Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

A Leisurely Look at Blur

In the 80s, two young boys, Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon, met at their secondary school in Essex, England. They were both interested in the arts, especially music, and they quickly became great friends. In college, they met Dave Rowentree and Alex James, who also shared their love for music, and a new band was formed. At first, they went by the name Seymour, with Coxon playing lead guitar, James playing bass guitar, Rowentree on the drums, and Albarn as the lead singer.

Then, in 1990, they signed with Food Records, changed their name, and Blur was born. Only a year later, they released their first album, Leisure. A woman in a swim cap smiles at you from the album cover as you listen to hit songs “She’s So High” and “There’s No Other Way.”

The group would go on to face their fair share of hardships, at one point going bankrupt due to mismanaged finances by their record label, and they would be forced to tour endlessly to make up their financial deficit.. While touring in the United States, the members started to get homesick for England, and began writing songs that were so unapologetically British, they were the catalyst behind music journalists coining the term “Brit pop.” A very specific example of this phenomenon is the song “Country Houses,” off of The Great Escape album, detailing the posh lifestyle of summer homes and countrysides experienced by many upper class Brits.

In Coxon’s memoir Verse, Chorus, Monster! he goes into detail about life as a touring artist and the bad habits and anxieties it can create, as well as the cruelty that can sometimes be displayed by the music industry. Specifically, Coxon highlights the often harsh reality of addiction and substance abuse in the music industry, and he speaks about the negative aspects of fame that aren’t often considered by people who have not experienced it.

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In his book, he writes, “It doesn’t matter how big you get as an artist…No matter how big it all becomes and how much profit people are extracting from your hard work, don’t make the cardinal mistake of expecting positive encouragement from those around you.”
Despite the hardships that were thrown at the members of Blur, both as individuals and as a group, they still managed to release nine fantastic albums together: Leisure, Modern Life Is Rubbish, Parklife, The Great Escape, Blur, 13, Think Tank, Magic Whip, and their most recent album, which came out in July of 2023, The Ballad of Darren. This album in particular has a lot of beautiful ballads and personal songs that feel like they’re tying up the band’s success and career into a nice little bow.

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