The British are coming in a big way as Rhino presents the first-ever comprehensive survey of U.K. indie music with the king's ransom-sized, 4-CD THE BRIT BOX: U.K. INDIE, SHOEGAZE, AND BRIT-POP GEMS OF THE LAST MILLENNIUM. It gathers 78 key tastemaker recordings from U.K. performers spanning the last 15 years of the 20th century, chronologically sequenced over four packed discs. This celebration of cool Britannia is housed in bloody awesome box shaped like a classic red U.K. telephone booth -with working lights - and comes with a matching phone kiosk-shaped collectible keychain!
While many of these acts claimed superstar status in Mother England, only a select few seriously impacted the U.S. charts - but their stylistic imprint and collective hip factor clearly steered the course of contemporary music as the last millennium wound down. With the respect given the earlier '60s-era British Invasion in so many other compilations, the THE BRIT BOX is the first collection to hail Britannia with a wealth of music previously available only to those combing through the import bins at their local record stores. These artists didn't so much reject mainstream musical sensibilities as spin them in their own fashion for tracks that remain the essence of cool.
Disc 1, the first of THE BRIT BOX's four chronologically ordered CDs, roughly spans 1984-1990. Seminal U.K. artists including The Smiths, Jesus & Mary Chain and The Stone Roses take timeless guitar-pop and freshly reinvent it, while groups including Happy Mondays and Primal Scream borrow gleefully from hip-hop to give birth to acid house.
Disc 2, spanning '90 to '93, explores bands that came to be known in the British press as “shoegazers,” acts that spent more time looking at their feet than making eye contact with their audiences. Featuring tracks by Ride, My Bloody Valentine, The Telescopes and others, the music courses through a sonic space comprised of introspective soundscapes, hazy guitars and dense production.
Disc 3, focusing heavily on '94-'95, opens with Suede's “Metal Mickey.” Throughout, the song sequence heralds the arrival of Brit-pop, and hugely popular bands including Oasis, Blur, Pulp, and Elastica.
Disc 4, THE BRIT BOX's final CD, shows that even latecomers to the party like Ash, Super Furry Animals, Mansun, The Verve, and Placebo had some smashing songs in them.
Totaling over five hours of music, THE BRIT BOX: U.K. INDIE, SHOEGAZE, AND BRIT-POP GEMS OF THE LAST MILLENNIUM also features an 80 page booklet with interviews, memories and essays from Creation Records founder Alan McGee, seminal producers Stephen Street and Alan Moulder and an assortment of artists.