Independent spirit keeps British pop on a high note

The British and American film industries have been boosted this year by the majors investing in so-called independent film makers. The music industry could broadly be said to have done the same thing.

When the big labels invested in indie bands such as Oasis and Blur and decided to call them Britpop they sparked a new wave of album-buying in a public that because of dance music had got out of the habit of having rock'n'roll heroes.

While Blur were reinventing themselves with their eponymous album, Oasis's much-hyped Be Here Now was not met with great critical approval.

So, this year, for Oasis and Blur read The Verve and Radiohead. Both bands have the most nominations from assorted critics for best album - Urban Hymns and OK Computer respectively - and both were commercially successful.

While album of the year is of course a matter of taste, that taste in 1997 seems to be dictated less by your membership of a musical tribe. Instead consensus reigns over most of the lists for best album.

And this does not mean that the guitar bands have seen off dance music. 1997 was the year when everyone went clubbing and James Palumbo's empire at the Ministry of Sound stretched into politics and the media.

Rather the musical consensus dictates that faceless dance music compilations in their myriad forms rest happily in CD collections next to the "Oxbridge guitar rock" of Radiohead.

Indeed The Prodigy's rock/dance music crossover album The Fat of The Land is evidence enough that rather than being dedicated to dance music or guitar bands British tastes in 1997 encompassed both.

Certainly, the fact that the complex synthesiser-generated dance sounds of Reprazent (by the DJ Roni Size) unexpectedly won the Mercury Music Best Album prize suggests that in Britain, at least, there is no shortage of new ideas about what constitutes mainstream music.

nmE

Best albums of the year:

1.Spiritualized: Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space

2. Radiohead: OK Computer

3. The Verve:

Urban Hymns

4. Primal Scream

Vanishing Point

5. Superfurry Animals: Radiator

mixmag

Dance music albums of the year

1. The Chemical Brothers: Dig Your Own Hole

2. Reprazent: New Forms

3. The Prodigy: The Fat of the Land

4. Daft Punk: Homework

5. Etienne De Crecy Presents:

Super Discount

the face

Albums of the Year

1. Daft Punk: Homework

2. Radiohead: OK Computer

3. The Verve: Urban Hymns

4. Missy Elliott: Supa Dupa Fly

5. Spiritualized: Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space

Readers' poll best LP of the year

1. Radiohead: OK Computer

2. The Verve: Urban Hymns

3. Oasis: Be Here Now

4. The Prodigy: The Fat of the Land

5. Superfurry Animals: Radiator

melody maker

q magazine

Readers' poll top five albums of all time

1. Radiohead:

OK Computer

2. The Beatles:

Revolver

3. REM

Automatic for the People

4. Stone Roses:

The Stone Roses

5. Nirvana:

Nevermind

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy as ECB finally wield the axe
Life and Style
food + drink
Voices
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959
voicesWard committed no crime, and the truth is still being covered up, writes Geoffrey Robertson QC
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas