Formed 1990.
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Blur: Song 2

Steve Lamacq reflects on the brilliance of the Song 2 riff by Blur

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Blur are an English rock band, formed in London in 1988 as Seymour. The group consists of singer/keyboardist Damon Albarn, guitarist/singer Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree. Blur's debut album Leisure (1991) incorporated the sounds of Madchester and shoegazing. Following a stylistic change influenced by English guitar pop groups such as the Kinks and the Beatles, and XTC. Blur released Modern Life Is Rubbish (1993), Parklife (1994) and The Great Escape (1995). As a result, the band helped to popularise the Britpop genre and achieved mass popularity in the UK, aided by a chart battle with rival band Oasis in 1995 dubbed "The Battle of Britpop".

In recording their follow-up, Blur (1997), the band underwent another reinvention, showing influence from the lo-fi style of American indie rock groups. The album, including the "Song 2" single, brought Blur mainstream success in the United States. Their next album, 13 (1999) saw the band members experimenting with electronic and gospel music, and featured more personal lyrics from Albarn. In May 2002, Coxon left Blur during the recording of their seventh album Think Tank (2003). Containing electronic sounds and more minimal guitar work, the album was marked by Albarn's growing interest in hip hop and African music. After a 2003 tour without Coxon, Blur did no studio work or touring as a band, as members engaged in other projects. In 2008 Blur reunited, with Coxon back in the fold, for a series of concerts in the following year, and have continued to release several singles and retrospective releases, as well as tour internationally. In 2012, Blur received a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.

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Links & Information

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Blur 21: The Box

    Blur 21: The Box 2012

    Reviewed by Ian Wade
    A glorious collection, placing Blur firmly amongst the very best bands of all time.
  2. Review of Midlife: A Beginners Guide to Blur

    Midlife: A Beginners Guide to Blur 2009

    Reviewed by Ian Wade
    Remember and celebrate the finest band of their generation this way.
  3. Review of Think Tank

    Think Tank 2003

    Reviewed by Dan Tallis
    Don't buy this if you're expecting the Blur of old. The past has been blurred, welcome...
  4. Review of 13

    13 1999

    Reviewed by Dennis O'Dell
    May one day, be classed as their greatest work.
  5. Review of Blur

    Blur 1999

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    Blur had, like all the greatest bands, moved on. Oasis never would...
  6. Review of The Great Escape

    The Great Escape 1995

    Reviewed by James McMahon
    Blur’s fourth album showed us the real Damon Albarn, and we liked him.
  7. Review of Parklife

    Parklife 1994

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    Regardless of what it all became, we still have this exemplary record.
  8. Review of Modern Life Is Rubbish

    Modern Life Is Rubbish 1993

    Reviewed by Sid Smith
    It's impossible not to think of The Kinks when listening to this.
  9. Review of Leisure

    Leisure 1991

    Reviewed by Sid Smith
    ...Blur had nothing to say but said it very well...
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