The Story of Britpop is the definitive four-part series, charting the birth, boom and bust of the biggest moment in British pop in the last thirty years. As Britain is set for a Britpop summer with the huge shows from Blur and Pulp – Britpop is back!
Episode one of The Story of Britpop charts Britpop’s rise as the intertwining fortunes and rivalries of Blur, Oasis, Suede and Elastica created Britpop as we know it. Charting the growth of a new, dynamic pop music which was to rewrite the music business and put a kind of Britishness back into culture – celebratory, swaggering and with tunes that would live forever.
We hear from Suede insiders about how the movement started with Suede’s glam-inspired sound and first album, whilst Alex James and Dave Rowntree of Blur reveal how their band’s disastrous first tour of America triggered a reboot and reappraisal that saw them embrace Britishness, culminating in Britpop’s classic Parklife album.
And we feature never-before-seen footage from behind the scenes of Parklife’s era-defining video…oi! Then with the stage set for a pop explosion two brothers from a Manchester estate were about to blow it sky high!
Creation Records boss Alan McGee recounts the legendary story of spotting Oasis and we chart the band’s meteoric rise with the help of rarely-seen (and unusually candid) archive interviews with Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher, as the pair injected a superstar swagger into the growing Britpop movement.
Along the way Noel reveals his thinking behind Britpop anthem Live Forever, we go into the studio for the recording of Definitely Maybe, and we unpick the combustible and increasingly newsworthy relationship between the brothers with a host of Oasis insiders. But as Britpop developed it was much more than a rivalry between the cheeky Blur and the in-your-face Gallagher brother’s bombastic sound.
It's revealed how Britpop owed its creation to pioneers Suede and tracks like Animal Nitrate, and we learn from Suede producer Ed Buller how the band’s leader Brett Anderson was in part driven to succeed by his desire for revenge against Blur, after girlfriend Justine Frishmann left him for Blur’s Damon Albarn.
And we chart Justine’s own vital contribution to Britpop as the driving force behind Elastica who introduced a spiky punkiness and much-needed female perspective to the Britpop mix with songs like Connection and Waking Up. It all adds up to a richly evocative first chapter in the history of the rise of Britpop, filled with fascinating anecdotes and rarely seen archive from an era brimming with confidence and unforgettable music.
The Story Of Britpop begins Sunday 12th March on Channel 5.