I picked up ‘Britpop!‘ by John Harris for a couple bucks at one of those book liquidation-type places, and have been pleasantly surprised by how awesome it is. Well written, thoroughly researched, and comprehensive! In addition to couching the tales of musical evolution in the appropriate social and political context, it’s filled with all sorts of inconsequential details that I love knowing. For example, Justine Frischman: Trust funder! Her sass-factor and the relative appeal thereof will now have to be recalculated. Also, Rough Trade Records: painfully idealistic!
“One thing is for certain: during the first phase of its existence, Rough Trade demonstrated its disdain for music industry decadence by refusing to send journalists and radio stations free records. ‘We just thought, “These records are so good, they should come and get them themselves,”‘ says Travis. ‘It’s very expensive to give away hundreds of records, simple as that. It makes a lot of economic sense to make people come to you.’ The principle was also reflected in the non-existence of guest-lists at Rough Trade-related concerts. ‘The important people,’ says Travis, with an undiminished enthusiasm for the principle, ‘were the kids who wanted to get in.'”
Awesome! If you’ve counted yourself a fan of any british rock band since 1990, and you like some history with your music facts, I hereby recommend it.