Thoughts on the self titled album

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aldamasta
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Re: Thoughts on the self titled album

Post by aldamasta » 09 Jan 2017, 05:29

Oh the b-sides were wonderful wonderful wonderful. Swallows in the Heatwave = my favorite blur b-side of all time. Amazing.

I love the Beatles beetlebum quote. Honestly I wouldn't mind to have a whole thread dedicated to nothing but talking about Beetlebum. Amazing to think that blur's 2 number 1 singles (unless I'm forgetting one) are Country House in 1995 and just 2 years later Beetlebum. Couldn't be more different!

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Re: Thoughts on the self titled album

Post by tom_cas1 » 09 Jan 2017, 14:02

101reykjavik wrote:On Your Own, I might agree with you there Tom. You're So Great though? Nah! :P
Don't get me wrong, it's an awesome song especially because it's all Graham but I don't think it fits well in the track listing. Would have been a really cool b-side especially if it allowed All Your Life or Polished Stone (or even Swallows In The Heatwave to get more attention on the album.
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Re: Thoughts on the self titled album

Post by saltandgin » 09 Jan 2017, 21:14

From the one's I know, Blur has great fans and the 'pop' fans drifted off around the late 90's.

As for production, I loved Orbits work on 13, but as a complete album I never loved it like the others. However, I love some of the individual songs.
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Re: Thoughts on the self titled album

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 11 Jan 2017, 08:09

I like it just as much as any other Blur album.
dparrott wrote:it generally lacks the fun of the older albums
Interesting point, though a trademark of Blur/Damon is to change direction in advance/converse to what is going on. Few expected the 'British pop' sound of MLIR, or for Blur to leave the flag-waving of Britpop at its height in early-1997, to do the mature self-titled album.

I like 'On Your Own'. Though rather than being a Blur song, it is reminiscent of mid-70s music e.g. Steve Harley. It is a very accurate homage. I imagine David Essex having a number one hit with it in 1974 :D
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Re: Thoughts on the self titled album

Post by northernmonkey » 11 Jan 2017, 18:19

metalhipslop wrote:ya I totally agree with Tom. some of those b-sides could of definitely fit the album. For me On Your Own and MOR ruin the album. THey aren't bad songs, but! All Your Life and Polished stoned are such better songs. aaah what a shame. Blur were so smart but weren't at the same time, if you know what I mean
'All your Life' should have been on the album, without a doubt. I could have seen this easily being a 3rd single, and could almost picture it being performed on TOTP and going down very well with its more pop music sound to it. Superb song and great time for Blur b-sides, although I can never understand the love for Swallows in the Heatwave, a good song, but very much a b-side (in my opinion :) )

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Re: Thoughts on the self titled album

Post by 101reykjavik » 16 Jan 2017, 14:34

northernmonkey wrote:
metalhipslop wrote:ya I totally agree with Tom. some of those b-sides could of definitely fit the album. For me On Your Own and MOR ruin the album. THey aren't bad songs, but! All Your Life and Polished stoned are such better songs. aaah what a shame. Blur were so smart but weren't at the same time, if you know what I mean
'All your Life' should have been on the album, without a doubt. I could have seen this easily being a 3rd single, and could almost picture it being performed on TOTP and going down very well with its more pop music sound to it. Superb song and great time for Blur b-sides, although I can never understand the love for Swallows in the Heatwave, a good song, but very much a b-side (in my opinion :) )
Agree with you on both points, especially Swallows... deffo B-side to my ears. Ho-hum.
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Re: Thoughts on the self titled album

Post by KingLouieLouie76 » 19 Jan 2017, 02:22

"Swallows" has always ranked among my fave B-Sides, however, it was captured at its best here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdcyCz24o7Q" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Regarding "Blur" itself...I don't know where to begin! :D
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Re: Thoughts on the self titled album

Post by Daysleeper » 19 Jan 2017, 22:43

This album is an enigma for me. I have never loved it and fluctuate between it being 7 or an 8 album. Strange because I like nearly all of it and love songs such as Beetlebum, You're so great,Death of a party and a few others.

I have decided the reason I feel this way is because of the lack of a feel to it as an album. It just feels like a collection of songs that lacks atmosphere and leaves me feeling kind of cold in a way, even though I really like it!

Anyway, today I think it is an 8.

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Re: Thoughts on the self titled album

Post by AdvertBreak » 19 Jan 2017, 23:14

I was planning to write about it on its 20th birthday. I might still do so.

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Re: Thoughts on the self titled album

Post by Rhys » 20 Jan 2017, 04:16

This album was the first Blur record I gravitated towards after listening to the Midlife compilation for a fair bit. Every song's great, and I love Graham's textured, noisy, and abrasive guitar work that pops up all over the place. Pretty cool that the band decided to reinvent their sound in such an unique and experimental manner, they could've chose to stay on the same artistic path as The Great Escape, but instead, totally ignored all of that, and made awesome shit like Essex Dogs.

