Blur are dead. Long Live Blur.

Although they haven't been active now for about four years its been announced recently (by the NME at least) that any hope for a Blur reunion has been scuppered, allegedly because the other three hate Damon Albarn too much. And so ends another one of my all time favourite bands.

Blur first came onto my radar in 1993 when a girl in summer camp played me the single of For Tomorrow but it wasn't until Girls & Boys came out the following February that I took notice. They were most popular through their Parklife and The Great Escape albums which ultimately proved to be their weakest points musically, and consequently you won't find anything from The Great Escape on my list of favourite Blur songs which you can see after the jump. The great thing about Blur was that after their Brit-Pop days (a scene they more or less invented) their albums were actually getting better and better and indisputably far more interesting than the output of their rivals Oasis.

Click below to see and hear my favourite choices of Blur songs

Blur had a quite a fair bit of stuff that some people might have regarded as 'Crap' but they certainly knew how to fuck around with tunes and sounds etc. and when they wanted to they could write quite the haunting and even rocking tune. Here's a few of the best.

1. Sing (from Leisure. Also Trainspotting Original Soundtrack)

Much of Blur's first album was a combination of the dying shoegazing sound and the discovery of THAT Brit-Pop sound. This track encompasses the former quite a bit.

2. Wear Me Down (from Leisure)

More shoegazing but this time with easier vocals and a very melancholic, and at the same time catchy, chorus.

3. Popscene (single only)

The song that created Brit-Pop. Should have made Blur huge. Instead it was released at a time when everyone was listening to Nirvana and grunge and as such nobody wanted to know, which is a shame because its catchy as hell.

4. Advert (from Modern Life is Rubbish)

Evidence that Blur can do thrashy songs with great little riffs and singers counting out the number of break-down bars with a megaphone.

5. Resigned (from Modern Life is Rubbish)
The Finale of Modern Life and more evidence that Blur can write touching songs. Stick around after it ends and hear one of their finest random moments.

6. Trouble in the Message Centre (from Parklife)

Something about the combination of thrash and synth in this song never gets old in my head. Dunno why.

7. This is a Low (from Parklife)

A great melancholic yet uplifting song that Blur ended their most famous album with. And many of their gigs as well.

8. You're So Great (from Blur)

Okay its pretty much the first Graham Coxon solo song but its on a Blur album and it really highlights what an eclectic song-writer he is.

9. Death of a Party (from Blur)

Also known as "Blur do their own version of The Specials 'Ghost Town'" from the album also known as "Blur listen to Pavement a lot in an attempt to ditch their Brit-Pop sound". Successfully.

10. Bugman (from 13)

Blurs possibly greatest album opens with one of their biggest try-to-hard singles (Tender) but quickly moves into this rocky little thing. Listen to the break-down about half way through where it all descends into noise and starts back up again like an engine.

11. Battle (from 13)
Proof that the Blur of the Brit-Pop years was dead and buried and a new experimental type was coming into effect.

12. Caramel (from 13)
And further and further away they go. So fucking aching and waily that Sigur Rós would be proud.

13. Out of Time (from Think Tank)

Another excellent album proving that Blur could still knock them out (HUHUHUH!!!). This single is simply a damn fine haunting little number.

14. Brothers & Sisters (from Think Tank)

Gorillaz was very much on Damons mind as you can see from this funky thing that wouldn't have been out of place on Demon Days.

15. Jets (from Think Tank)

Epic and lo-fi as fuck with an awesome sax solo to boot. If Blur had not ended we might have got more of this.

In the future history will look more favourably upon Blur and will prove me right that they were worthy of a lot more recognition than they were given.

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