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‘Butterfly’: Supergrass vs. Mansun vs. The Verve vs. Shack

Wow! Four, count ’em, FOUR Britpop bands released songs called ‘Butterfly’! Is Britain a land of lepidopterists? Are they all obsessed with the excellent William Wyler film, The Collector? Well, let’s give a listen to the four butterflies to see what they’re all about.

Supergrass – Butterfly

This is the final track on their last album, 2008’s Diamond Hoo Ha. ‘Butterfly’ just screams Roxy Music (and a bit of Low-era Bowie), and it’s so good, that it’s painful to think that this was our last taste of such a stalwart band.

Mansun – Butterfly (A New Beginning)

Mansun’s ‘Butterfly’ touches on the transformative nature of the butterfly, turning from lowly caterpillar to the majestic titular insect. Though it fades in like the buzz of a swarm of electronic flies, the song unfurls its kaleidoscopic wings in a psychedelic smokescreen. ‘Butterfly’ can be found on their sprawling 2000 album, Little Kix.

The Verve – ‘Butterfly’

The Verve’s ‘Butterfly’ pertains to the concept of the Butterfly effect, a theory which posits a relationship between seemingly unrelated occurrences in nature. ‘Catching the Butterfly,’ from their 1997 album Urban Hymns, is apparently a continuation of this theme. It even sounds as if the horn section in ‘Butterfly’ could have instigated some far-off natural disasters. ‘Butterfly’ is from The Verve’s 1993 debut, A Storm In Heaven, probably the best neo-psychedelic album released in the 1990s.

Shack – ‘Butterfly’

Shack seems to be one of the more unappreciated Britpop bands. If you don’t remember them, you might be familiar with the Pale Fountains, a great 1980s indie band which included two of Shack’s founding members. ‘Butterfly’ is from Shack’s final album, 2006’s …The Corner Of Miles And Gil, which was released on Noel Gallagher’s Sour Mash record label. The song features lovely accompaniment by the Tarleton and District Brass Band.

Britpopping since I first heard 'Animal Nitrate' in 1993

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