Thursday, December 8, 2011

More Blur News...More Early Christmas Gifts for Fans!

After months and months of NO news, all of a sudden a flurry of Blur activity.  Damon mentioned some time ago they'd like to tour the USA again, Alex says in an interview a few days ago that they'll most likely record after Christmas, the Blur website is getting a design overhaul today, there's now an official Twitter account to go along with their official Facebook page, and now, Blur will be awarded a "lifetime achievement"-type award at the Brit Awards next year.

There's already speculation as to which songs (and how many) they'll play at the ceremony.

But what it's all adding up to is that something is afoot for big and what it is is still a mystery, but this can only be good news for Blur fans, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Alex James interview...

On today...the headline is what'll grab you:

'Blur are meeting up over Christmas – and we'll probably record again' 

 It's actually a pretty poor interview in and of itself, but some interesting tidbits. I think the momentum is building and it's only a matter of time before 2012 will see SOMETHING come out of the Blur camp, whether it's a new album, EP, single, tour, festival appearance(s), something.  It makes too much sense *NOT* to happen in 2012.  Gorillaz is done, Graham's got his newest album ready for release (whenever that'll be), Alex is still a cheesemaking farmer, and Dave is still involved with politics and running for MP as it pops up in London.

 Something new from Blur in 2012 would just feel *right*, in my opinion...

(Did anyone else cringe when Alex made the "getting the Blues Brothers back together" analogy?)

Monday, December 5, 2011

What Might 2012 Bring?

As we get closer to 2012, all is still quiet (non-existent?) on the Blur front.  No news of anything potentially happening, other than Damon casually mentioning in an interview last month that they'd like to do another tour of America (Yes, PLEASE!).

So I ask you, my fellow Blur fanatics...what do you hope for and expect in 2012 from Blur?

I hope for a new album and world tour. Realistically, however, I'm expecting, at most, a one-off single or EP and a gig or two, probably at large festivals or for some benefit, in London (the Olympics?).  And even that might be hoping for too much.

What say you?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hyde Park 2009 Tour Programme

I received in the mail the other day the special tour programme that was only available at Blur's two massive Hyde Park shows in July 2009. I've uploaded pictures of the front and back covers to the Facebook page...the interior is identical to the Summer 2009 tour programme I've already uploaded pictures for.

So head to the Facebook page to check all the pictures out!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hyde Park 2009

I just got in the mail the official concert program for the two Hyde Park shows, which is slightly different from the regular 2009 program I already had. Pictures of this new one will be coming soon here and on the Facebook page so check back here to see them soon!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Black Book v2.0

I recently posed a question on the official Facebook page asking for advice on a quandary I'm in right now: I've been waiting on more shows from friends to add to the book for a while now, and I want to make sure the book isn't necessarily held up because of it. The question I asked is, should I wait or finish it up (mainly formatting and edits) and release it sooner rather than later. The general consensus seems to be to wait until at least the new year and assess at that point. I think that's good advice, advice I will follow.

What does everyone think? Please leave comments and suggestions!

Also, if you have any recordings of live shows or ticket stub scans, please contact me, I'll get it into the book between now and 2012.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Nearing the finish line!!!

I've only got 5 more shows to add to the manuscript before wrapping it up. I do have several more that I'm waiting on from kind people who are sending them in, so my question to you fellow fans of Blur and Black Book is, would you rather I wait and delay the manuscript further, or go ahead with what I have now? As it is, the new book will be over a hundred pages longer and have much more information and material than the first one! I appreciate your feedback and comments in advance!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Top Blur Moments on Record: The Next Generation

The fourth and final installment in the series focuses on Blur's understated but always excellent drummer, Dave Rowntree.  Dave is criminally underrated as a drummer, in my opinion, which is understandable a bit as he always plays for the song. While he has serious drumming chops, his playing is always very tasteful and fits the songs perfectly, for the most part. Live, where he can really let loose, it's an entirely story, but this is a post about his top moments (to my ears) on the studio recordings...

