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Blur - Modern Life Is Rubbish (Special Edition)

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Modern Life Is Rubbish (Special Edition)

Blur

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As a response to the dominance of grunge in the U.K. and their own decreasing profile in their homeland -- and also as a response to Suede's sudden popularity -- Blur reinvented themselves with their second album, Modern Life Is Rubbish, abandoning the shoegazing and baggy influences that dominated Leisure for traditional pop. On the surface, Modern Life may appear to be an homage to the Kinks, David Bowie, the Beatles, and Syd Barrett, yet it isn't a restatement, it's a revitalization. Blur use British guitar pop from the Beatles to My Bloody Valentine as a foundation, spinning off tales of contemporary despair. If Damon Albarn weren't such a clever songwriter, both lyrically and melodically, Modern Life could have sunk under its own pretensions, and the latter half does drag slightly. However, the record teems with life, since Blur refuse to treat their classicist songs as museum pieces. Graham Coxon's guitar tears each song open, either with unpredictable melodic lines or layers of translucent, hypnotic effects, and his work creates great tension with Alex James' kinetic bass. And that provides Albarn a vibrant background for his social satires and cutting commentary. But the reason Modern Life Is Rubbish is such a dynamic record and ushered in a new era of British pop is that nearly every song is carefully constructed and boasts a killer melody, from the stately "For Tomorrow" and the punky "Advert" to the vaudeville stomp of "Sunday Sunday" and the neo-psychedelic "Chemical World." Even with its flaws, it's a record of considerable vision and excitement. [Most American versions of Modern Life Is Rubbish substitute the demo version of "Chemical World" for the studio version on the British edition. They also add the superb single "Pop Scene" before the final song, "Resigned."] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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Modern Life Is Rubbish (Special Edition)

Blur

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DISC 1

1
For Tomorrow (2012 Remastered Version) 00:04:20

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Louisa Fuller, Violin - Rick Koster, Violin - John Metcalfe, Viola - Ivan McCready, Cello - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums, Timpani - Helen Kamminga, Viola - STEPHEN STREET, Producer, Remastering Engineer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar, Vocals - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Bells, Organ, Vocals, Synthesizer - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer - Louise Fuller, Violin - The Duke String Quartet, String Quartet

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

2
Advert (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:44

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums - STEPHEN STREET, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Remastering Engineer, Hand Clap - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar, Tambourine, Backing Vocals - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Keyboards, Vocals, Miscellaneous - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

3
Colin Zeal (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:16

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar, Hand Clap - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums, Hand Clap - STEPHEN STREET, Producer, Remastering Engineer, Synthesizer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar, Tambourine, Backing Vocals - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Vocals, Miscellaneous - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

4
Pressure On Julian (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:30

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums, Hand Clap - STEPHEN STREET, Producer, Remastering Engineer, Samples - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar, Vocals, Miscellaneous - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Vocals - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

5
Star Shaped (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:26

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums - STEPHEN STREET, Producer, Bells, Remastering Engineer, Synthesizer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar, Vocals, Moog - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Vocals - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer - Kate St John, Cor Anglais, Oboe, Soprano Saxophone

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

6
Blue Jeans (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:53

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums, Musicians, Loops - STEPHEN STREET, Producer, Remastering Engineer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar, Vocals - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Piano, Vocals, Melodica - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

7
Chemical World (Including 'Intermission') (2012 Remastered Version) 00:06:33

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums - STEPHEN STREET, Producer, Remastering Engineer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Vocals - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

8
Sunday Sunday (2012 Remastered Version) 00:02:37

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Roddy Lorimer, Trumpet - Tim Sanders, Tenor Saxophone - Simon Clarke, Saxophone, Bass-Baritone, Bass-Baritone Vocals - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums, Musicians - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer - Neil Sidwell, Trombone - Paul Spong, Cornet - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Organ, Lead Vocals - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer - Steve Lovell, Producer - Simon Weinstock, Mixer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

9
Oily Water (2012 Remastered Version) 00:04:59

John Smith, Producer, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums - STEPHEN STREET, Mixer, Remastering Engineer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Blur, Producer, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Musicians, Miscellaneous - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

10
Miss America (2012 Remastered Version) 00:05:34

John Smith, Producer, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Miscellaneous - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Noises - Blur, Producer, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Lead Vocals - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

11
Villa Rosie (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:53

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Keyboards, Vocals - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer - Steve Lovell, Producer - Simon Weinstock, Mixer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

12
Coping (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:23

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums, Musicians, Loops - STEPHEN STREET, Producer, Remastering Engineer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Acoustic Guitar, Tambourine, Backing Vocals - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Lead Vocals, Synthesizer, Moog - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

13
Turn It Up (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:21

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums - STEPHEN STREET, Producer, Remastering Engineer, Hand Clap - Graham Coxon, Composer, Acoustic Guitar, Tambourine, Triangle, Backing Vocals - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Lead Vocals - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

14
Resigned (Including 'Commercial Break') (2012 Remastered Version) 00:06:12

John Smith, Producer, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar - Blur, Producer, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Lead Vocals, Melodica - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

