Saturday Night with the Common People

You know how it is: you've carefully been saving up a set of blog posts on media and the wider world that are so corking that they may just change the way people think about the world and will surely elevate you to the rank of minor deity, then when you come to sit down and blog all you can think is: "I really, really want to write about Britpop." It's probably my fault for plugging in Pulp on the bus home. Different Class was the first albums I ever purchased and I still know all the words to every track. It may well still be the best album ever made (although Marvin Gaye's What's Going On gives it serious competition).

When Britpop was at its height you were either a Blur or Oasis man and, being a poncy Southerner, I naturally fell on the Blur side. Looking back, Roll With It is clearly a much better song than Country House, but I was blind to loyalty at the time (although The Universal was probably one of the best tracks from this era of Blur).

Taken as individual tracks, Oasis probably had the edge with several iconic anthems. Cigarettes and Alcohol, Champagne Supernova and Some Might Say sounds just as good today as they ever did. But in terms of overall canon, progression and longevity, Blur have the edge.

But just as I was wrong about the 1995 race for number one, so I was wrong at the time about Blur and Oasis being the best two bands from that period. I'll occasionally dig out a Blur album, usually their self-titled offering from '97, or Modern Life Is Rubbish, while Oasis occasionally get fired up on Spotify.

But for timeless classics that never fail to hit the spot and get repeat plays nearly every month, it's a toss up between the aforementioned Pulp and a band who may never have quite got the credit they deserved - Suede.

Pulp really need no more eulogising. They were the perfect band - a witty, lyrically gifted frontman in Jarvis Cocker, with a stage presence that gave up to all us bespectacled teenagers, while their songs were witty, pithy and said more than Noel Gallagher has managed in his entire career. Common People - need I say more.

Then there's Suede. Perhaps unfairly maligned for not being Blur or Oasis or Radiohead or Pulp, or as the band that filled the gaps between releases of the others, or a band who peaked too early and then lost their guitarist and were never quite the same. Not true.

Ok, so Richard Oakes was a little showier than Bernard Butler on the guitar and the band's glam rock influences started to take over by the end, but they could still produce a cracking tune. Coming Up was an amazing album that defies their reputation as a singles band, while Film Star and especially Saturday Night were highlights, while later tracks such as Electricity and She's In Fashion were Suede playing at being Suede and wonderfully entertaining.

And then there's the Bernard Butler era. Animal Nitrate, So Young, New Generation and We Are The Pigs and all outstanding songs while Wild Ones may well be one of my favourite ever tracks.

Put up against other bands from the era, Suede's tracks seem to have survived the test of time. Radiohead may have been a great band, but their albums are more to be appreciated than subjected to repeated listening while Blur and Oasis, while producing fantastic albums, tend to be remembered for a few select anthems. Pulp, sadly, also occasionally fall into that category, even if their best work - This Is Hardcore and Babies - came after and before Britpop's peak.

At the time, I'd never have said it, but Suede may now just be my favourite band of the 90s.

Although don't necessarily trust me. My first gig was The Bluetones.