FUZZED-UP sideburned sparky pop fun from a trio of hyperactive youngsters who seemed to have worked out everything that was great about Cream-era pop and bashed it out in a collection of rapid-fire punky pop-splurge Buzzcocks-meet-Pistols-meet-Madness-meet-Syd’s-Floyd-meet-Bowie-meet-Beach-Boys-meet-Eurotrash-theme thrills. Seemingly beamed in from a universe where ‘quallidy pop’ never happened, Gaz, Danny and Mickey were the toast of 1995 and rightly so; not only were they immeasurably better than any of their Britpop peers (yes, including Oasis and – at least in their circa-The Great Escape incarnation – Blur) and therefore by association enormously more exciting than anything else around at the time, they also made a rather corking album to boot. There’s the surprisingly large hit singles quotient (Caught By The Fuzz, Mansize Rooster, Lenny, Alright, and we’re counting Time and Lose It as well round here thank you very much), the manic singalongs (I’d Like To Know, Strange Ones, She’s So Loose), the are-they-for-real? jokiness (Sitting Up Straight, Time To Go), the lovelorn epic (Sofa (Of My Lethargy)), and the downright oddness (We’re Not Supposed To, and all that “Igor! I can’t find you…” business) that suggested they’d spent a little too long poking around the more unhinged corners of their local independent record shop. For so many reasons it couldn’t last, of course, but even then Supergrass defied all logic and expectation by getting better and better as their star steadily but very very slowly faded.
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With a bit of luck, the second hour will be a preview of what BBC4 are serving up in twelve months as Tony plays the hits of 1981, mostly Lennon-orientated at the moment but hopefully he might give the mighty Susan Fassbender a spin as well. Before that, some stuff we’ll never see on BBC4 from 1961.
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