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The Magic Whip

Download/Stream cover
Covers for different versions

Released: 27 April 2015

All release dates

Highest UK Chart Position: 1

Chart History | Intl Chart Positions | Sales


CD Cat. No. 0825646141692
Double Vinyl 0825646141715

US CD 2-549108

Asian Countries
Japanese CD WPCR-16444
Japanese CD Promo PCD-761
Korean CD PWKPD-0012
Taiwanese CD 2564614169

Other Countries & Formats
Download (HD & standard) / Stream

Record labels:

UK: Parlophone/Warner Music
US: Warner Bros. Records/Warner Music
Japan: Warner Music Japan
Korea: Warner Music Korea
Taiwan: Warner Music Taiwan


   01. Lonesome Street
   02. New World Towers
   03. Go Out
   04. Ice Cream Man
   05. Thought I Was A Spaceman
   06. I Broadcast
   07. My Terracotta Heart
   08. There Are Too Many Of Us
   09. Ghost Ship
   10. Pyongyang
   11. Ong Ong
   12. Mirrorball

* Extra track in the Japanese release is "Y'All Doomed".

* Sold with a 12" x 12" album artwork print through the official Blur webstore and Warner Music Store.

* Pre-orders from Blur's webstore, Amazon and iTunes included an immediate download of the album preview tracks (see below) once they became available.

* The vinyl includes code for download of the album (160 kbps MP3).

Additional releases:

    Preview tracks:
    Go Out
    There Are Too Many Of Us
    Lonesome Street
    My Terracotta Heart
    I Broadcast
    Ong Ong

Liner notes
Credits inside the album booklet.


  • The Magic Whip is based on the jams and song ideas Blur recorded over five days in Hong Kong in May 2013. The material was initially left behind until Graham Coxon and Stephen Street began editing it in the autumn of 2014. Later, the full band joined them and the album was finished in February 2015.
  • The record was strongly inspired by Hong Kong. Damon Albarn, who even returned to the city to write the lyrics, commented: "The album reminds me of David Bowie's Berlin period, in that you can hear the city in the music. There's nothing pastoral about it, it's very much an urban record. It's not a technically tricky record, what you hear is what we played. There's no autotune."
  • According to Damon, the title The Magic Whip can mean many things, for example, an ice cream or a Chinese firework. 'The whip' refers to hidden control found in China. The working title for the album was Made In Hong Kong, but the band thought it was too obvious.
  • The album's cover designer Tony Hung described the album's music as "quite fluffy, but with a depth and darkness to it". He compared it to the Chinese ice cream tradition: "You [Western people] normally think ice cream as a daytime thing, but we [Chinese] see it in a different setting: darker and seedier".
  • A clip of the "Lonesome Street" demo was aired on Steve Lamacq's show on 20th April 2015. The full album was premiered on the same day on BBC Radio 6 Music and iTunes UK.
  • The acoustic guitar in the beginning of "Thought I Was A Spaceman" is actually played by Damon. The track contains a dialogue sample from the Apollo landing.
  • "I Broadcast" was made pretty late for the album, because the band thought the record needed a fast punky track. It's based on one of Damon's old iPad demos and recorded in London after the Hong Kong sessions.
  • The lyrics for "There Are Too Many Of Us" were partly inspired by the 2014 Sydney hostage crisis witnessed by Damon from his hotel room. "Outside of the window everything was very normal and unexceptional, but on the television it was like World War III was about to sort of break out. The song is influenced by that sort of mad distortion that takes place on these sort of events," Damon said to ABC.
  • "Pyongyang", the capital of North Korea, is about Damon's experiences visiting the country.
  • The title "Ong Ong" refers to Hong Kong and the "ong! ong!" noise heard on the early demo of the song.
  • Total running time: 51:49

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