Is The Great Escape the worst Blur album?

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Is The Great Escape the worst Blur album?

Yes
3
9%
No
30
91%
 
Total votes: 33

TristramShandy
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Re: Is The Great Escape the worst Blur album?

Post by TristramShandy » 25 Jun 2020, 18:04

Rubi wrote:
25 Jun 2020, 16:33
And it's not just a matter of production.
Just imagine On Your Own or M.O.R. with a pristine, polished, push-up-the-spectrum production, wouldn't they fit on The Great Escape?

Conversely, strip down Globe Alone to something a bit more lo-fi, and you get Song 2/Chinese Bombs.

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Rubi
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Re: Is The Great Escape the worst Blur album?

Post by Rubi » 25 Jun 2020, 20:37

TristramShandy wrote:
25 Jun 2020, 18:04
Rubi wrote:
25 Jun 2020, 16:33
And it's not just a matter of production.
Just imagine On Your Own or M.O.R. with a pristine, polished, push-up-the-spectrum production, wouldn't they fit on The Great Escape?

Conversely, strip down Globe Alone to something a bit more lo-fi, and you get Song 2/Chinese Bombs.
By that logic you can rewrite any song into whatever context you desire.

I think what's important is the psyche of the creative process behind the making of an album. With the self-titled the band were clearly going into another direction. They even isolated themselves in Iceland to get detached from the mass hysteria trail of Britpop. The inspiration was different, the songwriting was different. No more satirical songs about dysfunctional characters, but personal themes about addiction, solitude, love.

For me 1997 was the year when Blur finally become a great band. They abandoned the gimmick which made them famous, and decided to reinvent themselves.

jeffnottingham
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Re: Is The Great Escape the worst Blur album?

Post by jeffnottingham » 26 Jun 2020, 08:31

jeffnottingham wrote:
25 Jun 2020, 12:53
Ultranol should replace Mr R's Q - instantly better album :)
Ultranol is as cringy as Mr R's Q. The na na na's are like nails on a chalkboard.
Agreed BUT Mr R's Q is basically just Country House again with different words - if that spot on the album (first song on 2nd side of the cassette btw) is reserved for a cringy oompah oompah song, then I'd go for Ultranol to keep things fresh.

semi
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Re: Is The Great Escape the worst Blur album?

Post by semi » 26 Jun 2020, 08:47

No, TGE has the most commercial singles in blur's career (which isn't a bad thing). Country House got me into blur, so I don't understand why there's so much hate to it.

Songs that I don't like in the album are Fade Away, Mr Robinsons, Ernold Same, Dan Abnormal... leave them as b-sides and put No Monsters In Me and you have a great great album (Still worse than Morning Glory).

Styopa
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Re: Is The Great Escape the worst Blur album?

Post by Styopa » 26 Jun 2020, 09:21

Rubi wrote:
25 Jun 2020, 16:33
Styopa wrote:
25 Jun 2020, 11:02
I would say the dark, and at points vaguely dystopian theme on TGE is developed in a more subtle way on S/T.

I think songs like Fade Away, Top Man, He Thought of Cars could quite comfortably sit along side songs like Death of a Party, Theme from Retro, Strange News from Another Star, Essex Dogs, especially if the production was toned down on the GTE selection.
Yuko and Hiro, perhaps. But Fade Away and Top Man? I don't hear it. And it's not just a matter of production. It's the whole style and vibe of the album that really has nothing to do with the self-titled, in my opinion. The two albums are lengths apart.
jeffnottingham wrote:
25 Jun 2020, 12:53
Ultranol should replace Mr R's Q - instantly better album :)
Ultranol is as cringy as Mr R's Q. The na na na's are like nails on a chalkboard.
I think there are strong nods to the Specials across both albums. Fade Away and Top Man have a Specialis-isy vibe which is not entirely dissimilar from Death of a Party. Theme from retro is also more than a bit reminiscent of Ghost Town. I think those four songs would make a fairly cohesive EP. The biggest difference between them in my view is the production.

Also although not on the album itself, No Monsters in Me is very Bowie sounding. There would be nothing jarring about having No Monsters in Me and M.O.R. on the same album.

dougharrison
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Re: Is The Great Escape the worst Blur album?

Post by dougharrison » 26 Jun 2020, 10:44

semi wrote:
26 Jun 2020, 08:47
No, TGE has the most commercial singles in blur's career (which isn't a bad thing). Country House got me into blur, so I don't understand why there's so much hate to it.

Songs that I don't like in the album are Fade Away, Mr Robinsons, Ernold Same, Dan Abnormal... leave them as b-sides and put No Monsters In Me and you have a great great album (Still worse than Morning Glory).
As per most things in the world of Blur, primarily it's because Damon doesn't like it and has spoken out against it. TOPMAN at one point was seen as a low point of TGE, embracing many of the reasons people claim not to like TGE - the sketchy magic carpet music being no less trite than the vocal effects on Crazy Beat IMHO, then Damon decided it should have been a single (around the TT era) and suddenly it became a massively underrated track in the eyes of many. That being said in the case of CH particularly it's self-evident Graham isn't enjoying himself either and for the band the mass hysteria around the band clearly caused a lot of issues and CH/TGE was probably the point where Britpop had started to eat itself and had become something of an unstoppable behemoth the band no longer wanted anything to do with. For my money CH isn't Blur's best song, but far from being their worst can certainly see why the band aren't fond of it, as a fan I find myself skipping Song 2 far more often than CH and I really enjoyed it live when Graham would play it fast (also love Song 2 live for that matter).

