When people think about British music, for the most part they think about the 60s or 70s with the likes of the Beatles and The Rolling Stones or more modern artists like Adele or Ed Sheeran. However stuck between these two eras was, in my opinion, British music's best period. The 90s were an optimistic time for Britain and indeed Europe, with the economy recovering from the lows of the 80s and the Cold War ending and that reflected in the cultural contribution the decade made.
One of the defining features of 90s music was the birth of 'Britpop'. This was a style of pop music that aimed to promote 'Britishness' and commonly featured electric guitars, drums and male singers. It was said to be an answer to the 'grunge' movement that originated in the United States, of which Nirvana are the most famous example. Britpop was the style used by world-famous bands such as Oasis, Blur, Pulp and Suede who became known as 'The Big Four' thanks to their domination of the charts at this time. The summer of 1995 was dominated by the 'Battle of Britpop' which was between Blur and Oasis for the number 1 spot. Eventually, Blur won the battle and Oasis settled for second. Britpop continues to have a cultural impact today with modern fashion influenced by the 90s becoming more and more popular as exemplified by the popularity of bucket hats!
However the 90s weren't only for the boys, with major female groups also finding fame. The most well-known of which were the Spice Girls who were incredibly popular in Britain and around the world. Once again they promoted 'Britishness' and had catchy melodies and lyrics, but they also started the 'Girl Power' movement which was heavily linked to feminism and helped empower girls and women worldwide. It isn't too far to assume that without their music, many female singers and artists who we love today would not have had the confidence to chase their dream. The fame gained by the Spice Girls meant that after 2000, girl groups were always in the British charts with Atomic Kitten, Sugababes and Girls Aloud the most famous.
British music may have had many great times and we are very proud of our music industry in Britain, however the 90s are often overlooked and I feel that they are in fact one of the most important eras in history. I was not alive to enjoy the music properly (unfortunately), however the 90s had a huge impact on British culture that can be felt today. So many different things can be said to have been influenced by the 90s and I feel that the decade should get the recognition it deserves!
What's your favourite type of music? Do you like any of the bands from the 90s that Adam mentions?