Brace your credit card one last time this Black Friday, dip back into 1995, and rediscover quite how good Supergrass’s debut was – complete with remasters, genuinely great B-sides (e.g. Wait For The Sun, Sex!), hitherto-hidden demos, acoustic versions, two blistering live shows… Oh, and vinyl and 3-CD formats.
It’s a shame that Supergrass have largely gone down in history as ‘the band that did Alright’ (followed by choruses of “We are young! Nah nah nah! Erm….keep our TEETH! Nice and CLEAN!”). Not because Alright isn’t fabulous. It absolutely is – it’s three minutes of pop perfection. But to ignore the rest of this fantastic record, and all the personality crammed therein, would be a terrible mistake.
Beyond Alright – and the much-mentioned ‘cheeky chappie’, generously sideburned face of Gaz and co – there was always more to Supergrass. Quite apart from the quality albums that followed I Should Coco (In It For The Money, Life On Other Planets, Road To Rouen…), the volume of instantly loveable gems and eccentricities in this package prove what a killer prospect they were. Fun and fiery, but with real substance.
From primal demos of Lenny, to the likes of Time in finished glory, it’s a vibrant memoir of a band at their excited, fruitful beginning. Mansize Rooster, She’s So Loose, Caught By The Fuzz… and remember Sex!? The first – and probably only – time anyone has made Shepherd’s Pie the star of a cute pop song. As mood-lifters go, it’s up there with videos of baby pandas.
I Should Coco made Supergrass briefly huge. But Britpop quickly became associated with Oasis and Blur – who (one can argue) made fewer really strong records, spent much of the 90s/early 00s bickering about stuff, and became much bigger names in the process.
Which makes this anniversary package especially deserving of your attention. Dive in, absorb, and reignite a quietly brilliant slice of pop rock history.