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The Top 50 Best-Selling Britpop Singles Of All Time

Radio 2 heads back to the 90s to celebrate the Britpop Top 50 with Jo Whiley.

Featuring classics from the likes of Oasis, Blur, Pul, Catatonia, The Verve and more, many of Britpop's most famous songs remain universally loved, singalong pop hits that have stood the test of time. The programme also features a selection of hits that didn't quite make this chart from acts such as Echobelly, Elastica, McAlmont & Butler, Skunk Anansie, and Sleeper.

Compiled by The Official Charts Company, the UK chart guardians, it's compiled from lifetime UK physical and digital sales of Britpop tracks released in the 1990s. The songs in the Top 50 between them account for 17 million sales to date. These are the songs that flew off the shelf on release and whose popularity endures today.

Discover the top 10 below. For the rest of the top 50, see right (desktop users) or scroll down (mobile users).

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10. Oasis - Some Might Say

Released: April 1995
Highest chart position: 1

The first of the Mancunian band's eight UK No.1 singles, was also the first track to be released from their second album. It nudged Take That’s 'Back For Good' off the top spot, but remained there for a solitary week before being toppled by Livin Joy's 'Dreamer'. One of the single's b-sides, 'Acquiesce', also remains a firm fan favourite.

Did you know? Its lyrics – “Some might say we will find a brighter day” – can be found on a banner at Etihad Stadium, home of the Gallagher brothers’ beloved Manchester City.

9. Oasis - Roll With It

Released: August 1995
Highest chart position: 2

One half of the famous Battle of Britpop, 'Roll With It' came second to Blur’s 'Country House' in a famously tight chart showdown. What started as a fiercely fought sales contest soon became something bigger, as television news broadcasts devoted airtime to a skirmish between north and south and two distinctly different frontmen in Liam Gallagher and Damon Albarn. Ultimately, Blur's single shipped 274,000 copies to Oasis' 216,000 in the initial week of release, but both remain among Britpop’s biggest-sellers.

Did you know? When asked to mime the song on Top of the Pops, Liam and Noel Gallagher swapped roles. Liam took on guitar duties, while Noel stood at the front of the stage with a tambourine.

8. Blur - Country House

Released: August 1995
Highest chart position: 1

Blur’s triumphant single was said to have won the Battle of Britpop, but not the war – as Oasis’ '(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?' album vastly outsold Blur’s 'The Great Escape'. As this charts, 'Country House' does, however, continue to outsell 'Roll With It'.

Did you know? Damien Hirst directed the song’s video, which starred Keith Allen and Matt Lucas before his Little Britain days.

7. Oasis - Whatever

Released: December 1994
Highest chart position: 3

In between 'Definitely Maybe' and '(What’s The Story)…', Oasis released this standalone single in time for Christmas 1994, making no.3 behind two ultimate Christmas classics, East 17's 'Stay Another Day' and Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas Is You'. A grand, six-minute-plus beauty with big string arrangements and some of Noel Gallagher's sharpest songwriting, it has gone on to become one of the group’s biggest-selling and most recognisable tracks.

Did you know? Noel Gallagher told Alan Carr in 2017 that he'd been out the night before the video shoot for 'Whatever'. "I woke up in a bus shelter in Maida Vale" just before filming commenced, he revealed. Another of the band's great b-sides 'Half The World Away' appeared on this release, later becoming best-known as the theme tune to BBC sitcom The Royle Family.

6. The Verve - The Drugs Don’t Work

Released: September 1997
Highest chart position: 1

At the tailend of Britpop sits this down-and-out triumph from Richard Ashcroft. The song was released one day after the death of Princess Diana, and it unintentionally mirrored the nation’s grief at the time, topping the UK singles chart the following week, to date the band's only No.1.

Did you know? The song partly references the band’s in-fighting when touring 1995 album 'A Northern Soul'. They broke up before eventually reconvening for 1997’s 'Urban Hymns', a commercial breakthrough which ended up spending 12 weeks at the top of the UK Albums Chart. It was 11 years before the band released follow-up and final album 'Forth', while Richard Ashcroft has since pursued a successful solo career.

5. Cornershop - Brimful of Asha

Released: August 1997
Highest chart position: 1

Leicester duo Cornershop’s big beat tribute to Indian playback singer Asha Bhosle became an unlikely Britpop sensation, not least thanks to its high-profile remix from Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim. He didn’t charge a fee when remixing the track, he was so keen to get on board.

Did you know? Asha Bhosle, the song's subject, has indeed heard the single. Cornershop's Tjinder Singh told Clash Magazine in 2017: "She loved it. Her daughter had told her about it, so she did some investigations. She was very happy about it. And she liked the idea that she gets through customs a lot easier now… so everyone has benefited!”

4. Oasis - D’You Know What I Mean?

Released: July 1997
Highest chart position: 1

The first single from Oasis’ third album 'Be Here Now' captured the band in their pomp, topping the charts with a seven-minute-plus epic. At the peak of their powers, they could do anything.

