Blur 21

Blur 21

by Blur
It is a hefty box. It is 18 CDs and three DVDs, adding up to 21 discs, which just happens to be the anniversary Blur are celebrating in 2012, a year when they've continued their halting reunion to headline the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. And, really, there was no other choice for such a prestigious gig. Other bands were bigger --


It is a hefty box. It is 18 CDs and three DVDs, adding up to 21 discs, which just happens to be the anniversary Blur are celebrating in 2012, a year when they've continued their halting reunion to headline the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. And, really, there was no other choice for such a prestigious gig. Other bands were bigger -- archrivals Oasis handily eclipsed them in popularity and the Spice Girls soon brought Cool Brittania to an even greater audience -- and Suede arguably kick-started the whole Brit-pop phenomenon, but Blur defined their era, reasserting the prominence of British pop music and then heading into uncharted waters. Blur 21 chronicles that journey in minute detail and, contrary to what its imposing size suggests, the box does not contain everything the group ever recorded. You'd have to be a pretty hardcore fan to notice how their terrible 1994 cover of the Who's "Substitute" is MIA and even if you were that committed, chances are you'd rather have the four discs of unreleased rarities included here instead. These CDs -- along with the DVDs, each capturing a separate live show from different stages of the band's career beginning with the 1994 home video Showtime and ending with a 13-era live set augmented by videos that didn't make the 2000 Best of Blur DVD -- are exclusive to the box set but the double-disc expanded editions of the group's seven albums are available separately. Each of these rounds up the non-LP B-sides from the accompanying album, leaving behind a few live cuts and remixes but containing all pertinent stray songs, many of which are excellent, particularly during the group's mid-'90s prime. What makes Blur 21 something more than just fan bait -- although, make no mistake about it, there needs to be a certain level of dedication to get through a box of this size -- is that there is an actual narrative told here, one that not only tells the story of Blur but represents the trajectory of British indie music in the '90s. At the outset, Blur were a noisy, confused amalgam of droning psychedelia, C-86 pop, and Madchester dance, their various influences gaining focus on their 1993 second album, Modern Life Is Rubbish, designed by lead singer/songwriter Damon Albarn as a defiant response to the insurgent grunge from the U.S. For two albums -- Parklife in 1994 and The Great Escape in 1995 -- Blur perfected a classical British pop before returning to their art-school roots on their eponymous 1997 album, eventually embracing modern electronic cut-and-paste techniques on 1999's 13 before splintering apart during the recording of 2003's Think Tank. This journey is compelling and the added detail of rarities and B-sides deepens the experience, particularly during the early years when they were called Seymour and during the Brit-pop purple patch when they were making more good music than could fit on a single album. Naturally, at this length there are some failures or experiments gone awry -- the early demos, such as an 11-minute "She's So High," are interesting but formless, and the concluding jams from 13 were meant to be spliced into shape by William Orbit, not heard at this length -- but all the mess winds up illustrating Blur's restless range and depth. There were plenty of other great British bands of the '90s but none of their peers -- Oasis, Suede, Pulp, Radiohead -- covered as much stylistic ground or wound up with a catalog as rich as this ridiculously generous box set handily proves.

Product Details

Release Date:
Wb / Parlophone


Disc 1

  1. She's So High
  2. Bang
  3. Slow Down
  4. Repetition
  5. Bad Day
  6. Sing
  7. There's No Other Way
  8. Fool
  9. Come Together
  10. High Cool
  11. Birthday
  12. Wear Me Down

Disc 2

  1. I Know
  2. Down
  3. There's No Other Way
  4. Inertia
  5. Mr Briggs
  6. I'm All Over
  7. Won't Do It
  8. Day Upon Day
  9. There's No Other Way
  10. Bang
  11. Explain
  12. Luminous
  13. Berserk
  14. Uncle Love
  15. I Love Her
  16. Close

Disc 3

  1. For Tomorrow
  2. Advert
  3. Colin Zeal
  4. Pressure On Julian
  5. Star Shaped
  6. Blue Jeans
  7. Chemical World
  8. Sunday Sunday
  9. Oily Water
  10. Miss America
  11. Villa Rosie
  12. Coping
  13. Turn It Up
  14. Resigned

Disc 4

  1. Popscene
  2. Mace
  3. Badgeman Brown
  4. I'm Fine
  5. Garden Central
  6. For Tomorrow
  7. Into Another
  8. Peach
  9. Bone Bag
  10. Hanging Over
  11. When the Cows Come Home
  12. Beachcoma
  13. Chemical World
  14. Es Schmecht
  15. Young and Lovely
  16. Maggie May
  17. My Ark
  18. Daisy Bell (A Bicycle Made For Two)
  19. Let's All Go Down the Strand

