Graham Coxon: ‘Blur arrived with ‘Parklife”

Guitarist says 'Modern Life Is Rubbish' was overlooked because of grunge

Graham Coxon has said that Blur finally “arrived” when they released ‘Parklife’ in 1994.

In an interview with The Guardian, Coxon said that the band’s second album ‘Modern Life Is Rubbish’ didn’t achieve the same success as ‘Parklife’ because it didn’t fit with the music scene at the time. “‘Modern Life Is Rubbish’ was overlooked because of the rise of grunge,” he said. “But we were halfway to somewhere, and with ‘Parklife’ we arrived.”

Speaking of the influence behind the band’s third album, he added “[It] was the convergence of a lot of influences: Alex wanted to be in Duran Duran, I wanted to be in Wire and Damon wanted to be… I don’t know. There were songs on the album we were excited about, but I was surprised it got so many awards. One or two would have been all right.” He added:

A lot of people thought it was a celebration of Englishness, but it was actually very sarcastic. The ‘Parklife’ single wasn’t about the working class, it was about the park class: dustbin men, pigeons, joggers – things we saw every day on the way to the studio [Maison Rouge in Fulham]. It epitomises what Blur were about – having fun and doing exactly what you want to do.

Earlier this month (July 2), Blur debuted two new tracks, ‘Under The Westway’ and ‘The Puritan’ which were written for their forthcoming sold-out Hyde Park gig on August 12. They will top a bill which includes New Order and The Specials at the gig which is being staged to coincide with the closing ceremony of the London Olympics.

As a warm-up for Hyde Park, the band will embark on an intimate UK tour this August. The Britpop icons will play four shows, beginning at Margate’s Winter Gardens on August 1. They will then play two shows at Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall on August 5 and 6, before finishing off at Plymouth’s Pavilions on August 7.

Blur will release a career-spanning boxset on July 30. Titled ’21’, the collection includes the band’s seven studio albums as well as over five hours of previously unreleased material including 65 tracks, rarities, three DVDs, a collector’s edition book and special limited-edition Seymour seven-inch vinyl.