In no particular order:

1. Trouble in the Message Centre
2. Magpie
3. Explain
4. Popscene
5. Globe Alone
6. Coffee and TV
7. No Monsters in Me
8. Out of Time
9. Oily Water
10. Come Together

There are many more I could come up with, but these are the ones that spring to mind at this moment as ones I really enjoy. How about you?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Son of the Top Blur Moments on Record

This third installment will focus on Alex James, bass player, former party animal, and current husband/dad-of-5/farmer/author of Blur. Alex is a great bass player, functioning in much the same way as Andy Rourke did in The Smiths, playing more of a countermelody to Graham's guitar parts than just holding down the root notes for each chord. Some of his basslines *make* the an analogy, think more John Entwistle and less whatever the name of the guy in Oasis was.

My top 10 Alex moments on record:

1. Trouble in the Message Centre
2. Entertain Me
3. Girls and Boys
4. Popscene
5. Colin Zeal
6. Beetlebum
7. Bugman
8. Morricone
9. Bang
10. He Thought of Cars

(honorable mention: This is a Low, There's No Other Way, Pressure on Julian, Stereotypes, Essex Dogs, All We Want, and many more)

What are yours?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Coming soon...

...the next (and final) two in the series of Top Blur Moments on Record for Alex and Dave. It's been a crazy week or two but it should settle down soon. Thanks for being patient!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Return of Top Blur Moments on Record

Part II in our series in Top Blur Moments on Record, this time focusing on guitarist extraordinaire Graham Coxon, who also became more visible as a singer and songwriter as Blur's career progressed. His solo career is a testament to that, and is definitely worth checking out for the (few, I'm guessing) of you who come to this blog who haven't already done so! What makes Graham's guitar playing so unique and excellent, and this is coming from a long-time guitarist myself, is not only his amazing technical ability, but the sounds and textures he's able to create through the use of different combinations guitars, amps, and effects. That being said, it's again so hard to pick just 10 great moments, but if I *have* to (and I do), as of this moment, mine would be: 1. Beetlebum 2. This is a Low 3. For Tomorrow 4. Essex Dogs 5. Popscene 6. Chemical World 7. All We Want 8. There's No Other Way 9. He Thought of Cars 10. Inertia I can think of a bunch more that I really struggled with leaving off of that list (Bugman, Battle, Starshaped, London Loves just to name a few) but these are the ones that epitomize, to me, the breadth and excitement of his playing, from acoustic guitars and fingerstyle to chiming lead lines woven throughout chords to full-out balls-to-the-wall distortion and sound effects wizardry. What are your favorite 10?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Top Blur Moments on Record

In addition to Blur's live stuff, I like to talk about their studio stuff from time to time on here because, let's face it: a) it's great, and b) without the studio stuff, there would be no live stuff in the first place! I was thinking lately that it might be interesting to try and choose the top 10 moments on record for each member of the band, being that they are all incredible and unique talents in their own right and that their meshing together in this band is a perfect blend. Like all great bands, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. And let me add that it will be impossible for me (and I assume any other Blur fan who visits here) to choose *just* 10 moments for each member. Personally, these will be the top 10 I'm thinking of and that I'm enjoying AT THIS certainly can and will change in the future.

So first up...Damon Albarn!

For those new here who may not know much about Blur, Damon is the lead singer, keyboardist, acoustic guitarist, and songwriter in Blur. This list will focus on his lead vocals, since that is his main "instrument" played within the band.

My top 10 Damon Albarn moments on record:

1. "The Universal"
2. "This is a Low"
3. "All We Want"
4. "Tender"
5. "Beetlebum"
6. "Ambulance"
7. "Battery in Your Leg"
8. "Popscene"
9. "For Tomorrow"
10. "Black Book"

What are yours?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wrapping it up (the book, that is!)

I'm trying to finish the last several reviews to go in to the book and then I'll begin formatting it and getting it ready for the final push to publication. If you've got anything to contribute to it (ie live recordings, ticket stubs/scans, etc) please contact'd be much appreciated!