Did you know? Morse code plays in the background of the song. Some of the translated phrases are believed to include "pork pies" and "strawberry fields forever," but Noel Gallagher is none the wiser, telling the BBC in 1997: "[...] if anyone can tell me what we really said, please let me know."

3. The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony

Released: June 1997
Highest chart position: 2

Even if you didn’t live through Britpop, you’re probably familiar with the iconic image of Richard Ashcroft charging down the streets of Hoxton, London, refusing to stop for anyone, save for a speeding car. The 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' music video, directed by Walter A. Stern, was nominated for three MTV Video Music Awards in 1998, but came home empty-handed. Stern also directed the video for Massive Attack’s 'Teardrop', which The Verve intentionally paid homage to here. The track just missed out on No.1 in the UK singles chart to Puff Daddy's tribute to The Notorious B.I.G., 'I'll Be Missing You'.

Did you know? Ashcroft only began to earn royalties from the song in 2019. Until then, The Rolling Stones’ late manager Allen Klein had publishing rights, because the song’s orchestral hook incorporates an instrumental version of the Stones’ 1965 track ‘The Last Time’. When Mick Jagger and Keith Richards eventually signed over the publishing, Ashcroft told the BBC: "They play [the song] before England play. So I can sit back and watch England... and finally just enjoy the moment."

2. Oasis - Don’t Look Back In Anger

Released: February 1996
Highest chart position: 1

In the years since it first emerged on 1995 album '(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?', 'Don’t Look Back in Anger' has become ubiquitous with moments of collective celebration and mourning. The song took on particular poignance in May 2017, following the tragic Manchester Arena bombing, when a crowd commemorating victims spontaneously burst into a rendition of the Noel Gallagher-penned track. The following month, Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland sang the song for Ariana Grande at the One Love Manchester concert.

Did you know? The track was written in a dressing room in Paris, four days before being debuted at the band's biggest gig of their career – up to that point – at Sheffield Arena.

1. Oasis - Wonderwall

Released: October 1995
Highest chart position: 2

Anyway, here's 'Wonderwall', as the famous meme goes.

Think Oasis, and you immediately think of this track. The song is ubiquitous in the UK and US, and has gone on to achieve sales of 1.4 million, but it didn’t reach the top spot in either country. 'I Believe' by Robson & Jerome prevented it from topping the UK singles chart, and it reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

An easy-listening cover by The Mike Flowers Pops, released in December 1995, also peaked at No.2.

Finally with this countdown of the UK's best-selling Britpop singles 'Wonderwall' is a chart-topper.

Did you know? The track is a relative go-to for anyone picking up a guitar for the first time. So much so, Noel Gallagher claimed a local Manchester guitar shop had to put up a sign banning customers from playing 'Wonderwall'. He revealed to Guitar Magazine that upon walking into the shop, those working there told him: "Do you realise how many times we've heard 'Champagne Supernova' and 'Wonderwall' over the last six months?’"

Jo Whiley says: "This chart has taken me back to the glory days of the Evening Session and a time when Britpop ruled the airwaves. It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years! Wonderwall has always been a special song to many people so I’m not surprised it’s at Number 1 – it’s an enormous anthem. The whole chart has brought back so many memories of brilliant songs and bands from a very special time in British pop music."

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11 to 50

11. Blur - Tender
12. Manic Street Preachers - If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
13. Oasis - Stand By Me
14. Oasis - Live Forever
15. Blur - Song 2
16. The Verve - Lucky Man
17. Pulp - Common People
18. Oasis - Cigarettes & Alcohol
19. Manic Street Preachers - A Design For Life
20. Ocean Colour Scene - The Day We Caught The Train
21. Supergrass - Alright
22. Oasis - Champagne Supernova
23. Oasis - Supersonic
24. Oasis - All Around the World
25. Stereophonics - Just Looking
26. Bluetones - Slight Return
27. Catatonia - Mulder and Scully
28. Blur - Parklife
29. Blur - Beetlebum
30. Pulp - Disco 2000
31. Oasis - Shakermaker
32. Catatonia - Road Rage
33. Travis - Why Does It Always Rain On Me?
34. Blur - The Universal
35. Stereophonics - The Bartender and the Thief
36. Dodgy - Good Enough
37. Stereophonics - Pick A Part That's New
38. Kula Shaker - Hush
39. Kula Shaker - Hey Dude
40. Shampoo - Trouble
41. Blur - Girls and Boys
42. Charlatans - One To Another
43. Manic Street Preachers - You Stole the Sun From My Heart
44. Pulp - Sorted For E's & Wizz/Mis-Shapes
45. Cast - Walkaway
46. Ocean Colour Scene - Hundred Mile High City
47. Seahorses - Love Is The Law
48. Suede - Trash
49. Kula Shaker - Govinda
50. Boo Radleys - Wake Up Boo

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