Blur: Classic Or Dud

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I am busy busy busy so I will throw a tasty chop to the ILM wolves. Blur! 90s po-mo pop chameleons or insufferable wank?

Tom, Monday, 26 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I would say Dud on general principle. But like their arch-rivals O***s not hopeless, which means some decent singles along the way. To The End, Beetlebum and Girls & Boys are quite allright.

Omar, Monday, 26 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

All things considered? DUD.

While they have produced some great pop songs, I would argue that they have failed to created one consistently great album (even the Best Of fell short of the mark). You could probably make a good cd-r worth of their music, but considering the number of albums they have put out that's hardly a glowing endorsement. Modern Life is Rubbish *probably* comes closest, but even that's far too problematic to warrant classic status. Parklife, which is the one that normally gets bandied about when talking about classic albums, is killed by too many little england-isms.

And just like the little girl from nursery rhymes: when they are bad...they are *horrid*. So, so bad that they cancel out the good:

Everything Damon has ever said.

The smug and irritating character songs.

The Country House video.


The sad "take us seriously indie kids! We were never serious about wanting fame and fortune!" noodling of the last couple albums.

They *do* change from album to album, trying to anticipate what trends will catch on with the kids like any good marketing student would. This is not a crime; Bowie was great at it during the 70's, Madonna in the 80's and they were both classics. But with Blur it always reeked of desperation a bit too much.

And yet despite all this I do own some of their albums. Go figure.

Nicole, Monday, 26 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

They're great fun when they feel like it, especially on Parklife and Blur. The Great Escape I found insufferable and Modern Life Is Rubbish is completely dull in-one-ear-out-the-other stuff for me, though I suspect that it's just one of those albums that don't travel well. I'm still on the fence about 13 - some great songs, lots of experimental jackoff.

Not living in the UK, I'm not exposed much to Damon Albarn's alleged bad personality, but his easy-target songs do grate - we get it Damon, you're SO superior to Americans, people who like the US, and middle-class normals. Jerk.

Patrick, Monday, 26 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Bowie didn't really second guess what would be popular, he only really managed to capture Kids attention once (Ziggy), Let's Dance was baught byt he kind of people who might buy david gray albums. but, blur; 'to the end' perhaps justifies them forever for me, i with more of Parklife could be more like that. using clichés of frenchness to make english laziness seem all the more ludicrous "it looks like we made it to the end..." to make it sound like such a struggle! plus Parklife was perhaps the last popular guitar album that was laden with inventiveness, novelty, varied arrangements.n much more imaginative, of course, than the made to measure Oddball records of recent, but 'no distance left to run' was still quite gorgeous. oh, and 'the great escape' never happened.

matthewjames, Monday, 26 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Everyone thought Damon A wanted to be Ray Davies at one point, but the career path he was really following is David Bowie or David Byrne. He wants to be a pan-artistic polymath I think. But the reason David Byrne is taken seriously is because he's specialised, and the reason David Bowie is taken seriously is mostly because he's rich. Damon is probably quite rich but he's still too mired in the grubby world of pop for his non-pop ambitions not to be seen as a bit silly.

It's also the case that he's obviously quite good at doing pop (cf the Greatest Hits), so when he doesn't do pop but does other things worse you get annoyed.

Tom, Monday, 26 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I'll come to Blur in a while, ut I just want to ask Matthew James - were you in a band with Nick Grant in Reading circa 1990?

Dr. C, Monday, 26 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

While we're on this topic... "Parklife", the song, was a huge hit in the UK, right ? Maybe even a # 1 ?

If that's the case, I think I need some explanation... I mean, I don't dislike the song, in the context of the album it's a cute diversion, but it's SO not a single - just some dork babbling about getting an enormous sense of well-being from something or other, with a blah undistinctive chorus. It's not even silly enough to be a real novelty song. What is the appeal of it ?

Patrick, Monday, 26 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

i have no idea due to no air-play in the US 2 was good the first couple times I heard it. and then it was annoying.

Kevin Enas, Monday, 26 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

re David Bowie vs Damon Albarn:

If Bowie is taken at all seriously it's because of the startling, inventive things he did with pop in the 70's, not because he's rich - after all Rod Stewart is also rich. BTW what *are* Damon Albarn's extra-pop aspirations (other than sub-Sting do-gooding)?

re 'Parklife':

I can't stand the song, but its mass appeal does boil down to it having a very strong chorus (admittedly a very retro-British one), plus the novelty of Phil Daniels' voiceover.

re Blur in general:

The thing I've always disliked most about them is the air of smugness that seems to pervade everything they do. That and the fact that the chord sequences they use generally don't move me.

