Monday, April 4, 2016

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter B, Part 14)

It looks as though I can't grasp alphabetical order. This should have been part 13, but I somehow lost track going back and forth between the 7" and 12" areas of the music room. Blur's heyday was in the '90s. Thus, nearly everything I have by them is on CD. This exception is a gorgeous solid-white 7" purchased almost as soon as it came out in the late summer of 2012. Any delay in getting it the day of release was the result of it being an import. I paid $12, and that's a princely sum for a single. I recently saw it going for $6.99 at the same shop I picked it up, and that sounds about right.

As mentioned during my '90s countdown last year, the last album I bought by Blur was 'The Great Escape' in 1995. My interest in the band was revived with the release of the "Fool's Day" single on Record Store Day in 2010. So, that's what got me off the couch for this followup, the double-A single "The Puritan"/"Under the Westway." To be honest, I didn't like "The Puritan" at all. I often enjoy quirky electronic flourishes, but the sounds used for this song were annoying to these ears.

"Under the Westway" went in a completely different direction. Damon Albarn delivers a powerful vocal while on piano. There's lots of heavy percussion too. Not nomally my cup of tea, but I completely bought into this sad and beautiful ballad. For those on this side of the world, the Westway refers to a section of the A40, a major road in west London that's elevated by concrete structures over surrounding streets. This highway has come up in Blur songs before, including "Fool's Day."

This would be the last studio release by Blur until "Go Out" preceded 'The Magic Whip' last year.

"Under the Westway"


The Swede said...

I've never been a huge fan, though I do quite like late period Blur (and Damon's solo album). 'Under the Westway' is a great single.

Brian said...

I remember you mentioning you liked the later stuff. Certainly nothing wrong with that. I just didn't listen to much of anything in the second half of the '90s and beyond. Glad you like this one. You may like the Puritan too. Could have been on Think Tank.

JC said...

Brian....huge apologies for not popping in for so many months. Gorging myself over the next few hours.

I haven't listened to any new Blur stuff for years. Kind of given up on them. Went fishing for this on the basis of how much you recommended it.

Glad I did. It's a wonderful song. Not at all what I expected.