With Blur set to receive the Outstanding Contribution award at the Brits later this month, it’s a good time to reflect on their finest moments. You can watch a compilation of our faves via this here video. Plus, after the jump, NME writers pick their personal top tracks – and below that, so do lots of NME.COM users (you can read their comments by mousing over the faces).
‘Sweet Song’. I like Blur’s hits as much as the next person, but this is probably my favourite song of theirs. It sounds small and nervous, non-committal and morose, qualities which many would argue represent Blur at their worst. I’d disagree.
‘Country House’. Not because it’s a great song, really, it just triggers a happy memory. They debuted it at the Mile End gig in 1995. This was before anyone had heard it, and I don’t think they ever imagined it would be a single. But the response was phenomenal. 27,000 people went berserk. I’ll always remember that.
Anne T. Donahue
‘Song 2’. I love overplayed anthems of the 1990s, and more importantly, I love cliches.
Amid the jaunty Britpop of ‘Parklife’, ‘To The End’ stuck out like an elaborately jewelled sore thumb. ‘To The End’ was something else: guitar noise was cast aside in favour of velvety strings and xylophone; and cockney wit was replaced by soul-searching lyricism. A magical song.
It’s really obvious but I’m going with ‘Girls & Boys’ because I remember hearing it in on the radio in the car on the way to school and thinking ‘that’s a good song’ and I’ve yet to change my mind.
‘Beetlebum’. Prior to Blur’s return after the ho-hum ‘Great Escape’ album, Alex James announced their direction was more Iggy Pop than Britpop, and so Beetlebum proved, being the most languorous, smacked out and plain weird number one since If by Telly Savalas.
‘Beetlebum’ – it’s the sound of a heartbreaking addiction. The choppy withdrawal in the verses, Damon tearing himself apart trying to keep away, and then the narcotic release of that chorus and his limp, beaten admission that if just just gives in, nothing is wrong: “She turns me on, and all my violence gone”. It’s a thing of bleak wonder.
‘The Universal’. This just edges to the top of my favourite Blur tracks – it beats ‘Bettlebum’ by a sliver. Why? It’s partly nostalgia and partly ‘cos it’s-just-a-stonking-great-big-ballad. I bought a ticket for Glastonbury to see Blur a few years back and when they played ‘ The Universal’, I unashamedly wept with pure joy.
‘Best Days’. All the themes of ‘The Great Escape’ — disaffection, alienation, the desire to escape — encapsulated in one of Albarn’s best lyrics. All the better for its understated air of quiet melancholy, too.
‘Day Upon Day’ because in Starshaped Damon knacks his foot showing off while they’re playing it and I always smile fondly at the recollection of him in quite intense pain.
‘Trimm Trabb’.Chock full of oblique lyrical vagueness and with Coxon’s grungey fretwork firmly at the fore, this is a spiralling, nearly six minute example of why Blur were always so much more than chirpy ditties about parks. Murky, unsettled, yet strangely zen, ‘Trimm Trabb’ shows Damon and Graham’s disparate influence in weird and wonderful harmony.
Mouse over the faces below to reveal their favourite Blur song
- Michael Healy
Park Life – As did many teenagers of my generation, myself and friends spent many evenings drinking cider and alcopops in the local park. Long before the days of iPhones, we would drag along with us a battery fuelled portable CD player. The highlight of any evening would be the playing of ‘Park Life’, to which we would re-enact a sequence of drunken dance movements, choreographed by our own, often misguided, interpretation of the lyrics.
- Katherine Cantwell
Tender- Approximately six songs after they played ‘Tender’ at Glasto 09, a wave of “Oh by baby” fluctuated from the hills and down onto the crowd, tunnelling it’s way to the stage. The fact that Damon Albarn broke down only made that moment all the more beautiful.
- Tim Brown
For Tomorrow. Being a teenager and seeing a band make a video based on London, was something so different. For the first time in my teen years it actually felt cool to be from Britain. And it’s such a great great song.
- Banner Driskell
The Universal really has some of the best lyrics ever written. “You can find it anywhere. Yes! The future’s been sold.” Damon’s writing seems to really seems to hit the heart now more then ever. When they come back in with the chorus chords, you can’t help but want to sing along. I’m hoping Blur make it to America, so I can hear it live.
