Music in 2002 – Albums Turning 20!

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2002 saw the release of two sequel blockbusters in the shape of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, as well as Apple’s second generation iPod. Kelly Clarkson won the first series of American Idol, U2 headlined the Superbowl Halftime Show and Michael Jackson infamously caused global controversy on a Berlin hotel balcony. But that’s not what we’re focusing on today…

2002 happened to quite the year for album releases. From The Eminem Show (Eminem), Original Pirate Material (The Streets), Heathen (David Bowie) and Songs for the Deaf (Queens of the Stone Age), through to Turn on the Bright Lights (Interpol), Sea Change (Beck), By The Way (Red Hot Chili Peppers), A Rush of Blood to the Head (Coldplay) and the seminal debut, Up The Bracket (The Libertines).

But we like to focus on the north of the UK at Northern Chorus. So settle in and scroll through our list of northern albums celebrating 20th anniversaries this year, enjoying what is sure to be a mixture of feeling both nostalgic and of course, old!

THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS – COME WITH US (28th January 2002)

January saw the release of electronic pioneers, The Chemical Brothersfourth studio album. As well as the title track, the singles included ‘It Began In Afrika’ and ‘Star Guitar’. It also featured a local collaboration with The Verve icon, Richard Ashcroft, who teamed up with the Manchester duo on ‘The Test’. This isn’t the only time Ashcroft features in this list…

BOARDS OF CANADA – GEOGADDI (13th February 2002)

From one northern duo to another, this time we’re heading to Scotland where two weeks later, Boards of Canada released their second studio album. It received widespread critical acclaim upon release, featuring in many ‘Best of 2002’ lists created at the end of the year. The bold record is still regarded as one of the group’s finest pieces of work, and Boards of Canada are still going strong today!

BADLY DRAWN BOY – ABOUT A BOY (8th April 2002)

It was a film that starred Hugh Grant and gave childhood actor, Nicholas Hoult his first big break, but in terms of the soundtrack they turned to Bolton‘s Damon Gough, AKA Badly Drawn Boy. The 16-track album was the second release from the artist, and the author of ‘About a Boy’, Nick Hornby described one of the tracks, ‘A Minor Incident’, as having an impact on his life in the book ’31 Songs’. This is the first of two Badly Drawn Boy albums in our list!

DOVES – THE LAST BROADCAST (29th April 2002)

Next is the outstanding ‘The Last Broadcast’ by Manchester indie rock outfit, Doves. Their second release was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize in 2002 and includes ‘There Goes The Fear’, which remains one of the band’s biggest hits to this day. It is widely regarded as one of the stand-out indie albums of the noughties era, and Doves recently made a stellar comeback with ‘The Universal Want’, signalling there’s plenty more where that came from!

OASIS – HEATHEN CHEMISTRY (1st July 2002)

Oasis need no introduction, and 2002 saw the release of their fifth studio album. Gem Archer and Andy Bell made their Oasis recording debuts on ‘Heathen Chemistry’, with drummer Alan White saying his goodbyes post release. It wasn’t short of hit singles either, with the likes of ‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out’, ‘Little By Little’ and ‘Songbird’ showing the music world that Oasis still had plenty to offer.

IDLEWILD – THE REMOTE PART (15th July 2002)

Back to Scotland now for a release from July 2002. Edinburgh rock band, Idlewild delivered their third studio album through Parlophone Records in the shape of ‘The Remote Part’, which featured ‘You Held The World In Your Arms’, ‘American English’ and more. The band would go on a brief hiatus seven years later, before reforming for two further albums releases in 2015 and 2019.

THE CORAL – THE CORAL (29th July 2002)

The Coral are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their eponymous debut album in style this year, with a remastered version of the record and a huge UK tour happening right now. The Liverpool band’s debut featured ‘Dreaming Of You’, which remains a staple on any indie playlist to this day. It was nominated for both a Mercury Prize and a BRIT Award, so not a bad start to the life of a band!

PRIMAL SCREAM – EVIL HEAT (5th August 2002)

In August, we were treated to the seventh studio album from iconic British rock band, Primal Scream. ‘Evil Heat’ followed ‘XTRMNTR’ and ‘Screamadelica’, and was said to combine sonic elements of both predecessors. It featured the singles ‘Miss Lucifer’ and ‘Some Velvet Morning’. You can catch the band live this year at the likes of Queen’s Park in Glasgow and Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl for Sounds of the City.

THE MUSIC – THE MUSIC (2nd September 2002)

Another eponymous debut album released in 2002 came from Leeds band, The Music, fronted by Rob Harvey who now plays with Kasabian. The band announced they would be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the popular record with shows at the Barrowlands (Glasgow) and Temple Newsam (Leeds). They will be joined at the latter by The Cribs, The Coral, The Snuts, The Skinner Brothers and Tim Burgess!

RICHARD ASHCROFT – HUMAN CONDITIONS (21st October 2002)

We told you he’d feature again! The Verve frontman, Richard Ashcroft has enjoyed a rather successful solo career of his own since departing the Wigan band, and his second album was released in October 2002. Featuring singles, ‘Check the Meaning’, ‘Science of Silence’ and ‘Buy it in Bottles’, ‘Human Conditions’ received a warm reception upon release. Richard Ashcroft will play a number of live dates in 2022, including Millennium Square in Leeds!

BADLY DRAWN BOY – HAVE YOU FED THE FISH? (5th November 2002)

And the second of our returning artists in this list is Bolton‘s Badly Drawn Boy! Featuring earlier with a film soundtrack, he returned seven months later with another studio album, ‘Have You Fed The Fish?’. It featured the single ‘You Were Right’, and Gough claims the album title is taken from an everyday question he would ask his daughter! You can catch Badly Drawn Boy performing at ‘Readipop Festival’ in July.

GEORGE HARRISON – BRAINWASHED (18th November 2002)

And what better way to end our list than with one of The Beatles! The twelfth studio album from George Harrison was released posthumously, nearly a year on from his death and 15 years after his previous album release. ‘Brainwashed’ received numerous accolades, including ‘Best Pop Instrumental Performance’ for ‘Marwa Blues’ and ‘Best Male Pop Vocal Performance’ for ‘Any Road’ at the Grammys!

So there you have it, a brief scroll through what 2002 had to offer us, including some outstanding releases still highly regarded in the world of music today. Are you feeling old yet? If we’ve missed out one of your favourites from 20 years ago, get in touch! And check out our 10 year album anniversaries post here – https://www.northernchorus.co.uk/2022/01/08/music-in-2012-albums-turning-10/

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If you haven’t already, make sure you check out our Fantasy Pints Podcast, where we interview a different guest each week and ask the one common question – “if you could go for a drink with any three musicians past or present, who would you choose any why?” Check out the episode with DMA’s on Spotify, Apple, YouTube & more!

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