Likelihood of another Blur record

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Likelihood of another Blur record

Postby TracyJosh » 10 Jul 2018, 10:54

What does everyone think is the likelihood of a follow-up to TMW?

Surely that is Gorillaz done and dusted for a while after the current touring schedule is over. TGTBTQ probably wont have too extensive a promotional campaign and given the age of some of it's members, will only have a small tour plan, if much at all. I know Damon takes on board a variety of lower profiled projects that take up a good bit of time but surely by say 2020-2021 he'll be fancying another phase of Blur? (This is of course on the measured assumption it pretty much all hangs on Damon's schedule).. The guys really aren't that old in the grand scheme of musical careers, yes entering the latter stages, but you'd expect them all to be active for at the very least another 15 years.

Thoughts?
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Re: Likelihood of another Blur record

Postby TripleJay97 » 10 Jul 2018, 11:03

I don’t think the question is as much whether there will be another Blur album, but rather whether there will be one that’s worthwhile.

I don’t think Damon is interested in writing songs for Blur any more. Look at the Magic Whip. That album only happened because the four of them were in the right place at the right time, and then Graham had to push to get the material they recorded mixed and mastered. I feel like Damon had to basically be persuaded to give a damn.

Maybe Damon’s focus will shift in the future, but right now, I’m happy with the prospect of Damon doing what he’s interested in. A new GBQ record and whatever the future holds for Gorillaz.
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Re: Likelihood of another Blur record

Postby northernmonkey » 10 Jul 2018, 11:59

Never say never I guess, TMW was a complete surprise after all. But I agree about Damon not being interested in writing for Blur, or certainly the impression he gives anyway. Gorillaz currently gives him the chance to be the front man, playing large shows across the world, does he need Blur to scratch that particular itch? But then again, when he is in Blur he obviously enjoys it, but the problem is the day after their last show its business as usual and these days I take comments of having studio time booked/meet up with a pinch of salt. You also have to take into consideration the other members, Graham as a musician himself outside of Blur gives the impression he would be happy to give it a go, but what of Alex/Dave?

There have been a number of unexpected Blur happenings since it all going quiet in 2009, with RSD release, 2012 Brit Award and shows, 2013 world tour & obviously TMW, so certainly more chance than Blur's darker times of 2003 - late 2008. :)
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Re: Likelihood of another Blur record

Postby tom_cas1 » 10 Jul 2018, 18:40

If The Magic Whip happens to be the last album they make together than I'd be happy. It's a great album and the shows on that tour saw them firing on all cylinders. Arguably the best shows since 1999. They'd go out on a high. That said, I'd always love more albums. Never say never.
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Re: Likelihood of another Blur record

Postby dougharrison » 10 Jul 2018, 21:55

Just a hunch, but I'm not really sure Gorillaz is commercially viable any more as far as record labels are concerned. Seems to me as though the budget is getting smaller, album sales certainly are and I'd suggest "the old school ipod cartoons" will pull in the young un's about as much as the chance to hear "The British Gas song" before too long. Another Blur project would certainly be cheaper to produce/tour.

Outside of this forum I haven't really noticed much acknowledgement of TNN, I think the excitement/hype surrounding Humanz subsided pretty quickly (just a modern norm IMO rather than reflection of quality), and Gorillaz is now a behemoth of a project that hasn't turned out a hit (commercially speaking) since 2005. Whilst the animation/story side of things doesn't interest me in the slightest Damon and Jamie were clear about wanting Gorillaz to keep growing in scale of productions, yet it seems fairly clear that is not happening. This suggests to me either they have lost interest in the project, which isn't consistent with a new album, or that they have lost some commercial backing.

Of course I could be putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with 22 rather than 4, but I suspect Damon's next "big project", if he has another one, will be a Blur release. I think the debate is more about whether the hassle of another big project is outweighed by the benefit of a possible success, or if he would prefer to focus on niche work that he appears to find more culturally/artistically interesting. More than earned the right to do whatever he wants next; as of course have all the other members of the band.
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Re: Likelihood of another Blur record

Postby Pavlich » 11 Jul 2018, 04:19

Damon needs to focus on quality control. There's no shame in taking longer to put something out. His profile is big enough to allow for five or six year gaps so long as the music's good. I'd say the Gorillaz brand is shrinking simply because the songs aren't very good... they had a great platform to reel in people of my age (20-25) who grew up with Feel Good Inc. but that's pretty much been pissed away with a sub-par album and the muted response to a slightly better album in The Now Now.

