Album: I Should Coco
. . .
Unlike their Britpop peers like Blur, Oasis or even The Verve, Supergrass never came close to having a fluke U.S. hit, even as they were utterly massive over in their native U.K. I was going to do a whole thing about comparing them to The Kinks versus Oasis and Blur being the Beatles and The Stones, but it didn’t quite scan properly, for any number of reasons, so just know this: between 1992-1998, Supergrass had eight straight singles in the U.K. top 20, which is most certainly something.
The biggest of those singles was the “Alright,” released as a double-A side with “Time,” and featuring an energetic vocal from lead singer Gaz Coombes over his brother Rob’s energetic piano.
We are young, we run green
Keep our teeth nice and clean
See our friends, see the sights
And feel alright
Given that he was still a teenager when this song came out, what Coombes is basically saying is that the kids were still alright, And in no way was he under any illusion his youth was going to last forever, as he addresses the generation that first grooved to that sentiment.
Are we like you?
I can’t be sure
Of the scene as she turns
We are strange in our worlds
Also helping: some overpowered drumming from Danny Goffey, and Coombes own guitar solo, which starts off all over the map and then settles into playing the melody of the song, a neat little trick for sure.
All of it added up to a massive hit single in the U.K., peaking out at #2, while here, absolutely nothing.
That said, “Alright” is probably the one Supergrass tune that people here in the U.S. know, because if its inclusion on one the earliest key Millennial texts: the soundtrack to the motion picture Clueless, where it rubbed shoulders with weird covers by Cracker, Counting Crows & World Party, originals by Radiohead, Jill Sobule & Coolio, and another future Certain Song, “Forgotten Favorite” by Velocity Girl.
It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen Clueless, so I don’t remember if “Alright” is it, though it’s certainly apropos lyrically, and given that the soundtrack went platinum, “Alright” definitely got heard by 90s kids.
Oh, and according to the Wikipedia page for “Alright,” after seeing the music video, no less of a personage than Steven Speilberg approached the band and suggested he do a Monkees remake starring the Supergrass. They wisely (or not, as the case may be) turned him down, though honestly, I’m assuming that it happened in the red Fringe (R.I.P. Lance Reddick) universe.
“Alright” Official Music Video
“Alright” Live on Later With Jools Holland, 1995
“Alright” Live in Glastonbury, 2022
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