Top Ten Albums (Part 3)
(What's The Story) Morning Glory?
Seven: Mid-nineties Britain was brilliant. Classic British comedy such as Only Fools And Horses was still going, England sang Three Lions as Euro 96 colourfully reached a tearful climax and Oasis revived the pure rock 'n' roll tradition of the Beatles. After their intensely rockable debut Definitely Maybe, WTSMG became the standard bearer for nineties Britpop. Packed full of anthems, including the classy trio of 'Don't Look Back In Anger', 'Wonderwall' and 'Champagne Supernova', Noel Gallagher's melodies sweep listeners away. The stylish 'Cast No Shadow' and the light-hearted 'She's Electric' give this album pure consistency.
And who said Oasis weren't innovators? This is the only album in this top ten to have not one but two tracks without a title. Imagine that. Two untitled tracks. Unthinkable before Oasis. In truth, much of Oasis' game was borrowed, but borrowed from the best, and had that refreshingly British Britpop feel about it. This album is not only great for what it is but also for what it represented. If only Britpop lived forever.
Eight: The only non-British album on this list, though REM's Automatic for The People arguably should be here, the American rock act provided the type of album that defined its genre. The lyrics and moods on this album range from irresistibly catchy pop/rock such as 'Here Comes Your Man' to surreal madness like 'Debaser.' When this range is brought together, we get the ultimate Pixies song, 'Wave Of Mutilation,' a singularily captivating tribute to driving a car into the ocean. Francis Black takes a break from changing his name to move into new lyrical territory with his slightly barbed environmental masterpiece 'Monkey Gone To Heaven.' Mixed in with references to religion, dementia and plain noise, Doolittle is both pure rock fun and set apart from the crowd.
Nine: Refer to the above for tribute to Britpop. Parklife's title track was perhaps the Britpop anthem, closely trailed by Live Forever. The lyrics better Oasis and no listener can ever forget the numerous classic lines on this CD but giving examples would involve reciting the whole of 'Parklife.' That's not to say the album is a one trick pony with Girls & Boys, End Of A Century and Tracy Jacks also embodying the Britpop ideal, while songs such as 'This Is A Low' show us the arty side of Blur. Damon Albarn sprinkles his social commentary about but, in short, "It's got nothing to do with your vorsprungdurchtechnik, you know."
Ten: Different Class is essentially about two things – Jarvis Cocker's love life and working class dissatifaction set to spiky, instantly catchy melodies. When the two are combined, we get the hilarious 'Common People,' another Britpop classic, about a rich girl slumming in down with our narrator. "I took her to a supermarket, I don't know why but I had to start it somewhere." 'Disco 2000' and 'Sorted for Es and Wizz' espouse quality while 'Misshapes' should go down as the best working-class protest song since The Clash. "Mis-shapes, mistakes, misfits, we'd like to go to town but we can't risk it/Oh 'cause they just want to keep us out/You could end up with a smash in the mouth just for standing out