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The 90’s: When Britannia Ruled the Waves

In my opinion, most people’s favourite decade of music would have to be the one they grew up in, the one that provided the most fun, let them escape or find some identity, whether it was smooching around with a quiff like Elvis or deciphering the lyrics of Joy Division.

I’d love to be different and announce that Tchaikovsky’s symphonies delighted my early musical pallet, but in truth I am a 90’s kid, watching Rugrats and running after Rory the Tiger every summer at a Haven’s holiday park energized on 27p (Believe it or not) Mars bars and Hanson. However the roots stem a lot further than rusty old caravan parks, so here we go.

Even though people were beat down from the Thatcherite reign after the pit closures in 84’, she had created unity within communities, who started to pick up battered drum machines, samplers and guitars, the start of a musical revolution.

Acid house arrived from the clubs of Chicago and spread to the disused warehouses and barren fields of the British countryside, which was the start of what we call ‘the dance culture’. As it evolved many more styles formed, trip-hop, trance, jungle and rave, which gave everybody something to dance to.

Elsewhere Britpop revolutionised rock music as Oasis and Blur fought the North/South divide, and whether it was country houses or cigarettes and a beer that took your fancy it captured the minds of a nation going through change.

The culture was also a huge part of the scene, as the Conservative party lost touch with the people and New Labour pounced with a fresh exciting campaign, dubbed ‘Cool Britannia’. Britain was cool again, Euro 96, the second summer of love and the ‘baggy’ style, which were all heavily influenced by the music.

Thatcher started the musical revolution as people took to the fields in rebellion, and Tony Blair continued it by enhancing the profiles of stars such as Noel Gallagher, a set up for the next generation, and with the emergence of new genres such as garage and dubstep the influence is obvious.

And one more thing, if you ever do happen to bump into Alex Turner or Calvin Harris, ask them the same question, what was the best decade for music?

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Written by Dean Dallman

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