general blur thread

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Re: general blur thread

Postby Moritz » 29 Jan 2018, 12:42

Interesting points. Did they enjoyed a lot of airplay on stations like KROQ or local stations? They must be a good group of fans, because the spring tour in 1996 was sold out. Where this gigs well supported by press?
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Re: general blur thread

Postby dparrott » 31 Jan 2018, 06:22

Here in LA it was probably only the late night shows they got airplay. It wasn't until Song 2 dropped that they got more airtime. Barely any press that I remember, that's why my first gig was in 96 because I kept missing them.
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Re: general blur thread

Postby Moritz » 31 Jan 2018, 16:17

Ah, cool. So I guess you went to the gig at the Wiltern? Was it a good show? I wonder if they travelled by train or plane, because I heard that they tried to avoid the stress of the 92 tour and so they prefered the plane on later tours.
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Re: general blur thread

Postby dparrott » 02 Feb 2018, 03:14

Yes I did. I don't remember much but yea it was good. I lost my voice singing along haha
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Re: general blur thread

Postby Moritz » 03 Feb 2018, 22:54

Ha, sounds quite funny :D
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Re: general blur thread

Postby AdvertBreak » 01 Apr 2018, 17:39

Some thoughts [originally put in unpopular blur opinions by mistake]:

Blur, being a commercially successful but fan-base driven nominally indie band in the 90s and 00s were, of course, a fanbase oriented concern where the charts are concerned. Needless to say, this is when, after the band has kicked its commercial feet with crossover records, the rest of that band's career, commercially speaking, more or less relies on the fanbase to buy the new single and get it to number one. And of course, most of them would do it in the first week, such is their devotion to band, so the single makes something of a disappearing act in week two, dropping down to god knows what number. And then so on. A very 90s/00s trope.

So let's have a look at their chart positions anyway.

After She's So High/I Know lurked in the mid numbers of the top 100 for three weeks back in late 1990, There's No Other Way was the crossover hit that won them an audience. For 1991, it was an example of something that was becoming increasingly rare, a steady chart climber - something that had, of course, been the norm for decades and decades, but would be an obscurity in later years.
Week one: #20, week two: #11, week three: #10, week four: #8, week five: #16, week six: #26, week seven: #33, week eight: #58

A top 20 hit from the getgo and yet it would take until week four to peak. Interestingly though, Bang entered at #26 but then moved up to #24 (before falling to #36 and then #62, revealing a less impressive chart run of four weeks). Wasn't this before the CD1/CD2 on a different week release motif? Anyway Popscene famously did badly, a #32 and then a #56 and then puff! Out it goes.

For Tomorrow was of course written after Food asked for a hit single. The CD1/CD2 thing a relatively new novelty, they even released the two versions on two consecutive Mondays. Thus, it held onto #28 for two consecutive weeks, with the yet-to-blossom fanbase at this point needing both sets of B-sides. But it was only on the chart for a weak four weeks, disappearing to #38 and then #60. With Chemical World, the SBK-required single, the more-or-less exact same thing happened, a #28 hit for four weeks. Except this time, the CD1 version actually got to #34, and then went up to #28 in week two when CD2 came out. If both For Tomorrow and Chemical World had their CD1/2 singles issued on the same date, would they have had an even poorer chart run?

Sunday Sunday is the oddity then - the highest-charting but lowest-selling single from the album. Both versions of the single (which looked completely unrelated, all things told) were issued on the same day, contributing to a combined #26. But in week two, the single was at #47, then at #74 in its thrd and final week.

Blah blah blah

Years later, the Chemical Brothers' Setting Sun, in October 1996, despite being the greatest number one single of all time, also apparently held the distinction for what was at the time the biggest fall off for a song that had debuted at number 1, because in week two it had fallen to number 4. While the single was forward looking and really rather unlike anything else at the time, it was very much a fanbase propelled hit because of Noel Gallagher. Fans lap it up in the first week, and a fast descent begins. But this wasn't a 'fast' descent by the standards of even a few months time, let alone the 2000s...

Beetlebum, for instance, comfortably debuted at #1 but fell to #7 in its second week. Absolutely archetypal fanbase trajectory for a band like Blur in this era, who had shot their bolt commercially but still had an impressive run of dedicated fans. Furthering my proof, Beetlebum itself then fell to an abysmal #29 in its third week (the same week U2's Discotheque debuted at #1, but then would fall to #6 in its second week, and then even worse in its third week blah blah).

Song 2 is more interesting.... The disgraceful R Kelly's wimpy I Believe I Can Fly was number one for three weeks. In those three weeks, the sales of the top two looked like this
Week one:
1. R Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly (51,281 sales)
2. Supergrass - Richard III (50,900 sales)
Week two:
1. R Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly (76,000 sales)
2. Blur - Song 2 (75,000 sales)
Week three:
1. R Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly (87,000 sales)
2. Robbie Williams - Old Before I Die (76,000 sales)

Which is to suggest that the R Kelly song actually sold a great deal more copies with each of its three weeks at the summit, while concurrently, whatever was at #2 would sell more than the previous week's #2 but also contribute to a bigger sales difference between #1 and #2, which is very odd to say at the least. And Richard III, Song 2 and Old Before I Die would all have been much more interesting number ones. Richard III beaten by only 381 copies!?!?!?!?! It was their second and last #2 and would have been a marvellous #1. If they'd performed on Top of the Pops in time, I believe the theory goes, then they'd have sold more than 381 copies that week....