I don't care what comes next so long as it's good. Damon is at times a genuine master of multiple things. Lots of good musicians can nail one or two but how many have an ear for melody, a knack for structure and actual songwriting, an ability to tap into moods extremely well (he and melancholy is too beautiful), and a gauge for production and vibe. Unfortunately he's let all of these go down 2-3 points each and some of them are gone completely and that's why we have almost ten years of good to pretty average music with 5-6 great songs in there. The Magic Whip did not ruin their legacy and to a younger fan it gave me a lot, things I never imagined, but it's clearly not in their top three or four albums. There's a lot of magic missing in it and some phoned in bits.

The issue is, and good on him, he's deserved it, he's done everything you could. Two massive, relevant bands with mainstream appeal and critical respect. He has nothing to prove on either front. Doesn't need the money either. He clearly has his few friends and likes hanging out and to some of them that means travelling the world and playing shows to 40,000 people-plus and to others it's sitting in London or Africa or Spain writing songs.

If we see another Blur album it needs to keep the pre-TMW idea of accepting place and writing about it: trying to do Madchester, going to the US and accepting your Englishness, critiquing and just analysing the average Briton, reverting away from that Englishness and talking about addiction, then the confusion of 13... said it before, say it again, but the fact we didn't get an early 40s album full of Fool's Days and Westways is a massive shame... it was classic, timeless, still very English recalling instrumentation with classic Blur themes of London and daily life but without being 25 anymore.
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Re: Likelihood of another Blur record

Postby idreamofpikas » 11 Jul 2018, 07:26

dougharrison wrote:Just a hunch, but I'm not really sure Gorillaz is commercially viable any more as far as record labels are concerned.


To put this into commercial perspective, the world wide sales of Humanz are around double what they are of the Magic Whip, and given the deluxe editions there was likely even more profit generated. And Humanz, according to ifpi was actually the 23rd best selling album of 2017 worldwide.

But this year record labels now make more money from streams than they do record sales so even when ignoring that commercially Gorillaz are far bigger than Blur streaming takes it to a whole new level. The streams on Spotify for the Magic Whip are just over 60 million (the Now Now will overtake it by the weekend) while Humanz it is at 340 million. On Youtube the streams on the Blur page for all the songs on the Magic Whip barely come to 10 million, it is over 60 million for the Now Now and Humanz era around 280 million while the Gorillaz channel has almost had 1.5billion views

They may not be the as profitable as they were in 2010, but they are still clearly commercially viable and if Damon was moneycentric, which he clearly is not, that would be the project he'd be focusing all his time on.

Damon's 50, few of his peers from his era are doing as well as he is, sometimes the expectations on here ignore that music tastes have changed a lot over the last two decades and the charts have never been friendly to the middle aged.
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Re: Likelihood of another Blur record

Postby dougharrison » 11 Jul 2018, 23:11

idreamofpikas wrote:
To put this into commercial perspective, the world wide sales of Humanz are around double what they are of the Magic Whip, and given the deluxe editions there was likely even more profit generated. And Humanz, according to ifpi was actually the 23rd best selling album of 2017 worldwide.

But this year record labels now make more money from streams than they do record sales so even when ignoring that commercially Gorillaz are far bigger than Blur streaming takes it to a whole new level. The streams on Spotify for the Magic Whip are just over 60 million (the Now Now will overtake it by the weekend) while Humanz it is at 340 million. On Youtube the streams on the Blur page for all the songs on the Magic Whip barely come to 10 million, it is over 60 million for the Now Now and Humanz era around 280 million while the Gorillaz channel has almost had 1.5billion views

They may not be the as profitable as they were in 2010, but they are still clearly commercially viable and if Damon was moneycentric, which he clearly is not, that would be the project he'd be focusing all his time on.

Damon's 50, few of his peers from his era are doing as well as he is, sometimes the expectations on here ignore that music tastes have changed a lot over the last two decades and the charts have never been friendly to the middle aged.


