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.
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".
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 there, 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.
Hey, It's That Voice!: Damon also does vocals for Gorillaz (and The Good, The Bad, And The Queen, which has never been as well-known). Parklife, of course, had Phil Daniels in the speaking role.
"Ernold Same" has additional vocals by Ken Livingstone, the former Mayor of London.