Trivia / Blur

The band

  • Black Sheep Hit: "Song 2", especially in America where it's the only song most people know by them. Ironically the song was written to parody American alternative rock at the time. Right down to the indecipherable vocals. Which isn't as much of a black sheep in the context of that album, which probably changed the course of indie rock music for the next decade.
  • Chart Displacement: Neither of their top-five Modern Rock hits was "Song 2", which peaked at #6 on that chart. However, on the Hot 100, "Song 2" was in fact their highest charter.
  • Creator Backlash: In later years Albarn would disown The Great Escape for being artificial and slick, and the band are especially unkind about the big brass-band knees up "Country House" (their first number one single in the UK). The only representations of the album on their 2009 greatest hits album Midlife are the fan-favourite album track "He Thought of Cars" and the singles "The Universal" and "Stereotypes".
    Albarn: I've made two bad records. The first record, which is awful, and The Great Escape, which was messy.
    • Albarn has also become very critical of Think Tank, mainly due to it being a difficult album to work on after the departure of Graham Coxon, which resulted in the band taking a six-year hiatus after the tour for the album was finished and explains why the band rarely performs songs from the album after their 2009 reunion.
    Albarn: It's... got some real stinkers on it there's some bollocks on there.
  • Creator Breakdown:
    • Most of the darker lyrics on 13 were directly inspired by Damon's breakup with his longtime girlfriend, Elastica singer Justine Frischmann, especially "Tender" and "No Distance Left To Run".
      • "No Distance Left to Run" actually takes the cake and proceeds to steal the whole bakery. Albarn actually hates the song, as it forced him to accept the end of his relationship in order to record the song.
      Albarn: It upsets me, that song. It upset me singing it. Doing that vocal upset me greatly. To sing that lyric I really had to accept that it was the end of something in my life. It's amazing when you do have the guts to do that with your work, because it don't half help you.
    • "Sweet Song" was written whilst Damon had been looking at a photo of Graham Coxon after the latter had left the band.
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: Alex James and Dave Rowntree named Modern Life is Rubbish as their favourite album, while Graham Coxon preferred Blur.
  • Executive Meddling: One of the good examples. The band's label disliked what was to be their second album that they asked them to go back and start over again. Then when the band delivered that album to their label, the label claimed that it needed two more single-worthy songs. The album that resulted, Modern Life is Rubbish, is considered one of the band's best albums. The two "singleworthy" songs, "For Tomorrow" and "Chemical World" were two of the band's biggest (at the time) and most popular songs. The already recorded first-try album was instead released as b-sides to the three singles from the new second-try (the third single being "Sunday Sunday"). Those now-B-sides are decent, but are not considered to be stronger than the material on Modern Life is Rubbish.
    • An unfortunate example, from the same period is the track "Turn It Up" which the band hated but the American record label, SBK Records, thought it would do well in the States, and was added to Modern Life is Rubbish at the expense of "Young And Lovely", which the band liked (that song became the B-side to "Chemical World"). Ironically, "Turn it Up" was never released as a single, and SBK was so ridiculously incompetent that they also replaced "Chemical World" with its demo version, despite the fact that they demanded the song in the first place. Humorously, "Chemical World" wound up becoming the American rock radio hit that SBK requested...but the version those stations played was the original version that was otherwise unavailable at the time in the US.
    • In a much earlier period, Blur's early material as "Seymour", which eventually came out as B-sides for the "Sunday Sunday" single and on the Blur 21 box set, showed them to be primarily a fast-paced, heavily punk-influenced band. However, by the time they made it onto Food Records, Shoegazing and Madchester were at their peak popularity, so the label forced them to write songs fusing together the two subgenres for their first album Leisure. There's also the fact that the name Blur was chosen from a list of label-approved alternate names for the group, as Food Records disliked Seymour as a band name.
  • Limey Goes to Hollywood: Inverted; the band experimented with recording abroad in Iceland (Blur) and Morocco (Think Tank).
  • Named After Somebody Famous: An inversion, for singer Damon Albarn. A manga writer in Japan decided to name his protagonist Maka Albarn after one of his favorite musicians.
  • Old Shame: Despite a generally positive critical reaction upon release, Damon has since referred to Leisure as "awful". He has similarly dismissed The Great Escape as "messy".
  • One-Hit Wonder: "Song 2" in Americanote , although Blur are much bigger in Britain and the Commonwealth countries.
  • Revival by Commercialization: "Song 2" tends to get this a lot.
  • What Could Have Been: "Trailerpark" was originally recorded for the Chef Aid Album, but Rick Rubin rejected it, so the band put it on 13 instead.
    • The band's sessions for Modern Life Is Rubbish totalled 40+ songs, yet only 16 were used on the album. The band has noted at various times that they considered putting "Popscene", "Never Clever", "Young And Lovely", "Peach", "When The Cows Come Home", "Into Another", "Hanging Over" and "Seven Days" on the album and that the likes of "Turn It Up" and "Coping" wouldn't have made it on.

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