Opinions on Popscene?

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MannMedic
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Opinions on Popscene?

Post by MannMedic » 15 Jul 2017, 17:46

I've been listening to it a good bit recently after taking a short break from Modern Life is Rubbish, and I just love it so much. So energetic, swinging, Damon's singing, the guitar work from Graham, everything! A lot of fun to jam out to, I really wanna learn how to play the bass part. On that note, what do you guys think about the song? I'd like to hear your opinions!
Just your average country sad ballad man!
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dparrott
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Re: Opinions on Popscene?

Post by dparrott » 15 Jul 2017, 19:13

It was quite a change after leisure, but I grew to like it. That and the For Tomorrow single made me realize they can do anything.

northernmonkey
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Re: Opinions on Popscene?

Post by northernmonkey » 15 Jul 2017, 20:12

I think it's timeless and a joke that such a great song and a live favourite was such a flop, although I understand it wasn't the right time maybe to be released and would have no doubt been much better received post Parklife.

It has so much energy and would no doubt surprise those who maybe only know Blur for Parklife and Country House as much as Song 2 did when that was released. Alex's bass is as important as Graham's work on the song as it was on many of their earlier work.

Love this song!!

TracyJosh
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Re: Opinions on Popscene?

Post by TracyJosh » 15 Jul 2017, 21:31

Always loved this song. The lyrics are cutting and concise, the first sign of Damon's cynical but infectious wit! The bass line is a glorious kick to the bollocks and the guitar is so erratic yet complimentary to everything. It's a total shame it was a commercial flop, it must have left the boys feeling so disillusioned because I imagine they would have felt really confident with the progression of that song from the muddled Leisure. Though, as stated already it was definitely just a case of Britain not being ready for it.

My only criticism of the song is having mainly listened to live cuts of Popscene, namely the Live at the Budokan version, the studio version is a tad lagging to my ears. I know Blur often play their punkier stuff 10 times faster live but that one really could have done with a couple more bpm in the studio, on hindsight.

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Simon le bon
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Re: Opinions on Popscene?

Post by Simon le bon » 15 Jul 2017, 21:58

My all time favorite with He thought of cars.
I like both the studio version with the horns, and the punk live version, the peel acres version being the climax.
I watched the video clip on the DVD billions of times

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Sledge Hammer
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Re: Opinions on Popscene?

Post by Sledge Hammer » 16 Jul 2017, 07:41

I think it's obvious I love it, such amazing energy and the video is brilliant aswell...

Back in 1993 when there was no internet I knew of Blur and There's No Other Way but was not what you would call a massive Blur fan, that all changed when I heard For Tomorrow in early 93, then I bought Modern Life Is Rubbish which blew me away, now I was a massive Blur fan, but was not aware of Popscene, until late that year the Starshaped video came out with the video promos on the end.

Popscene came up and I was instantly amazed I had not heard this song, like I said amazing energy, the middile instrumental is probably my fave Blur moment and is really well produced aswell, just the right mix of horns unlike sometimes live.

That video ended up getting tons of plays and would often be the start up with a quick cider before I hit the town for a "Popscene"
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Mallard No. 22
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Re: Opinions on Popscene?

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 20 Jul 2017, 06:29

I concur with what others say above - it is a good, under-rated song.

I became aware via the music press that Blur were releasing a new (non-'Leisure') single. I heard it on the radio and it struck me as a powerful song, a step-ahead of previous work. I didn't expect Blur to go top ten every time (a difficult prospect for an indie band) but if they were going to do so again, this was a song that could do it.

But then it just came in to the lower reaches of the top 40 and then disappeared straight away. If it had been a shoegazing plod like others of the time I could understand this, but it was much more flowing than this, and a huge disappointment that it didn't go longer and higher in the chart.

As dparrott suggests, this and the subsequent 'For Tomorrow' showed that they had much versatility and as per northernmonkey I think it would have been much more successful post-Parklife.
"Everybody's Doing It...So Do It Too...."

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Mallard No. 22
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Re: Opinions on Popscene?

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 28 Jul 2017, 06:04

To pick up again on this thread, I am not sure that 'Popscene' got the airplay that it needed. At the time (due to things work & domestic) I couldn't habitually listen to Radio One throughout the day, so I don't know how much exposure it got. But I suspect it got little interest during the daytime.

Also, a 'Top of the Pops' appearance was not secured for it. This could have made all the difference to its chart prospects.