Disc 5

  1. Girls and Boys
  2. Tracy Jacks
  3. End of a Century
  4. Parklife Starring Phil Daniels
  5. Bank Holiday
  6. Badhead
  7. The Debt Collector
  8. Far Out
  9. To the End
  10. London Loves
  11. Trouble In the Message Centre
  12. Clover Over Dover
  13. Magic America
  14. Jubilee
  15. This is a Low
  16. Lot 105

Disc 6

  1. Magpie
  2. Anniversary Waltz
  3. People In Europe
  4. Peter Panic
  5. Girls And Boys
  6. Threadneedle Street
  7. Got Yer!
  8. Beard
  9. To the End
  10. Supa Shoppa
  11. Theme From An Imaginary Film
  12. Red Necks
  13. Alex's Song
  14. Jubilee
  15. Parklife [From 'End Of A Century' Spanish C
  16. End of a Century

Disc 7

  1. Stereotypes
  2. Country House
  3. Best Days
  4. Charmless Man
  5. Fade Away
  6. Top Man
  7. The Universal
  8. Mr Robinson's Quango
  9. He Thought of Cars
  10. It Could Be You
  11. Ernold Same
  12. Globe Alone
  13. Dan Abnormal
  14. Entertain Me
  15. Yuko and Hiro

Disc 8

  1. One Born Every Minute
  2. To the End (La Comedie)
  3. Ultranol
  4. No Monsters In Me
  5. Entertain Me
  6. The Man Who Left Himself
  7. Tame
  8. Ludwig
  9. The Horrors
  10. A Song
  11. St Louis
  12. Country House
  13. Girls and Boys
  14. Parklife
  15. For Tomorrow
  16. Charmless Man
  17. Chemical World
  18. Eine Kleine Lift Musik

Disc 9

  1. Beetlebum
  2. Song 2
  3. Country Sad Ballad Man
  4. M.O.R.
  5. On Your Own
  6. Theme From Retro
  7. You're So Great
  8. Death of a Party
  9. Chinese Bombs
  10. I'm Just a Killer For Your Love
  11. Look Inside America
  12. Strange News From Another Star
  13. Movin' On
  14. Essex Dogs

Disc 10

  1. All Your Life
  2. A Spell (For Money)
  3. Woodpigeon Song
  4. Dancehall
  5. Get Out of Cities
  6. Polished Stone
  7. Bustin' + Dronin'
  8. M.O.R. (Road Version)
  9. Swallows In the Heatwave
  10. Death of a Party
  11. Cowboy Song
  12. Beetlebum
  13. On Your Own
  14. Country Sad Ballad Man
  15. This is a Low
  16. M.O.R.
  17. Death of a Party
  18. Song 2

Disc 11

  1. Tender
  2. Bugman
  3. Coffee & Tv
  4. Swamp Song
  5. 1992
  6. B.L.U.R.E.M.I
  7. Battle
  8. Mellow Song
  9. Trailerpark
  10. Caramel
  11. Trimm Trabb
  12. No Distance Left To Run
  13. Optigan I

Disc 12

  1. French Song
  2. All We Want
  3. Mellow Jam
  4. X-Offender
  5. Coyote
  6. Trade Stylee
  7. Metal Hip Slop
  8. So You
  9. Beagle 2
  10. Tender
  11. Far Out
  12. I Got Law
  13. Music is My Radar
  14. Black Book

Disc 13

  1. Ambulance
  2. Out of Time
  3. Crazy Beat
  4. Good Song
  5. On the Way To the Club
  6. Brothers and Sisters
  7. Caravan
  8. We've Got a File On You
  9. Moroccan Peoples Revolutionary Bowls Club
  10. Sweet Song
  11. Jets
  12. Gene By Gene
  13. Battery In Your Leg

Disc 14

  1. Money Makes Me Crazy
  2. Tune 2
  3. The Outsider
  4. Don't Be
  5. Morricone
  6. Me, White Noise
  7. Some Glad Morning
  8. Don't Be
  9. Sweet Song
  10. Caravan
  11. End of a Century
  12. Good Song
  13. Out of Time
  14. Tender

Disc 15

  1. Dizzy
  2. Mixed Up
  3. Birthday
  4. Sing (To Me) [Demo Vers
  5. Fool (Seymour 4 Track Demo, 30 July 1989)
  6. She's So High
  7. Won't Do It
  8. I Know
  9. Repetition
  10. High Cool
  11. Always
  12. Come Together
  13. I'm All Over
  14. Wear Me Down

