Best of Blur [2CD]

Best of Blur [2CD]

4.6 3
by Blur
     
 

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Over the past decade, Blur have evolved from a run-of-the-mill indie-dance act to bastions of Brit pop and, ultimately, to that rare band whose best songs owe more to art than to the hit parade. Eschewing chronological presentation, and wisely shortchanging the early years, this well-sequenced program will hammer home to casual fans what diehards have known for years:… See more details below

Overview

Over the past decade, Blur have evolved from a run-of-the-mill indie-dance act to bastions of Brit pop and, ultimately, to that rare band whose best songs owe more to art than to the hit parade. Eschewing chronological presentation, and wisely shortchanging the early years, this well-sequenced program will hammer home to casual fans what diehards have known for years: Damon Albarn and company craft concise gems that are thought-provoking without inducing head-scratching. In this context, cuts that were never obvious chart fare -- the sweeping ballad "To the End," the gospel-inflected "Tender," and the desolate "No Distance Left to Run" -- sound better than ever. The new song, "Music Is My Radar," a clutch of quirky, disparate sounds (harmonium, rickety percussion, fuzz guitar) in need of a melodic hook to anchor them, can't match the polish of the band's best, but otherwise, this is a greatest-hits package with an emphasis on the greatest.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It's boring to point out omissions on hits compilations, especially when a collection is as generous as the 18-track The Best of Blur, but let's do it anyway. The Best of Blur largely bypasses the group's key album, Modern Life Is Rubbish, the record that invented Brit-pop, skewing in favor of the self-consciously "experimental" 13, which, for all of its attributes, wasn't a singles album. Plus, the group continues to punish the British record-buying public by not including the brilliant "Popscene" (to beat a dead horse, the single that invented Brit-pop), since nobody bought it at the time. So, without "Popscene," "Chemical World" or "Sunday Sunday," a crucial chapter of Blur's history is missing from The Best of Blur -- the chapter where they essentially became Blur. It's to their immense credit that the album doesn't feel like it's missing anything, since these singles (plus one album track) are dazzling on their own. Of course, the trick is that the record isn't assembled chronologically. Instead, it flows like a set list, complete with the set closer "This Is a Low" followed by a two-song encore that ends with the new song (the good, not great, "Music Is My Radar"), which not only gives it a momentum of its own, but draws attention to the songs themselves. And "dazzling" isn't really hyperbole -- based on these 18 songs, Blur isn't just the best pop band of the '90s, with greater range and depth than their peers, they rank among the best pop bands of all time. The Best of Blur illustrates that, even as it misses some of their best moments -- omissions that prevent it from being the flat-out classic it should be. Even so, it's pretty damn terrific, particularly for the unconverted. [And, for the hardcore, there's not just "Music Is My Radar," there's a special limited-edition double-disc version of The Best of Blur, containing a bonus ten-track, 45-minute live album, recorded at Wembley Arena in December of 1999. Lots of track duplication between this disc and the first, but "Stereotypes" and "M.O.R." are present, and the entire thing is a lot of fun -- they are a terrific live band, after all -- even if it doesn't hold any particular revelations.]

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/21/2000
Label:
Wb / Parlophone
UPC:
0724385045721
catalogNumber:
504570
Rank:
3868

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Blur   Primary Artist
Damon Albarn   Vocals
Graham Coxon   Guitar
Alex James   Bass
Dave Rowntree   Drums

Technical Credits

David Bowie   Composer
Blur   Producer
William Orbit   Producer,Engineer
Steve Power   Producer
Damon Albarn   Composer
Graham Coxon   Composer
Brian Eno   Composer
Stephen Hague   Producer,Engineer
Alex James   Composer
Steve Lovell   Producer
Andy Ross   Engineer
Dave Rowntree   Composer
Stephen Street   Producer,Engineer
Damian leGassick   Programming
Ben Hillier   Producer
Sean Spuehler   Programming
Jeremy Plumb   Art Direction
Jason Cox   Engineer
John Smith   Producer,Engineer

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