GUITARS AND AMPS EXPO 2014: Between 1992 and 1997, guitar-wielding giants trod the land. The last major-label-backed UK-centric musical movement, Britpop, made megastars of the likes of Oasis and Blur, while Pulp, Suede and Elastica also enjoyed huge chart success. Here we take a look at the iconic riffs, solos and chord progressions in a scene that stripped rock to it's bones and shoved the six-string to the fore.
Song: Animal Nitrate
1993's self-titled Suede marked Britpop's true arrival and Animal Nitrate was the London band's big gun, single-wise. Bernard Butler's hammer-on-heavy runs swirl throughout, coming to an appropriately dizzy peak during the solo.
Indicative of the scene's embracing of 'well British Britishness' and the ensuing Union Jack-clad lad culture, Coxon's straightforward riff imbibes the song with a nonetheless irresistible swagger.
Representing Britpop's spikier side, Elastica's Stutter is the kind of tune that makes people form bands. Two minutes and four chords of fury, succinctly detailing the issues arising (or, err, not) when men drink before bedtime.
Song: Live Forever
Epitomising the era's sense of (ironically, unsustainable) optimism, Live Forever also bore possibly the finest solo in Britpop. Kicking in at 1.44, there are few better examples of Noel Gallagher's iconic wailing, mid-heavy lead sound.
Song: Staying Out For The Summer
Combining two Britpop staples - arpeggiated guitar chords and 'borrowed' riffs - Dodgy's 1994 hit and it's notable guitar line is somewhat reminiscent of Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear The Reaper, if the reaper in question is the one from Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey...
The song that took Oasis from upstart rockstars to bonafide mega-fame. It's since become an 'acoustic 101'-style mainstay, the classroom starting point for an unfathomable number of guitar players.
Song: Disco 2000
Sickeningly simple, it takes just three seconds to identify Pulp's second biggest hit from its guitar intro. It took them nearly 20 years, but with 1995's A Different Class, Pulp were ingrained in teenage brains everywhere.
Alright was an ode to the discoveries of early teen years and its guitar solo was perfectly reflective of the lyrical content, combining rock 'n' roll fretboard wrangling and smooth slide guitar into happy-go-lucky perfection.
Song: Girl From Mars
Though not always considered 'go-to' Britpoppers, Ash's thunderously catchy ode to extraterrestrial love was produced by Oasis/Weller man Owen Morris and dominated both charts and festivals in 1995, thanks in part to Tim Wheeler's tuneful wah-laden solo.
Song: Don't Look Back In Anger
Don't Look Back In Anger saw Noel's Beatles influences brought to the fore. Like Live Forever, its solo builds to an irresistible crescendo - and it's almost impossible to listen to without singing along.
Song: The Riverboat Song
It may have been a tightening up and, err, re-imagining of Led Zep's 1971 tune Four Sticks, but that didn't stop The Riverboat Song (AKA The TFI Friday intro) and it's colossal opener/bridge riff becoming a 90s classic.
Song: Love Is The Law
In 1997, having decided he was never-ever - EVER - going to reunite with The Stone Roses, pre-Britpop guitar god John Squire formed The Seahorses (acronym: he hates roses) and gave us this exercise in guitar acrobatics.
Song: Song 2
Although initially penned by Coxon and co to prove how easy it would be to parrot 90s US grunge and indie bands, Song 2 brought Blur stateside success and simultaneously sounded the Britpop death knell. It is, however, still a total stonker of a riff.