Blur Vinyl, CD & tapes by Blur at Norman Records
Blur is the band Damon Albarn did before he went to rap as a multitude of cartoon characters. It's the band Graham Coxon did before he went all serious and solo. It's the band Alex James did before he became a farmyard tory. It's the band Dave Rowntree did before... what is Dave Rowntree up to these days? A spark in the still-raging Britpop fire, Blur created music and antics, pop hits and rivalries, serving as the wordy and self-congratulatory foil to the mischief Oasis were making up North. You likely know the hits: the woo-hooing "Song 2", the pantomimic "Country House" and the dread-inducing singalong "Parklife". You might know the rest too.
Starting as an almost confrontationally British band for a time that was demanding Britpop, they debuted Leisure and continued with Modern Life is Rubbish. As time went by, they rescinded the la la las and Londoner snarls in favour of more cerebral music: the domesticated critique of The Great Escape led to stranger, more experimental records like 13, where pop songs existed in more expansive and abstract templates -- the bombastic "Tender" and the mumbled indie rock of "Coffee & TV". Their original existence ended on Think Tank, an obscure, downbeat record that saw them at their most dour and defeated -- they got their best song out of it with "Out of Time". They re-uinted with The Magic Whip recently, but we all know Blur are a piece of history, an iconic band who belong to a period of music press name-calling and band-pranking we can never quite go back to.