A friend of mine has started listening to mid-90s NOW! albums in the car. The NOW! series was the epitome of Capital Radio, chart pop. I was surprised then, looking through the track lists, about how much Britpop is on those CDs. I shouldn't have been as Oasis et al scored plenty of Top 40 hits. More than that, you realise (or remember) how these songs fitted very happily alongside boy and girl bands, one hit wonders, and those 'grown up' pop groups that don't really exist anymore, like the Beautiful South.
'Don't Look Back in Anger' isn't a world away from 'Back for Good'; it's a thin dividing line between Supergrass and Hanson. Sure, the boy bands were pushed for a specific female market, but its two sides of the same coin really.
So maybe the angst about Britpop stems from a misunderstanding that it was for the 18 to 24 crowd. Surely, the core record buying public for it were 10-14 year olds and their mums, united by a need of breezy pop you can sing along to in the car.
If it was part of a 'push back' it wasn't against American alt rock or Penman n' Morley era NME, but against dance music (and to a lesser extent hip hop). A handful of sixth formers at my school were into 'serious' dance music or rap. Those were adult music scenes, which a 13 year old couldn't participate in.We all need a gateway drug in, and for most early teens it was never going to be 'Terminator' (although I reckon most of the audience for 'Scatman' or 'I Like to Move It' were kids.)
It IS strange that men in their mid - 20s with art school educations started making singles for children, or magazine editors in their 30s were pushing this stuff. But that is, unfortunately, something of the dark thread running through the British entertainment industry.