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Re: Thoughts on the self titled album

Post by tom_cas1 » 20 Jan 2017, 12:48

Essex Dogs is awesome, agreed. Graham's throbbing guitar is out of this world and something I was drawn to instantly. I feel blessed to have heard that gem live in 2009. I think it was at Southend. They played Battery On Your Leg at that show too, one of the only times. My first Blur show actually. Fuck yeah!! (Pardon the French).
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Re: Thoughts on the self titled album

Post by Golfing Fanatic » 20 Jan 2017, 16:49

tom_cas1 wrote:For me it falls just below 13 and MLIR on my "favourite Blur albums" list, although it's close. Superb album! I think it's also worth mentioning the incredible b-sides as well, in fact I'd go as far as saying Polished Stone and All Your Life should have made the album and On Your Own and You're So Great should have been b-sides.

*runs for cover*
On Your Own a b-side?!

*loads shotgun*

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Re: Thoughts on the self titled album

Post by anothermario » 22 Jan 2017, 13:33

Golfing Fanatic wrote:
tom_cas1 wrote:For me it falls just below 13 and MLIR on my "favourite Blur albums" list, although it's close. Superb album! I think it's also worth mentioning the incredible b-sides as well, in fact I'd go as far as saying Polished Stone and All Your Life should have made the album and On Your Own and You're So Great should have been b-sides.

*runs for cover*
On Your Own a b-side?!

*loads shotgun*
*gathers an angry mob*
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Re: Thoughts on the self titled album

Post by anothermario » 22 Jan 2017, 15:39

ok I just listened to the whole album again... i've always considered it tied with Think Tank as my least fav album...but there's really good stuff here! I finally after many years got the hype about Essex Dogs...still hate Theme From Retro, but love most if not all of the others, but i guess like people mentioned...it doesn't really flow as an album...hmmm
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Re: Thoughts on the self titled album

Post by AdvertBreak » 22 Jan 2017, 20:05

Like with Dog Man Star, though Blur is described as, and conceived as abandoning Britpop, it feels more of a fusion to me. The same guitar chugs and musical motifs that surround the previous three albums are still here a lot of the time, especially on Beetlebum, Death of a Party, Chinese Bombs and the never talked about Movin' On.

The Pavement influence is there, but more for aesthetic. It's a gloomier, darker record in sound than prior records (though matching The Great Escape in lyrical bleakness), but just as eclectic. Where the Great Escape is stereotyped for barmy, rousing bombast like Country House or Quango, it could also offer up punky energy with a Cardiacs bent (Globe Alone), More Specials-derived new wave-tinged ska (Fade Away), intricate post-punk with compositional skills that veer on the experimental (He Thought of Cars), slow motion minimalism (Best Days) and so forth. Therefore, boiling down Blur into a bunch of GBV-esque lo-fi homages is similarly unfair. Those who dislike TGE tend to think of it as a mess of frequent maximalist excess, and Blur as some sort of polar inverse. Not true. If anything, I feel it reels in on the post-punk influences that defined some of their Britpop peers (Elastica, Sleeper) that Blur had largely concealed on the band's better known work prior to then. Not too much of a departure at all, despite the sonic variation. And that's without mentioning the direct Beatles and Bowie influences.

Beetlebum sure sticks to few keys or passages, but it works, and then some. And it's not entirely out of step with previous Blur. The array of sounds that follow throughout the record as I say are in key with the band's traditional technicolour album palettes; fuzz punk scribbling (Song 2, Chinese Bombs), the aforementioned lo-fi full band set up (Ballad Man), electronic indie pop charge-up (On Your Own), and then the album's more experimental moments, such as spacey, tripped out dub (Essex Dogs), distorted white holes of noise (Just a Killer) and fairgrounds-with-grey-skies (Theme from Retro, again exuding Cardiacs-esque moments.) The album's biggest debt to American lo-fi sensibility is also its most tender and personal, beautiful song (You're So Great), presaging what Damon would later commit to in a wider scope on 13. I've always heard it as a home recording of Graham singing with crisper acoustic played on top of it, but I'm not sure.

A transitional record, sure. Of course, the personal themes, intimacy, arty experimentation and shards of Graham noise would later define 13, in rejection of distinct British influences and indeed the sometimes minimal production sound (instead replaced with a fondness for post-rock and krautrock, which if anything fully places that record as Blur's first non-Britpop record since Leisure, not Blur.) To me Blur stands very well on its own. As is usually the case for the band, Blur, despite its array of sounds, holds together as one piece triumphantly.

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