Blur

Biography

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).

Blur: 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.

Blur: 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.

Read More

Blur Stage Mini Reunion at Latitude, Delight Audiences

21st July 2014 -

 News

The weather over the weekend may have been unpredictable, but there was one nice surprise in store for revellers at Latitude Festival when Damon Albarn was joined onstage by Blur bandmate Graham Coxon. With a...

Damon Albarn on Drug Abuse (Again): "I Found it Initially Very Agreeable"

23rd April 2014 -

 News

Damon Albarn has already told us that heroin was a great source of creativity, for him anyway. And now he’s opened up on his days of drug addiction in a new interview with Time Out...

Is Pulp's 'Common People' Really The Best Britpop Anthem?

14th April 2014 -

 News

Pulp's Common People has been named the ultimate Britpop anthem by BBC6 Music listeners, beating the likes of The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony and Oasis's Wonderwall. More than 300,000 listeners voted for the track to celebrate...

Damon Albarn Took Heroin "Five Days On, Two Days Off"

27th March 2014 -

 News

Damon Albarn has spoken candidly of his heavy heroin usage during the "height of Britpop", saying he would regulate his intake to "five days and two days off." The singer-songwriter - who is now sober...

Damon Albarn Just Ruined Our Week, "Can't Foresee New Blur Album"

25th February 2014 -

 News

Damon Albarn, who is busy promoting his new album Everyday Robots, says he can't foresee a new Blur record in the near future. Rumours had suggested that the group would begin work on a new...

Woo-Hoo! Blur Give Verdict On Ticket Barrier's Rendition Of 'Song 2' [Video]

29th January 2014 -

 News

Blur have joined the thousands of fans who are celebrating the fact that there's a London Underground ticket barrier that squeaks "Woo-Hoo!" every time it opens. Londoner Ritch Ames was the first to notice the...

Damon Albarn Finally Going Solo With Upcoming Debut 'Everyday Robots'

20th January 2014 -

 News

Damon Albarn is finally set to go solo as he unveils his long-anticipated debut album Everyday Robots on April 28th 2014.Blur is still an ongoing projectThe Blur frontman is definitely a workaholic of the music...

Blur Staging Comeback In Australia After 16-Year Absence

1st August 2013 -

 News

British rockers Blur are returning to perform in Australia for the first time since their Britpop heyday.The Parklife hitmakers have been announced among the headliners for the Big Day Out touring festival along with Pearl...

Thom Yorke Pleads "Don't Make Us The Target" After Spotify Backlash

16th July 2013 -

 News

Thom Yorke appears to have responded to producer Stephen Street's criticism over his yanking of tracks from Spotify, claiming he gave away Radiohead's album In Rainbows as a "statement of trust."Earlier this week, Yorke and...

'The World's End' Soundtrack Is A Glorious Tribute To The 1990s

10th July 2013 -

 News

The World's End - the third and final instalment of Edgar Wright's 'Cornetto' comedy trilogy starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Paddy Considine - hits cinemas nationwide on July 19, 2013. It centres around five...

Primavera Sound 2013 - Live Review

29th May 2013 -

 Review

Barcelona: arguably the most picturesque city in Europe. Situated on the Mediterranean coast in the heart of the Catalonian region, it's a landmine of history and culture. In amongst the beautiful landscapes and symbolic architecture;...

Primavera Sound Festival 2013 - Preview

13th May 2013 -

 Review

It's May and festival season is upon us, which means it will soon be time for Primavera Sound 2013, arguably the pinnacle of Europe's increasingly popular schedule. Set in beautiful Barcelona and mainly based on...

Blur Music Video Director Is 2/1 Favourite For Turner Prize 2013

25th April 2013 -

 News

Glasgow-based artist David Shrigley, the director of Blur's 2009 track Good Song, has been installed as the 2/1 favourite for this year's Turner Prize. Shrigley is best known for his humorous line drawings, though also...

Coachella 2013 Organisers Insist Blur And Stone Roses Switch Was Always Planned

19th April 2013 -

 News

It seems that Stone Roses reunion fever hasn’t quite made it over the pond just yet. After a disappointingly small crowd showed up to watch the Madchester legends at the first weekend of Coachella, Blur...

Various Artists - 'Dermot O'Leary Presents The Saturday Sessions 2013' Album Review

28th February 2013 -

 Review

Using a tried-and-tested formula of acoustic versions and covers, this most recent instalment of the series sees further performances for Dermot O'Leary's radio show now available to own. The artists included cover a broad...

Len Blavatnik Becomes Music's Power Man After £500m Parlophone Takeover

7th February 2013 -

 News

Parlophone Records, the once legendary record label, has been bought by Russian billionaire Len Blavatnik and his Warner Music Group for £500 million.Parlophone has the likes of Coldplay, Tinie Tempah and Blur on its roster...

A Week In News: Rick Ross Survives, Jennifer Lawrence Slips Up, Lindsay Lohan To Learn Fate

31st January 2013 -

 News

Rick Ross Survives An Attack, Jennifer Lawrence Wins But Slips Up, Lindsay Lohan To Learn Her Fate In LAYou Da Boss: Rapper Rick Ross had a lucky escape this week, somehow avoiding a hail of...

Coachella Festival 2013; Who To See?