David, Monday, 26 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I like em fine I guess. One wish though...

"Dear Damon, Please stop with the "la la la" thing. It gets on my last damn nerve. Thanks a bunch.

Sincerely, K"

Kim, Monday, 26 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Even when Blur have made good records, I could be repulsed by their personae, their air of self-satisfaction, their smug metropolitan bandwagon-jumping. I find them a band easy to like and impossible to love.

The Great Escape includes some of their most execrable songs ever along with, frustratingly, two of their best: "The Universal" and "Yuko and Hiro" move me no end. But in retrospect it quite amazes me that that album was hailed at the time as a great leap forward from the parochialism of Parklife; what were all those cheesy little character sketches about, then?

They're essentially a singles band and therefore the Greatest Hits is their best album. At best, they've given us "For Tomorrow", "To The End", "End Of A Century", "The Universal" and, at a pinch, "Beetlebum". I love all the above, though "Tender" always did make me sick. I adore "This Is A Low", and I think "Trouble In The Message Centre" is OK as far as tongue-in-cheek cod-Numan goes, as well. But, in the final analysis, DUD.

Robin Carmody, Monday, 26 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

it is interesting how the tide has so completely turned against the great escape. i'd rank it as their second best album behind 'modern life is rubbish'. they started off quite dud proclaiming the death of baggy by making a baggy record???? then inexplicably they became quite vital and interesting and then death came quickly when damon decided pavement were not, in fact, crap. or was it mr. coxon and his desire to be lee renaldo? so they once again are dud.

keith, Monday, 26 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Re: What's so special about Parklife

Parklife may sound a bit twee now after Britpop exploded everywhere, but the fact that it was SO different in 1994 made it a hit (only #10 though - the biggest hit off the album was Girls & Boys at #5).

I was 14 when Parklife came out. I remember so clearly what the common room stereo was playing beforehand - Nirvana, Lemonheads, Smashing Pumpkins, even Guns 'n' Roses, NOTHING that had any relevance to what was going on with me or anyone I knew.

Parklife is the first new album I really remember having an impact on me; at last, you didn't have to sit in your room and slash your wrists to be cool, you could just go to the park with your mates and feed the pigeons (and sometimes feed the sparrows too). I also believe Girls and Boys is responsible for kickstarting Britpop, as without that disco beat no song had a chance of hitting in 1994, although I suspect something else would have come along anyway (Common People maybe?)

Blur are also really the only band who managed to be political and say it in a popular way (you could perhaps say Pulp and Manics, but I would say Blur are better known outside of the indie scene than those two). It's no surprise that Damon hid himself away during the height of Britpop, seeing as everything he was saying ironically on Parklife had been embraced and celebrated.

It's a shame that they went inside themselves for Blur and 13 and stopped writing about what was going on in the world. We need more bands like early Blur, who write about not only what's happening, but also how to deal with it. My biggest disappointment about Kid A was that Thom doesn't seem to have progressed at all from OK Computer; in fact, he's just withdrawn even more. It feels like we're right back in 1993 again.

John Davey, Tuesday, 27 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Impossible to love, difficult to like, yet I can't really call them a dud, not after 'This is a Low', 'Tracy Jacks', 'Yuko and Hiro' 'he Thought of Cars' and the last two albums.

I nave nothing good to say about their career up to Parklife, which I half like, but can rarely sit through. 'The Great Escape' sounds oddly clean and dated, yet apart from the whiff of self parody mixed with ripping off the Kinks TOO much ('Charmless Man', for example), it's an album that I still enjoy.

For me it got interesting round about 'Blur' and '13' is, apart from 'Tender is the Night', magnificent. Sure, there's nothing here that hasn't been done before, but the run of tracks 7-13 from 'Battle' to 'Optigan 1' is just plain classic.

So classic it is.

Dr. C, Tuesday, 27 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

How are Blur's songs political?

Anyway...reasons for being classic: "For Tomorrow". "Boys & Girls". "This is a Low". "Parklife". "Country House". "To The End". "Tender". Alex James's looks. "Pop Scene". The video for "Song 2", which features Damon being satisfyingly hurled against a wall repeated.