Disc 16

  1. I Love Her
  2. Popscene
  3. Beached Whale
  4. Death of a Party
  5. Pap Pop
  6. Pressure On Julian
  7. Colin Zeal
  8. Sunday Sunday
  9. Never Clever
  10. Advert
  11. Star Shaped
  12. She Don't Mind
  13. Coping
  14. Sunday Sleep
  15. 7 Days
  16. Kazoo
  17. The Wassailing Song
  18. When the Cows Come Home
  19. For Tomorrow
  20. Magpie

Disc 17

  1. Parklife
  2. Clover Over Dover
  3. Jubilee
  4. One a Minute
  5. Badhead
  6. Far Out
  7. The Debt Collector
  8. Trouble in the Message Centre
  9. Red Necks
  10. Red Necks
  11. Alex's Song
  12. Cross Channel Love
  13. Ernold Same
  14. Saturday Morning
  15. Hope You Find Your Suburb [Dem
  16. Rico
  17. Bored House Wives

Disc 18

  1. Beetlebum
  2. On Your Own
  3. Woodpigeon Song
  4. Battle
  5. Caramel (Ambient)
  6. So You
  7. Squeezebox
  8. Jawbone
  9. "1"
  10. "3"
  11. Sir Elton John's Cock
  12. Avoid the Traffic
  13. Money Makes Me Crazy
  14. Don't Bomb When You Are the Bomb
  15. Nutter
  16. Piano
  17. Kissin' Time
  18. Fool's Day
  19. Under the Westway

Disc 19

  1. Lot 105
  2. Sunday Sunday
  3. Jubilee
  4. Tracy Jacks
  5. Magic America
  6. End of a Century
  7. Popscene
  8. Trouble In the Message Centre
  9. She's So High
  10. Chemical World
  11. Badhead
  12. There's No Other Way
  13. To the End
  14. Advert
  15. Supa Shoppa
  16. Mr Robinson's Quango
  17. Parklife
  18. Girls and Boys
  19. Bank Holiday
  20. This is a Low

Disc 20

  1. I Know
  2. She's So High
  3. There's No Other Way
  4. Popscene
  5. For Tomorrow
  6. Chemical World
  7. Girls and Boys
  8. To the End
  9. Parklife
  10. End of a Century
  11. Country House
  12. The Universal
  13. Charmless Man
  14. Beetlebum
  15. Song 2
  16. On Your Own
  17. M.O.R.
  18. Tender
  19. Coffee & TV
  20. No Distance Left to Run

Disc 21

  1. B.L.U.R.E.M.I
  2. No Distance Left To Run
  3. Tender
  4. Battle
  5. Beetlebum
  6. Bugman
  7. Trimm Trabb
  8. Mellow Song
  9. Song 2
  10. Semour - Dizzy
  11. There's No Other Way [
  12. To the End (Lacomedie)
  13. It Could Be You
  14. Music is My Radar
  15. Out of Time
  16. Crazy Beat
  17. Good Song

Disc 22

  1. Superman
  2. Superman

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Blur   Primary Artist
Mike Smith   Saxophone
Phil Daniels   Narrator
Damon Albarn   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Harpsichord,Keyboards,Recorder,Vocals,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Melodica,Moog Synthesizer,Hand Clapping,Vibes,solina,sleigh bells,Jupiter 8,String Machine,Casio,Hammond B3
Jacques Bolognesi   Accordion
Simon Clarke   Soprano Flute,Saxophone,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Group Member
Graham Coxon   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Clarinet,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Saxophone,Tambourine,Triangle,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Moog Synthesizer,Hand Clapping,Slide Guitar
Richard Edwards   Trombone
Stephen Hague   Accordion
Kick Horns   Horn
Alex James   Bass,Bass Guitar,Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Hand Clapping,Crowd Noise
Helen Kamminga   Viola
London Community Gospel Choir   Choir, Chorus
Roddy Lorimer   Trombone,Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Group Member
Ivan McCready   Cello
Leo Payne   String Quartet
Mark Pharoah   Violin
Chris Pitsillides   String Quartet
Audrey Riley   String Quartet
Dave Rowntree   Percussion,Drums,Choir, Chorus,Hand Clapping,Timpani,Crowd Noise,Loop Drums
Kiyohiko Senba   Drums
Tim Sanders   Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Group Member
Paul Spong   Cornet
Kate St. John   Oboe,Soprano Saxophone,Cor anglais
Stephen Street   Keyboards,Hand Clapping,Peruvian Box Drum
Ben Hillier   Percussion
Cathy Gillat   Vocals
Ken Livingstone   Narrator
Ivan McCermoy   Cello,Group Member
Rick Wentworth   Conductor
Angela Murrell   Background Vocals
Duke Quartet   Strings
John Metcalfe   Viola,Group Member
Keigo Oyamada   Bass,Guitar
Bezzari Ahmed   Rabab
Rabab Gueddam Jamal   Violin,Cello
Groupe Regional du Marrakech   Performing Ensemble
Christopher Tombling   String Quartet
Rick Koster   Violin,Group Member
Louisa Fuller   Violin,Group Member
Duke Strings   Strings
Neil Sidwell   Trombone,Group Member
Jason Guiness Coz   Drums
Hijaoui Rachid   Violin
Dalal Mohamed Najib   Darbouka
Abdellah Kekhari   Violin
Teresa Jane David   Background Vocals
Moullaoud My Ali   Oud
Mohamed Azeddine   Oud
Kassimi Jamal Yousseff   Oud

