22 Feb 2012
Blur as we know it was born in 1989 when the band signed to Food/EMI. The debut album Leisure (1991) announced the arrival of a band with pop suss warped by an art-punk eccentricity. Yet Blur had more in them: namely, a revolution in the sound of English popular music. The second album Modern Life Is Rubbish (1993) reintroduced the idea that English rock music could be cool, and by the time their third album Parklife emerged in 1994, the rest of the UK had caught up.
The Great Escape (1995) refined the sound palette of Britpop, but Blur was already moving on. 1997's Blur was an about-face – scuffed, noisy and un-English. In 1999 they followed up with 13 which was an even more radical adventure in sound as William Orbit mediated a truce between organic punkpop and new-fangled technology.
The seventh album Think Tank (2003) was Blur’s first as a three piece after the temporary departure of founding guitarist Graham Coxon, and featured an eclectic variety of rhythms and textures, glorious melodies and their most direct set of songs since Parklife.
In 2009 Blur reconvened as a four-piece to play a series of UK shows including two sold out dates at Hyde Park and a historic Sunday night appearance at Glastonbury. A film about Blur, No Distance Left To Run, was released in 2010.
This summer they will join The Black Keys, Refused, Bon Iver, Florence + The Machine, Feist, First Aid Kit and many more on this year's bill for Way Out West festival!