Reasons for being a dud: Damon Albarn.


Ally, Wednesday, 28 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Re: Damon in "Song 2" video -- he is? Now I almost wish I'd seen it at some point.

I stick to my belief that _The Great Escape_ is actually their best album, because they looked like Japan circa 81 or so on the back cover. That's reason enough, really. Then they had to go and record a bad Pixies/Bush rip-off. Dear god in heaven!

As for all the purported greatness of _Modern_/_Parklife_ and its 'trenchant' observations, etc. -- hm. It's just a bunch of XTC songs with "Girls and Boys" standing out as the exception to the rule. And I *love* XTC and all that, I'm just noting that I can't feel too attached to what Blur did with it per se. _English Settlement_ feels younger than _Parklife_ ever will.

Blur's May 1992 show at the Palace in LA was fantastic and the best of the three times I ever saw them; they seem to have gotten steadily worse on that front over the moons. The funniest thing, though, was that when Damon ambled out on stage, his gait, open shirt and haircut made me think of Morrissey. And right after I thought that, about half the people around me started calling out, "Morrissey!" He looked annoyed.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 28 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Has anyone noticed that "M.O.R" from 'Blur' is a TOTAL rip-off of 'Boys Keep Swinging'? I played it last night and I can't believe I never noticed this before.

No doubt everyone else spotted this ages ago.

Dr. C, Wednesday, 28 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

It's no surprise that Damon hid himself away during the height of Britpop, seeing as everything he was saying ironically on Parklife had been embraced and celebrated.

But don't you think that had more to do with Oasis overtaking them in terms of sales and as a cultural phenomena? I sincerely doubt that that Damon would have hid himself away had the Great Escape sold more records than What's the Story (Morning Glory). That's part of what makes Damon so annoying, he tries to cover up Blur's failings with talk of high-minded ideals that don't really exist.*

*I don't really believe that Blur selling less records than Oasis is a failing, but I will bet a dollar to a donut that Damon did at that time.

Nicole, Wednesday, 28 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I'll come to Blur in a while, ut I just want to ask Matthew James - were you in a band with Nick Grant in Reading circa 1990?

in 1990 i was nine years old. i haven't ever been to reading, and i don't know who nick grant is. do i look like him, or something?

matthew james, Wednesday, 28 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

::But don't you think that had more to do with Oasis overtaking them in terms of sales and as a cultural phenomena? I sincerely doubt that that Damon would have hid himself away had the Great Escape sold more records than What's the Story (Morning Glory). That's part of what makes Damon so annoying, he tries to cover up Blur's failings with talk of high-minded ideals that don't really exist.

You're right; I didn't make my point very well. It just seems to me that Parklife has been misinterpreted over the years. Damon's ambiguous criticisms were taken as celebrations, which perhaps explains The Great Escape's more direct approach on songs like He Thought Of Cars, Best Days and The Universal. But who wanted to hear any miserable shit like that in the autumn of '95?

This doesn't make The Great Escape a good album or What's The Story a bad one. I just appreciate Blur's attempt to say a little with their 60s/70s influences, rather than just celebrate them as Oasis do. If they fail to achieve their ambitions, so be it, but I think there's enough worthwhile and enjoyable songs here and there over their albums to justify their existence. The fact that Damon's an idiot doesn't really bother me.

John Davey, Wednesday, 28 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Losing the Britpop battle was was a good thing for Blur. I reckon it allowed G. Coxon to have more influence on the sound of the next records than the Albarn/James axis. Of course no doubt Damon would claim that he had been into into squalling guitar noise and electronica the whole time anyway.

Most of the discussion has centred on 'Parklife'/'Great Escape'. What does anybody else think of 'Blur' and especially '13'?

Dr. C, Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I love them to death, and own literally every recorded song. Sad, yes. However, it's just one of those bands I got attached to early on that fits my personality, and I sort of love them for their shortcomings too. Perhaps being American a lot of the social and class issues people have with them doesn't rub off on me. Yes, Damon Albarn wants to be Ray Davies and Bowie ("Bugman" = "Suffragette City", "MOR" = "Boys Keep Swinging", "He Thought Of Cars" =...), but the Beatles wanted to be Chuck Berry. Rock and Roll has continually been built on and advanced by people wanted to be other previously influential artists. However, I think Blur has gained most of their attention with merit, due to Albarn's songwriting knack on the piano and Coxon's guitar playing. The lush tart vs. dad duality of the rhythmm section just made them more interesting. The fact that they're still going and selling records and putting out best ofs means that they're "classic", despite whatever people might say. Sorry, you might think they're crap, but they're going to be forever mentioned and written about as the biggest british pop band of the 90s.

brent d., Thursday, 29 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Biggest British pop band of the 90s? Are you sure? By what criteria?

