Favorite album for each individual member's input.

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TracyJosh
Posts: 183
Joined: 21 May 2016, 12:20

Favorite album for each individual member's input.

Post by TracyJosh » 13 Sep 2019, 09:53

Not sure if I worded that correctly. You'll get the gist though...

What is everyone's favorite performance for each member over all the Blur albums?

Here's mine:

Damon - I think his writing is probably the best balance of structured and experimental on Self Titled. 13 is more raw, I get it, but that's a better album because of it's collaborative nature with the other members and producer. In terms of just Damon, I feel like Self Titled has the strongest lyrical material. Beetlebum is probably all round the most concise example of how great a songwriter he is and there's hints of what was to come with Gorillaz on Just a killer and On your own. Also, the spoken word Essex Dogs is a very overlooked moment in the Blur catalogue. Great vocal performance too and the first album where we hear his more natural voice that he would go on to use for the rest of his career. The honest, more humble Damon.

Graham - Possibly The Great Escape has my favorite guitar work of any Blur album. It's so hammy but intelligent and expressive. In similar vein to Damon's subject matter, Graham's guitar lines are theatrical, satirical and caricaturish throughout. From the 50s inspired staccato spy-soundtrack-esque noodling and wonky, western, vibrato drenched chord swells in Fade Away and Top Man to the agitated pluckings in Dan Abnormal and then the hostile punk thrashing in Globe Alone and everything in between - I think it's overall the best demonstration of Graham's visceral but versatile guitar style.

Alex - Toss up between The Great Escape and Parklife. He actually drives a lot of the really big songs from both albums. Girls and Boys, Stereotypes, Parklife, This is a low, Entertain me and Tracy Jacks are all totally given their legs with Alex's bass lines. Whereas I think as the band's style changed, Alex had to take a more minimal approach(Still great bass playing on S/T, 13, TT and TMW though).

Dave - For me, Think Tank has Dave's best drumming. It's quite Phil Selway at points in approach(No surprise Dave is openly a big fan of Radiohead). I really think he proves his drumming genius with the imaginative ways he put a canvas under the sparse, ethnic style of the songs. Keeping it more percussive at points and never overplaying. Plus, there's even points where we hear the drumming style he was to that point known for when he gets to flesh it out on the more punk driven tracks like Crazy Beat and We've got a file on you.


P.S Sorry if this has been done before!

northernmonkey
Posts: 270
Joined: 08 Sep 2014, 08:59

Re: Favorite album for each individual member's input.

Post by northernmonkey » 13 Sep 2019, 13:46

Damon - I kind of agree about self titled on this and that his voice takes its natural form. This album see's a more personal style of writing from Damon and obviously I think this is the first signs of other things musically from Damon and the point he (and Blur) distanced themselves from their peers.

Graham - Despite being low down on my top Blur albums (still great) I also agree on TGE, great guitar on this, his guitar is like a second voice even more so than their other albums.

Alex - I'd say Parklife, although Leisure is very close. Just as important as Graham's guitar for driving these songs in the earlier albums. His style I guess has had to move with Blur's direction, as he can't keep kicking out those funky bass lines.

Dave - I am thinking 13, I think the who style of the album has really set him apart, songs like Battle, Trimm Trabb, Swanp Song etc, this continues on to Think Tank, with a looser less restrictive style to his playing.

Not an easy decision at all on any of the members as its like asking being asked to choice your favourite out of your children :lol:

Moritz
Posts: 183
Joined: 07 Jan 2016, 15:57

Re: Favorite album for each individual member's input.

Post by Moritz » 14 Sep 2019, 11:09

Damon - I would say that Modern Life Is Rubbish got his first realy big input. His songwriting changed after Leisure into a more focused, personal way. As you can see in the lyrics of Sunday Sunday, Chemical World or even Miss America, he aimed for more cultural perspective issues. It was his "Britain VS. America" or "Blur VS. Everyone" spirit. Or like Alex said "Britpop was Damon Albarn's idea".

Graham - It sounds typical, but he was the strong force behind the Self Titled album. For me, he saved the band with the Lo Fi and Underground sounds, because another Britpop LP would have killed the group (Like Oasis did with Be Here Now). I guess that his input during the sessions in 1996 also triggered Damon to change his mind to try new sounds and the songwriting.

Alex - Parklife, too. A realy big step since the first recordings because the other members were joking that he could not even play his instrument properly. The bass line for "Girls & Boys" is his finest hour. And the whole pop/rock mixture was fitting to his preference for catchy pop music.

Dave - A hard choice, because he was the backbone for Blur's sound on every record. But he was on a level with Jaki Liebezeit (from Can) when they recorded 13. For me, his work on this album was the most memorable and outstanding in his career.

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anothermario
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Joined: 21 Sep 2014, 08:33
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Re: Favorite album for each individual member's input.

Post by anothermario » 18 Sep 2019, 05:46

Damon: A tough one... I'd say The Great Escape. Underrated but the songwriting in general, and the lyrics as well, superb. Vocally though I prefer him from 13 onwards.

Graham: The Self-titled. "You're so Great" is a gem of a song

Alex: Leisure. I think this is always the most underrated album, even by me, but I find myself actually listening to it a lot more than for eg. Parklife, and the basslines are a big reason why.

Dave: Another tough one...either Think Tank or MLIR, very different albums but man his drumming is so good and varied
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elasticaman
Posts: 559
Joined: 09 Jun 2012, 10:42

Re: Favorite album for each individual member's input.

Post by elasticaman » 18 Sep 2019, 15:36

damon - think tank
graham - blur
dave - 13
alex- leisure

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