Britpop is a subgenre of alternative rock that originated in the United Kingdom. Britpop emerged from the British independent music scene of the early 1990s and was characterised by bands influenced by British guitar pop music of the 1960s and 1970s. The movement developed as a reaction against various musical and cultural trends in the late 1980s and early 1990s, particularly the grunge phenomenon from the United States. In the wake of the musical invasion into the United Kingdom of American grunge bands, new British groups such as Suede and Blur launched the movement by positioning themselves as opposing musical forces, referencing British guitar music of the past and writing about uniquely British topics and concerns. These bands were soon joined by others including Oasis, The Verve, Pulp, Supergrass, Space, Sleeper and Elastica.
Britpop groups brought British alternative rock into the mainstream and formed the backbone of a larger British cultural movement called Cool Britannia. Although its more popular bands were able to spread their commercial success overseas, especially to the United States, the movement largely fell apart by the end of the decade.
Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop is a 2003 documentary film written and directed by John Dower. The documentary is a study of popular culture in the United Kingdom during the mid to late 1990s. The focus of the piece is British popular music (Britpop), which underwent a resurgence during the mid-1990s and then seemingly retreated with similar haste towards the end of that decade.
The political landscape of the time also features. Much is made of Tony Blair and New Labour’s efforts to align themselves with the distinctly British cultural resurgence that was underway. The documentary features a number of prominent UK musical and artistic figures, but relies heavily on contributions from Noel & Liam Gallagher of Oasis, Damon Albarn of Blur and Jarvis Cocker of Pulp. Other contributors include 3D from Massive Attack, Louise Wener from Sleeper, fashion designer Ozwald Boateng and modern artist Damien Hirst.
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