1997 was a political and cultural turning point for Britain. Tony Blair became Prime Minister, Princess Diana’s death shocked the world and the UK won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time since 1981. It was also one of the best years for Britpop. Blur’s ‘Song 2’ was the band’s biggest hit in the US entering at number 6 on the Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks. The hit, which pleasingly lasts 2.02 minutes, pokes fun at US Grunge music with its loud guitars and cryptic lyrics. (This isn’t to say that Britpop didn’t have its own detractors. Many band members, like Pulp’s frontman Jarvis Cockerand Damon Albarn came from reputed art or music schools and were therefore often accused of appropriating working class ‘lad culture’.) While it was Blur’s third album Parklife that transformed them into the most popular band in the UK, ‘Song 2’ gave them international stardom.
Here are 10 fun facts you should know about Blur:
Bass player Alex James is a cheese fanatic. He even makes his own cheese.
Blur’s album Parklife was almost called Soft Porn.
David Balfe, owner of Blur’s label, dropped everything after Parklife, sold the label to EMI and moved to the country. ‘Country House’ is about him and although the song did take a few unflattering digs at him, David Balfe never took offense because “there was a lot of truths in the song”.
‘Song 2’ is the second track and second single of the band’s ‘Blur’ album, it’s two minutes and two seconds long and was recorded with two drummers at the same time. Oh and it reached number 2 in the UK charts… Weirrrdddd.
The success of Parklife gave Damon Albarn panic attacks.
The Banksy cover art for ‘Think Tank’ sold for a whopping £75,000.