New World Towers is available to buy and rent now from @Vimeo: https://t.co/QdAopWRSua
Blur (formed 1988)
Blur is an English alternative pop band. They rose to fame in the 1990s when the UK music press created the 'Britpop' phenomenon. The lineup of the band consists of Damon Albarn (vocals), Dave Rowntree (drums), Graham Coxon (guitar) and Alex James (bass).
The Early Years: Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn were childhood friends and met Alex James at Goldsmiths College in London. Damon was already in a group named Circus, which also featured Dave on drums. The band recruited Graham and Alex and later re-named themselves Seymour. The name came from Seymour: An Introduction, by JD Salinger.
Seymour's debut gig was in the summer of 1989. An A&R man from Food Records, Andy Ross, was interested in the band, but the label disliked the band's name. Eventually, Food signed the band when the name was changed to Blur.
Blur toured the UK for four months in 1990, showcasing new songs and supporting The Cramps. In October that year, their debut single 'She's So High' was released and reached number 48 in the UK singles chart.
Rise To Success: Blur's trouble in creating a follow-up single to 'She's So High' ended when they paired up with a producer named Stephen Street. 'There's No Other Way' was the band's next single and reached number eight in the UK charts.
Blur's debut album Leisure was release in 1991 and reached number seven in the UK album chart, though it's critical reviews received a mixed response.
Finding themselves £60,000 in debt, Blur embarked on a 1992 tour of the USA, dubbed the Rollercoaster tour. At the start of the tour, they released 'Popscene', which became a pivotal point for the band, even though it only reached 32 in the charts.
Upon their return from the USA, Blur found that the band Suede had achieved a great deal of popularity since they had been away. Determined not to be outdone, and aware that his band was on the verge of being dropped by Food Records, Damon Albarn insisted on enlisting Andy Partridge of XTC to produce their next album. The sessions were a failure and the band was once again united with Stephen Street.
The resulting recordings became the band's second album, Modern Life Is Rubbish, released in December 1992. The lead single was 'For Tomorrow'. The album peaked at number 15 in the UK.
Blur's third album, Parklife became another turning point for the band. The debuts single from Parklife 'Girls & Boys' was a commercial radio hit. The album debuted at number one and remained in the charts for 90 weeks. Around this time, the UK music press had created a new phenomenon they named Britpop - a backlash to the American grunge bands that had dominated for so long. Other bands included under the Britpop umbrella included Elastica, Pulp, Sleeper and Menswear. Blur won four awards at the 1995 BRIT awards.
The press also created a rivalry between Blur and Oasis when the release of Blur's 'Country House' and Oasis' 'Roll With It' singles coincided. 'Country House' became Blur's first number one single; the first to be released from their fourth album The Great Escape. The album also went straight to number one. Though the press was initially rapturous about the release, the tide of opinion soon changed and Blur were publicly ridiculed. Relations within the band became strained.
Blur decamped to Iceland to record to the follow up to The Great Escape. The next album, entitled Blur, was released in February 1997. The debut single was 'Beetlebum', which went to number one in the UK. Likewise, its follow-up, 'Song 2' was also a hit. A collection of remixes by the likes of William Orbit and Thurston Moore, named Bustin' + Dronin' was released for the Japanese market.
In August 1998, Graham Coxon released his debut solo album The Sky Is Too High as the band prepared to record their next studio album. Blur's 13 was produced by William Orbit and was a further step away from the Britpop sound. The lyrics reflected on Damon's split from his girlfriend, Elastica's Justine Frischmann. The single 'Coffee + TV' was the first Blur single to feature vocals by Graham Coxon.
Following the release of 13, Damon formed Gorillaz with Jamie Hewlett, Graham continued to make solo albums and Alex co-wrote songs with Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Marianne Faithfull and worked with Fat Les (featuring Keith Allen).
Whilst relations in the band continued to disintegrate, they worked on the next album, Think Tank, with DJ Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook) as producer. Coxon was eventually asked to leave the band. The album was released in 2003 and Simon Tong of The Verve was hired as the touring guitarist.
Blur announced a reunion late in 2008 and in summer 2009, the band played at the Glastonbury Festival, two sold out gigs at Hyde Park, London as well as the T in the Park Festival in July.
Blur star Damon Albarn has been given a royal title in Mali.
The Parklife singer, who often visits the African nation to work with local musicians, was given tribal king status during a recent trip.