- Paula Blank
Blur are so good and have so many great, amazing songs, it’s naturally hard to pick. There are days, and there are days. Today, I’m brought back to an unforgettable musical moment, like many other of the special musical moments in my life, at the wheel of my Citroën AX listening to CDs. And ‘Battle’ starts playing. I’m driving into the motorway and my eyes start to well up. Gut wrenching genius, I say. Almost 7 minutes of AMAZING.
- Helen White
So many to choose from but it’s go to be ‘This Is A Low’. The melancholy of it, the lyrics and beautiful melody and simplicity of it. Also love ‘Coping’ and the generally underrated ‘Modern Life Is Rubbish’ – never gets enough credit – such a great album.
- Oliver Miller
How hard is this? I’d have to go for ‘Beetlebum’, I remember hearing it on radio 1 on its first play in early 1997, then I attended their Astoria secret gig on the day the Blur album came out. It was my first gig and they remain my favourite band. What a tune. What a band!
- Emmy Hodgson
Battery in Your Leg because it was the last song Graham wrote with Blur before he left. It was an attempt to keep the band together and fix everything between Graham and Damon and it’s just a beautiful but heartbreaking ending to what was Blur.
- Claudia Vázquez Almendáriz
“The Universal”: I was 10 years old, ‘The Great Escape’ was the first album I had and, even if I did not understand the lyrics, I simply loved the music.
- Amy McMullen
I remember when I first got into Blur, I used to listen to ‘For Tomorrow’ on repeat, as well as watch the video. It’s probably the only time I’ve ever wanted to live inside a song. It was just perfection and everything I wanted my life to be. Sadly it isn’t, but I live in hope everytime I listen to the song!
- Andrew Norton
My choice is The Universal. It was the first track I heard from them back on Now 33, and I was blown away by the lyrics, that string arrangement, and was definitely a highlight off that compilation. The first of many masterpieces I have heard from Blur ever since.
- Corinna Burrows
‘To The End’ would be up there for me, if only because it brings back memories of being at the front for Blur at Glastonbury in 2009 and seeing Damon break down crying at the climax of the song, resulted in me doing exactly the same, BEST BAND EVER.
- Salena Burt Warrington
Song 2! Simply because it’s amazing. I challenge anyone to stay sat down whilst this songs playing.
- Stanislas Frenzel
Beetlebum: the song suited the 94-97 period…Felt like waking up with a hangover…The sensation of having lived a fantastically exciting musical era, and coming back to reality, and basically overseeing the new musical landscape that was ahead…
- Phil Sheriff Kimbo
End Of A Century for me. Best song on their best album, and it came at a time when new music was exciting, especially in this country.
- Lucy Jodkowski
This Is A Low, it’s beautiful, poignant and can often help in bad circumstances. The lyrics are lovely and kooky and Damon’s voice sounds brill 🙂
- Joe Ballard
The Universal because it’s such an uplifting track that still gives me chills even years after I first heard it. No Distance Left To Run because you can feel the emotion just pouring out of Damon as he’s singing it.
- Mollie Ford
The Universal! it was the last song they did when I saw them on the first Hyde Park date in 2009, and after waiting to see them for years, hearing this live was the best thing ever!
- Jack Triple J Wright
My favourite song by them is a B-Side, called Young & Lovely. Being a B-side, it is rarely talked about and not a lot of people know about it. But they really need to. It is one of the greatest songs I ever heard, with it’s simplistic but lovable chorus and it’s creative guitar lines. I was stunned to figure out I could actually play those guitar lines about a week ago. To anyone who’s reading this, listen to the track. It’s bloody brilliant.
- Abbie Collier
Parklife because it’s the first song that got me into Blur and honestly, it helped me get though a really horrible time. Nothing beats Damon Albarn dancing around in a dodgy 90s outfit when it comes to cheering me up.
- Tom Montgomery
Jubilee- because it just makes me feel so goddamn proud to be British
- Sarwar Baig
Beetlebum. In turns chugging, wistful, plaintive and affirmative; it was the sonic and spiritual accompaniment for many lonely walks in my college days.
- Jing Yu
This Is A Low. Maybe it’s only a shipping map for Damon, but it feels like the melancholy hill for many of us. As a non-UK fan, those places don’t mean a thing to me if not for This is a low. Damon Albarn made all those random words, places sound so sensational.
- Oskar Schroeder
Beetlebum, and Country House. I remember walking back and forth across beach in California listening to Country House over and over. Classic tunes.
