It doesn’t feel like they’ve been away for long enough for a proper reunion. But when you think about it, the last album Blur recorded with Graham Coxon was released almost nine years ago! This should make every Britpop fan feel really, really old.
The rumours have been going for a while. Just last year I had heard that all of the members of Blur were suing each other. Now it seems confirmed that they are all — including Coxon — going into the recording studio very soon.
The fact that Graham Coxon is back is the real news though. He was pretty central to Blur. You could tell that just by listening to the sans-Coxon Blur album, Think Tank, which felt really empty and half-arsed. After a lacklustre album, it wasn’t a surprise to see Blur fizzle out.
Meanwhile, Graham Coxon’s solo career sky-rocketed. And who could blame Damon Albarn for not being too bothered given the success (and, let’s face it, damn good music) of Gorillaz. (The less said about Alex James’s WigWam, the better. At best the song sounds like an awful re-hash of ‘Girls and Boys’. And worst it sounds like the consequences of too many drugs.)
Think Tank and the death of Blur was a disappointment because their previous album, 13, is for my money one of the best albums of the 1990s. I still feel that the was completely overlooked by the media and the public, who at the time were too busy still fawning over OK Computer to notice anything else.
Listening to some of the older Blur material, it is easy to see why everyone got so excited about the whole Britpop thing. Blur wrote so many of the great pop songs of the 1990s. You can see this by looking at the tracklisting to their Best of album — more notable for the omissions than the inclusions (where were ‘Popscene’, ‘Chemical World’, ‘Stereotypes’…?).
To celebrate the news of the reunion, it is time for a Blur with Graham Coxon Nostalgic YouTube Extravaganza! (This means a bunch of videos that I will post and will stop working within a week as they get pulled off.)
Coffee and TV
The height of Graham Coxon’s powers as part of Blur.
Click “Click for more” for more.
Trimm Trabb (live)
A live performance of what is perhaps my favourite Blur song.
From when Matt Lucas and David Walliams were still funny.