Various - Common People - Brit Pop: The Story
With Glasto and their Hyde Park appearances now a thing of the past, the fuss around the Blur reunion has died down and you can almost hear even Damon Albarn muttering 'What now?' It's an unanswered question, with no new material on the horizon, and it could still turn out that all that really came of the summer's Britpop flashback were a few glorious gigs and multiple cash-in discs like this. Until the inevitable Pulp reunion, at least...
You could do worse than bypass the wait with this hefty anthology, bringing together all that was good (Mansun, Stone Roses, and Jarvis Cocker's troupe to boot) and bad (Babybird, Dodgy, Embrace) about the supposed evergreen era and spreading it over three discs sure to get thirtysomethings all misty-eyed and nostalgic for E's and whizz. I'm guessing it has something to do with royalties, but it is still unforgivable that such an extensive compilation emits Oasis and Blur, the major league red-top stars of Britpop, in favour of Gay Dad.
Who needs to hear Wonderwall for the 10,000th time though, right? Taken for what it is, Common People is a generous mixtape of the movers, shakers and underachievers who formed a genre I have only fuzzy memories of, being eight years-old and ready to fall for the Spice Girls and all. While it serves to reinforce the carefree summer joys of Supergrass's Alright and reminds us how great Coming Up-era Suede were, the boxset really strikes gold when highlighting the oft-overlooked female contributions; so we have pre-trash telly Cerys Matthews and the always-welcome Sleeper, but how about a bit of theaudience and Kenickie to rewind us to when Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Lauren Laverne were grade-A indie sirens? A welcome blast from the past.