,’ ‘Good Enough’ was the feather in their cap. Equal parts throwaway goofiness and blend of inspirational and motivational, ‘Good Enough’ reached #4 in the UK charts in 1996 before Britpop faded away.
Love Come Down – Evelyn King
Soul singer Evelyn King first rose to prominence in the late 1970s with her top ten hit ‘Shame,’ her highest charting release. With an uncle who was an actor and a father who was a singer, King was exposed to music from an early age and was discovered while working at Philadelphia International Records, when producer Theodore T. Life overheard her singing. Despite not being her biggest chart success, ‘Love Come Down’ is undoubtedly King’s most-well known tune, a disco-pop classic which still enjoys great popularity today.