And I hope to get back to a more regular schedule of updating this site and sharing new content, time permitting. Thanks for sticking around!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Still Plugging Along

I'm trying to tie up loose ends while working on my next Blur book, so if anyone has anything you could share with me to add to the book (mainly live/rare recordings, ticket stub scans, etc) please contact me and let me know. This book wouldn't be half as good without the generosity and help of you, my fellow Blur fans! THANKS!

Blatant Self-Promotion...

...but I have to do it :-)

If you're interested in reading about what else in my life I think about/am interested in other than Blur, please visit and follow and comment on my personal blog:

Rock and Roll Chemist


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sorry for the delays... life is a bit unsettled right now, what with a new child (our fourth!), a busy job, and the end-of-the-school year stuff with my two oldest kids. Not to mention that I'm coaching their softball team and trying to fit in exercise, sleep, time spent with my wife and kids, etc. Rest assured I'm still here, still working on the next Blur book, and still planning on posting more articles, polls, audio downloads, etc.

What would you like to see in the way of content on here over the next several months?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Openers and Closers

Whether you know this or not, opening and closing songs are *very* important to musicians, and have been for years. Whether it's an opera, a musical, a jazz band, a blues band, orchestra, or rock band, the way you start and end a concert can make a huge difference in the mood and direction the performance will take, for both the performer and the audience member. I can attest to this from personal experience, in my years as a trumpet player in a jazz band, an orchestral band, and as a guitarist/singer in my own rock bands over the years. Start a show out with energy and excitement and you can have the crowd eating out of your hand. Start it flat and it can take ages, if ever, for the interaction between crowd and band to warm up. The same goes for ending a show...if you end it with drama, or with excitement, you can send everyone home happy. But an anti-climactic or lackluster finish can leave people with an unresolved feeling in their ears that will color their perception of the entire concert, whether the rest was good or not.

Anyway, sorry for the tangential introduction to this post, but it does lead to a point: how you begin and end a concert is a *HUGE DEAL*!! After listening to loads of live albums, both official and "unofficial," of a variety of bands, I've heard this played out a bunch of times. So, this leads to...


What are Blur's best/worst set openers and closers (this is a Blur site, after all!)?

In my humble opinion, the absolute best opener they've ever had is Popscene. While they haven't opened with this since 1993 or so, in my mind it was the best opening song they ever's incredibly energetic and exciting and gets everyone jumping from the get-go. The anticipation during Graham's flanged notes at the beginning before the entire band explodes into the song is just awesome. As far as closing songs, for me it's tied between two: This is a Low and The Universal. Both songs are slower paced, lending themselves to a bit of a gentler, but no less intense, comedown to mark the end of the show, which is no less powerful. However, each song has its distinct mood and effect; This is a Low is brooding and melancholy, burning slowly during the verses and exploding into the choruses...the final build-up to the solo and then the ending leaves everyone emotionally drained and happy. The Universal, on the other hand, while still melancholy in terms of subject matter, has a more triumphant feel, and the singalong chorus is a perfect way to send everyone off into the night on a high.

As far as worst ones? I think the worst opener (not counting instrumentals like Intermission, The Great Escape, Lot 105, The Debt Collector) they've used is Tender, which opened every 1999 show. I love Tender, I think it's a great song, but I think as an opener it's too slow, too quiet, and the effect of the great singalong potential is wasted as the show opener (to see how effective it can truly be when placed correctly in the middle of a set, see the shows from 2003, or especially 2009). As far as closing songs, my least favorite has to be Country House, which closed the main set in 1995/'s too cheery but not impactful enough to avoid being anti-climactic. And Song 2, which they used to close the encore sections in many 1997 shows, suffers from the same thing that plagued Tender...improper placement. Placed earlier in the show, it's impact is similar to that of Popscene.

So, what say you? What are you favorite and least favorite opening/closing songs from Blur??

