(If these aren't ringing a bell, PLEASE go listen to them right now!!!)
As an aside, this list is likely more helpful for non-UK residents. Most of the following groups/ albums achieved at least some degree of commercial success in their homeland. I want to bring them to the world (or at least the handful of people actually reading this).
The La's (1990)
Let's be clear: THIS IS AS CLOSE TO A PERFECT ALBUM AS YOU CAN GET. When I first heard it, it was a revelation. That's because Lee Mavers and co. honed these songs to a scalpel edge; playing them for years on the local club circuit before committing them to wax. The tracks are concise, melodic, catchy, invigorating, memorable, charming (in an unmistakably Liverpudlian way), and timeless (see, for example, the aptly named "Timeless Melody"). Mavers is a genius...it's that simple. It is impossible to pack more pop goodness into a 2-3 minute track than The La's do here. Unfortunately, Mavers' genius proved to be the end of The La's, who would never release another album. Displeased with the debut album's mixing, Mavers lashed out in the press, doing everything he could to stymie its success (unsuccessfully as it turned out). In the meantime, he began working feverishly on the follow-up...which, almost 30 years later, has yet to see the light of day. Some rough cuts have surfaced online, including a recording known as "The Crescent Tapes" (Mavers had taken a band called "The Crescent" under his wing...and they appear to have covertly taped some material and leaked it). Although the sound on these leaks is rather low quality, the songs sound extremely promising.
So, what happened? Rumours abound...but Mavers' perfectionism, and the gargantuan scope of his artistic vision almost certainly contributed. Apparently a young Noel Gallagher once said that he began Oasis as a way to "finish what The La's started." Hopefully one day The La's will finish what The La's started.
I Can't Sleep:
Cast- All Change (1995); Mother Nature Calls (1997); Magic Hour (1999)
Longpigs- The Sun Is Often Out (1996)
Dozen Wicked Words:
Ocean Colour Scene- Moseley Shoals (1996)
The Day We Caught The Train:
Love Is The Law:
I Want You To Know:
Dodgy- Free Peace Sweet (1996)
Workmanlike Britpop mainstays with a string of successful, radio- ready singles (one of their best, "Found You", appearing on this album...along with 3 other top 20 UK singles). Check out the dual chorus melodies and pure rock bliss of "You've Gotta Look Up".
You've Gotta Look Up:
The masters of dark romanticism. Sex-charged, self-consciously excessive, and revelling in crunchy, dense glam riffage--the debut is as good a place to start with Suede as any (although critics usually gravitate towards the follow-up: the darker, more esoteric "Dog Man Star").
Gay Dad- Leisure Noise (1999)
My Son Mystic:
Oasis- Whatever (Single) (1994)
Yes, I know everyone is aware of Oasis. If not, you should be- they're brilliant.
What audiences outside of the UK may not know is that the group released a stand-alone single (unavailable on any full-length album until the deluxe reissue of "Definitely Maybe") to bridge the gap between their debut, and the now legendary "(What's the Story?) Morning Glory". It did the job nicely, maintaining the momentum the young superstars had begun to build until they could deliver the knockout punch.
"Whatever" is an ambitious (almost 6-and-a-half minutes in length + featuring a full orchestra) anthem for the defiant, the proud, and really anyone seeking a sense of affirmation--- an uplifting "take me as I am" statement from the pen of one of rock's most tuneful songwriters, and the lips of one of its most defiant and confident performers. In short, it richly deserves its almost 55 million(!) plays on YouTube. "I'm free to be whatever I- whatever I choose and I'll sing the blues if I want".
Heavy Stereo- Smiler (Single) (1995)
The Real People (1991)
Drugstore-White Magic For Lovers (1998)
Hurricane #1 (1997)
Step Into My World:
Travis-Good Feeling (1997)
Drummer Alan White would go on to play with Oasis from 1995-2001 (replacing original drummer Tony McCarroll).
Hard To Get: