Blur 21 (and just a little blurb about the Olympics)
There’s no way I’m going to shell out $160+ clams for the new box set from Blur, entitled Blur 21. It includes over 21 disks of music, videos and rarities from this most English of bands. My limit…my absolute limit…for box sets is $75. The criteria is as follows:
a) I have to actually like the band.
b) The bands discography has to be hard to find.
c) The sound must be remastered.
d) The packaging must be exemplary and unique.
e) I have to actually like the band.
I like Blur. In some cases I really like Blur. More than that I respect what they’ve done for British music which was, in a nutshell, to make it British again.
Everyone with a half decent record collection knows the story of Blur, so I’ll be really brief: Blur started as baggy, released 3 career defining albums (Modern Life Is Rubbish, Parklife, Great Escape), broke the States with Song 2 and their self titled 5th album, released their masterpiece (13), the guitarist and one of the creative cornerstones left the band to pursue a solo career, singer/songwriter Damon Alburn formed Gorillaz and was massively successful, released one more album sans said guitarist which was panned but in hindsight was actually pretty decent, band plays the Olympic closing ceremonies, which, by the way, were totally great, even though NBC left out their performance (in addition to Ray Davies!!!).
All caught up now?
So does Blur deserve such a lavish box set as the one pictured above? Sure, I think so. It doesn’t meet my criteria in that one can easily find the bands albums as easily as one can find Hootie and the Blowfish albums. Also, the sound was pretty damn good to begin with on the original records, which leaves the packaging and the bonus tracks and the entire etcetera, and although pretty nice I won’t shell out half a car payment to own it. But many people will, especially in their homeland of Great Britain. If I had a bagillion buckaroos I’d buy it. But I don’t, so I won’t. But you might. And you should, if you are a major fan. Me, I’ll most likely get a couple of the Deluxe Editions and leave it at that.
No, I’m content to replay my original cd’s as the urge requires, which is fairly frequent as a matter of fact. Yes, Damon Alburn is a bit of a tit. Not, however, in the same ‘tit league’ as Michael Stipe or Billy Corgan or Mike Love. But a tit nonetheless he remains, but not to the degree that I feel the need to disown the fantastic records he and his band made in their time together.
If you like the Kinks, if you like The Who, if you like Paul Weller, Small Faces, Beatles and/or Squeeze you owe it to yourself to at least pick up the following albums. As for the box set, well, that’s totally up to you.
*(and you can forget about Leisure)