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Since there have been recent rumblings that Blur may not ever record and/or tour again, it got me thinking, what are some of the Blur gigs you totally could have gone to see but didn't (for whatever various reasons)? We always talk about the great gigs we did see, but what about the "ones that got away?"

For me, I'll forever kick myself for not going to see them in New York City in 1999. They had announced only 3 North American shows in March/April 1999, one in LA, one in New York, and one in Toronto. Being in the Boston area at university at the time, I planned to go to the NYC show...I had tickets waiting for me at the Roseland Ballroom and had bought a bus ticket to get down there and back. However, I had a very important mid-term exam for a chemistry class coming up, and since chemistry was my major, I had to stay put to study and get a good grade on it. I remember my exact thought process was "oh well, next time, I'm sure they'll do a full tour later in the year." Of course, they didn't come back to the US *AT ALL* in 1999, and Graham left the band before they'd make another record and come back to tour. So I did see them on their next tour...four years later in 2003, sans Graham! While that was a great show, I always kick myself for missing the '99 see them all together, playing the 13 album front to back...if I had a time machine, I'd go back and kick 19-yr old Drew's ass and make him go to the show!

What are the gigs you could have gone to, but didn't, and wish you had?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

From a Torrent to a Trickle

Well, I think I've reached the time I knew would eventually come...the number and breadth of new Blur live recordings coming in to me has now, for the most part, stopped. For the last 6-7 years, I've been able to hunt down and acquire (and share out, mostly) dozens of newly unearthed recordings. Even within the last 3 years or so I've been able to discover the existence, and in most cases, obtain copies of, rare and unheard tapes. But it seems like I may have finally hit the wall, so to speak, and the supply has simply dried up.

I actually still know people who have many recordings, and a couple of them, who I consider friends, are doing me huge favors by working to get me copies. I'm waiting on those, and to my two friends I'm very grateful. But I also know (or know of) many other people scattered around the globe with another 20-40 tapes who simply can't be reached or aren't interested in sharing. And of course, I know of the existence of many more tapes, but not necessarily who has them.

I'm still working busily on the next Blur book, which I think will be really great and a huge upgrade/improvement on the first one, in terms of size, content, information, and format. The reason for this second book is because, while finishing and publishing the first one, I was still getting loads of new tapes, and in total there are more than 50 new shows/sources/recordings added to the second book. It makes sense to offer fans even more information, not to mentions the numerous corrections/additions, etc that resulted from more careful listening and fact-finding. However, unless I can bring in another serious haul of that size, I don't think it would make sense to update and add on to the book for a long time after the second one, if ever.

I'm not upset or angry at this situation, I want to make that clear and I hope no one misconstrues what I've written as such. I'm so happy to have been able to work on this and it only deepens my love for Blur and their music. The only emotion, other than joy, that this hobby/project of mine brings me, is a slight sadness that there are so many more amazing recordings from Blur on stage that we may simply never be able to hear, whether the tapes don't exist, are lost, damaged, or hidden away in someone's closet who does not want to share them. Blur played over 600 concerts between 1989 and 2009, and my collection, which I believe to be the largest in the world, has slightly over 200 distinct shows in it. So 33% of Blur's concert history is available on tape, while a whopping 66% is still out there, waiting to be discovered, listened to, enjoyed, analyzed, studied, dissected...

Have no worries! I will not be giving up collecting Blur...I'll always be on the hunt for new tapes and recordings and, unless instructed by the donors of said tapes, I will share what I can with all of you, my fellow Blur fans, time permitting. I'm a busy guy with a wife, 4 kids, a full-time job, and a VERY busy and fulfilling life, so I do the best I can with this site, the Facebook page, and the Twitter page, and I apologize if it frustrates you that I can't update as frequently as I'd frustrates me, too! But I will continue to update here with new and (hopefully) interesting articles, photos, recordings, etc, and I hope you'll stick around and continue to engage in discussions and comments, feedback and suggestions, anecdotes and memories...perhaps the best thing about this entire endeavor are all of the great people I've met, online and in real life.