- Steven Gray
Beetlebum. Amazing song from the time when they got tired of britpop and wanted to move on to something total different and better
- Eloise Scruton-Evans
This Is A Low. Beautiful, touching and reassuring. A song to listen to in the city with the windows open and the sky outside. Helps you to find beauty at times when it seems a bit much. One of my favourite ever songs, it’s just perfect.
- Gareth Edwards
Modern Life Is Rubbish, Parklife and The Great Escape soundtracked my time at uni. So many tunes with different memories but got to be This Is A Low. To use a tea towel as inspiration is genius.
Amanda ‘Depeche Mand’ Tromans-Jones
Blur remind me of my very happy indie youth. Dancing, snogs and cider. I’m gonna go other as the best one to dance to; There’s No Other Way. 🙂
- Andrea Erazo Morowczynski
Resigned – I will always remember that song that would always completely calm down a crowd after an intense hour of dancing.
- Lucia M. Escalera Calvillo
For Tomorrow!!! I really love the video, the lyrics and the extended version of the song is simply perfect 😉 but it’s true, don’t ask for a favourite, they’ve got so many excellent songs that it’s hard to tell ; )
- Ollie Captain Smooth Smith
‘For Tomorrow’ – classic Blur and full of Britishness, definitely one of Blur’s high points.
- Panx Moogisland
No Distance Left To Run – It’s just bittersweet. It simply draws a clear picture of you when you lose your beloved one and there’s nothing else you can do about it anymore.
- Carlos Oliveira
“This Is a Low”. “Parklife”, the album, changed my life as a music listener. It made me discover England and fall in love with London ever since. “And into the sea goes pretty England and me. Around the Bay of Biscay and back for tea”.
- Cristian Aceves-Medrano
Song 2, so simple and sexy!
- Richard Corke
Jets got me through some tough times. In fact, the whole think tank album is a masterpiece.
- David Matt Nottingham
This Is A Low, great song in my opinion and a very strong vocal from Damon. I remember them doing a very emotional version of this at Glastonbury for their reunion.
- Michelle Lopez
Country House reminds me of my school mornings… I made mental videoclips every morning with my friends and teachers dancing that song.
- Ian FinO’Boute Bellamy
Song 2 cause it’s the first song I learned how to play on guitar 😀
- Aimax Macoy
Tender…just because it reminds me of a perfect night by the beach
- Michelle Huddleston
London loves! One of my favourites. Can’t say why, I just love London Loves 🙂
- Fernando Flórez Ccanto
‘Country House‘ because the video is awesome and it’s the only song where a reference is made to Balzac
- Melita Ozretić
Song 2 because it’s a 2 minute perfection of music and lyrics and shows the beauty of simplicity.
- Becki Madison Train
Song 2! It’s the song everyone sings but very few people know the lyrics!
- Lucy Routledge
Park Life for memories, because when seeing them at Glastonbury 2 coppers walked pasted dancing! The memory will stay with me forever!
- Nic B-C Burne-Cronshaw
Song 2 for twisting Nirvana into true britpop
- Sten Plen
Parklife!!!! Blur was playing at Quart Festival in Kristiansand Norway and there was a long way to go to the concert area. Me and 4 friends started to hold hands and sing “we all go hand in hand”. When we entered the stage area we were 40 people. 36 people we didn’t know. Guess who was dancing when they started the concert with…..Parklife
- Natalie Kovacs
He Thought Of Cars. It’s so sullen and futuristic sounding at the same time. Such a highlight on ‘The Great Escape’. I feel it encompasses their overall sound as a band so well. Graham’s guitar really shines too, which is always a major plus for me.
- Michael Mcginn
The Universal. The tune is unbelievably good and the video is just fantastic.
- Juliette Lair
It’s really hard to choose one particular song as Blur made so many good ones. But I think the one that touches me the most is You’re So Great, a Coxon track. To me, one of the most beautiful love songs ever. Love as a light in the dark when everything is wrong…very simple, but deeply personal.
- Karen McNeely
It is so hard to pick just one favorite track, they are all soooo good! Coffee and TV is my go-to track to soothe my soul though. The beat is so steady and clean I always find myself dancing when I hear it, no matter where I am. And the change-ups. Beautiful song. The lyrics tell a story and the video is brilliant!