Damon was preparing to perform at the Festival Acoustik Bamako when he was surprised with the title, according to the BBC.
The singer/songwriter also had a classroom at a local music school named after him.
Continue reading: Damon Albarn Awarded King Title In Mali
British Rocker Damon Albarn Is Reuniting Members Of A Syrian Orchestra For A Performance In London After The Musicians Fled Their Homeland Amid The Ongoing Civil War.
The Blur star first worked with the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music (SNOAM) at a concert in Damascus in 2009, and he later brought them in to perform on Gorillaz track White Flag and took them on the road for the band's Escape to Plastic Beach Tour.
However, the orchestra split in 2011 after war broke out in Syria and the members scattered across the world as they fled the violence.
Damon is now bringing them back together, along with their conductor Issam Rafea, for an upcoming performance at the Southbank Centre in the British capital.
Continue reading: Damon Albarn Reuniting Syrian Orchestra
Chloe Dobinson recaps her favourite albums of 2015
10. Drake - If You're Reading This Then You're Too Late
Making an impromptu release of his 4th studio album Drake made a return proving why he is one of the most in demand rappers. Highlights of the album include opening track Legend -which features a long instrumental introduction with background vocals giving a harmonic feel to the track. Track Energy sees keys help make the track come alive with the Canadian rapper pushing himself as an artist and pushing the boundaries in the rap industry.
9. The Libertines - Anthems for Doomed Youth
Released in September The Libertines marked a return to the music scene following their 2004 self-titled album. A decade on the band proves their songwriting skills never went away with tracks such Gunga Din a racous, fun indie track making fans of The Libertines feels as if they never went away. Athems for Doomed Youth is a softer album from a band who is constanlty in the headlines for the wrong reasons. Heart of the Matter is a highlight of the album catchy, light and will become a firm favorite when the band play summer festival next year.
Continue reading: Chloe Dobinson's Top 10 Albums Of 2015
Stars Including Paul Mccartney And Coldplay Raised More Than $97,500 (£65,000) To Help Syrian Refugees By Donating Items To An Auction Organised By Blur Drummer Dave Rowntree.
The percussionist created the Star Boot Sale in aid of humanitarian charity the International Rescue Committee (IRC) after he was moved by the plight of those fleeing Syria's ongoing civil war.
Items put up for auction on eBay.com included clothing, a jewellery box, tour memorabilia, books, CDs and a milk jug belonging to MCCartney.
Continue reading: Music Stars Help Dave Rowntree Raise $97,500 For Refugees
Damon Albarn And His Production Team Were Asked To Change Aspects Of Their Alice In Wonderland Musical Following The Terror Attacks In Paris, France Last Month (Nov15).
The Blur frontman created wonder.land, based on Lewis Carroll's classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, with Rufus Norris and Moira Buffini and the trio premiered the production in Manchester, England in July (15) before its transfer to London's National Theatre in November (15).
They have made extensive changes to the show between the runs, but kept in a scene where a male actor is involved in a zombie shooting game, although they were asked to take it out following the horrific gun and bomb attacks in Paris.
Norris admits it was not the only change requested, as they had to alter the appearance of the set during one scene as it resembled the World Trade Center towers, which were destroyed in a terror attack in 2001.
Continue reading: Damon Albarn's Team Faced Musical Tweaks After Paris Attacks
Damon Albarn Based His Modern Stage Interpretation Of Alice In Wonderland On His Teenage Daughter And Her Obsession With Social Media.
The Blur frontman unveiled his latest theatre project, titled wonder.land and based on Lewis Carroll's classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, at the Manchester International Festival in England in July (15).
The show transports the heroine to the digital world of the Internet, and Damon admits his 16-year-old daughter Missy was his inspiration.
"My daughter... it felt like she had got on a cruise liner to the other side of the world via her phone so I was pretty upset," he tells British newspaper the London Evening Standard. "She was completely self-absorbed and I think you can see that reflected in this play."
Continue reading: Damon Albarn Based Alice In Wonderland Musical On Daughter
Adele Regrets "Hanging Out" With Blur Star Damon Albarn As She Worked On Her Comeback Album Because The Experience Wasn't What She Thought It Would Be.
The odd couple hit the studio together and tried to work on new material, but the union wasn't productive.