Tim, Friday, 30 March 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

DUD DUD DUD DUD DUD! song two is one of the most iritating songs ever (next to the equally iritating Smells like teen spirit), they have jumped more musical band wagons than i can remember, and to top it all off they are responsible for the Gorillaz.

Nick Greenfield, Monday, 2 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I've knowingly heard maybe 5 Blur songs in my life: "Parklife" as a snippet on Beavis and Butthead, "Country House" because they used to play the video every once and awhile, "Girls and Boys" because they always play it at this one club called "Popscene" in San Francisco, though I have no idea whether I've ever heard the song "Popscene", "Tender", "Coffee and TV", which is one of the best singles of whatever year it came out, and "Music is My Radar" which is projectile gorilla shit. Oh yeah, and "Song 2", which I actually like. So I like maybe half of the ones I've heard. Nothing they do is as dull as the typical Oasis song, their "rivalry" being pretty much the only context in which I think of Blur.

Kris S., Monday, 2 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

The last two albums have been loathsome, but much of the earlier stuff was quite pretty. 'Clover Over Dover', 'Yuko and Hiro', 'Blue Jeans' and others I've forgotten are still great songs, I think. That said, I have't really listened to any of them in ages. Maybe I should.

Ally C, Monday, 2 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

five months pass...
I'll say this, this thread has been very eye-opening. So fascinating, seeing all the cultural baggage that goes along with this band and their success. Someone said "All of a sudden it was cool to go in the park and feed the pigeons. You didn't have to sit in your room and slit your wrists to be cool." Interesting. Were there really kids in Britain who listened to Nirvana and suddenly became morose, and then when Blur hit the charts they suddenly perked up? Sounds quite odd, doesn't strike a chord with my adolescence. For me and my friends growing up (in the 90s), you liked the music you heard and disliked the music you heard, based on your own attitude and interests. Yes, there's an element of wanting to like what everyone else does; but I can't imagine us conforming our attitudes to match the current chart atmosphere.

As for me, a benighted American youth with almost no knowledge of British pop culture beyond a typical obsession with Black Adder, Red Dwarf and Monty Python -- I really like Blur. Their songs sound good to me. I like their (metaphorical) love affair with Syd Barrett, with Pink Floyd or solo. I think all their albums, except for the first (which I've not heard) are quite good, verging on great. "Tender," "It Could Be You," and "Coffee & TV" are particularly sublime, in my estimation.

BTW, what's "pomo" or "po-mo" ?

Jack Redelfs, Sunday, 23 September 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Po-mo = POstMOdern.

Michael Daddino, Sunday, 23 September 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

one year passes...
REVIVE. I'm listening to all of my Blur material (all albums, singles box and rare track mp3's), so I dug up this little C/D thread.
In the light of the new album release & the exit of Graham Coxon, what are your current opinions on one of (IMHO) the greatest British bands of the 90's?

JP Almeida (JP Almeida), Thursday, 29 May 2003 21:03 (seventeen years ago) link

Some classic singles, several dud albums. Go figure. Even in the hey day of Britpop, Different Class shat all over everything they were doing - politically, musically and lyrically. And when they went in their 'weird' direction with the self-titled 1997 LP I thought they were sooper-dud. And the new song stinks. It's not very good.

Calz (Calz), Thursday, 29 May 2003 21:25 (seventeen years ago) link

the britpop trilogy is their creative zenith. gets better with each album, great tunes, witty lyrics etc (although i agree with calum that damon doesn't touch jarvis as a wordsmith.)

apart from that: the debut is dog-food, the self-titled fifth is patchy, but with some good tunes. 13 was spoiled by orbit's over-elaborate production. the new one is a step back in the right direction, but not back to their best.

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Thursday, 29 May 2003 22:42 (seventeen years ago) link

I bought their singles box set back when it came out and have listened to it not once. I'm not sure what this says about my opinion of the band. I suspect it says I had more money than sense though.