- Kajsa Lundquist
The Universal, it just changed my life and opened up a whole new world of music for me. It was the first song by Blur that I really got into and it was the one which made me love them. I still do and always will. Oh, and the video is awesome as well.
- Dwi Putri Ayusari
Coffee & TV, Tender, Song 2, Beetlebum, Country House, Parklife, etc….can’t pick anyone of them! All are simply the BEST!
- Ayse Kus
I think there is no “best blur song”. I love all of them but Out Of Time is so fascinating because of the lyrics.
- Marzena Tarkowska
Song 2 is obviously my favourite one. Reminds me of finishing high school, when shortly after exams I went to a party and we were playing singstar. It’s a great feeling when everybody in the room sings WOOO HOOO a bit drunk 😀
- Jat Traylen
‘On Your Own ‘ because its the ultimate song to listen when your driving on a sunny day with your mates in the car to somewhere fun
- Anita Basso
I love Blur, one of my favourite bands of all time!!! They make me cry and they make me smile…I am gonna choose Out Of Time, cause Damon’s voice is so sweet and the tune makes my heart melt!
- Mark Bickley
Tracy Jacks. It brings back memories of school, and taping the song off the radio and listening to it again and again on my Sony Walkman until I could afford to buy the album on cd.
- Jackie Hunstiger
Tender. I listened to it over and over in the car with my two year old, she sang the “Oh, my baby” chorus at the top of her lungs. I can still see her in the carseat in the back rocking back and forth singing her heart out… she’ll be 15 next week. Pretty awesome.
- Colm McCann
Caramel. And it’s also the best song I’ve heard. Its construction as astounding.
- Ben Murray
Tender! It reminds me of Glasto 09 so much! I remember after the gig, 80k plus people staggering back to their tents all singing “oh my baby, oh my baby, oh my, oh why” a moment that will live with me forever!
- Erin Murray
Beetlebum. It’s just beautiful. I remember at a family gathering on Christmas Day ( I guess it was 1996) my cousin told me he had heard “a new Blur song” on Toronto’s alternative radio station- so I went home to my small Canadian town and sat on my bedroom floor with my hand on the antenna of my boombox trying to get the station in just so I could hear it. I think it took a couple of hours, but it was finally played and I loved it immediately. I always think of that nowadays when new music is so easy to hear and purchase/steal… there was definitely something in the process of just longing to hear the music you wanted to, and going to great lengths to find it- especially as the only die-hard Britpop fan in your tiny Canadian high school. But back to Beetlebum… I ended up going to see Blur a few months later- it was my first “real” concert and when I heard the first few notes of that song after seeing them all come out on stage… what a moment.
- Jake Cordiner
My favourite Blur tune has got to be The Universal. I used to sit with my dad in the living room and keep repeating that song over and over and over again, to the point where he started hating it!
- Neil Moony Jones
This is so frickin hard to pick one, blur have so so many great songs and love them all!! I would say Beetlebum guitars and lyrics. But I am going to have to go with There’s No Other Way coz its made them wot they are today. Everything went mental after…!! Happy days!
- Rio Chakma
The Universal …It’s like….you listen to it, and you realize …” oh. So I’m not alone.” Its like an aura which is hard to describe; you can only feel it yourself. I remember the first thing I would do after getting back home from school: play the music video on Youtube and try to imitate (like in the music video) Damon’s expressions. Infact I still do 🙂
- Deb Wilson
So hard to choose but for me it’s gotta be out of Sing and To The End. Blur were always the shiniest of the Britpop stars to me and while their contemporaries have faded into the dim and distant past, Blur live on. A truly unique and innovative band.
- Jeff Runnings
“This is a Low” because it’s such an unbelievable high
- Alie Harvey
Got to be The Universal, it just sounds like the complete song. Brilliant lyrics, singing and an anthemic chorus.
- Derrick Sitati
Country House since it’s the first Blur song I heard and the one which got me vaulted into their music. Given my background it was always going to take Big-Bang-esque probabilities to chance a meeting with such iconic Btitpop acts like Blur but ever since I heard Damon’s wearied, queasy, offhanded yet impecably structured vocals I knew instantly that someone somewhere had destined me to listen to BLUR..even if it ended up being the only worthy thing I do in this world
- Diane Odom
“This Is A Low”. Saw them play this song live at Trees in Dallas, Texas in my 20’s. One of the best shows ever!!! I drove on icy roads just to see them. Totally worth it!!! I was close enough to the stage to touch Damon Albarn’s boot. Was on a Blur high for months. :). One of the best UK bands ever!!!