Whilst I don't disagree with any of the above, it's the cost side of the finances which doesnt make sense, rather than sales. Blur will sell more gig tickets and streaming revenues per click are tiny - a useful metric of popularity, for sure, but I'd love to hear about an artist who has Spotify as their primary source of income
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Re: Likelihood of another Blur record

Postby idreamofpikas » 12 Jul 2018, 02:36

dougharrison wrote:
Whilst I don't disagree with any of the above, it's the cost side of the finances which doesnt make sense, rather than sales. Blur will sell more gig tickets


In the UK certainly, but US would be a firm no, and I'd guess unless it was a guaranteed greatest hits Blur tour then a Gorillaz one will do better in Europe and Australia as well. By the end of 2018 there will have been 81 Gorillaz gigs over 2017-18, that is a fair few more than Blur were doing for either the Greatest hits tour or the Magic Whip maybe both combined.

I don't know where to access the box office numbers, but I'd imagine the Gorillaz one has made more revenue and while it will have bigger costs (though it is really scaled down compared to the Plastic Beach era) the fact that Damon is not really 1/4th of a band but the main star with a lot of guests might mean he is actually ahead of what he'd be making with Blur, (or not, impossible to tell without the data).



dougharrison wrote: and streaming revenues per click are tiny - a useful metric of popularity, for sure, but I'd love to hear about an artist who has Spotify as their primary source of income


well first of all Artists don't really have a primary source of income anymore. secondly 100million spotify streams brings in around 400k, so we would be looking at around 1.5million for Humanz on spotify, potentially the same on YOUTUBE (If they have a similar payrate). unfortunately i don't have the stream numbers for Deezus and the other providers but it all adds up. And because Gorillaz are a world wide band when they drop new music it does not just mean extra streams for that song but their entire catalogue. I'm pretty sure that the youtube Gorillaz channel was only around 700m before Humanz dropped and in just over a year it overall had around 800 million extra streams. Unfortunately for Blur their fanbase is not on the same level.


As music makers Gorillaz are still clearly profitable, Damon would not have been afforded a producer, a video and the guests he did for, what is essentially the Fall version 2, if the company did not have faith it was going to make back its investment. But the days of two or three high quality music videos for Gorillaz have gone. Blur are actually in a worse boat, the budget the had for videos two years ago was tiny.

However none of this really matters, Damon for the last decade, at least, has not chosen what to do on financial gain. But I'm just pointing out that if that was his desire he'd be making another Gorillaz album before he'd be doing another Blur.
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Re: Likelihood of another Blur record

Postby Sledge Hammer » 13 Jul 2018, 06:55

"...the fact we didn't get an early 40s album full of Fool's Days and Westways is a massive shame"

Spot on, Fools Day alone is miles better than anything on the last two Gorillaz albums.
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Re: Likelihood of another Blur record

Postby metalhipslop » 13 Jul 2018, 23:24

Sledge Hammer wrote:"...the fact we didn't get an early 40s album full of Fool's Days and Westways is a massive shame"

Spot on, Fools Day alone is miles better than anything on the last two Gorillaz albums.



baaahaha , thanks for making me spit out my beer.. nice troll attempt , :lol:
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Re: Likelihood of another Blur record

Postby TracyJosh » 14 Jul 2018, 12:28

Have to say I agree! Fool's day, despite not having a chorus, was so instantly memorable when it came out. It's got a similar quality to For Tomorrow in that it sounds classic without actually ripping anything else off and still sounding uniquely 'Blur'. I love TMW, but Fool's Day is probably the strongest song since Think Tank.

All very interesting views with regard to whether or not there will ever be a new Blur album. Interesting point about the fact Damon's arm really had to be twisted to even finish the scattered recordings that became TMW, but the fact it actually happened with all 4 of them for the first time since 1999 may have made him realize it is worth doing and isn't as painful as he may have suspected. I do fear Damon's writing is becoming a bit safe in older age, that was evident with the last 2 Gorillaz releases, but a Blur album is 4 very unique musicians giving their input. One thing that you can't fault Damon on with The Now Now is his lyrics and melodies are as strong as ever, that's all that's required for the rest of Blur to do their thang :)
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