Technical Credits

Marianne Faithfull   Composer
Pet Shop Boys   Arranger,Producer,Remixing
Rod Stewart   Composer
Bill Laswell   Producer
Mike Smith   Composer,Additional Music
Khalil Chahine   String Arrangements
Blur   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Additional Production
William Orbit   Producer,Engineer
Steve Power   Producer,Engineer
Clive Langer   Producer
Andy Partridge   Producer
Phil Thornalley   Engineer
Françoise Hardy   Composer
Damon Albarn   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,Executive Producer,Remixing,Additional Music
David Balfe   Additional Production
Alan Branch   Engineer
Norman Cook   Producer
Graham Coxon   Composer,Engineer,Executive Producer,Remixing,Logo,Cover Painting,Additional Music,Background Noise,Additional Production
Oz Fritz   Engineer
Isobel Griffiths   Additional Production
Stephen Hague   Producer,Engineer
Alex James   Composer,Engineer,Executive Producer,Remixing
Bob Kraushaar   Engineer
Steve Lovell   Producer,Engineer
Andy Ross   Additional Production
Dave Rowntree   Composer,Programming,Engineer,Executive Producer,Remixing,Additional Music
Stephen Street   Programming,Sound Effects,Producer,Engineer
Bob Thomas   Cover Photo
Mike Thorne   Producer
Alan Winstanley   Producer
Graeme Holdaway   Producer,Engineer
Damian leGassick   Pro-Tools
Dust Brothers   Producer
Nels Israelson   Band Photo
Ben Hillier   Producer,Engineer,Remixing,Additional Music
Cornelius   Remixing
Tom Girling   Producer,Engineer
Paul Postle   Director,Band Photo
Steve Pritchard   Management
Miranda Sawyer   Liner Notes,Interviewer
Sean Spuehler   Pro-Tools
Tony Wadsworth   Management
Control Freaks   Remixing
Harry Dacre   Composer
Iain Roberton   Engineer
Malcolm Hill   Management
Ben Chapman   Remixing
John Smith   Producer,Engineer
Tom King   Cover Photo
Scott Minshall   Art Direction,Reissue Design,Management
John Metcalfe   String Arrangements
Toyoaki Mishima   Pro-Tools
Nick Franglen   Programming
Hamish Hamilton   Director
James Dring   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Bansky   Artwork,Direction,Artist,Additional Production
Martin R. Smith   Producer
Toru Takayama   Engineer
Keith Wozencroft   Management
Desyud Mustafa   Arranger
Brendan Coyle   Management
Libby Jones   Management
Darren Evans   Reissue Design,Management
David Shrigley   Artist
Chris Denman   Producer
Jonathan Glazer   Director
Rob Owen   Management
Chris Maj   Management
Simon Mundy   Remix Programmer
Tris Penna   Management
Stephen Sedgwick   Programming,Producer,Engineer
Stephen Smith   Producer
Kevin Mccabe   Management
Miles Leonard   Management
Chris Potter   Producer
Julian Opie   Artist
Regine Moylett   Management
Jason Guiness Coz   Producer,Engineer,Studio Manager,Technical Maintenance,Additional Music,Additional Production
Arjan Arwert   Engineer
Keith Albarn   Image Manipulation
Tanyel Vahdettin   Management
Matthew Longfellow   Director
Chris Morrison   Management
Jo Power   Additional Production
Helena McGeough   Management
Hannah Dudley   Management
Hannah Claxton   Management
Graham Smith   Executive Producer
Ceri Levy   Producer
Buu-Kim Hoang-Le   Management
Anouck Fontaine   Producer
Thijs Peters   Engineer
Terry Felgate   Management
Suzi Grossman   Management
Sue Lacey   Management
Stuart Lowbridge   Engineer
Steve Heaver   Management
Selena Dion   Management
Polly Birkbeck   Additional Production
Pete Gleadhall   Programming
Pete Duckworth   Management
Paul Stephen   Paintings
Paul Gribble   Paintings
Nina Shultz   Band Photo
Niamh Byrne   Management
Mel Ramos   Artist
Mandy Plumb   Management
Kate Cons   Management
Karen Johnson   Management
Jürgen Mölders   Engineer

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