- Jernej Trebežnik
If I had to pick one, it would be For Tomorrow. The lyrics are pretty simple, but they have so much meaning. I often feel like that, the world is a cold and dangerous place, so I just do my best to hold on. Hold on for tomorrow, because tomorrow will be better. Coxon’s guitar playing throughout the song is as good as ever, especially in the last part. The ending is amazing, how Damon doesn’t stop talking and describing new characters and Graham is still doing his la la la part. It says a lot about the modern society + it’s a great portrail of London.
- Hugh Martin
I’ll never forget the first time i listened to The Universal. I was feeling a bit sad that day and that song just brightened up my whole day and made me feel like anything was possible. It instantly became my favourite song and has been ever since
- Lucy Jodkowski
To The End reminds me of Sundays and roast dinners, I’m not sure why, it’s just so slow-moving, relaxing and classic sounding! 🙂
- Kate Priest
Charmless Man live on Conan O’Brien circa 95. It was so different from anything happening in the US then.
- Gaff Thinks
Curiously my second strongest Blur memory takes me back to 1995, my last high school year. It was X-mas time and I don’t know why I couldn’t stop playing Yuko & Hiro on repeat. The mix of Christmas lights in my parent’s livingroom, the forced quiet mood of those days, a bit of sadness, a bit of excitement for what was about to come… It was the end of an era for me and I think also was it for Blur with The Great Escape. I’m not a religious guy, but since then, listen to Yuko & Hiro on X-mas it’s kind a redemption.
- Rob Eklid
For Tomorrow – that was the one that got me hooked. I was astonished the first time I heard it on the radio: “What’s THIS? Sounds like The Move or something.” Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be Blur, a band I’d previously regarded as OK-ish Baggy also-rans. They’d been surprisingly good (if incongruous) on the Jesus & Mary Chain Rollercoaster Tour the previous year, unveiling a punkier new sound, but strangely no one would admit to having liked them. They appeared to be all but out for the count, playing to mainly deaf ears, with ‘Popscene’ having stiffed. Now here they were: my new favourite band.
- Aurélie Nogier
TRIMM TRABB, my favourite song…my song! you must listen to it when you’re drunk, fabulous!
- Michela Sacchi O’Brien
The Universal… special memory: 2009, Hyde Park on an early July warm night, the epic chorus echoing from 50,000 voices with Damon’s and not a dry eye in the house. Glad I was there 🙂
- Pete Mills
End Of A Century, just because of there amazing Glastonbury performance of it… No Distance Left To Run, because of the video, and Graham’s haunting guitar on it, and Mr Robinsons Quango, for the cheekiness of the lyrics…. Mind you, if your in an ‘indie’ club, and the riff of There’s No Other Way comes on, you KNOW your stomping your way to the dance floor….
- Brad Jack
For Tomorrow is the best Blur song by far. The extended Primrose Hill version is just so masterfully and brilliantly put together, that whole mid section with the trumpets and the trombone and then the vocals is just amazing, it sent shivers down my spine. The video’s great too.
- Aslie Juan
Battle because it feels surreal and is very spacey. I feel like when I look up at the stars that the world is different while listening to it…
- Samantha Forster
Where to start? That moment where their boasts about ‘killing baggy’ rang true even in the first notes of For Tomorrow from Modern Life is Rubbish which really set out their stall and justified their own hype. Their British take on grunge which is beautifully exemplified by Beetlebum… the candid, touching lyrics of Tender. Then there is their knack of coming up with singalong tunes you can’t help but remember like There’s no other way and Girls and Boys. But it’s She so High that takes the prize for me, that moment when you stumble something special and precious before everyone else- time proving that you have great taste!
- Jonathon O’Neill
“This Is A Low”. In 2009 when they reformed for Hyde Park my family surprised me to my amazment with the tickets to the 2nd of July gig, they knew that Blur had always been my hero’s and my favourite band. When I was there because there had been alot of issues going on and a death in the family, it was the first time in a year I was able to be a teenager and enjoy myself. I was quite emotional. I was able to hold it for most of the gig until they performed “This Is A Low” when I became an emotional wreck and strarted to cry from remembering all that had happend
- Fern Durnan
The Universal, because in between all their portrayals of working class life, they wrote a song that actually could, for want of a better word, universally mean something. The lyrics and the music are perfect and beautiful, and I as much as I love other Blur songs, I don’t think they could have wrote anything better.