"It ended up being one of those 'don't meet your idol' moments," Adele tells Rolling Stone. "And the saddest thing was that I was such a big Blur fan growing up. But it was sad, and I regret hanging out with him.
Continue reading: Adele Regrets Working With Damon Albarn
British Rocker Damon Albarn Dreads Performing Live With His Band Blur.
The star formed the group in 1988 with Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree, and they enjoyed a string of hits in the 1990s, including Song 2 and Country House. The bandmates went on hiatus after their 2003 album Think Tank and regrouped six years on for concerts, and, in April (15), they released their eighth record, The Magic Whip.
Later this month (Oct15), the band is set to perform at New York's fabled Madison Square Garden, but Damon admits he always hates the thought of returning to the stage with the group.
"I still try to avoid it like the plague, to be honest with you," he tells Rolling Stone magazine, "but something weird happens once I've stepped onstage: I just have the best time. And then as soon as we get off, I say, 'Never again.' It's very strange.
Continue reading: Damon Albarn Dreads Blur Gigs
Damon Albarn has quashed the BritPop rivalry between Oasis and blur by admitting he hangs out with Noel Gallagher and thinks he's ''hilarious''.
Asked if they hang out, he said: ''Yeah, occasionally. I always enjoy his company. He's hilarious.''
Continue reading: Damon Albarn: Noel Gallagher Is 'hilarious'
Jamie Hewlett has promised ''2016 is going to be Gorillaz all year,'' teasing fans can expect lots of new music following a five year break.
The comic creator has revealed he's once again teamed up with his collaborator Damon Albarn to revive the virtual band with the intention of releasing new music next year.
He confirmed: ''We're doing Gorillaz next year.
Continue reading: Gorillaz To Take Up Whole Of 2016 For Damon Albarn
New World Towers is available to buy and rent now from @Vimeo: https://t.co/QdAopWRSua
RT @DaveRowntree: After 27 years as a band it's still exciting to be nominated for a Brit award! https://t.co/UE3lebOVqC https://t.co/SW6Yq…
blur have been nominated in the 'Best British Group' category at the 2016 @brits https://t.co/dnEEhoH81i
RT @brits: #BRITs 2016 British Group nominees: @blurofficial, @coldplay, @foals, @onedirection and @yearsandyears https://t.co/82kMLTQug1
Milky returns for Christmas 2015 as an elf... https://t.co/mBQLzB6qCz
Thanks to everyone who took part in #BlurComic https://t.co/wnH01uEKpO
Check your inbox now to unlock your #blurcomic panel ! Watch the comic book unveil now at https://t.co/lV8GYelMXW
This Wednesday blur invites you to join forces to unlock the #blurcomic online https://t.co/lV8GYelMXW https://t.co/IuXQHhCz9k
RT @DaveRowntree: My 1992 @blurofficial tour itinerary is up for grabs to raise money for refugees! https://t.co/txe6HyN79u @IRCuk https://…
Not long now until New World Towers is screened for one night only in UK cinemas. For tickets and info go to https://t.co/unPncIVzlL
The final clip from New World Towers ahead of the UK screening on 2/12 https://t.co/unPncIVzlL https://t.co/3JauZDcl0d
Bid on @DaveRowntree 1992 Rollercoaster Tour Itinerary here: https://t.co/0365m2pori Part of #StarBootSale online auction in aid of @IRCuk
New World Towers hits cinemas around the UK for 1 night only on 2/12. Tickets available at https://t.co/unPncIVzlL https://t.co/XGUnPPtYcB
.@DaveRowntree speaking to @NoiseyMusic about #StarBootSale (also rating his fav @blur records) https://t.co/IrMEZUML1Y
Thank you MSG @TheGarden Blur loves NYC https://t.co/AOXDopGmIE
RT @thefader: The first time @blurofficial came to America, by @faderfam. https://t.co/jTi5rZ2K0r https://t.co/xxImThd6yI
Sound checking for Madison Square Garden. See you tonight New York. #BlurLive https://t.co/6BMpuOuzb7
Not long now New York... https://t.co/XfzKDqLN1O https://t.co/FfbgLgmTAI
Thank you Fred Armisen. #parklife #hollywoodbowl 2 days to New York Madison Square Garden https://t.co/ncWVVATQ7g
See you tomorrow @HollywoodBowl https://t.co/xVmHAnBoFx https://t.co/AYCXE5M0vE