It is a hefty box. It is 18 CDs and three DVDs, adding up to 21 discs, which just happens to be the anniversary Blur are celebrating ina year when they've continued their halting reunion to headline the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. And, really, there was no other choice for such a prestigious gig.
Other bands were bigger -- archrivals Oasis handily eclipsed them in popularity and the Spice Girls soon brought Cool Brittania to an even greater audience -- and Suede arguably kick-started the whole Brit-pop phenomenon, but Blur defined their era, reasserting the prominence of British pop music and then heading into uncharted waters. Blur 21 chronicles that journey in minute detail and, contrary to what its imposing size suggests, the box does not contain Explain - Blur - Blur 21 (The Box) (Box Set the group ever recorded.
You'd Album to be a pretty hardcore fan to notice how their terrible cover of the Who 's "Substitute" is MIA and even if you were that committed, chances are you'd rather have the four discs of unreleased rarities included here instead.
These CDs -- along with the DVDs, each capturing a separate live show from different stages of the band's career beginning with the home video Showtime and ending with a 13 Album live set augmented by videos that didn't make the Best of Blur DVD -- are exclusive to the box set but the double-disc expanded editions of the group's seven albums are available separately.
Each of these rounds up the non-LP B-sides from the accompanying album, leaving behind a few live cuts and remixes but containing all pertinent stray songs, many of which are excellent, particularly during the group's mid-'90s prime. What makes Blur 21 something more than just fan bait -- although, make no mistake about it, there needs to be a certain level of dedication to get through a box of this size -- is that there is an actual narrative told here, one that not only tells the story of Blur but represents the trajectory of British indie music in the '90s.
For two albums -- Parklife in and The Great Escape in -- Blur perfected a classical British pop before returning to their art-school roots on their eponymous album, eventually Explain - Blur - Blur 21 (The Box) (Box Set modern electronic cut-and-paste techniques on 's 13 before splintering apart during the recording of 's Think Tank.
This journey is compelling and the added detail of rarities and B-sides deepens the experience, particularly during the early years when they were called Seymour and during the Brit-pop purple patch when they were making more good music than could fit on a single album.
Naturally, at this Album) there are some failures or experiments gone awry -- the early demos, such as an minute "She's So High," are interesting but formless, and the concluding jams from 13 were meant to be spliced into Album) by William Orbitnot heard at this length -- but all the mess winds up illustrating Blur 's restless range and depth.
Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. Features Interviews Lists. Streams Videos All Posts. Track Listing Stay - Various - Memories Are Made Of Hits Disc 1.
She's So High. Slow Down. Bad Day. There's No Other Way. Come Together. High Cool. Wear Album) Down. Track Listing - Disc 2. I Know [Extended Mix].
Mr Briggs. I'm All Over. Won't Do It. Day Upon Day. Bang [Extended Version]. Uncle Love. Paranoia Key Of E - Lou Reed - Ecstasy Love Her.
Track Listing - Disc 3. For Tomorrow. Colin Zeal. Pressure On Julian. Star Shaped. Blue Jeans. Chemical World [Including 'Intermission']. Sunday Sunday. Oily Water. Miss America. Villa Rosie. Turn It Up. Resigned [Including 'Commercial Album.
Track Listing - Disc 4. Badgeman Brown. I'm Fine. Garden Central. Into Another. Bone Bag. Hanging Over. When the Cows Come Home. Chemical World [Reworked]. Es Schmecht. Young and Lovely. Maggie May. My Ark.
Harry Dacre. Let's All Go Down the Strand. Track Listing - Disc 5. Girls and Boys. Tracy Jacks. End of a Century. Parklife Starring Phil Daniels. Bank Holiday. The Debt Collector. Far Out.
To the End. London Loves. Trouble In the Message Centre. Clover Over Dover. Magic America. This is a Low. Lot Track Listing - Disc 6. Damon Albarn. Anniversary Waltz. People In Europe. Threadneedle Street. Explain - Blur - Blur 21 (The Box) (Box Set Yer! To the End [French Version]. Supa Shoppa. Theme From An Imaginary Film. Red Necks. Graham Coxon.
My Cup Runneth Over ( From I Do, I Do ) - Various - Festival Of Todays Hits, De Honderd Hedendaagse, Together - Hiroshi Satoh* - Future File +1, Life In Reverse - Spearmint - A Week Away (24 Track Remastered Special Edition), Take A Walk Through Bethlehem - Trisha Yearwood - The Sweetest Gift