On the day Oasis became (officially) bigger than the Beatles, ten albums which define pop's new diversity

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Black Grape

It's Great When You're Straight ... Yeah! (Radioactive)

Most infectious dance-rock party album of last year, replete with blues harps, electric sitars and slide guitars, over which stumblebum poet Shaun Ryder mutters enigmatic raps. All the swagger of vintage 1972 Stones.

The Chemical Brothers

Exit Planet Dust (Junior Boys' Own)

Wielding synthesisers like rivet-guns, DJ remix duo The Chemical Brothers make the kind of dance music rock fans can enjoy too, a fearsome punk- funk techno-metal barrage.

Everything But The Girl

Walking Wounded (Warner Bros)

This folk-jazz duo's intriguing blend of spring-loaded double-time rhythms of jungle music.

Tracey Thorn's calmly focused delivery uses the dry, strangely impersonal rhythm tracks as a springboard.

Mark Morrison

Return Of The Mack (Eastwest)

Leicester's own leather-clad lothario proved just as able with the seductive sounds of swingbeat and G-Funk as any of the American originators. Lots of sex and drugs, but mercifully free of violence.


(What's The Story) Morning Glory?


Leavening the ringing guitar-rock of their debut with pensive ballads, Oasis pull out all the stops this time round. Throughout, it's Noel Gallagher's way with a tune - anybody's tune - which remains their trump card.


Different Class


Pop's favourite man of the people, Jarvis Cocker on top form, rendering the myriad discomforts of desire with unflinching but droll gaze, and cheerleading through the revenge-of-the-nerds singles "Common People" and "Mis-Shapes"


The Bends


Like U2 and Nirvana before them, Radiohead manage to articulate the most heartfelt, abject disaffection in the most uplifting manner. Oxford's finest has a huge US following, despite barbed English cynicism.

Super Furry Animals

Fuzzy Logic


Part of the resurgent Welsh rock scene that also includes the Manic Street Preachers, Super Furry Animals make daft new music out of whimsical old styles, on songs about alien abduction, drug dealers and computer games.




Dark and hallucinatory, this is the keystone work of "trip-hop" music, in which the raps and sample collages of hip-hop are slowed down and stretched out to supply a languid menace that evokes the angry torpor of black disaffection.

Various Artists

Routes Out Of The Jungle


In jungle music, the programmed snare-drum rattles along at twice the speed of the bass, a sonic relationship affording an unusual variety of approaches. This compilation covers the lot.