This is a British group who were at the forefront of the Britpop genre in the mid-90s, or maybe they weren’t, because it’s always difficult to put groups into genres, but whatever they were, they made some of the most entertaining and catchiest songs of this era. Supergrass were a trio who were rather young when they came on to the scene.
But it didn’t take them that long to build a following with their singles including “Caught By The Fuzz” and “Mansize Rooster”. They were considered to be some of the breakthrough stars of 1995 though. I must admit that I don’t really recall “Lenny”, which was their first Top Ten hit. It was in July 1995 when “Alright” was released, and joined the list of famous songs that agonisingly reached no. 2.
This did seem to be everywhere for a short while, and frontman Gaz’s sideburns soon became as much of a cultural significance for music fans as Jarvis Cocker’s glasses or something. But like with most groups, they seemed to have had enough of their most famous hit after a while. Luckily for them they had a huge amount of other great hit singles that they could fall back on.
They would go on to have further Top Ten hits with “Going Out” and “Richard III”. By 1997 they were bringing us hits like “Sun Hits The Sky” and “Late In The Day”. But their single released in June 1999 is memorable for me. This was “Pumping On Your Stereo” (although they actually didn’t seem to say “pumping” at any point), and this was shown frequently around the time that I got access to MTV.
And it’s no surprise that this was shown so often, as this featured the group practically being turned into Muppet-style characters. There is also a story that around this time they were invited to appear in their own TV show where they would have silly adventures in a similar style to The Monkees, but they turned it down, as they didn’t really want to turn into cartoon caricatures of themselves.
Also in 1999 was “Moving” (their final Top Ten hit single), and “Mary”, which had a rather gruesome video that really was scary (another Sophie Muller classic!). Supergrass would return in 2002, but they would only make the Top 20 one more time. When they did finally split, a lot of people said “I didn’t realise that they were still going”, which must’ve been rather disappointing for them.
Gaz then went off to make some solo albums, and after a while, they did eventually get back together, as pleasingly they did finally realise that all of their singles really were rather good actually, they also made six acclaimed albums, and their teeth are nice and clean. I can imagine that plenty of these songs are still pumping on a lot of people’s stereos to this day.