Stranded In Stereo: My Formative Years: "Blur" by Blur, 1997

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My Formative Years: "Blur" by Blur, 1997

Starting this week, SiS blogger Rusty turns back to look at what he calls his formative years that change his life forever. Musically, that is. Ten years ago were the most influential years with the releases of such pivotal albums that would make him stop spinning "Rhythm Is A Dancer" on his Sony Discman. That's right, we didn't have MP3 Players back then, folks.

They (or at least I will) say that you never forget how, when, where you first heard a song. It had to of been President's Day break when I spent the day at Grandma's since the parents had to work. While The Price Is Right was taking a commercial break before the first Showcase Showdown, I flipped over to MTV to see what fodder was going to try and corrupt me today. Instead of hip-hop and trite bubblegum pop, before my eyes was a man sitting in a room behind the drum kit. As he starts to play, the camera cuts to another young gentleman playing his guitar. This is followed by a close-up shot of a man about to say a word, a word that would be the first of the three most important albums to me in 1997: "Whoo-Ooh." The wind blows, the band members swirl around, before the calming of the words "I got my head checked / By a jumbo jet" come with an English accent. The chorus comes, explodes and the band members are brought face to face with the breeze again. This happens, another verse/another chorus, and end scene. Two minutes, one second.

I'm obviously talking about a song called "Song 2." Before becoming even more famous with the animated group Gorillaz, Damon Albarn fronted Blur. Up until 1997, they had been a rather huge success in their native UK, with such hits as "Country House" and "Girls And Boys," a song that had some moderate success in the states upon its release in 1994. "Song 2" would help make Blur and their self-titled fifth album a household name. It was a total departure from their former Britpop stylings, denouncing it for a more lo-fi approach and introducing some scant elements of Electronica.

As a 12 year old in 7th grade, everyone was listening to "Mmmbop" while I was walking to school or riding the bus to the tune of "M.O.R." Girls wanted to be my lover if I got with their friends, and I just wanted to be a killer for their love. Other outbursts of punk, like "Chinese Bombs," were balanced perfectly by something like the dub drowsiness of the climactic finale "Essex Dogs."

The band would go in 1999 to release the self-loathing yet near-perfect 13, and 2003's Think Tank, before what may be an definite hiatus (even though sometimes murmurings come about that Graham Coxon and Albarn might settle their differences enough for one more album.) Besides Gorillaz, Albarn has the amazing The Good, The Bad & The Queen, a supergroup of sorts featuring Paul Simonon of The Clash among others. But for me, I always like to look at Albarn and remember that baby-faced boy, teeth perfect, screaming "Woo-Ooh." Those are days I shall never forget.

Buy: Blur [Here]

1 comment:

Gianni said...

im anxious to read more blogs like this, great idea rusty!