25th January 2013 -

 News

Today saw the announcement of the Coachella Festival 2013 line-up, to be run on the weekends of April 12, 2013 and April 19, 2013, and as expected it’s another smorgasbord of musical taste, with everyone...

What, No Holograms? Stone Roses, Blur, Phoenix, Red Hot Chili Peppers Headline Coachella 2013

25th January 2013 -

 News

How do you top having a dead man headline your festival? Well, in all honestly, you’re not going to. Coachella’s talent bookers must have been scratching their heads in bewilderment when it came to topping...

Primavera Line Up Revealed: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Phoenix, My Bloody Valentine and The Postal Service Stand Out

23rd January 2013 -

 News

The full Primavera lineup has been released, with The Postal Service, Jesus And Mary Chain and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds all set to rock Barcelona on 22nd to 26th May 2013.Saint Etienne...

Nme Awards 2013 Nominations Announced

22nd January 2013 -

 Press

NME is excited to reveal the nominations for its prestigious NME Awards 2013, which will take place on Wednesday 27th February at its brand new home, The Troxy in East London. Music fans have...

Blur, Pulp And Muse Dominate The Q Awards

22nd October 2012 -

 News

Britpoppers Blur fought off competition from The Stone Roses to be named best live act, but lost out to Muse for the mantle of best act in the world, Sky News Reports.Muse have had a...

Q Awards: Are Muse Really the Best Act in the World today?

22nd October 2012 -

 News

The answer, of course, is no. But it's that time of year again folks: the Q Magazine Awards! Muse picked up the biggest gong at the event in London on Monday afternoon (October 22, 2012)...

Ray Davies Pretends To Be Damon

5th August 2012 -

 News

Ray Davies claims to be Damon Albarn when people recognise him in the street. The Kinks singer and guitarist tries to fool people into thinking he is actually the singer from Blur - whom he...

Alex James 'Most Annoying' Member Of Blur

30th July 2012 -

 News

Alex James was ''the most annoying member'' of Blur. The bass player admits tensions in the 'Song 2' band could flare up in their 90s heyday, leading to him getting into scrapes with his bandmates.He...

Adele, Coldplay To Mime At Olympic Concerts?

13th April 2012 -

 News

It's been confirmed that musicians performing at the special Olympic concerts in the summer will in fact be miming to backing tracks. A spokesperson for the London 2012 Organising Committee (Locog) told music website the...

A.j. Mclean Admits 'Relapses'

8th January 2012 -

 News

A.J. McLean admits he still relapses in his battle to stay sober.The Backstreet Boys hitmaker - who underwent his third stint in rehab last year to receive treatment for alcohol abuse - was pleased to...

Courtney Love: Kurt Cobain's Notorious Groupie Or Underrated Talent?

28th October 2011 -

 News

Never one to be out of the limelight for very long, Courtney Love recently announced that she has signed a publishing deal with HarperCollins to write a 'no-holds barred' memoir, with Anthony Bozza. Bozza is...

Graham Coxon Admits Blur Recordings

19th February 2011 -

 News

Blur have recorded a "few things" since their reformation.The 'Parklife' hitmakers - who reunited for a series of concerts in summer 2009, seven years after they last performed together - released a one-off single, 'Fool's...

The Subways Recording New Album With Stephen Street

6th January 2011 -

 Press

The Band Teams Up With Pledge Music For New Album Campaign The Subways are back, and today announce that they are in the studio recording a brand new album with legendary producer Stephen Street (Blur,...

Back to top

Blur Images

More Blur Pictures

Back to top

Blur Related Artists

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Back to top

Blur Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Blur

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Ok, So It's Official: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Is Best Marvel Movie, Ever

Guardians of the Galaxy is still three weeks ago from hitting cinemas...

Ok, So It's Official: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Is Best Marvel Movie, Ever

Toronto Film Festival Unveils Line-Up

David Cronenberg's new film Maps to the Stars which stunned critics at Cannes and features...

Toronto Film Festival Unveils Line-Up

Lucy - Luc Besson Featurette

The cast and crew of 'Lucy' - actors Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman and Amr Waked, and producer...

Lucy Trailer

Comic-Con 2014 For TV Nerds: Five Unmissable Panels

It’s that time again! Time for Comic-Con to make life a little bit weirder – and better..

Comic-Con 2014 For TV Nerds: Five Unmissable Panels

Everything We Know So Far About ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 5

Everyone’s favourite period drama of manners, ‘Downton Abbey’ is heading back...

Everything We Know So Far About ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 5
Advertisement

Sam Smith Beaten By Lana Del Rey To Billboard No.1

Besides a promising musician, Sam Smith’s debut record has also shown him to...

Sam Smith Beaten By Lana Del Rey To Billboard No.1

What's Happening With 'Iron Man 4'? Robert Downey Jr. Too Pricey? Colin Farrell To Step In?

If you can be sure of one thing, it’s that Marvel will keep putting out...

What's Happening With 'Iron Man 4'? Robert Downey Jr. Too Pricey? Colin Farrell To Step In?

Latitude Gratitude: Damon Albarn is Thankful of "Brave" Festival

Damon Albarn isn’t exactly a stranger to playing in front of huge crowds at...

Latitude Gratitude: Damon Albarn is Thankful of


More recommendations

Comments