And of course, I have to say it, but if you have any Blur live recordings, I'd love to hear about them and swap for a copy...I'd love to add them to my personal collection, as well as my digital archive and the book project. I'd, of course, give you credit in the book and would honor whatever wishes you had for the tape in regards to circulating it or not. Feel free to contact me via email (find the address in my profile to the right of this page) to discuss this.

Keep checking back here, there'll always be some new stuff posted as I find the time to do it...cheers!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blur songs for springtime

With beautiful spring weather (finally) here in New England, and of course elsewhere in the world, what are your favorite Blur "Springtime" songs? What songs fit perfectly with this time of year and this weather?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fool's year later

A year later, what are your thoughts on Fool's Day? I personally love the song. Is it one of Blur's best? No, of course not. But it's still catchy and enjoyable and was such a surprise and an unexpected treat that listening to it makes me feel really good.

What do you think?

HERE'S the link to the song.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My next Blur book...title change?

I posed this question on the Facebook and Twitter pages, but I've been mulling over whether or not to change the title for my next Blur book. On one hand, I feel like the title is established and would help with exposure for the new book. On the other hand, since it is expanded and includes some new material (in the way of ticket stubs, passes, etc), it could be considered a different beast and thus may benefit from a new title.

What do you think?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SHOW: Cotton Club, Atlanta, Georgia March 17, 1997

Here's a show from Blur's spring US Tour in 1997, performing the brand new self-titled album in America for the first time on these dates. This is the complete show, which is somewhat rare to find (most sources cut off before or during the encores). Enjoy!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Blur's Greatest Gigs?

Recently, NME published an article listing its "100 Gigs You Should Have Been At." First, a disclaimer...I haven't read the article myself as it seems to be only in the print edition, and I only read the free online edition. However, it has been discussed on the Blur message boards and apparently only two Blur gigs showed up on the list (three, technically, if you count the fact that they were part of the Rollercoaster Tour package in 1992, but NME only singled that show out because of My Bloody Valentine). The two Blur concerts they mentioned were the Gimme Shelter gig from 1992 (available HERE) and the Hyde Park shows from 2009 (commercially available). That started quite a debate on the forums, and I thought I'd expand on it here. So my question to you fellow fans is:

What do you consider to be the greatest Blur gigs ever?

Let me first say that by asking this question, I'm not talking about which are the best shows necessarily. We all know that, for instance, the Iceland show from late 1996 is a great concert because the band was very relaxed and previewed a lot of new material from their upcoming self-titled album. However, it's not one of those LEGENDARY gigs where everyone wishes they had been there, the way, say Woodstock in 1969 is. In my opinion, not only does the NME not have enough Blur gigs on it, but even if we accept they only get two spots, the two NME listed are, in my opinion, far from the ones any of us hardcore fans *should* have been at. So which gigs do I think would have been better choices for this list? Please note that this list is purely subjective and purely my opinion. Furthermore, I could come up with probably over 20 gigs, but I'm going to try and stick to the ones that even casual Blur fans would probably agree would have been ones they'd have loved to have been at.

Reading Festival 1993

Glastonbury 1994

Ally Pally 1994

Mile End 1995

Astoria 1997

B-Sides Show 1999

Singles Night 1999

Glastonbury 2009

That's my list, and I can expand further on my choices if you'd like me to, just ask in the comments. What's your list?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Back at it in March!

Whew! I know I hardly updated this site at all in February...I was busy working on my own musical project, which I released on March 1.

Now that that's finished, I intend to get back to devoting myself to this here site and updating it with info and goodies for all of you loyal readers. So stay tuned!

Friday, February 4, 2011

SHOW: 86th St., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 5/8/92

Here is the only other show that exists from Blur's 1992 American Tour (the other one is HERE).


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Need *YOU*

(SPECIAL THANKS to my friend Michael C. for customizing the above photo for me!)

