Britpop was a mid-1990s British-based music culture movement that emphasised Britishness. It produced brighter, catchier alternative rock, partly in reaction to the popularity of the darker lyrical themes of the US-led grunge music and to the UK's own shoegaze music scene. The movement brought British alternative rock into the mainstream and formed the backbone of a larger British popular cultural movement, Cool Britannia, which evoked the Swinging Sixties and the British guitar pop of that decade.
|Cultural origins||Early 1990s, United Kingdom|
|New wave of new wave|
Britpop was a media-driven focus on bands which emerged from the independent music scene of the early 1990s. Although the term was viewed as a marketing tool, and more of a cultural moment than a musical style or genre, its associated bands typically drew from the British pop music of the 1960s, glam rock and punk rock of the 1970s and indie pop of the 1980s.
The most successful bands linked with Britpop were Oasis, Blur, Suede and Pulp, known as the movement's "big four", although Suede and Pulp distanced themselves from the term. The timespan of Britpop is generally considered to be 1993–1997, and its peak years to be 1995–1996. A chart battle between Blur and Oasis (dubbed "The Battle of Britpop") brought the movement to the forefront of the British press in 1995. While music was the main focus, fashion, art and politics also got involved, with Tony Blair and New Labour aligning themselves with the movement.
During the late 1990s, many Britpop acts began to falter commercially or break up, or otherwise moved towards new genres or styles. Commercially, Britpop lost out to teen pop, while artistically it segued into a post-Britpop indie movement, associated with bands such as Travis and Coldplay.