'The Great Escape' was released on this day (September 11th) in 1995.
What with Oasis celebrating the 25th anniversary of their second album (What's the Story) Morning Glory? next month, it seems we're having a bit of a Britpop revival this year. Blur also mark the 25th anniversary of their third and final Britpop release The Great Escape today (their fourth album in all).
Blur - The Great Escape
The album was their fourth collaboration with producer Stephen Street (who is known for his work with The Smiths, The Cranberries and Babyshambles among others) and became an instant hit, topping the UK albums chart and bringing the band to international appreciation. It was globally acclaimed upon its release, though it possibly doesn't have the same impact upon listeners today. Indeed, frontman Damon Albarn has since expressed his dislike for the album, despite how important it was to the Britpop era.
Singles from the record included: Country House, The Universal, Stereotypes and Charmless Man. While Stereotypes was intended as the lead single, Country House became their first number one hit, earning them a victory in their chart rivalry with their Northern counterparts Oasis, who followed at number two with their song Roll with It.
Despite the liveliness of some of the more memorable tracks, The Great Escape was lyrically full of despair and detachment. In fact, Damon Albarn based it on his own feelings; even the song Dan Abnormal is an anagram of his own name.
Hindsight has given some critics a more cynical view of the record despite its success. Many considered it as "messy" as Albarn would later suggest, and others thought it was a rather uninspired album compared with the previous two; Modern Life Is Rubbish (1993) and Parklife (1994). But what is undeniable is that the Britpop era remains hugely influential on indie rock music, and much of that is to do with the success of The Great Escape.