I'm hard at work on the manuscript for the expanded next version of the book and working hard at getting a proper publisher. In the meantime, I'm awaiting a couple more batches of recordings from friends, but I'm always in need of more material to make the book and entire archiving project as detailed and complete as possible.

Everyone who reads this blog, the Facebook or Twitter pages, or my book, and has contacted me to donate recordings, ticket scans, etc, has been incredible and I appreciate and thank you for your kindness and generosity with the utmost in wholehearted sincerity.

With that being said, I'm making one last push over the next few months to compile as much as I can before I begin really flogging this around to different publishers (some of whom have already expressed interest). So...

...if you have ANY live recordings (see list below) that are on the list, or even if they aren't, and would be willing to donate/trade a copy to me for inclusion in the book, please contact me, it would be HUGELY appreciated. Some of these I am awaiting copies of, but the rest I'm still trying to get a hold of.

The same goes for any scans of ticket stubs to Blur concerts you've attended.

Your name will go in the back of the book on a special "THANK YOU" section that already has loads of names on it.

The list of KNOWN recordings (if you have these or any other, please contact me):

3/30/90 Falcon, Camden, London
5/16/90 Sir George Robey, London
5/19/93 Dolce Vita, Lausanne, Switzerland
5/23/93 Washington Heights, Reading
5/29/93 University, Manchester
8/7/93 Estádio José Bento Pessoa, Figueira da Foz, Portugal
11/3/93 Dynamo, Zurich, Switzerland
4/24/94 Casemates, Mons, Belgium
5/16/94 Plaza, Glasgow
5/23/94 Event Centre, Brighton, England
5/24/94 University, Reading, England
6/25/94 Old Trout, Windsor. England
7/9/94 Lummen Festival, Belgium
7/30/94 T in the Park Festival, Scotland
9/19/94 Masquerade, Atlanta
9/24/94 The Palace, Los Angeles
9/25/94 The Fillmore, San Francisco
7/7/95 Les Eurockeenes Festival, Belfort, France
10/25/94 La Bataclan, Paris, France
11/1/94 Christiana, Copenhagen, Denmark
6/10/95 Sonoria Festival, Milan, Italy
10/3/95 Metro, Chicago
11/9/95 NHK Hall, Tokyo, Japan
11/28/95 SECC, Glasgow, Scotland
12/11/95 SECC, Glasgow, Scotland
1/26/96 Moe’s, Seattle
2/26/96 Aqualung, Madrid (full show)
3/13/96 Teatro Tenda, Florence, Italy
3/18/96 Capitol, Hannover, Germany
1/27/97 Town and Country Club, Leeds, England
2/15/97 Divan du Monde, Paris, France
4/10/97 Grosse Freiheit, Hamburg, Germany
4/11/97 Arena, Berlin, Germany
5/14/97 Sports Hall, Cesena, Italy
5/26/97 Budokan, Tokyo, Japan
6/10/97 Electric Factory, Philadelphia
6/18/97 Showbox, Seattle
6/22/97 Ogden Theatre, Denver
6/26/97 Riviera, Chicago
6/27/97 Clutch Cargos, Detroit
8/8/97 Sudoeste Festival, Herdade da Casa Branca, Odemira, Portugal
8/14/97 Water Festival, Sweden
9/13/97 Orpheum, Boston (w/soundcheck)
10/14/97 County Bowl, Santa Barbara, California
11/8/97 MBK Hall, Bangkok
1/30/99 Depot Studios, London
3/30/99 Roseland Ballroom, NYC
4/1/99 Mayan Theatre, LA
6/20/99 Heineken Music Festival, Imola, Italy
7/31/99 Fuji Rock Festival, Japan (full show)
8/26/99 Goldsmiths College, London
11/18/99 Metrolpolitan Theatre, Mexico City (full show)
11/21/99 Credit Card Hall, Sao Paulo, Brazil (full show)
11/23/99 Metropolitan, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
6/16/03 Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles
6/19/03 Roseland Theatre, Portland
6/20/03 Showbox, Seattle
6/21/03 Vogue Theatre, Vancouver, Canada
7/23/03 Metropolis, Montreal, Canada
7/24/03 Theatre of the Living Arts, Philadelphia
7/26/03 Tabernacle, Atlanta
10/13/03 Circus, Stockholm (full show)
11/9/03 Gasometer, Vienna, Austria
11/22/03 Barrowlands, Glasow
7/12/09 T in the Park Festival, Scotland (full show)

Any correspondence with me will be kept confidential, and again, beforehand, I offer everyone a big...


