Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 8)

8. "To the End"
Artist: Blur
Year: 1994

Once again, I was out of the country and completely oblivious to the mania surrounding 'Parklife,' and I will be forever thankful for that. I imagine the press around this one and other Britpop entities would have been too much for me. That would have been a real shame because I really do love 'Parklife,' and I was surprised and excited when I saw it on the shelf one day while browsing at Import Yamachiku in the spring of '94. If you want to know about that life-saving shop during my time in seclusion, you can go back to No. 43 on the countdown.

The band's previous album, 'Modern Life Is Rubbish,' remains my favorite, but I think the four singles from 'Parklife' are without peer in the Blur discography. Of course, I'm probably not the blogger to make such a bold statement since the 1993 and 1994 albums are really the only two I ever play. I imagine I might hear from some of you about that. Those of you in the UK might be surprised to learn the band wasn't all that successful in the '90s on this side of the Atlantic. Only three albums charted, 'The Great Escape' at No. 150, 'Blur' at No. 61 and '13' at No. 80. The highest charting single on the Billboard Hot 100 was "Song 2" at No. 55. Although the lads were about as British as it gets, it's still a bit of a head scratcher. I just searched Oasis on the Billboard charts, and the Gallagher Bros. left Blur in the dust over here.

I chose "To the End" rather than the excellent "Girls & Boys" or "Parklife" because it's one of Mrs. LTL's all-time favorites. It gets played constantly in this house. Based on the song's theme, I hope she hasn't been trying to tell me something all of these years. Apologies to Stereolab's Lætitia Sadier, but the wife is partial to the version that features the vocal talents of the lovely Françoise Hardy. You can find this one as a B-side to the 1995 CD single "Country House." Let's turn things down just a little bit...

"To the End (La Comedie)"

12 comments:

George said...

There's a plethora of Blur albums in this house. Park Life gets played the most. Great choice Brian. Loved the 2nd version, by the way.

Brian said...

Hi, George. All of those posts at Jim McLean's rabbit and I never knew you were into Blur. Happy news!

The Swede said...

It probably sounds like a negative comment when I say that there is no Blur music in this house. It isn't meant to be. On the contrary I quite like them and have a great deal of time for Damon in particular. 'Everyday Robots' (which I do own) was very popular with me & Mrs S last year and I also have 'The Good the Bad & the Queen' and a couple of the Africa Express releases. I think it's just that Blur's music was so omnipresent (and still is on 6Music) that I've never felt the need to actually buy any of it. I'm not quite certain what my choice of a Blur song would be, but 'To the End' is a very fine one.

Brian said...

Swede,
I very rarely buy songs that are played on the radio. So, I get where you're coming from. I have only heard one song by Blur on the radio, and it was Song 2. There was a station I would scan in the car from time to time when I lived in D.C. called WHFS that played it for a bit when the song was struggling to move up the charts. Miserable channel that labeled itself "progressive rock." Their motto should have been, "We play Smash Mouth, Third Eye Blind, Green Day, Marcy Playground, Goo Goo Dolls, Cake and Everlast every hour to keep you zombies in check." Thankfully, the station no longer exists. Anyway, Song 2 was the only song I ever heard on the radio... and I didn't like it one bit.

drew said...

I never took to Blur or any of the rest of Britpop for that matter with the exception of Pulp who I don't lump in as part of that lot anyway. Found it all to be very parochial and backward looking. I do however love this song.

drew said...

And don't get me started on the cheese maker.

friend of rachel worth said...

Universal for me

TheRobster said...

I'm with you on 'Modern Life...', and For Tomorrow is my fave Blur song. So Kinks-like, Ray Davies really could have written it. I haven't played 'Parklife' in years, and to be honest I really have no urge to. Got sick to death of it and 'The Great Escape' 20 years ago.

I always preferred Blur over Oasis, although I was a sort-of-fan of both.

kevinpat said...

Green Day zombie here.

Echorich said...

I've mentioned before my boredom by most/all things Britpop. Blur were at the top of that list. If I had to go back to a Blur track it probably would be Girls & Boys.

Brian said...

Love this string, fellas. A little bit of everything here.

Don't worry, Echorich. I won't make you go back ever again.

FORW, As usual, right on. I had five candidates for a Blur spot, and the Universal was the lone song not on either Rubbish or Parklife.

Robster, I'm not sure if you knew, but I have almost no knowledge of Oasis' music. I missed their heyday almost completely. I only know about the shenanigans. Tip of the cap for choosing For Tomorrow. Love the Davies take.

Drew, As Echorich will attest, I'm not the one to debate you on Britpop or anything else from this damn decade. Glad you could see your way to this one song though.

Kevinpat, You know all that twee I toss at you while you shake your head? I probably hate your bloody Green Day even more... or at least as much as the Mrs. loathes my Scritti Politti. We might need counseling.

Ian Balentine said...

Fantastic choice, love it to death. After The Great Escape, Blur albums would be wildly inconsistent affairs (IMO), but each album had at least a handful of amazing songs, and this one is right near, if not on, the top for me.