Midlife: A Beginner's Guide To Blur Double CD
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Britpop legends Blur are to reunite this summer, marking their 20th anniversary by playing their first shows with Graham Coxon since 2000. The first eagerly-awaited Hyde Park date sold out within minutes and, due to the massive demand, more dates and festival appearances have steadily been added.
To celebrate the reunion, Midlife: A Beginners Guide To Blur is released--a unique collection of the best songs from the band’s career to date. Standing separate from Blur’s previous Best Of, Midlife represents a comprehensive collection of their biggest hits and favourite album tracks. The tracklist offers a deeper look into the group’s entire musical output, across 2 CDs.
Midlife includes album tracks Sing (Leisure), Strange News From Another Star (Blur), Badhead and This Is A Low (Parklife), which sit alongside hit singles Girls & Boys (Parklife), Parklife (Parklife), The Universal (The Great Escape), and Beetlebum (Blur). The collection will also include Popscene--originally released in 1992 as a non-album single and unavailable since.
When Blur announced their first sort-of comeback show in December 2008, Christmas had come a little earlier for the fans who'd pretty much abandoned all hope of ever seeing Damon Albarn, Alex James, Dave Rowntree onstage with Graham Coxon again. As luck would have it, many more people felt the same, with such demand paving the way for a full summer of festival engagements.
Originally forming in 1989, they released their first single a year later, during the baggy debris of late 1990 and, being amazingly haired and not completely ugly, they managed to charm their way into Smash Hits and the Top Ten with second single There's No Other Way in the Spring of 1991. Gloriously chaotic and spectacular booze-hounds, their debut album Leisure barely hinted at what was to come.
It was after being battered by America, that they released their first masterpiece with 1993's Modern Life Is Rubbish, which established them as worthy of being mentioned alongside their heroes. Parklife followed a year later, sold millions, altered indie and went on to scoop up almost every award imaginable. Then in 1995 the joy soon began to unravel with the flawed The Great Escape; so they fled to Iceland and recorded possibly their best album yet with the self-titled and noisier Blur, following that in 1999 with the more far out 13. Then Graham left before making their last album, 2003's Think Tank.
This collection is designed to offer a broader spectrum of what made Blur Blur, having already released a Best Of in 2000, which detailed the singles end of the operation. Midlife is designed to showcase some of treasures found amidst their seven albums such as This is a Low, Trimm Trabb, He Thought of Cars and Advert and is closer to what the band and their fans would select as highlights. So basically there's no sign of Country House, in case you were wondering.
Instead singles such as the sublime Beetlebum, saucy Girls and Boys, Parklife (naturally), modern-day classics such as Out of Time, the Universal and the ever-delectable For Tomorrow figure. And Midlife also offers a rare first-time-on-a-Blur-album sighting of the magnificent 'lost' single Popscene. There's probably one or two missing - one personally hoped Mr Briggs or Young & Lovely might sneak in - but it's a small nag in the bigger scheme of things.
Are they back for good? Who knows. But for now, remember and celebrate the finest band of their generation this way. Essential stuff. --Ian Wade
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Top Customer Reviews
also blurs early years are looked at. this is the only place you`ll be able to get the hard to get 1992 single "popscene". good choices were made by including "badhead","battery in your leg" and "bluejeans". Modern life is Rubbish was almost totally ignored with the 2000 Best of.
There are no b-sides here which is a slight shame but there are enough from 1995 onwards to make an excellent second b-side album to complement the '94 japanese Special collectors Edition" album, maybe EMI are listening.
There isn`t too much from the Leisure era but i guess room has to be made for later releases. You`ll only be missing "Theres no other way" really. its also a shame there isn`t say two new tracks to promote it better. also its a bit light on "the great escape" era too. "country house" was a big single at the time but it wasn`t a good single so it worth missing. i would have included "best days" or "yuko and Hiro".
So overall its a solid collection for someone who hasn`t got all the albums. All of blurs LP`s are looked at properly this time round so you couldn`t have asked for much more.
This 2nd 'best of' is great for a quick fix however and perfect for flinging in the car stereo for summer cruising.
Can't wait to see them next month!
Still, this was the band's choice and is a collection of songs which feature Blur at their most creative and leftfield and, what's more, because of the notable omissions, if anyone listens to this album and wants to investigate Blur's work further, they then have some wonderful songs to look forward to by exploring their back catalogue. On the whole, I think this is an excellent compilation and there are some real gems here which the casual Blur fan only familiar with their singles may have missed, such as "Death Of A Party", "Badhead" and "Strange News From Another Star". It's also good to know exactly what the band consider to be their best work and the material they're most proud of. This double album certainly is a fantastic reminder of why they were such an important and popular band during the 1990's and, even better, there is the promise of more undeniably brilliant material if you want to go beyond this compilation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Though 2000's nearly-CD filling singles compilation Blur: The Best Of had a pretty pop-art design and proved very popular with the record-buying public - it has sold over a million... Read morePublished on 24 Mar. 2014 by S Bailey
Pitched at casual listeners who are eager to hear more from indie-pop band Blur away from the most obvious songs (as outstanding as those hits are), 2009's 'Midlife: A Beginner's... Read morePublished on 13 Feb. 2014 by Brit Boy
Blur had not only a stupid name no better than Seymour but their success was out of all proportion to a very minimal talent which was not so much for melodies but sounds. Read morePublished on 9 July 2012 by Richard
I recently bought this album after my friend lent me the best of blur cd (which I highly reccomend), I wanted my own blur cd though because I really loved it and I wanted my own... Read morePublished on 19 May 2011 by Amazon Customer
These songs were great when they were first released, but seem even better now after a long time without listening to them. A great album for a nostalgic moment.Published on 4 Jan. 2011 by Mr. A. Coates