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Supergrass

Like many other British bands of the '90s, Supergrass' musical roots lie in the infectiously catchy punk-pop of the Buzzcocks and the Jam, as well as the post-punk pop of Madness and the traditional Brit-pop of the Kinks and Small Faces. Perhaps because of its age -- two of the trio were still in their teens when they recorded their debut single -- the band also brings in elements of decidedly unhip groups like Elton John, as well as classic rockers like David Bowie, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. With an exuberant, youthful enthusiasm, Supergrass tied all of their influences together in surprising new ways, where a Buzzcocks riff could slam into three-part harmonies out of "Crocodile Rock," or have a galloping music hall rhythm stutter like the best moments of the Who.

Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Gaz Coombes, bassist Mickey Quinn, and drummer Danny Goffey, Supergrass released their first single, the semi-autobiographical "Caught by the Fuzz," in the summer of 1994 on the indie label Backbeat; Parlophone signed the band and reissued the single in the fall of the year. "Caught by the Fuzz" generated a significant amount of buzz, including praise from Blur and Elastica. "Mansize Rooster," the group's second single, was released in the spring of 1995; it made it into the pop charts, as did "Lenny," which was released right before their debut album, I Should Coco.

Released in May 1995, I Should Coco received glowing reviews in the U.K. press and debuted in the Top Ten. The band's popularity continued to grow, leading to the number two double A-sided single, Alright/Time. Staying in the Top Three for nearly a month, the effervescent "Alright" pushed the album to number one. I Should Coco was released in the U.S. three months later and a buzz began to build there as "Caught by the Fuzz" began receiving MTV and radio play. Supergrass earned fans in some quarters -- allegedly, Steven Spielberg was interested in developing a Monkees-styled sitcom around the trio -- but I Should Coco never quite caught on in the U.S. the way it did in the rest of the world. Following a year of touring, Supergrass capped off 1996 with the single "Going Out," the first taste from their second album, the psychedelic In It for the Money. Appearing in the spring of 1997, In It for the Money had greater ambitions than I Should Coco, a shift critics responded to enthusiastically, but it was also a success in the U.K., going platinum and spawning the hit singles "Richard III," "Sun Hits the Sky," and "Late in the Day." Despite support from Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam, a further attempt to crack the American market didn't take, and the group never again prioritized the U.S.

Two years after In It for the Money, Supergrass returned with an eponymous third album whose stomping lead single "Pumping On Your Stereo" suggested a poppier record than they delivered. "Pumping on Your Stereo" and its sequel, the Top Ten hit "Moving," helped propel the album to platinum status in the U.K. Supergrass then went on an extended break, adding Gaz's brother Rob Coombes as a full-time keyboardist during the hiatus and coming back in 2002 with Life on Other Planets. Despite reaching the British Top 10, Life on Other Planets was the beginning of Supergrass' commercial downslide -- of the four singles, only "Grace" made it into the Top 20, with "Seen the Light" topping out at 22. An anniversary compilation called Supergrass Is 10 arrived in 2004 and the following year the group released the reflective, moody Road to Rouen, a record that had a pair of modest hits in "Kiss of Life" and "St Petersburg" and wound up garnering respectable reviews.

As the band prepared the release of their louder, glammy follow-up Diamond Hoo Ha, Mickey Quinn broke his heel bone in September of 2007, leading Gaz and Danny to do a quick club tour under the name the Diamond Hoo Ha Men. The album itself came out in the spring of 2008. It was their last for Parlophone and it performed modestly well on the charts, generating no hit singles. Sometime in 2009, Supergrass attempted a seventh album, provisionally entitled Release the Drones, but during the recording the group fractured. They abandoned the record and split up after a brief farewell tour in the summer of 2010, just after Gaz and Danny released a self-titled album by their covers side project the Hotrats. Quinn went on to assemble the DB Band and Gaz Coombes launched his solo career with Here Come the Bombs in the spring of 2012. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Brilliant, indeed. Sounz of rompings of youth. Epitome of optimism
such an underrated band, i love all of their albuns
Outstanding retro rock with an attitude and speed. It does not YELL anything, but sings it really really LOUD... and in harmony. Great stuff. Saw them about a year before they broke up. live and acoustic. One way to tell a bands talent is to listen to them unplugged. Great stuff that was.
First and fourth albums are best.
summer of 1998
in it for the money is superb. the soundtrack to a magical summer...
Blur does not rock harder than Supergrass, you must be joking, billburi.
pumping on your stereo kicks a**.
Truly great band. I miss them...
billburi
Blur kick their asses!!
Great rock band! They have a good retro sound. I hear both 70's an 80's genre music come through on their songs. The more I hear them the more they grow on me.
wenberep
not just any grass mike, supergrass
add me to the list who likes grass
my absolute favorite band. talented, sexy, and very british. long live supergrass
thomasa66
definitely bolan influence on the track _seen the light_.
lipelt4
wow! i think he sounds just like marc bolan of t-rex.. not bad!
don1983
What, are you a 12 year old girl, Bromide? Who cares what they look like? They rock.
Umm, bromide, have you seen the lead singer??? you need glasses babe!
f**king brilliant
vietbond
Supergrass forever!
word
bromide01
You have to admit, these guys are ugly.
ladybronte
one of the best live bands
Love these guys. Very catchy brit pop without the snobby feel to it.
leia008
The best. band. ever.

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