- Cloé Batsch
All Blur songs are awesome but the one that is special for me is Beetlebum. The lyrics and the melody are beautiful and when the refrain starts my heart beats as if it was the first time. I personally think this song is magic!
- Savannah Sunflash Tanbusch
I love Parklife and Caramel. When I first came to London, I met a very endearing person to me when Parklife came on. The only reason why I even approached him or talked to him was because he was the only other person acting like a complete dick while singing along with the lyrics. Hahahahaha.
- Kim Mende
My favorite Blur track is ‘To The End’. My British pen friend sent me this song when I was 21, the best year of my life. When I hear this song, I tear up as it reminds me of that time period.
- Mayra Bettany
Sweet Song is by far my fav track…. So moving… I love it.. Damon wrote it while looking at a picture of Graham after he left the band. :’) It’s a lovely, sad and beautiful song.. Damon is an amazing songwriter… And Blur are the soundtrack of my life.
- Tracy Mcalaney
‘He Thought Of Cars’ because it reminds me of meeting my partner and it’s a great song to find a bit of sanctuary in when times get tough as it makes me feel that whatever the problem is it’s probably nothing in the grand scheme of things.
- Joni Mier Strahl
Song 2 because who doesn’t like to break out in Whoo Hoo every time you hear that song?!! Coffee and TV is second, because I automatically think of milk cartons.
- Spenser Hill
“The Universal”. I first saw the music video late at night on MTV when I was 9 or 10. I had never heard Blur, and I certainly had never seen A Clockwork Orange. I misunderstood the chorus; I thought Damon was singing “really, really, really could I burn”, and that made no sense to me. The video made such an imprint that when I picture Albarn, I still see him wearing a fake eyelash.
- Alex Ell
Tender, purely because of the crowd singing the hook over and over at Glastonbury when they reformed… Probably the biggest crowd I’ve seen there (having never gone when they lacked fences)
- Hayley Sigrist
COFFEE AND TV! It’s my first memory as a child, I sat down one day and the music video came on on the tv and I was mesmorised. I was 5 years old and I can still remeber it to this day.
- Tracy Jacks
Blur songs make me happy and melancholic at the same time,each one of them reminds me of a certain period of my life, of a certain love or break up, choosing is difficult :…let’s see….”This is a low”,when i heard of it the first time i ‘ve realized i chose the wrong country to live and every time i listen to it i want to pack my bags and move to England…then it was the”tender” period …cause i was very much in love…but the one i love the most is “To the end”…cause it reminds me of the 90’s and the fact that i actually thought that each fling i had it will make it to the end…:) Happy days!!!!
- Arron Martinez
“Advert” is my favourite. I moved to England mid 90’s and people kept recommending I try them.”Modern Life Is Rubbish” was my first purchase and I loved it. “Advert” stood out for being so catchy, yet quirky & manic with keyboards, and many high & low notes on vocals. It was just so diferent & I felt it straight away!
- Anna Duron
COFFEE AND TV- because it made me want to move to LONDON to be in a band, and to help salvage blue and pink milk cartons!
- Aimee Green
It’s hard to pick a favorite Blur song for me because they were so instrumental in my teens and 20’s. Maybe Young and Lovely, a b-side from Modern Life is Rubbish. It’s melancholy and speaks of fading youth. I also love This Is A Low from Parklife. “This is s low but it won’t hurt you.” That song got me through my best friend’s death. A kind of, this too shall pass. My favorite memory of Blur is when I saw them live at the Fillmore in San Francisco. Pulp was the opening band. Both bands blew my mind!
- Jana Kusalová
Strange News From Another Star is one of the deepest songs ever and my all time fav…. and the solo version Damon played when John Peel died… so emotional
- Winter Posies
Beetlebum: It was the first single I heard from the 5th album and it marked the birth of Blur’s new sound. I felt that it wasn’t just the beginning of a new direction for Blur, but the whole British alternative music scene in general. It was also the soundtrack of my troubled teenage life.
- Kevin Hewick
‘This is A Low’ was nearly the song my daughter was born to, they let us have music on as her mother was having a caesarian section – as was Damon and co were just pipped at the post by Nirvana’s ‘All Apologies’.. but how was a 1995 new born baby going to understand how this would muck up my entry for the NME’s best Blur song poll in 2012 ?!