DISC 2

1
Popscene (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:14

Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer - John Fryer, Mixer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Lead Vocals - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer - Steve Lovell, Producer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

2
Mace (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:25

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar - Blur, Producer, Featured Vocalist, Performance, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Lead Vocals - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

3
Badgeman Brown (2012 Remastered Version) 00:04:48

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar - Blur, Producer, Featured Vocalist, Performance, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Vocals - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

4
I'm Fine (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:03

Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar - Blur, Producer, Featured Vocalist, Performance, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Vocals - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

5
Garden Central (2012 Remastered Version) 00:06:00

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer - Dave Rowntree, Composer - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Graham Coxon, Composer - Blur, Producer, Featured Vocalist, Performance, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Vocals - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

6
For Tomorrow (Visit to Primrose Hill Extended;2012 Remastered Version) 00:06:01

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Producer, Acoustic Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums - STEPHEN STREET, Producer, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

7
Into Another (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:55

John Smith, Producer, Engineer - Alex James, Composer - Dave Rowntree, Composer - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Graham Coxon, Composer - Blur, Producer, Featured Vocalist, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

8
Peach (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:57

John Smith, Producer, Engineer - Alex James, Composer - Dave Rowntree, Composer - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Graham Coxon, Composer - Blur, Producer, Featured Vocalist, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

9
Bone Bag (2012 Remastered Version) 00:04:04

John Smith, Producer, Engineer - Alex James, Composer - Dave Rowntree, Composer - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Graham Coxon, Composer - Blur, Producer, Featured Vocalist, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

10
Hanging Over (2012 Remastered Version) 00:04:27

John Smith, Producer, Engineer - Alex James, Composer - Dave Rowntree, Composer - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Graham Coxon, Composer - Blur, Producer, Featured Vocalist, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

11
When the Cows Come Home (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:50

Alex James, Composer - Dave Rowntree, Composer - STEPHEN STREET, Producer, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Graham Coxon, Composer - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

12
Beachcoma (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:38

John Smith, Producer, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums, Percussion - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Blur, Producer, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Keyboards, Vocals - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

13
Chemical World (Reworked) (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:44

Alex James, Composer - Dave Rowntree, Composer - CLIVE LANGER, Producer - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Alan Winstanley, Producer - Graham Coxon, Composer - Blur, Producer, Featured Vocalist, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

14
Es Schmecht (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:36

Alex James, Composer - Dave Rowntree, Composer - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Graham Coxon, Composer - Blur, Producer, Engineer, Featured Vocalist, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

15
Young and Lovely (2012 Remastered Version) 00:05:03

Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums, Percussion - STEPHEN STREET, Producer, Remastering Engineer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Keyboards, Vocals - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

16
Maggie May (2012 Remastered Version) 00:04:06

STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - ROD STEWART, Composer - Martin Quittenton, Composer - Blur, MainArtist - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Steve Lovell, Producer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

17
My Ark (2012 Remastered Version) 00:05:56

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer - Dave Rowntree, Composer - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Graham Coxon, Composer - Blur, Producer, Featured Vocalist, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

18
Daisy Bell (A Bicycle Made for Two) (2012 Remastered Version) 00:02:47

John Smith, Engineer - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Blur, Producer, Featured Vocalist, MainArtist - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Kathy Firth, Composer - Harry Dacre, Composer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

19
Let's All Go Down the Strand (2012 Remastered Version) 00:03:41

John Smith, Engineer - Murphy, Composer - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Blur, Producer, Featured Vocalist, MainArtist - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Kathy Firth, Composer - Castling, Composer

2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company 2012 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

Album Description

As a response to the dominance of grunge in the U.K. and their own decreasing profile in their homeland -- and also as a response to Suede's sudden popularity -- Blur reinvented themselves with their second album, Modern Life Is Rubbish, abandoning the shoegazing and baggy influences that dominated Leisure for traditional pop. On the surface, Modern Life may appear to be an homage to the Kinks, David Bowie, the Beatles, and Syd Barrett, yet it isn't a restatement, it's a revitalization. Blur use British guitar pop from the Beatles to My Bloody Valentine as a foundation, spinning off tales of contemporary despair. If Damon Albarn weren't such a clever songwriter, both lyrically and melodically, Modern Life could have sunk under its own pretensions, and the latter half does drag slightly. However, the record teems with life, since Blur refuse to treat their classicist songs as museum pieces. Graham Coxon's guitar tears each song open, either with unpredictable melodic lines or layers of translucent, hypnotic effects, and his work creates great tension with Alex James' kinetic bass. And that provides Albarn a vibrant background for his social satires and cutting commentary. But the reason Modern Life Is Rubbish is such a dynamic record and ushered in a new era of British pop is that nearly every song is carefully constructed and boasts a killer melody, from the stately "For Tomorrow" and the punky "Advert" to the vaudeville stomp of "Sunday Sunday" and the neo-psychedelic "Chemical World." Even with its flaws, it's a record of considerable vision and excitement. [Most American versions of Modern Life Is Rubbish substitute the demo version of "Chemical World" for the studio version on the British edition. They also add the superb single "Pop Scene" before the final song, "Resigned."] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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