Black Grape – It’s great when you’re straight, Yeah (The ’59) #229

The ’59 2018 #229: 180817

Black Grape – It’s great when you’re straight, Yeah (1995)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 37 – 1995.

It’s Great When You’re Straight…Yeah was the first album from Black Grape, released in 1995 on Radioactive Records.

It was a critical and commercial success, particularly in the UK, where it topped the Album Charts for two weeks and produced two Top 10 hit singles and a third Top 20 hit. “Reverend Black Grape”  (No.9), “In The Name of the Father” (No.8) and “Kelly’s Heroes” (No.17).

The album was seen as something of a triumphant comeback for both Shaun Ryder and Bez, who had suffered from a decline in popularity and interest in their former band, the Madchester and pre-Britpop indie dance/rock innovators, the Happy Mondays. “It’s Great…” represented what some considered an evolution of the Happy Mondays sound on their 1990 album ‘Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches’, with a stronger hip hop influence, down mostly to the rapping of Kermit, formerly of the band ‘The Ruthless Rap Assassins’.

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Pulp – Different Class (The ’59) #228

The ’59 2018 #228: 180816

Pulp – Different Class (1995)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 37 – 1995.

Different Class was Pulp’s fifth studio album, released on Island Records on 30 October 1995, and in the US on 27 February 1996.

The album was a critical and commercial success, entering the UK Albums Chart at No.1 and winning the 1996 Mercury Music Prize.

‘Common People’ was the album’s lead single

Blur – Parklife (The ’59) #221

The ’59 2018 #221: 180809

Blur – Parklife (1994)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 36 – 1994.

Parklife was the third studio album by Blur, released in April 1994 on Food Records.

After disappointing sales for their previous album ‘Modern Life Is Rubbish‘ (1993), Parklife returned Blur to prominence in the UK, helped by its four hit singles: “Girls & Boys”, “End of a Century”, “Parklife” and “To the End”.

Certified four times platinum in the United Kingdom,in the year following its release the album came to define the emerging Britpop scene.

Oasis – Definitely Maybe (The ’59) #220

The ’59 2018 #220: 180808

Oasis – Definitely Maybe (1994)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 36 – 1994.

Definitely Maybe was the debut studio album from Oasis,  released on 29 August 1994 by Creation Records.

The album was an immediate commercial and critical success in the UK, having followed on the heels of the singles “Supersonic”, “Shakermaker”, and “Live Forever”. It went straight to No.1  in the UK Albums Chart, and became the fastest-selling debut album in the UK at the time.

Oasis were similarly successful in the United States, selling over one million copies there despite only peaking at 58 on the Billboard 200. The album went on to sell over 8 million copies worldwide and brought widespread critical acclaim.

Blur – Modern life is rubbish (The ’59) #218

The ’59 2018 #218: 180806

Blur – Modern life is rubbish (1993)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 35 – 1993.

Modern Life Is Rubbish, Blur’s second studio album, was  released in May 1993.

Under threat of being dropped by Food Records, for their next album Blur underwent an image makeover championed by frontman Damon Albarn. The band incorporated influences from traditional British guitar-pop groups including the Kinks and the Small Faces, and the resulting sound was melodic and lush, featuring brass, woodwind and backing vocalists. Albarn’s lyrics on Modern Life Is Rubbish use poignant humour and Ray Davies characterisation to investigate the dreams, traditions and prejudices of suburban England.

Although a moderate chart success in the UK, peaking at No.15, it’s regarded as one of the defining releases of the Britpop scene, and its chart-topping follow-ups—Parklife and The Great Escape—saw Blur emerge as one of Britain’s leading pop acts.

Suede (The ’59) #215

The ’59 2018 #215: 180803

Suede (1993)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 35 – 1993.

Suede’s self titled debut was released in March 1993 on Nude Records. It was recorded in London at Master Rock studios during 1992 and early 1993 and was produced by Ed Buller. At the time the fastest-selling debut album in British history in almost a decade, Suede debuted at the top of the UK Albums Chart, won the 1993 Mercury Music Prize, and is often cited as one of the first Britpop records.

The Boo Radleys – Giant Steps (The ’59) #214

The ’59 2018 #214: 180802

The Boo Radleys – Giant Steps (1993)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 35 – 1993.

Giant Steps is the third album by The Boo Radleys, released in 1993. The title is inspired by John Coltrane’s album of the same name, and the record features an assortment of influences — their previous shoegazing sound backed by pop, reggae, noise pop and orchestral.

NME and Select named it as album of the year, and it was ranked at No.1  in Fanning’s Fab Fifty for that year. It reached the UK Top 20, but did not produce a Top 40 single.

In 2016, Pitchfork ranked the album at No. 25 in its list of “The 50 Best Shoegaze Albums of All Time”, with critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine writing:

The Boo Radleys’ songwriter/guitarist, Martin Carr, named his band’s 1993 album after John Coltrane’s 1959 LP, but Giant Steps also is a winking acknowledgment of another kind: He’s the first to know that the Liverpool quartet has taken a huge leap forward. Although they hardly renounce the thunderous swirl and delicate suspension of 1992’s Everything’s Alright Forever, the Boo Radleys treat that candied rush as an absorbed language, with Carr choosing to pursue a grand vision that unifies psychedelia, British guitar-pop, jazz, and dub. Part of the appeal of Giant Steps is that the Boo Radleys’ enthusiasm leads them to attempt fusions that would scare away other bands: Witness “Lazarus,” which begins with an elastic reggae beat before becoming consumed by sheets of guitars, wispy harmonies, and stabs of brass. “Lazarus” is essentially Giant Steps in microcosm, but the album gains strength through its own untrammeled ambition. At the dawn of britpop, the Boo Radleys chose expanding consciousness over provincial patriotism, and the results are still majestic.