- Rhys Laverty
‘Tender’, because me and tens of thousands of other people sang it spontaneously back at Blur after they finished their set at Hyde Park on the 3rd of July 2009 and they came back to the sound of it for their encore!
- Mike Patterson
“Oily Water” for sure…I remember seeing them at the “Gimmie Shelter” gig at Town and County in 1992, first time I’d seen that song live. And while I was certainly under the influence of certain chemicals, I’d never heard a song like that. The vibrato at the start of the tune knocked my head for a loop and the bombast at the end still stays with me today. This gig is widely renowned as one of their worst, but its special to me and “Oily Water” always brings that memory back! Made me doubly happy to see them play it at Hyde Park for the reunion!
- Claudia Sims
“There’s No Other Way” because it reminds me of Blur opening for They Might Be Giants of all people, in a tiny dank club in Ft. Lauderdale FL in 1991/2; Damon was completely out of it. The crowd was pissed off and throwing shit at them and yet still put on a great set! Been a huge fan since!
- Mike Parkes
No Distance Left To Run – I remember listening to it after a particularly turbulent relationship had broken down and thinking that although I would always be fond of that particular girl that it was best that we went our seperate ways and the lyrics to that song made absolute sense to me.
- Loo Balls-esq
Advert. I went to see them with a friend for the “Rubbish” tour. I didn’t know much about them at the time. The perfomance mixed with the lights made me a fan that night.
- Henry Gunn
‘Inertia’ is the best blur song you’ve never heard. It’s a B-side of ‘There’s no other way’. Incredibly moving and advanced early track that should really have been on an album, yet didn’t really fit the formulaic, relentlessly upbeat, baggy pop sound of Leisure. Inertia is in fact much more reminiscent of the later tunes on ‘Blur’ and ’13’. Blur’s first real flash of brilliance in my opinion.
- Maggie Todorova
The Universal. Although I’m a 90s kid, I only discovered Blur last year, with that song. This is one of those songs that you just fall in love with from the first second, the violins combined with the light guitar tracks… and the nonsensical and perfectly clear at the same time lyrics of Damon Albarn. I listened to it in 2011 and it felt even ahead of its time, even though it was written in late 90s.
- Franca Lavinia
Coffee and TV, Reasons: 1. the video is great, 2. you can listen to it in every situation because it is neither a sad song nor a party track, 3. Most people seem to hate this song…that makes me like it even more.
- Jack Luiz Claramunt
The Universal – First of all I really like the strings and the brass in the song, they’re awesome. Damon’s voice is really resonant as well, and the lyrics are beautiful, it always cheers me up when I’m down and it’s a really reflective song, it really makes you think.
- Tom Crighton
Essex Dogs, it was a song that came completely from left field and convinced me this band was something truly special. Out of Time would come second probably, for similar reasons.
- Tom Kelly
Tender – For the sheer brilliance of how its written, how well it works, how easy on the ear it is….. and 80,000+ singing it back at the boys at Glasto, reducing Mr Albarn to tears. Goosebumps.
- Giulia DeMarchi
End of A Century, because for once it makes me feel like it’s ok to grow old, and that life can be good even if it’s nothing special. I imagine myself in shiny grey hair looking for ants in the carpet and talking to the tv while sitting on the sofa and holding hands with my loved one. This song always puts a smile upon my face. What a happy end of a century it would be!
- Liam Whear
The Universal. No matter how many adverts for British Gas I see, it will never lose its power or beauty. The last minute is some of the best music I’ve ever heard. Odd how my favourite song is on my least favourite album
- Lx In-Blue
To The end. I love its bittersweet tune. We all collapse in love and try to make to the end though never really come through. I also like how everyone in the band look, so classy and intense at the same time. And it’s the first ever single I ever bought from any music bands on this earth.
- Jamie De Cesare
If I had to select only one I’d say that Beetlebum would be my favourite Blur track. Original guitar work, cryptic lyrics not to mention the great bassline in the verses. I’ll never forget tuning in to watch the first airing of the video at a student cafe, ended up missing a lecture, got in trouble but hey ho, it was worth it 😉
- Sam Smith
Definitely Popscene or Bang! Seeing Damon prancing about on TOTP with his bowlcut, brownies t-shirt and a cockerel on a stick was definitely a seminal moment for me.