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Blur - Parklife

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Parklife

Blur

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Modern Life Is Rubbish established Blur as the heir to the archly British pop of the Kinks, the Small Faces, and the Jam, but its follow-up, Parklife, revealed the depth of that transformation. Relying more heavily on Ray Davies' seriocomic social commentary, as well as new wave, Parklife runs through the entire history of post-British Invasion Britpop in the course of 16 songs, touching on psychedelia, synth pop, disco, punk, and music hall along the way. Damon Albarn intended these songs to form a sketch of British life in the mid-'90s, and it's startling how close he came to his goal; not only did the bouncy, disco-fied "Girls & Boys" and singalong chant "Parklife" become anthems in the U.K., but they inaugurated a new era of Brit-pop and lad culture, where British youth celebrated their country and traditions. The legions of jangly, melodic bands that followed in the wake of Parklife revealed how much more complex Blur's vision was. Not only was their music precisely detailed -- sound effects and brilliant guitar lines pop up all over the record -- but the melodies elegantly interweaved with the chords, as in the graceful, heartbreaking "Badhead." Surprisingly, Albarn, for all of his cold, dispassionate wit, demonstrates compassion that gives these songs three dimensions, as on the pathos-laden "End of a Century," the melancholy Walker Brothers tribute "To the End," and the swirling, epic closer, "This Is a Low." For all of its celebration of tradition, Parklife is a thoroughly modern record in that it bends genres and is self-referential (the mod anthem of the title track is voiced by none other than Phil Daniels, the star of Quadrophenia). And, by tying the past and the present together, Blur articulated the mid-'90s Zeitgeist and produced an epoch-defining record. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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Parklife

Blur

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1
Girls and Boys (2012 Remaster) 00:04:50

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

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

2
Tracy Jacks (2012 Remaster) 00:04:19

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Louisa Fuller, Violin - Rick Koster, Violin - John Metcalfe, Viola, Strings - Ivan McCready, Cello - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums - STEPHEN STREET, Producer, Remastering Engineer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar, Backing Vocals - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Keyboards, Vocals - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer - Mark Pharoah, Violin

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

3
End of a Century (2012 Remaster) 00:02:44

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Producer, Guitar - Roddy Lorimer, Flugelhorn - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums - Richard Edwards, Trombone - STEPHEN STREET, Producer, Remastering Engineer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer

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

4
Parklife (2012 Remaster) 00:03:05

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

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

5
Bank Holiday (2012 Remaster) 00:01:40

John Smith, Engineer - 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

6
Badhead (2012 Remaster) 00:03:25

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Roddy Lorimer, Trombone - Tim Sanders, Tenor Saxophone - Simon Clarke, Saxophone - 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

7
The Debt Collector (2012 Remaster) 00:02:10

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass Guitar - Tim Sanders, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone - Simon Clarke, Saxophone - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums, Percussion - STEPHEN STREET, Producer, Remastering Engineer - Neil Sidwell, Trombone - 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

8
Far Out (2012 Remaster) 00:01:37

John Smith, Engineer - 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

9
To the End (2012 Remaster) 00:04:04

John Smith, Producer, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Producer, Guitar, Writer - Dave Rowntree, Drums - David Rowntree, Composer, Writer - Stephen Hague, Producer, Accordion, Engineer - STEPHEN STREET, Remastering Engineer - Laetitia Sadier, Vocals, Additional Vocals - Chris Tombling, Strings - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar, Writer - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer - Frank Arkwright, Remastering Engineer - Leo Payne, Strings - Audrey Riley, Strings - Chris Pitsillides, Strings

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

10
London Loves (2012 Remaster) 00:04:15

John Smith, Engineer - 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

11
Trouble in the Message Centre (2012 Remaster) 00:04:08

John Smith, Engineer - 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

12
Clover over Dover (2012 Remaster) 00:03:22

John Smith, Engineer - 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

13
Magic America (2012 Remaster) 00:03:37

John Smith, Engineer - 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

14
Jubilee (2012 Remaster) 00:02:47

John Smith, Engineer - 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 - Jon Brookes, Martin Blunt, Rob Collins, Tim Burgess, Composer, Writer

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

15
This Is a Low (2012 Remaster) 00:05:15

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Producer, Guitar - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums - STEPHEN STREET, Producer, Remastering Engineer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Guitar - Blur, MainArtist - Damon Albarn, Composer, Producer, Guitar, 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
Lot 105 (2012 Remaster) 00:01:18

John Smith, Engineer - Alex James, Composer, Bass - Dave Rowntree, Composer, Drums - STEPHEN STREET, Producer, Remastering Engineer, Digital Remasterer - Graham Coxon, Composer, Vocals - Blur, 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

Album Description

Modern Life Is Rubbish established Blur as the heir to the archly British pop of the Kinks, the Small Faces, and the Jam, but its follow-up, Parklife, revealed the depth of that transformation. Relying more heavily on Ray Davies' seriocomic social commentary, as well as new wave, Parklife runs through the entire history of post-British Invasion Britpop in the course of 16 songs, touching on psychedelia, synth pop, disco, punk, and music hall along the way. Damon Albarn intended these songs to form a sketch of British life in the mid-'90s, and it's startling how close he came to his goal; not only did the bouncy, disco-fied "Girls & Boys" and singalong chant "Parklife" become anthems in the U.K., but they inaugurated a new era of Brit-pop and lad culture, where British youth celebrated their country and traditions. The legions of jangly, melodic bands that followed in the wake of Parklife revealed how much more complex Blur's vision was. Not only was their music precisely detailed -- sound effects and brilliant guitar lines pop up all over the record -- but the melodies elegantly interweaved with the chords, as in the graceful, heartbreaking "Badhead." Surprisingly, Albarn, for all of his cold, dispassionate wit, demonstrates compassion that gives these songs three dimensions, as on the pathos-laden "End of a Century," the melancholy Walker Brothers tribute "To the End," and the swirling, epic closer, "This Is a Low." For all of its celebration of tradition, Parklife is a thoroughly modern record in that it bends genres and is self-referential (the mod anthem of the title track is voiced by none other than Phil Daniels, the star of Quadrophenia). And, by tying the past and the present together, Blur articulated the mid-'90s Zeitgeist and produced an epoch-defining record. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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