Tuesday, 29 May 2012


Quite simply a vintage year in music, and a huge turning point for me. I had just turned 13 and having spent the last few years enjoying Britpop, this was a year that delivered some truly classic albums, including Primal Scream's 'Vanishing Point' which i bought after hearing 'Kowalski' and 'Star', and after playing it on my Walkman introduced me to a whole new world of sound. Also the year of the massive hype and major expectations for 'Be Here Now', and the first year I began regularly buying the NME and Melody Maker, as well as the first year I began listening to Radio One's legendary Evening Session (incidentally the lead up to the release of 'Be Here Now' was what introduced me to all three of these things). In contrast to the grand folly that was that third Oasis album, some other majorly successful bands from the Britpop era were beginning to create more challenging and imaginative records, for this was the year of 'OK Computer' and the self titled 5th album from Blur.

During this year i also started writing a hand written fanzine called 'Supernova', where i would review various records, report news on some bands of the time and occasionally draw comic strips. I'd photocopy about 50 copies of the zine and give it to a few local independent record shops to give away free. The cost of including a compilation tape with each issue wouldve cost me loads, so instead every issue I'd draw up a tracklist for each tape that the reader would have to compile themselves, and this is kinda where my love of creating compilations began.

Towards the end of 1997 i compiled a single 90 minute cassette of my choice tracks from the year. 13 years on in 2010, to my knowledge I no longer have the tape, so I decided to attempt to re-create an extended version of the compilation on CD. But without the original tracklist, my only method to compile this album was to find every single album of 1997 that i own and pick the best tracks from them. And obviously in the 13 years since first hearing them all, a lot of these songs have grown on me a hell of a lot, or sound better now than they did then, which has led to an 85 (plus) track compilation, spread across 4 CDs. Sitting down for an evening listening to the compilation made me truly realise what an incredible year that was for music overall, and the fact that it couldn't be anything less than 85 great songs does prove what a golden year 1997 was.

You can listen to this compilation in full via the Mixcloud players below. For Spotify users, there is a slightly edited version of 'The Best Of 1997' (note the lack of Oasis and Northern Uproar) along with a number of other great tracks from '97. 


primal scream - burning wheel 
oasis - dyou know what i mean 
ocean colour scene - hundred mile high city 
paul weller - heavy soul 
teenage fanclub - start again 
the verve - bittersweet symphony 
radiohead - paranoid android 
spiritualized - come together 
chemical brothers - block rockin' beats 
stereophonics - a thousand trees 
gene - fighting fit 
super furry animals - demons 
echo and the bunnymen - nothing lasts forever 
mansun - taxloss 
james - she's a star 
travis - all i wanna do is rock 
levellers - dog train 
the charlatans - north country boy 
cast - free me 
hurricane #1 - step into my world 


beck - the new pollution 
morrissey - alma matters 
supergrass - sun hits the sky 
blur - beetlebum 
eels - novocaine for the soul 
the seahorses - love is the law 
primal scream - if they move kill 'em 
oasis - stay young 
belle and sebastian - dog on wheels 
pulp - help the aged 
ocean colour scene - travellers tune 
mansun - stripper vicar 
teenage fanclub - ain't that enough 
reef - come back brighter 
the verve - sonnet 
radiohead - karma police 
paul weller - brushed 
gene - where are they now 
stereophonics - local boy in the photograph 
levellers - what a beautiful day 
cast - guiding star 
hurricane #1 - just another illusion 
blur - m.o.r 
eels - susan's house 


mansun - wide open space 
the charlatans - how high 
primal scream - kowalski 
oasis - my big mouth 
ocean colour scene - better day 
supergrass - richard III 
travis - tied to the 90s 
james - tomorrow 
the verve - lucky man 
the seahorses - blinded by the sun 
radiohead - climbing up the walls 
beck - devil's haircut 
gene - we could be kings 
reef - place your hands 
cast - i'm so lonely 
echo and the bunnymen - i want to be there when you come 
primal scream - star 
teenage fanclub - planets 
stereophonics - more life in a tramps vest 
hurricane #1 - let go of the dream 
the seahorses - you can talk to me 
travis - u16 girls 
paul weller - mermaids 
blur - on your own 

CD 4 
monaco - what do you want from me?
super furry animals - the international language of screaming 

gene - speak to me someone 
james - waltzing along 
ash - a life less ordinary 
supergrass - late in the day 
cast - live the dream 
northern uproar - any way you look 
levellers - too real 
the charlatans - get on it 
blur - song 2 
eels - your lucky day in hell 
spiritualized - cool waves 
radiohead - no surprises 
oasis - all around the world 
ocean colour scene - it's a beautiful thing

Spotify version of this compilation HERE.

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