Tag Archives: Blur

9 of the best – sounds of 1993

A compilation treat for the May Day holiday. Looking back at 1993, the world of popular music was a-changing… Björk was doing her own thing at the crossroads, house music had grown up a little less exciting, and hip hop was showing temporary signs of sophistication…

Björk – Venus As A Boy

Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.

Sabres Of Paradise – Smokebelch II

The Smashing Pumpkins – Disarm

U2 – Lemon (Perfecto Mix)

Grant Lee Buffalo – Fuzzy

David Bowie – The Wedding

Blur – For Tomorrow

Tindersticks – Marbles

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Honourable mentions also go to: Jeru The Damaja for ‘Come Clean‘; Masters At Work for ‘The Buff Dance‘; George Morel for ‘Let’s Groove‘; A Tribe Called Quest for ‘Electric Relaxation‘ and not too much else. A quarter of a century after the annus mirabilis that was 1968, thin pickings were abound in 1993. That’s crossroads for you.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1994

As we approach the end of another year and the greatest hits that follow, I give you a compilation of sounds from 24 years ago. Britop was at its zenith, but the angelic voice of a Californian rose above all ….

Jeff Buckley – Grace

Oasis – Cigarettes & Alcohol

Pulp – Babies

Blur – To The End

Mazzy Star – Fade Into You

The Dust Brothers – Chemical Beats

Beastie Boys – Sabotage

Grant Lee Buffalo – Mockingbirds

Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye

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Honourable mentions also go to: Portishead for ‘Roads‘; Mazzy Star for ‘Fade Into You‘; Plush for ‘Found A Little Baby‘, Johnny Cash for ‘Drive On’, Jeff Buckley for ‘Grace‘; Blur for ‘End Of A Century‘; Nas for ‘N.Y. State Of Mind’; Green Day for ‘Basket Case’; The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion for ‘Bellbottoms

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Blur – End Of A Century (1994)

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It’s 1994 again and it was Parklife’s ‘End Of A Century’. Waking up in a bug-infested flat, putting on the same clothes all your mates are wearing… there is something beautiful about capturing drab everyday life. How English were Blur? Up there with The Kinks and The Jam.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1995

A compilation to get the ears humming this weekend. My favourite 9 sounds of 1995, the swansong year for Britpop. Needless to say, Oasis and Blur feature.

The Smashing Pumpkins – 1979

The Flaming Lips – Placebo Headwound

Oasis – The Masterplan

Underworld – Born Slippy

Radiohead – Fake Plastic Trees

Sparklehorse – Cow

Teenage Fanclub – Versimilitude

Blur – The Universal

Moby – When It’s Cold I’d Like To Die

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Honourable mentions also go to: Pavement for ‘We Dance‘; Yo La Tengo for ‘Blue Line Swinger‘; Ol’ Dirty Bastard for ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya‘; Rob Dougan for ‘Clubbed To Death‘; Sparklehorse for ‘Saturday‘; and Radiohead for ‘Planet Telex’ and ‘Street Spirit’.

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Blur – The Universal (1995)

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Blur’s ‘The Universal’ sphere is the centrepiece of a song about drug-induced happiness. Based on A Clockwork Orange, the striking video was a fitting backdrop to Britpop, Blur and the imagination of Damon Albarn. “How long have you been a red man?” “About 15 years.” “What were you before?” “Blue.” Have a great weekend.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1999

A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 1999 in no particular order:

Röyksopp – So Easy

Blur – Coffee And TV

Dr. Dre – Still D.R.E.

Wilco – She’s A Jar

Pavement – Spit On A Stranger

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – I See A Darkness

dEUS – Instant Street

The Flaming Lips – Race For The Prize

Sigur Rós – Starálfur

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Honourable mentions also go to: Pépé Bradock & The Grand Brûlé’s Choir for ‘Deep Burnt‘; Mos Def for ‘Ms. Fat Booty‘; Shack for ‘Comedy‘; Pete Heller for ‘Big Love‘ and Death in Vegas for ‘Dirge‘.

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Blur – To The End (1994)

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Blur 1994

On this side of The Pond, Blur’s third album Parklife had such an impact. In 1994, it sounded like the quintessential Britpop album. Part concept, part social commentary, the album did more to define Britpop than all that followed. For all the the happy-chappy singalongs, nestled at the heart of the album was ‘To The End’. Slightly sophisticated, slightly psychedelic, and ever so slightly sounding like Saint Etienne, the band would revisit the same style with their classic ‘The Universal’ from the following LP The Great Escape. Have a great weekend. 

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Gorillaz – Hong Kong (2005)

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Gorillaz

The charity War Child’s original Help! compilation showcased the first appearance of the Radiohead song ‘Lucky’, which would later appear on OK Computer. Ten years later, Help!: A Day in the Life featured Gorillaz’s ‘Hong Kong’, which would later feature as a live bonus track on Demon Days. It’s got more than a touch of Blur about it. Have a great weekend.

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Blur – Under The Westway (2012)

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Blur 2012

Blur are officially back with a new album The Magic Whip set to be released next month. It’s 12 years since Blur’s last studio album, 2003’s Think Tank, and 2 years since their London-Olympics-inspired reunion. In 2012, they created the sound of Ray Davies playing with the Flaming Lips with ‘Under The Westway’; it was also part throwback to their 1995 album The Great Escape and that’s no bad thing. Let’s hope for more of the same. Have a great weekend.

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Blur – For Tomorrow (1993)

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Blur again

As the opening track off Blur’s second album Modern Life Is Rubbish, ‘For Tomorrow’ is definitely one of the few songs that can lay claim to the ground zero of Britpop.

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Pulp – Babies (1994)

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Jarvis Cocker

Unquestionably Pulp’s best song, ‘Babies’ sounds like New Order until Jarvis Cocker opens his mouth. What comes out then is, well, nothing like Bernard Sumner. “I only went with her cause she looked like you.” A pathetically real tale of teenage love and sex is wrapped in an anthem so appealing, that it was released, remixed and ultimately re-released to great acclaim as part of the 1994 album His ‘n’ Hers. It had found its time… this was the year that Blur’s Parkside was released and everybody was mocking their own youth. The plethora of anthems that was Britpop… “Yeah yeah yeah.”

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Blur – Coffee And TV (1999)

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Where to start with Blur… ‘Song 2’, ‘The Universal’, ‘Girls & Boys’. I have plumped for ‘Coffee And TV’. In 1999, their sixth long player 13 felt like a swan song after the much documented troubles within the band. Despite the divergence in musical direction, the missing son of the video, guitarist Graham Coxon, had been able to pull Blur along a new lo-fi Pavement/Beck-inspired path. So the milk carton falls for some strawberry milk, but only for a brief interlude before cruel fate intervenes. Blur would release one more album, Think Tank, in 2003, but do so without Coxon.

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Wire – I Am The Fly (1978)

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Chairs Missing was the second long player release from Wire. Their punk rock was evolving into something completely different, as exemplified by the classics ‘Outdoor Miner’ and ‘I Am The Fly’. The latter is a slice of amphetamine art rock driven along by Colin Newman’s distinctive vocals – the sound influenced far and wide. Blur certainly listened to them… 1-2-3, “Girls who are boys, Who like boys to be girls…”

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