Song 2 then... a 1,000 copies difference, very close to dethroning the shit storm just like Supergrass were, and indeed slightly loosening the Song 2 #2 hit that lasts 2:02 that is track 2 thing. But all this is somewhat besides the point really. In week 2, Song 2 fell down to #13 (!!!) Then it fell out the top 20. For a song so ubiquitous, who'd a thunk it? But it was a standard second-single-from-the-album sort of trajectory for a fanbase band at the time. Other songs which debuted at #2 but fell to #13 and then out of the top 20 include Coldplay's In My Place (which is very surprising, that a song again so popular only managed two weeks in the top 20, and the album wasn't even out by week 3) and U2's City of Blinding Lights (where, deep into 2005 and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb's singles run, its a lot more understandable).

M.O.R. debuted at #15 and then fell out of the top 40 in its second week. Classic final-single-from-an-album-released-8-or-9-months-ago fodder. No Distance Left the Run was the same, debuting at #14 and then making a disappearing act from the Top 40 in week two.

Music Is My Radar was almost the same. Most definitely a fanbase single despite not yet appearing on The Best Of when issued as a single in September 2000. Week one: #10, week two: #38.

Out of Time was a more appreciable 5 > 15 > 24 > 36 > out of the top 40. But Crazy Beat and Good Song were surefire bait for the statistics. Crazy Beat was in at 18, then fell to 44, then finally at 70. Nothing to do with it the badness of the song. And Good Song - single number 3 from a single basically going to get no airplay but sell to the fans for the sake of collecting and its B-sides, but not as many as before because its single number 3? Well of course ... week one, in at 22, week two, down to 50. No week three.

Blur were actually pretty lucky really. If one looks at the Manic Street Preachers' chart runs in the era, and later, bands like McFly, then even the Iron Maiden of the late 80s/early 90s charts would, as one wonderfully put it, wince. You may have forgotten that the Manics had TWO #2 hits in late 2004, early 2005 (the Lifeblood singles i.e. the Death of Richard Nixon and Empty Souls). You may have never known it in the first place.... that era for CD singles was and still is the nadir for singles sales to date (the worst selling #1 was the same month as Richard Nixon, i.e. October 2004). So the Manics managed two #2 hits on the poor singles market and the dedicated fans alone..... so predictably, they fell out of the top 20 completely in their second weeks, which is terrible for two #2 singles (but no one wonder the public don't remember them, just like they don't remember Ronan Keating's THREE 2004 #2 hits). McFly would later be able to almost pull off something similar with a #1 in 2007 though.

R.E.M. were a lot like the Manics/Blur too, except even though the public don't remember their highest charting hit (The Great Beyond, a #3 in early 2000), it actually stuck around in the top 10 for a while, so that's nice.

Yeah this isn't an essay I just like writing about it.
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Re: general blur thread

Postby stephen » 03 Apr 2018, 11:52

Thanks for the write up. I've kind of always noticed that blur singles hit a high point and then drop like a stone.

Gorillaz related but I remember Clint Eastwood and Feel Good Inc to be the only ones that seemed to stick in the chart for a considerable amount of time.
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Re: general blur thread

Postby Mallard No. 22 » 05 Apr 2018, 22:50

Spot on with that write-up AB. I remember a lot of those things happening at the time, especially with the Blur singles, but didn't know all the details.

And as you suggest, I don't really remember the Manics no. 2 hits of the mid-00's, nor the highest-charting REM single.
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Re: general blur thread

Postby lumaka » 07 Apr 2018, 00:19

"Blue Jeans" in new Mr Burberry Indigo fragrance advert ---> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrL6tlfIP9s
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Re: general blur thread

Postby MsMagicAmerica » 07 Apr 2018, 01:16

lumaka wrote:"Blue Jeans" in new Mr Burberry Indigo fragrance advert ---> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrL6tlfIP9s



Eeew. Cheapens the song so much imo. Still at least some people who had never heard of the song can now be exposed to this gem of a song.
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Re: general blur thread

Postby dparrott » 09 Apr 2018, 02:57

AdvertBreak wrote:With Chemical World, the SBK-required single,


The Chemical World video did not premiere in the US until November 1993 close to the album release. I watched the premiere like :o. I don't think they influenced the UK release.
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Re: general blur thread

Postby Moritz » 12 Apr 2018, 17:24

I recently saw the tour dates of Blur's first US tour in late 1991, managed by SBK. But there is a big "black hole" in the dates. They performed at Washington DC on the 3rd November, but had a gap to the next gig at the 10th November at Chicago. Where there any gigs in between? Or was it part of the plan to give the band a so long break?
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