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Thursday, 29 May 2003 22:58 (seventeen years ago) link

you'll get value for money out of it yet. play "for tomorrow" first, then through all the Modern life/Parklife/Great Escape singles. its great.

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Thursday, 29 May 2003 23:01 (seventeen years ago) link

"Sing" is nice.

Matt K, Friday, 30 May 2003 01:20 (seventeen years ago) link

The new rekid is great. 13 is great. parklife is great. Blur (the rekid) was ok. they are pretty good actually. in fact still interesting after all that time makes me like them. Are they insufferable twats. probably but if thats a reason for not liking someones music then 98% of the music industry is in trouble.

gallantseagull, Friday, 30 May 2003 05:29 (seventeen years ago) link

Some of their best tracks are buried as b-sides on singles. That's why the singles box is such a good buy, it has a full 4 albums of great rare songs, an entire live album (and a remix album, for those who care for it). So, ESOJ, don't dismiss it before taking a good listen to it, you might be surprised. Killian is OTM, and some of the Leisure b-sides (along with Popscene) are grate as well.

JP Almeida (JP Almeida), Friday, 30 May 2003 07:51 (seventeen years ago) link

fair call. there are quite a few big bands that put amazing stuff out on their b-sides, Radiohead being a perfect example. Interestingly, Gay Dad's b-sides were good too..

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Friday, 30 May 2003 10:48 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm with JP, there are a slew of great B-sides on them singles. Up until the band decided to suck for a while.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 30 May 2003 13:55 (seventeen years ago) link

Until I hear of Blur writing a "Living Dead" or "My Insatiable One" I'll take Suede as the world's finest B-sides band everytime.

Calz (Calz), Friday, 30 May 2003 16:10 (seventeen years ago) link

Ned is OTM. 90% of the real great Blur b-sides are from the first half of their career.
Suede has a great bunch of b-sides indeed, can't wait for Sci-fi Lullabies vol. 2...

JP Almeida (JP Almeida), Friday, 30 May 2003 17:41 (seventeen years ago) link

two years pass...
know there's not a lot of love for this band on ILX, but has anybody revisited 13 lately? just listened to "caramel" for the first time in years and was struck by how superior it still seems to virtually everything i've been listening to lately.

no i haven't just been listening to crap, thanks snarkers.

marc h. (marc h.), Thursday, 5 January 2006 04:49 (fourteen years ago) link

yeah, "caramel" is probably my favorite song on 13. also, i'd like to know why "trailerpark" get's so much hate on ILM.

Christopher Costello (CGC), Thursday, 5 January 2006 04:53 (fourteen years ago) link

I keep saying that "13" was Blur making their "Kid A" before Radiohead made theirs, but nobody agrees with me.

("13" >>>>>>>>>>>>> "Kid A", obv.)

NoTimeBeforeTime (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 5 January 2006 06:22 (fourteen years ago) link

hmmm... not a whole lot of love for 13 - there's a good four or five songs on there, but a whole heap of bad ones. Also, can't stand "Tender" - an eternity of tedium.

Wogan Lenin (dog latin), Thursday, 5 January 2006 13:22 (fourteen years ago) link

"Optigan 1" and "Coffee and T.V." are the two best songs on 13.

Mr. Snrub, Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:07 (fourteen years ago) link

i dread a point when "battle" wont completely destroy me.

i wish mr coxon would get back to some of the guitar work he was up to at that point...

bb (bbrz), Thursday, 5 January 2006 19:17 (fourteen years ago) link

"Caramel" and "Bugman" are beyond fabulous.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 5 January 2006 21:14 (fourteen years ago) link

Bugman is fucking great. So are Coffee & TV and Swampsong. After that it gets a bit sprawling - everything goes on twice as long as it needs to and outstays its welcome. Mellow Song, Battle and Trailerpark would be fantastic if someone chopped a couple of minutes off of them.

Blur are probably the most consistent guitar band of the last decade (or fifteen years, whatever).

Teh HoBB (the pirate king), Thursday, 5 January 2006 21:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Nah, they still suck. I prefer Pavement.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 5 January 2006 22:28 (fourteen years ago) link

I hear it all around town in various shops and houses.

They were playing it in the Union St Fopp this lunch time. A dreary record for a dreary day.

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Wednesday, 27 May 2015 13:04 (five years ago) link

Yeah, I likes it also.