TGE as a whole isn't Blur's worst album for me, that's Leisure, but it's not their best and I have probably only listened to it start to finish once this millennium, when 21 was released. Would be better to my ears as a shorter album for me these days, maybe trim It Could Be You, Ernold Same and one of Dan Abnormal, Globe Alone, or Entertain Me (DA for my money) and I think you probably end up with a better album. I never had much love for Stereotypes as a single either personally, much more time for Charmless Man but that's a divisive track these days, although almost universally liked at the time. Again Damon has said he doesn't like Charmless Man.

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Mallard No. 22
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Re: Is The Great Escape the worst Blur album?

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 26 Jun 2020, 20:19

I like TGE but it isn't quite as good as its comparators MLIR and Parklife, though it was right for the time.

I like 'Country House' - it worked well at the time and really took Blur to the mainstream audience. 'The Universal' in itself is quite epic, but over-familiar due to its use in the advert.

'Stereotypes' and 'Charmless Man' are a bit "Blur by numbers" and I prefer many other singles.
Rubi wrote:
25 Jun 2020, 20:37
For me 1997 was the year when Blur finally become a great band. They abandoned the gimmick which made them famous, and decided to reinvent themselves.

Yes, good point - had they not taken a new direction at this time, they may have found themselves struggling therafter, as by the end of 1997 Britpop was fading and took many acts with it.
"Everybody's Doing It...So Do It Too...."

Neal Zeal
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Re: Is The Great Escape the worst Blur album?

Post by Neal Zeal » 26 Jun 2020, 23:11

Of course not! It's got 5 or 6 brilliant songs. The Magic Whip has none!
The great songs are:
Country house, he thought of cars, charmless man, Yuko, universal, it could be you,
The good songs are:
Best days, Arnold same,
Admittedly that leaves about 7 pretty rubbish ones which is more than on any other blur album. As a 10 song album it would be worth a score of 8/10.
But as a 15 song album, it's just got too much filler.

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Rubi
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Re: Is The Great Escape the worst Blur album?

Post by Rubi » 27 Jun 2020, 21:23

Neal Zeal wrote:
26 Jun 2020, 23:11
Of course not! It's got 5 or 6 brilliant songs. The Magic Whip has none!
The great songs are:
Country house, he thought of cars, charmless man, Yuko, universal, it could be you,
The good songs are:
Best days, Arnold same,
Admittedly that leaves about 7 pretty rubbish ones which is more than on any other blur album. As a 10 song album it would be worth a score of 8/10.
But as a 15 song album, it's just got too much filler.
Bit of a stretch there calling Country House great.

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Sledge Hammer
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Re: Is The Great Escape the worst Blur album?

Post by Sledge Hammer » 28 Jun 2020, 06:26

No that's 13, such a letdown after the perfect mix of all the aspects of Blur which gave us 1997 "Blur"
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Sledge Hammer
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Re: Is The Great Escape the worst Blur album?

Post by Sledge Hammer » 28 Jun 2020, 06:29

These "dance" producers did nothing for Blur, Fatboy Slim and Orbit...Street did great experimentation anyway without the Donald Duck boys...
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dparrott
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Re: Is The Great Escape the worst Blur album?

Post by dparrott » 29 Jun 2020, 15:51

I love it start to finish, my favorite blur album.

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ricj
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Re: Is The Great Escape the worst Blur album?

Post by ricj » 30 Jun 2020, 10:14

Too weird and irritatingly quirky in places for me but also contains some of their best songs. Definitely the most divisive album. Not sure about Yuko & Hiro - I'd say basically all the b-sides from Stereotypes and Charmless Man are the true bridges into where they were about to go next. You can really tell they were done with the sound and style of the album even before they were done promoting it.
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dparrott
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Re: Is The Great Escape the worst Blur album?

Post by dparrott » 01 Jul 2020, 05:34

Yea the CM b-sides were very rough, like they stopped caring.

TracyJosh
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Re: Is The Great Escape the worst Blur album?

Post by TracyJosh » 01 Jul 2020, 13:32

I think a lot of the negative spin on TGE comes from public perception at the time and the choice of singles.

Stereotypes should never have been a single. It's incidentally one of my favorite Blur songs, but to make it a single put too much pressure on it and thus it's looked back upon as a bit of a misfire. As soon as a song becomes a single and doesn't do well, it is somehow devalued and enjoyed less by fans more so than middle of the road album tracks.

Surprised to see Fade Away get lumped in with the weak moments on the album in some of these comments, really think that's a song that should be brought back into the set should they tour again. Dan Abnormal and Ernold Same are the only weak moments for me...

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