The publication of Morrissey’s Autobiography has been an immediate success. The book has performed so well already that it has become one of the fastest-selling memoirs on record and is now the fastest-selling autobiography ever written by a musician, overtaking Keith Richards’ Life. Autobiography is now the second fastest-selling memoir of all time after Kate McCann’s Madeleine. As soon as you finish up your requisite copy of Moz’ hefty book, you might be hoping to dive right in to another musical manuscript. Here are four Britpop books that you might have missed.
1. Bit Of A Blur: The Autobiography by Alex James
Who better to guide us though the Britpop high life than Blur’s affable bass player, Alex James? The self-proclaimed number-one slag of the Groucho Club, James was always ready for a party. He was the ‘second drunkest member of the world’s drunkest band,’ and this entertaining memoir of his years in Blur (as well as the few years leading up to it) proves it in detail. Like many rockstar bios, this one brags about the women, the drugs, and the excesses. But never has the old cliché been written so good-naturedly that you can’t help but feel a bit of camaraderie for the mischievous scamp spinning his yarns. One can only hope there’ll be a follow-up book detailing life on the farm and, specifically, how he came up with Blue Monday. Britpop News featured an in-depth review earlier in the year.
2. Supersonic: Personal Situations with Oasis (1992-96) by Stuart Deabill and Ian Snowball
Supersonic charts Oasis’ meteoric rise from tiny Manchester venues to their legendary Knebworth gigs, playing to 250,000 people over two days in the summer of 1996. The story is told by fans and people who worked closely with the band during their formative years. The book features the mandatory unseen photos necessary for such books, and Deabill and Snowball touch on the major moments in Oasis’ career: from the release of their debut, Definitely Maybe, to the historic Oasis vs. Blur rivalry and their record-breaking gigs at Knebworth. Noel and Liam Gallagher were the dynamic brothers who made guitar rock cool again and electrified the world with their style and attitude. Supersonic is an intimate look at the early days of Oasismania.
3. Just For One Day: Adventures In Britpop by Louise Wener
Louise Wener, the syrupy-voiced singer of 90s darlings Sleeper, penned her autobiography just a few years ago. Just For One Day takes you on her personal journey from awkward pop geek in 1980’s English suburbia to the quintessential Britpop goddess the following decade. Of course, once she’s living the dream at the height of Britpop glory, things aren’t quite how you think they would be. Wener takes us from stadium gigs to extensive press tours, constant touring to television cameras, with plenty of laughs and awkward moments in between. Just For One Day is Wener’s chronicle of the hilarious adventures of a girl through the wilderness of Britpop.
4. Suede: The Biography by David Barnett
This is the definitive, authorized story of Suede. Barnett’s biography offers everything you could want to know about Suede: the band’s beginnings and early media hype, the very public feud between singer Brett Anderson and Blur’s Damon Albarn over the affections of Justine Frischmann, and their acrimonious split with guitarist Bernard Butler. This volume touches on all the stories that kept Britpop fans riveted to the weekly music mags. The new edition has expanded the saga to the present day, touching on the unlikely reunion concerts and subsequent album, Bloodsports. Suede are back, and now’s the time to review their career in loving detail with Barnett’s excellent chronicle. Don’t forget to read the footnotes. Britpop News previewed the newest edition earlier this year.
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