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The Great Escape = the code for life

Posted: 19 Jul 2020, 00:24
by Vorsprung
I named my camp (the United States) equivalent of a country house “The Great Escape”. It’s a second home...a getaway. I’ve been here for a few months with my family during Covid.

I’ve listened to the album for the millionth time and The Great Escape seems like a road map on how to live your life.

Re: The Great Escape = the code for life

Posted: 20 Jul 2020, 04:26
by Pavlich
Damon was taking the piss out of people who have country houses, you know?

And most of the Great Escape is mostly about the mandatory drain and dull of being a working person with not much to show... a flat in a suburb 'pretty close' to the one you want to be in...

Definitely not an album celebrating people who can afford to have second homes – let alone second homes they don't even need to rent out.

Re: The Great Escape = the code for life

Posted: 25 Jul 2020, 06:18
by blurfansince97
Pavlich wrote:
20 Jul 2020, 04:26
Damon was taking the piss out of people who have country houses, you know?

And most of the Great Escape is mostly about the mandatory drain and dull of being a working person with not much to show... a flat in a suburb 'pretty close' to the one you want to be in...

Definitely not an album celebrating people who can afford to have second homes – let alone second homes they don't even need to rent out.
Well said.

Re: The Great Escape = the code for life

Posted: 25 Jul 2020, 22:23
by Vorsprung
Your explanation of the entire album is spot on.

Wasn’t the song “country house“ about a record exec who made Blur miserable? I’ve even heard Damon introduce the song in concert as being about “neurotic pop stars”.

That said, as a working man who scraped together enough to escape the mandatory “drain and dull”, I don’t think Damon would begrudge me escaping the gloom of the rat race. I’m sure he’s got a home or two himself.

Re: The Great Escape = the code for life

Posted: 27 Jul 2020, 05:13
by stephen
Vorsprung wrote:
25 Jul 2020, 22:23
Your explanation of the entire album is spot on.

Wasn’t the song “country house“ about a record exec who made Blur miserable? I’ve even heard Damon introduce the song in concert as being about “neurotic pop stars”.

That said, as a working man who scraped together enough to escape the mandatory “drain and dull”, I don’t think Damon would begrudge me escaping the gloom of the rat race. I’m sure he’s got a home or two himself.
Yes the biggest irony of the song is that the band all got famous/rich from it, especially alex james

Re: The Great Escape = the code for life

Posted: 30 Jul 2020, 10:34
by Pavlich
Vorsprung wrote:
25 Jul 2020, 22:23
Your explanation of the entire album is spot on.

Wasn’t the song “country house“ about a record exec who made Blur miserable? I’ve even heard Damon introduce the song in concert as being about “neurotic pop stars”.

That said, as a working man who scraped together enough to escape the mandatory “drain and dull”, I don’t think Damon would begrudge me escaping the gloom of the rat race. I’m sure he’s got a home or two himself.
At the same time, please appreciate the majority of Blur fans are British or of that descent.

People are being paid by the government at a reduced wage to keep their job knowing that their business, if this – and unfortunately it probably will – continues, then their employer will probably collapse. I live in Australia, in a nice place, and there's a line for the dole office every day from respectable people.

In a way, that's irrelevant – America is more fucked than here.

Coming on here and telling everyone about how you're so lucky, you can go to a second home in a time many young people can barely afford rent let alone a mortgage let alone mortgage another, is really quite offensive. Bragging about this and completely misinterpreting an album is quite galling. Lots of people with experience and kids at school don't have a job anymore.

Thinking Country House is a blueprint to a realistic life is about as realistic as believing Escape to the Country or Kevin McLeod on Grand Designs is a thing we can all do – it's fetishism aimed at the aspirational, wanky middle class... who... say things like 'yeah, we should eat less meat!' while eating a fuckin readymeal.

Re: The Great Escape = the code for life

Posted: 30 Jul 2020, 11:40
by stephen
I wasn't offended by it

It kind of is a blue print in the fact that it was written about "stereotypical" english/britishness. Buy a lottery ticket, live in a big house, have a job that pays loads but you don't do anything for it, wife swapping, take drugs for depression, having money but not having any friends, meeting someone down the pub who thinks he's mr big shot. They've got a bit of pokie fun at but serious and horrible depressing undertone, its mainly aimed at the middle class. I dunno, it probably wasn't meant to be taken seriously but it also wasn't meant for one big piss up either there's some very highlighted things in there that highlights the ugly side of life and human nature

Re: The Great Escape = the code for life

Posted: 23 Apr 2021, 23:20
by Vorsprung

Re: The Great Escape = the code for life

Posted: 25 Apr 2021, 14:21
by semi
TGE is a good album. I had to say it.

