I heard a passing mention of the band Blur the other day, in fact I heard that it was 25 years since Blur got together. So I decided it was time to take a little trip down Blur memory lane.
Let’s start at the beginning, or almost the beginning, with the excellent There’s No Other Way, from 1991. This video is worth watching for Damon Albarn’s hair alone. Look at it! But most importantly, just listen.
Click to watch Blur - There's No Other Way [VEVO]
Apart from Damon’s hair, There’s No Other Way as a track is a million times better than its video, and I don’t even know if this is really the most entertaining of videos considering that There’s No Other Way was Blur’s first hit. Their debit single, She’s So High, in 1990 only reached number 48 in the UK charts.
After some excellent but lesser known singles in 1992 and 1993, by the time Blur resurfaced into the view of mainstream music listeners in 1994 Damon had sorted his hair out into something more like we know and love today and to his credit I don’t think he’s really aged since.
I really don’t understand why Blur passed by the Australian consciousness. Everyone knows Oasis, the other great British band of the 1990s, so why didn’t you notice Blur? Maybe because tunes like Parklife and Country House are just so British. Pretty much every scene in the videos and every lyric made perfect sense back home in the nineties and probably still do now, but I suppose could just be lost on anyone else.
According to the British media, renowned not only for creating hype but also for never letting the truth get in the way of a good story, Blur and Oasis were locked in a bitter rivalry. Both bands were poster boys for Britpop; the music scene that happened when indie music stopped being indie for a few years and suddenly became popular. The hype was brought to fever pitch in August 1995 when the bands’ respective record companies decided to release singles on the same day. Country House by Blur was in a race for number one with Roll With It by Oasis. Blur won the race by a country mile, no pun intended.
You may be interested to know that the main character in the video for Country House is played by Keith Allen, Lily Allen’s dad.
Click to watch Blur - Country House [VEVO]
I wanted to include just one more video on this page and it took me a fair while to decide which one. I excluded some of my favourite tracks, such as To The End and End Of A Century, because they are a little downtempo, but if you’re not familiar with them I strongly suggest you head over to Vevo and check them out. Parklife was perhaps a little too cheesy to follow straight on from Country House. Charmless Man was a close runner up, but in the end it had to be…Song 2.
Click to watch Blur - Song 2 [VEVO]
Of course the Blur track that everyone knows, possibly because it’s been bootlegged and mashed up all over the place even more than Song 2, is Girls And Boys. So to finish up, in case you have read this whole page and still think you’ve never heard anything by Blur before, here’s proof that you have.
Click to watch Blur - Girls And Boys [VEVO]
Nicki Ranger is a freelance writer currently based in Perth, Western Australia.
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