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Archiving has begun!

For the last couple of weeks, I've begun working on archiving all of my live Blur shows to lossless digital for storage. I've done from 1989 up to about halfway through 1994. It got me thinking, do I really need all of the physical CD copies now? I'm leaning toward *YES* since I want to have a physical back-up in case, God forbid, I have any computer issues.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

B-Sides Live

One thing we Blur fans know very well is the wealth of material Blur have given us on the b-sides of their singles throughout their career. There are loads of amazing tracks on the b-sides, and you could definitely make at least a couple of album's worth of discs just using the very best songs. Since many of these songs rank as some of the fan's favorites, I thought it'd be interesting to look at how often Blur performed any of their b-sides in concert, and which songs. While the b-sides performed were detailed in Black Book corresponding to whichever show they were played at, this little article will aim to take a more general overview of the b-sides in a live setting.

First, below is a list of all of Blur's b-sides, along with the ones that were actually played live (highlighted in BOLD font):

***NOTE that b-sides that were also album tracks have been removed, as have remixes or alternate versions***

Mr Briggs

I'm All Over
Won't Do It
Day Upon Day

Uncle Love
Badgeman Brown
I'm Fine
Garden Central
Headist/Into Another
Hanging Over
Bone Bag

When The Cows Come Home
Young & Lovely
Es Scmecht
My Ark
Maggie May
Never Clever
Long Legged
Mixed Up

Tell Me Tell Me
Daisy Bell
Let's All Go Down The Strand
Anniversary Waltz
People In Europe
Peter Panic
Threadneedle Street
Got Yer!
Supa Shoppa

Theme From An Imaginary Film
Alex's Song
One Born Every Minute
No Monsters In Me
The Man Who Left Himself
The Horrors
A Song
St. Louis
All Your Life
A Spell For Money
Woodpigeon Song
Bustin' & Dronin'
Get Out of Cities
Polished Stone
Swallows in the Heatwave

All We Want
French Song
So You
Beagle 2
Black Book
7 Days
Money Makes Me Crazy
Tune 2
Don't Be
The Outsider

As you can see, the lion's share of the b-sides played come from the early part of Blur's career (pre-1994 and Parklife). Indeed, during this period they played a lot of b-sides live,as many of the b-sides were originally intended as album tracks before being bumped onto the singles. After superstardom in 1994, the b-sides played became more sporadic, and in actuality the list is a bit misleading as the majority of the later b-sides were only played at the legendary one-off B-Sides concert in London in September 1999. Apart from Swallows in the Heatwave and Inertia in 1997 and Fried in 1999, Blur's set has remained devoid of b-sides since 1994 (apart from Supa Shoppa, which was played virtually non-stop during the mad BritPop/Blurmania period of '94-'96). As I recently posted on the official Facebook page, it would be great to hear some b-sides played if/when Blur ever tour again, just to flesh out the set and throw a bone to the longtime fans who know these songs as well, if not better, than any of the singles and album tracks.

To finish up, I'll list my favorite b-sides, in no particular order (if I've forgotten any, I'll add them as I remember). Please share with us your own favorites in the comments section!

My favorite b-sides:

Day Upon Day
Won't Do It
Headist/Into Another
Hanging Over
Young and Lovely
No Monsters in Me
All We Want
All Your Life
Black Book
The Outsider
So You
I'm Fine
I'm All Over
Polished Stone
Threadneedle Street
Bone Bag
My Ark
Mixed Up
The Man Who Left Himself

What a killer album or two those songs could make...better than most bands' album tracks!