Re: The Great Escape = the code for life

Posted: 26 Apr 2021, 11:06
by Moritz
It was never a really bad album. For me it's more a kid of hangover LP, a more melancholic view to modern life. It is a mixture of so called 'Weltschmerz' and the British downtown life described in Parklife but with a bitter taste of cynisim.

But it contains all good ingredients of a solid Blur album: it got the big ballad (The Universal), a punk tune (Globe Alone), dark/melancholic songs (Best Days, Yuko & Hiro), radio friendly material (Country House), modern pop (Top Man, Charmless Man) and more forward stuff (Stereotypes, It Could Be You). The only problem is that they overused some elements of songwriting when they reproduced it over and over again (Fade Away, Entertain Me, Ernold Same, Mr. Robinson's Quango). They make the second half of the record a bit cheesy. You can basically cut all of these or at least one to replace it with a good instrumental (like they did on MLIR or Parklife). But all in all it is a good album.

Re: The Great Escape = the code for life

Posted: 26 Apr 2021, 11:30
by jeffnottingham
Funny how often this conversation gets had. I get it though, it's fascinating (for me as a 90s teenager) to re-live the excitement of that period.
I bought TGE on tape from Woolworths (£5.99) and although it was basically my life for a few months, the fact that side 2 started with Mr Robinson's Quango, even then, made it super clear that it was too similar to Country House. I reckon replacing MRQ with No Monsters in Me improves the the album a lot.

Re: The Great Escape = the code for life

Posted: 26 Apr 2021, 13:19
by stephen
For me its too much of a parklife v2. I know it's a little different but it's a follow up to that album, most bands do it. I know it's the 4th studio album, but I technically see it as a difficult second album so I think they went with the safe option and just gave the fans what they wanted at the time.

It's got some awesome guitar riffs in there and for me it does hold it's own. I still put it on every 6 months or so...anymore than that and it becomes too much for me.

Re: The Great Escape = the code for life

Posted: 26 Apr 2021, 22:05
by semi
MRQ is one of the tracks that I skip the most. Yes I agree that with less tracks the album would be better.

I can't see why people hate so much Entertain Me. I think it's a great song. OK, the bass line is in the same vibe as Girls & Boys, but I see them as too completely different songs. I love the chorus.

But I definitely would remove from that album Fade Away, MRQ, Ernold Same and Dan Abnormal.

Re: The Great Escape = the code for life

Posted: 26 Apr 2021, 22:29
by Vern
Pavlich wrote:
30 Jul 2020, 10:34
Vorsprung wrote:
25 Jul 2020, 22:23
Your explanation of the entire album is spot on.

Wasn’t the song “country house“ about a record exec who made Blur miserable? I’ve even heard Damon introduce the song in concert as being about “neurotic pop stars”.

That said, as a working man who scraped together enough to escape the mandatory “drain and dull”, I don’t think Damon would begrudge me escaping the gloom of the rat race. I’m sure he’s got a home or two himself.
At the same time, please appreciate the majority of Blur fans are British or of that descent.

People are being paid by the government at a reduced wage to keep their job knowing that their business, if this – and unfortunately it probably will – continues, then their employer will probably collapse. I live in Australia, in a nice place, and there's a line for the dole office every day from respectable people.

In a way, that's irrelevant – America is more fucked than here.

Coming on here and telling everyone about how you're so lucky, you can go to a second home in a time many young people can barely afford rent let alone a mortgage let alone mortgage another, is really quite offensive. Bragging about this and completely misinterpreting an album is quite galling. Lots of people with experience and kids at school don't have a job anymore.

Thinking Country House is a blueprint to a realistic life is about as realistic as believing Escape to the Country or Kevin McLeod on Grand Designs is a thing we can all do – it's fetishism aimed at the aspirational, wanky middle class... who... say things like 'yeah, we should eat less meat!' while eating a fuckin readymeal.
I'm not offended by it, speak for yourself. If he's got a second home to escape to, good for him. You're being overly salty.

Re: The Great Escape = the code for life

Posted: 27 Apr 2021, 10:04
by Styopa
I would also love a country pad to escape to! However, The Great Escape being described as a "road map for life" can only have been meant ironically, surely?

TGE must be one of the most cynical albums ever committed to record. In no normal sense could songs like Stereotypes, Charmless Man, Top Man, Mr Robinson's Quango, Ernold Same, Dan Abnromal or even "Country House" ("watching afternoon repeats...taking all manner of pills...knocking back prozac...I'm so sad I don't know why") be sensibly interpreted as a "road map" of how to live one's life.

Or am I missing something?