I did go for the Japanese edition (not actually expensive), and it has one extra track on the end, which is better for it: The normal last track sort of just 'ends', whereas the mostly instrumental extra is somewhat knocked off but works.

Mark G, Wednesday, 27 May 2015 13:27 (five years ago) link

At this stage I could live without New World Towers, Ice Cream Man and Ghost Ship but love the rest and think Pyongyang is a bona fide classic. It only falters when Damon clearly couldn't be bothered to build on a vocal melody and stretches it out for a whole song like he did on Everyday Robots.

Continue your brooding monologue (Re-Make/Re-Model), Wednesday, 27 May 2015 15:26 (five years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Paris, yesterday (don't know if this is available worldwide, sorry if it isn't)

StanM, Tuesday, 16 June 2015 15:34 (five years ago) link

The audio could have been synched better on this video :-(

Don't know what to think tbh - are they always this loose/sloppy?

StanM, Tuesday, 16 June 2015 16:42 (five years ago) link

They have a history of being loose and sloppy, yeah. That performance they did at the Brit Awards in recent years springs to mind.

by the way, the audio synch problems will be solved shortly, according to the comments

"Une version optimale du concert sera mise en ligne dans les plus brefs délais."

StanM, Thursday, 18 June 2015 13:40 (five years ago) link

I'm really glad he doesn't post on here anymore.

Kitchen Person, Wednesday, 24 June 2015 22:51 (five years ago) link

two weeks pass...

reuploaded! the audio synch problems have been solved

StanM, Friday, 10 July 2015 17:26 (five years ago) link

So I gave The Magic Whip another chance today and I still don't particularly feel that, on the whole, it's that great. Found myself really enjoying 'Pyongyang', though... it's like Japan doing a cover version of 'Gimme Shelter'.

two months pass...

"Go Out" turns out to be the big standout. Love it. Funny that it was the first track they leaked.

twunty fifteen (imago), Wednesday, 30 September 2015 14:18 (four years ago) link

Mixed emotions about this band. Damon wrote some glorious ballads- To The End, Blue Jeans, Out of Time - but then he did all that stuff that epitomised the 90s - smug, superior, pastiche, not half as clever as it thinks it is. Like Hirst was to the art world. Coxon was an inventive guitarist, but the band only had one songwriter. You could tick off his influences - oh, that one's a bit like the Jam, or the Specials, or Ray Davies - but he rarely transcended them. He only really shone on the ballads.

Dr X O'Skeleton, Wednesday, 30 September 2015 20:58 (four years ago) link

Was going to say, number one album but off the chart after 13 weeks.

Then again, that's only one week less than Think Tank.

Mark G, Wednesday, 30 September 2015 21:37 (four years ago) link

yeah but it's 2015

PaulTMA, Wednesday, 30 September 2015 21:58 (four years ago) link

I was going to say that, yes.

Mark G, Thursday, 1 October 2015 08:19 (four years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Anyone else at MSG, last night?. Shit was fun.

BringTheAuBonPain, Sunday, 25 October 2015 06:34 (four years ago) link


what an ungood venue for music, especially trying to mix an 18-piece band

let no-one live rent free in your butt (sic), Sunday, 25 October 2015 13:38 (four years ago) link

interesting that they've been throwing around a few lesser-played songs on dates of late; Country Sad Ballad Man, Caravan, etc. also Villa Rosie was soundchecked for one of the last few dates according to Setlist FM. Villa Rosie!

piscesx, Sunday, 25 October 2015 15:31 (four years ago) link

i was like 3rd row/center on the floor. sounded great to me.

BringTheAuBonPain, Sunday, 25 October 2015 15:45 (four years ago) link

Damon said on Friday that they hadn't played Country Sad in 20 years

let no-one live rent free in your butt (sic), Monday, 26 October 2015 01:59 (four years ago) link

I dont think thats true.

Mark G, Monday, 26 October 2015 07:39 (four years ago) link

Meltdown Festival, 2000 - according to this: (Sad = 24th in the list)

StanM, Monday, 26 October 2015 08:10 (four years ago) link

I guess that's close enough for jazz..

Probably because up to then they seemed to play it all the time. So, possibly not needing too much rehearsal.

Mark G, Monday, 26 October 2015 10:19 (four years ago) link

I dunno, I guess I'm at that stage of leaving the bus now. I enjoyed the new album very much and it fits right in with the best of the old stuff, but I am unbothered by anything else Damon's done over the past ten, I feel it's Thanks and So Long...

