Ten more!

Today when I got up, I received a very nice email from Matthew at Song, By Toad saying that he had got me listed at the Hype Machine. Thank you, sir, maybe people will actually read this blog now!

Anyway, just fancied posting some stuff I like, with no particular theme. Though it goes without saying: if you like what you hear, go and buy it!

Blur-‘Popscene.’ mp3 (Time this was available properly, guys)

Dizzee Rascal -‘Wannabe (feat Lily allen).’ mp3 (For everyone who is fed up with wannabe gangsters who just do not get it.)

Calexico -‘The Ballad Of Cable Hogue.’ mp3 (Still one of my favourite tracks of the decade)

Adam and the Ants-‘Cartrouble.’ mp3 (Why do so many Ants compilations leave off the pre Kings of the Wild Frontier stuff?)

Malcolm Middleton -‘A Brighter Beat.’ mp3
(A very serious contender for both album and single of the year).

Ghostface Killah featuring Amy Winehouse -‘You Know I’m No Good.’ mp3 (Well, actually i still love your music, Amy, but for God’s sake, PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER).

Roisin Murphy -‘Overpowered.’ mp3 (Ace solo track from former Moloko frontwoman)

The Dream Academy -‘Life In A Northern Town.’ mp3 (Still gorgeous, all these years later…)

Bob Marley -‘Redemption Song.’ mp3 (Some things are better left unsaid)

Roll Deep -‘Celebrate(Instrumental).’ mp3 (GRIME rules over Gangsta, anyday)

Underrated albums #7: Blur " The Great Escape" (1995)

Blur‘s fourth album was released in 1995. The follow-up to their UK commercial breakthrough, it has become the most disputed album of the seven in their career. Much of that is due to an over-discussed battle with another band, which has overshadowed it. So, that’s all I’ll say about that part of the equation, and at most, just review it in on it’s own, or at least, as part of the Blur back catalogue.

The Great Escape is the third and final part of what is effectively a trilogy, the other two preceeding albums being, of course, Modern Life Is Rubbish and Parklife. Whilst Modern Life… had been conceived by a band who were seen as has-beens, the huge success of Parklife had made the band massive stars, now just as likely to be seen in teen magazines as in the music press. Given that there was just fifteen months between the third and fourth albums, maybe it seemed rushed. Granted there are a couple of tracks that might have been better as b-sides ‘Topman’ and ‘Dan Abnormal’, but then you can’t have it all.

There were four UK hit singles off the album, ‘Country House’ being the band’s first number one, and ‘The Universal, ‘Stereotypes’ and ‘Charmless man.’ Even to those who hadn’t heard the album, the knees-up ‘Country House’ was wildly different from the snarling ‘Stereotypes’ which might even have worked on the fifth album, while ‘Charmless Man’ showed that Pulp were not the only ones doing singalong social commentary. However ‘The Universal’ was utterly sublime, the sound of a band reaching for the stars.

There were also amazing album tracks, of which two ‘He Thought Of Cars’ and ‘Yuko and Hiro’ are included below. Blur might also have been the first band to work the word ‘Quango’ into a pop song as well.

And of course, the next album was a complete departure. Blur deserve to be seen as the British Band of the Nineties, and this album is just as much as part of that claim as any of the others.

Forget the historical over-analysis and enjoy for what they are. Presenting four cuts from Blur’s most under-rated album:

Blur-‘Charmless Man.’ mp3

Blur-‘The Universal.’ mp3

Blur-‘He Thought Of Cars.’ mp3

Blur-‘Yuko and Hiro.’ mp3

As always, these will be up for one week only.

Buy The Great Escape here