Over a decade now since punk rocked the British musical scene to its foundations and caused an eruption of independently produced records, the scene and a new generation of figurehead artists began to let ambition in and head overground, playing to increasingly large crowds, working with bigger budgets and selling more copies, finding a footing in the UK’s Top Forty, venturing into the USA and, ultimately, creating a mainstream audience now primed for credible, guitar-tinged pop. Meanwhile, an underground revolution in clubland began to push towards the commercial same space, resulting in an inevitable fusion of songcraft and dancefloor aesthetics.
C90 captures perfectly the moment these tribes began to coalesce. From the opening, club-friendly rendition of The Charlatans’ Polar Bear to The La’s knowingly backward looking Timeless Melody and all in-between, this is the sound of a scene dropping the raincoats, dropping acid and aiming for domination. 1990 was the start of a new decade when the Indie scene was dominated by Madchester and the arrival of Shoegaze and with nods towards grunge and what would become known as Britpop, plus hints of a proto- laddism peering out from between the cracks in a post-Smiths aesthetic, the sound of 1990, it could be argued, set the tone for the remainder of the decade.
C90 is a snapshot of a unique moment in time. A piece of history. The sound of a country putting the hard-biting 1980s behind it, embracing the Daisy Age and looking to move forwards. Includes more household names than ever – The Charlatans, The La’s, Ocean Colour Scene, Boo Radleys, Spiritualized Etc – Alongside scene frontrunners like Paris Angels, World Of Twist, Northside, The Sundays, Flowered Up, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin And The Sarah Records Roster.
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