Mark G, Monday, 26 October 2015 10:21 (four years ago) link

Demon Days is probably the last Albarn-related release that I could say that I wholeheartedly enjoyed, and that came out a decade ago?

Turrican, Monday, 26 October 2015 23:57 (four years ago) link

already have the 21 cd box, but i went ahead and splurged on the vinyl box. what a wonderful thing it is.

BringTheAuBonPain, Sunday, 8 November 2015 02:52 (four years ago) link

I have the vinyl box, but not the most recent album so I'm a little annoyed that the box is whole yet incomplete

she started dancing to that (Finefinemusic), Sunday, 8 November 2015 05:19 (four years ago) link

Yeah, I have all the boxed cd versions, similar annoyance.

Mark G, Sunday, 8 November 2015 08:30 (four years ago) link

And that singles set from the ten year anniversary was incomplete when issued.

Mark G, Sunday, 8 November 2015 08:31 (four years ago) link

oops. hit enter too early.
that's a bunch of shit that wasn't in the box set. looks pretty good. downloading now.

my local record store has the magic whip on vinyl at a pretty good price. might pick it up next week.

BringTheAuBonPain, Sunday, 8 November 2015 15:58 (four years ago) link

Wow, thanks for the link! Makes up a bit for not having TMW vinyl. Some kind fellow on reddit sent me an empty TMW ice cream container that was sold in the UK, so silly but fun on my shelf

she started dancing to that (Finefinemusic), Sunday, 8 November 2015 16:59 (four years ago) link

i think that may be the site i got the Reading '93 and the infamous 92 'Gimme Shelter' shows from. great site

piscesx, Sunday, 8 November 2015 17:49 (four years ago) link

is this that bur archivist guy who encodes absolutely everything in 128 kbps

PaulTMA, Sunday, 8 November 2015 20:40 (four years ago) link


EZ Snappin, Sunday, 8 November 2015 21:05 (four years ago) link

all that and his Seymour mp3s have an extra e at the end. Sheesh!
I thought I had a pretty good collection (I imported the Me Me Me single into Canada in the 90s ffs) but by the time I get through all these downloads I will have a "lock me up" worthy collection!

she started dancing to that (Finefinemusic), Monday, 9 November 2015 17:08 (four years ago) link

three years pass...

Maresn3st, Tuesday, 29 October 2019 21:26 (eleven months ago) link

what is the record shop owner's accent??!?!!

imago, Wednesday, 30 October 2019 00:00 (ten months ago) link

Mitigated for the TV, I reckon.

Mark G, Wednesday, 30 October 2019 07:26 (ten months ago) link

I was more shocked to find out that Dunoon had a record shop!

Pink Floyd show back in 67 or 68 did not go well for them at all, apparently.

Maresn3st, Wednesday, 30 October 2019 13:13 (ten months ago) link

what is the record shop owner's accent??!?!!


the salacious inaudible (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 22:21 (ten months ago) link

two months pass...

Of all the songs to look at -

Maresn3st, Thursday, 9 January 2020 13:33 (eight months ago) link
(as above, but Modern Life Is Rubbish)

the salacious inaudible (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Wednesday, 15 January 2020 20:58 (eight months ago) link

Uhhh that is totally fucking amazing. I could listen listen to musicians yammer on and on about their albums all day.

No mention of Andy Partridge at all, though?

Mr. Snrub, Friday, 17 January 2020 22:26 (eight months ago) link

Toward the very end, surprised that the guy didn't know that AP had produced three tracks, he seems to like XTC too. Graham is such a sweetheart.

Maresn3st, Friday, 17 January 2020 23:38 (eight months ago) link

partridge comes up toward the end when the host compares villa rosie to xtc.

wmlynch, Friday, 17 January 2020 23:39 (eight months ago) link

It was interesting to hear how he got the sounds in Oily Water, but also frustrating when you see him playing things as everything is so complex I know I couldn't possibly play it myself.

the salacious inaudible (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Saturday, 18 January 2020 19:55 (eight months ago) link

I was gutted Graham didn't remember he played a chair leg on Miss America

PaulTMA, Sunday, 19 January 2020 17:33 (eight months ago) link

what is the record shop owner's accent??!?!!


It's not Tignabruaich, that's for sure.

Frozen Mug (Tom D.), Sunday, 19 January 2020 19:10 (eight months ago) link

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