It’s the time of year for hilarious reader-voted music lists, it seems. First there was Rolling Stone‘s Worst Bands of the 1990s, which embarrassingly dubbed Nirvana the fifth-worst band of the decade, and now there’s the NME‘s Greatest Britpop Anthems, in which the first five spots are all filled by Oasis songs. If you go by the NME readership’s version of history, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Oasis and Blur were the only two bands writing decent songs during the 1990s, with the occasional token mention for Suede and Pulp. Clearly, this isn’t the case. So here’s a selection of underrated Britpop anthems by bands — some of which even include women! — that didn’t make NME‘s list.
The Bluetones — ”Slight Return”
A staple of indie discos throughout the 1990s and still one of the era’s breeziest and catchiest tunes. True story: this writer once attended a Bluetones afterparty at a seedy bar across the road from the Astoria in Charing Cross, and the band members had snuck their own beer into the venue because they were too poor to order from the bar. It wasn’t all coke and hookers back in the day, y’know.