BBC News

Common People by Pulp is voted top Britpop anthem

Published
image copyrightIsland Records
image captionPulp frontman Jarvis Cocker wrote Common People about a girl he met at art college

Pulp hit Common People has been voted the top Britpop anthem by listeners of BBC Radio 6 Music, beating Oasis, Blur and Suede to take the title.

DJ Steve Lamacq revealed the top 30 as part of a week-long celebration to mark the 20th birthday of Britpop.

More than 30,000 people voted, with The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony second and Oasis tracks Don't Look Back in Anger and Wonderwall in third and fourth.

Their chart rivals Blur were in fifth place with Parklife.

Pulp's Common People only made it to number two in the charts when it was released in May 1995 - denied the top spot by Robson Green and Jerome Flynn's Unchained Melody.

Included in Pulp's Different Class album, it featured Sadie Frost in the video and the lyrics were based on a girl who singer Jarvis Cocker met while studying at Central Saint Martin's art college.

The lyrics reveal the girl from a wealthy family, had told him she wanted to live in the East End of London with "the common people".

"It is one of the defining records of Britpop because it seemed to embrace the essence of the time so perfectly," said Lamacq, who led the Britpop at the BBC celebrations along with former co-presenter Jo Whiley.

"It was a big, bold anthem, but with a great narrative. And it seemed to sum up a feeling of 'us and them', as if to illustrate how the indie mavericks had taken on the pop stars and - for once - they'd won."

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionOasis brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher in 1995
image copyrightPA
image captionBlur won four Brits in 1995, although rivals Oasis were named best newcomer
image captionSteve Lamacq and Jo Whiley championed many Britpop bands while they were on air together from 1993 to 1997

Pulp also featured at number nine in the countdown with Disco 2000, while Suede hit Animal Nitrate was in sixth place and Blur's Girls and Boys in seventh.

Listeners were asked to vote for their all-time favourite Britpop anthem - the one song that epitomised that time for them.

The Bluetones made it to number eight with Slight Return, while Ash rounded off the top ten with Girl from Mars.

Britpop favourites Elastica, Shed 7, Menswear, Radiohead and Space also made the top 30 countdown.

image captionDamon Albarn appeared on The Evening Session this week

Other highlights from the week of special Britpop at the BBC programmes included Lamacq and Jo Whiley being reunited to revisit their old Radio 1 show The Evening Session.

Their live guests at Maida Vale included Supergrass singer Gaz Coombes, Sleeper frontwoman Louise Wener and Damon Albarn.

Related Topics

  • Music
  • Radio

More on this story

  • Britpop memories: Gaz Coombes and Sophie Ellis-Bextor