It has been 20 years now since Britpop icons Oasis and Blur faced each other in what came to be known as ‘The Battle of Britpop’. Few months ago we talked about it, wondering if there will be another Oasis vs Blur battle, with Blur’s new album and rumors about the Gallaghers’ ‘gentlemen’s agreement’. Even Graham Coxon talked about this rivalry.
Twenty years ago today, both bands were locked in a battle for the number 1 slot releasing their singles on the very same day to knock off Take That. The chart battle saw Blur’s single Country House going up against Oasis’ Roll With It. Country House sold 274,000 copies reaching the number 1 position whereas Oasis’ Roll With It sold 216,000 copies. Blur’s record label – Food moved the release date of Blur’s single to coincide with Oasis’ single kicking off the biggest chart war since the times of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Guess that to those under the age of 20 – 25, the idea of actually supporting a band through the purchasing of a physical single release probably seems a bit weird – but at the time it was serious business and there were those who supported Blur and those who seriously supported Oasis. NME magazine also ran with a front cover referring to the event as the ‘British Heavyweight Championship’featuring frontmen Damon Albarn and Liam Gallagher on their front cover. But the so called Blur-Oasis/Oasis-Blur rivalry is now over and the bands have long since buried the hatchet. Noel Gallagher has praised Damon Albarn’s solo stuff and they even shared the stage at the Royal Albert Hall when they played ‘Tender’. Moreover, Noel appreciated Blur’s new album, but dismissed Albarn’s offer of collaboration. Liam Gallagher said to NME magazine in 2013 that brother Noel and Damon Albarn kileed britpop:”What killed Britpop? The fucking fakest cuddle in my entire life, that’s what fucking killed Britpop,” says Liam. “Noel and Damon Albarn killed Britpop. Why? Because they thought they invented it, that’s why. And when? You know when, ha ha.” Despite their rivalry, it was great to see bands such as Oasis and Blur dominate the UK charts in those days…those were the days, weren’t they? Some might say Blur won the battle but Oasis won the war. Later in the year the two bands released their album, Oasis “What’s the Story, (Morning Glory)” outsold Blur ‘The Great Escape’ reaching the # 1 position in the UK charts and breaking into the American market.