James’ Shamelessly Nostalgic A-Z Of Albums That He Liked To Listen To When He Was Young – Part 7: The Great Escape

James Proclaims (6)

And so to the seventh letter of the alphabet. Which was ‘G’ the last time I checked.

And it’s probably safe to assume it still is.

G2020

G is for The Great Escape

Blur_thegreatescape

No-one enjoys a bit of pedantry more than me, but I think it’s reasonable to ignore the definite article in the album’s title and claim with conviction that this is a more than worthy candidate to represent the letter ‘G’.

1994’s ‘Parklife’ was the album that really catapulted Blur into the public consciousness, and arguably the album that confirmed the arrival of Britpop as a ‘thing’, but ‘The Great Escape’ was a solid follow-up and in itself a fairly era-defining album thanks, at least partially, to the faux-rivalry with Oasis that accompanied its release, as it came shortly after Blur’s ‘Country House’ went up against Oasis’ ‘Roll With It’ in the singles charts.

The obvious result of the ‘Battle of Britpop’ was that both Blur and Oasis sold a lot of records, which was great for the Britpop movement as a whole. We were all encouraged to pick a side though, and in that sense I would definitely have been on ‘Team Oasis’.

But I would hardly let a silly thing like that get in the way of me enjoying a great album.

And ‘The Great Escape’ was one of my favourite albums of that time.

Incidentally, although it could be argued that Oasis enjoyed the greater commercial success overall, Blur definitely won the ‘Battle of Britpop’, because it was their single that made it to number 1 in the charts.

And if neither song was particularly representative of the best work of either band, Blur’s ‘County House’ deserves to play us out today because of its undoubted place in British pop music history. Even if it is for a pretty stupid reason when all is said and done.

And actually, even if I was ‘Team Oasis’ I did prefer ‘Country House’ to ‘Roll with It’ if I’m honest…

  13 comments for “James’ Shamelessly Nostalgic A-Z Of Albums That He Liked To Listen To When He Was Young – Part 7: The Great Escape

  1. Bryntin
    April 8, 2020 at 9:19 am

    Blur were ‘my’ band that everyone I mentioned them to said ‘Who?’ after hearing Modern Life is Rubbish and predicting great things for them. Annoyed when they actually got so big after this faux battle that liking them either became either ‘Well, everyone does’ or ‘Uncool’… although my personal feeling is that all the members of Blur always were – and still are – more interesting musically and grown up than that 60’s greatest hits recycling Manc lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 8, 2020 at 10:40 am

      I’d agree that Blur made more interesting music and objectively I’d probably acknowledge that they were the better band. But Oasis got me at that age when I was too stupid to know any better. And once you love a band it’s hard to unlove them even if they spend the next decade putting out exceptionally dull albums. But Blur were definitely more consistently good and Graham’s solo stuff is also worth a listen.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. April 8, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    With a lot of distance, I would say that Blur has the better musicians, while Oasis is/was more alluring to a mainstream audience. Maybe they were easier accessible. Great choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 8, 2020 at 2:50 pm

      Blur were definitely far more consistent in terms of quality and evolved over time, sometimes to the chagrin of the mainstream audience that loved them during the Britpop years, but they produced a lot of good albums over the years. Oasis never did much of worth after their first two albums but I still think those first two albums were pretty great.

      Like

  3. April 8, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    I have nothing to add this thread other than the fact I’m going to keep reading this series until I recognize a band. Which, from the look of it, will be a while.

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 8, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      It could indeed be a while. But I admire your tenacity…

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 8, 2020 at 2:55 pm

        I’m looking forward to M.
        Moon Martin anyone…?

        Liked by 1 person

      • April 8, 2020 at 2:57 pm

        Pretty sure you won’t have heard of my ‘M’ choice. But I’d never heard of Moon Martin until just now so that’s something…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. April 8, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    I’ve never given Blur the attention they deserve. I may have to do a deep listen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 8, 2020 at 4:23 pm

      It’s not all gold but they’ve definitely got a credible back catalogue.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. April 8, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    If you really must. It is your blog after all!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. April 9, 2020 at 8:39 pm

    Cool–do you like Gorillaz too?

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 9, 2020 at 10:00 pm

      I do. And ‘The Good, The Bad and the Queen’ which is another Damon project that I came across last year. And his solo album is pretty good too…

      Liked by 1 person

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