Looking at what was on TOTP at the time, it was a stronger song than most others. Forgettable follow-ups, routine rave and mainstream mediocrity prevailed. The 'exciting' new releases were by Cher, Genesis and....Chris De Burgh :roll: :

(TOTP info courtesy of the 'Popscene' website: http://z6.invisionfree.com/popscene/ind ... owforum=57" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)

2-4-92: Presenters: Dave Nice & Mike Smash

(17) WASP – Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue)
(21) ROXETTE – Church Of Your Heart (via satellite)
(12) MR. BEAN & SMEAR CAMPAIGN – Elected (video)
(22) KYM SIMS – Take My Advice (video)
(9) SOUL II SOUL – Joy
(19) PRINCE & THE NEW POWER GENERATION – Money Don’t Matter 2 Night (video) (Breakers)
(23) SALT-N-PEPA – Expression (Remix) (video) (Breakers)
(26) THE PASADENAS – Make It With You (video) (Breakers)
(28) CURTIS STIGERS – You’re All That Matters To Me (video) (Breakers)
(NEW) CHRIS DE BURGH – Separate Tables
(1) SHAKESPEAR’S SISTER – Stay (video)

**************************************************

9-4-92: Presenters: Femi Oke & Tony Dortie

(16) PRAGA KHAN feat. JADE 4 U – Injected With A Poison
(15) CURTIS STIGERS – You’re All That Matters To Me
(10) ALTERN-8 – Evapor-8
(8) VANESSA WILLIAMS – Save The Best For Last
(2) RIGHT SAID FRED – Deeply Dippy
(NEW) CHER – Could’ve Been You
(NEW) GENESIS – Hold On My Heart
(1) SHAKESPEAR’S SISTER – Stay (video)



I suspect that, like 'For Tomorrow' a year or so later, the music press and radio programmers were a bit baffled by it, given the music popular in their respective worlds. A good song, but the wrong time was perhaps their thinking.
"Everybody's Doing It...So Do It Too...."

elasticaman
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Re: Opinions on Popscene?

Post by elasticaman » 30 Jul 2017, 20:58

a strange one for me, a song i have a funny relationship with. very much a love/hate situation.
having only heard popscene initially on live recordings, RDS Showgrounds, Budokan, Peel Acres, Glastonbury 98, i was somewhat taken aback on the release of the singles boxset, and finally hearing the single version. it is too clean, too slow, lacks the drive and aggression that i came to associate with the song, the mix is all wrong. i still cannot stand to listen to the single.

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Mallard No. 22
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Re: Opinions on Popscene?

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 01 Aug 2017, 05:43

At the time, it seemed to be a step out of shoegaze, but hearing it now, you can detect elements of that period of indie. elasticaman - I suspect that is how you are hearing it?

I also have a funny relationship with it, because its failure suggested to me, at the time, that Blur were finished. They had had quite major success with 'Leisure' and its singles (with 'There's No Other Way' reaching out to the mainstream crowd).

But the world of indie music was a vulnerable one - Blur contemporaries like The Farm, The Wonder Stuff, The Inspiral Carpets and even EMF were already struggling to repeat their top ten success, and would generally fade away. In spring 1992, much as I liked them, there was no obvious reason for Blur not to go the same way.
"Everybody's Doing It...So Do It Too...."

Mark87uk
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Re: Opinions on Popscene?

Post by Mark87uk » 04 Aug 2017, 21:07

Love the track and love the video, which looks like a precurser to song 2 vid, remember for a few years before the 10 years box set came out copies of thw single going for stupid money amd people coming in the record shop i worked in at the time asking if we wede gonna split the box and sell the earlier singles individually

Neal Zeal
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Re: Opinions on Popscene?

Post by Neal Zeal » 06 Aug 2017, 13:56

The song has lots of energy and is, symbolically, very important - it marked the end of the Blur baggy era and ushered in the new Britpop thing (well kind of). But as a musical composition it's pretty flipping weak. Ever found yourself whistling the chorus melody? Nope, didn't think so!

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Mallard No. 22
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Re: Opinions on Popscene?

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 08 Aug 2017, 05:37

Mark87uk - when Blur's career really took off from 'Parklife' onwards, I can well imagine Popscene (as a low-charting single) being a sought-after rarity going for silly money.

NealZeal - it did mark a step forward from 'baggy' - as you also say, despite the brass hook it lacks a singalong chorus, which indeed probably went against it commercially.

Also at the time, there was huge interest in rave-type singles, and Nirvana had emerged big time for the indie-rock (& therefore the college) audience.
"Everybody's Doing It...So Do It Too...."

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Sledge Hammer
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Re: Opinions on Popscene?

Post by Sledge Hammer » 13 Aug 2017, 10:53

Neal Zeal wrote:The song has lots of energy and is, symbolically, very important - it marked the end of the Blur baggy era and ushered in the new Britpop thing (well kind of). But as a musical composition it's pretty flipping weak. Ever found yourself whistling the chorus melody? Nope, didn't think so!
An amazing song doesn't always need a great chrous, Popscene is one, brilliant as it is...
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Neal Zeal
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Re: Opinions on Popscene?

Post by Neal Zeal » 24 Aug 2017, 19:00

Sledge Hammer wrote:
Neal Zeal wrote:The song has lots of energy and is, symbolically, very important - it marked the end of the Blur baggy era and ushered in the new Britpop thing (well kind of). But as a musical composition it's pretty flipping weak. Ever found yourself whistling the chorus melody? Nope, didn't think so!
An amazing song doesn't always need a great chrous, Popscene is one, brilliant as it is...
Indeed - it hardly needs a chrous at all, let alone a great one.
A chorus, however, is essential!

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