August 14th, 1995. Do you remember which you bought? Any idea what I’m talking about?
Ok, so, August 14th 1995 was the release date of two singles. The first was ‘Country House’ by Blur, the second was ‘Roll With It’ by Oasis. Yes, this was the famous Battle of Britpop.
Despite the lack of any real similarities, the two always seemed pitted against each other. Blur were already fairly established at this point, about to release their 4th album, The Great Escape, and Oasis, who wanted to be seen as a more rock’n’roll band, were only on their 2nd. Depending on what you read, you get a totally different idea about how serious the feud was between the two.
When Blur’s record label moved Country House forward a week and put it in direct competition with Roll With It, I think that both camps saw an opportunity for free advertising. Who doesn’t love a good showdown. The resulting clash was covered by prime-time news, the mainstream press and it even managed to make headlines in America, somewhere that Britpop was yet to take hold.
The thing I find interesting about the entire thing is just how odd it all was.
Country House, which is by far not the best work Blur have done, ended up winning the race for number one that week, with Roll With It, which is by far not the best work Oasis have done, settling for number two.
Despite the publicity, when The Great Escape was released in September, it didn’t take hold like Parklife, Blur’s previous album, had done. It sold about 900k copies in the UK, about 2.2m worldwide.
When Oasis released (What’s The Story) Morning Glory in October, it took off like nobodies business, selling 21 million copies worldwide, including 4.6 million in the UK and 4 million in America.
Clearly the battle had faired Oasis a little better! The thing I find odd is just the difference it made. Morning Glory is a classic album, but I don’t think it’s better to the tune of 10 x the album sales. Parklife is better than Definitely Maybe, so Blur were in a much stronger position before the battle as well, which is maybe why they won it, but then what happened with the album sales?! It’s a little weird.
Anyway, ignore me, I’m just thinking out loud. Just not as well as Ed Sheeran does it.
Incidentally, I just added the videos into the post, after I’d already published it. As I was I just noticed the video views that each song has. Oasis – 700k, Blur – 5.7m. There’s no consistency! lol.