Blur v Oasis 'war' of 1995 had swung one way then the other. The Essex band were declared the initial winners thanks to Country House beating Roll With It to the #1 spot but before long the Gallagher Bros had captured the hearts and wallets of a nation once they heard Wonderwall.
Come 1997 a new and different sounding Blur emerged. The fun-loving Britpop band had gone to be replaced by an altogether more serious sounding lot. There was an edge to the lyrics, but much more impressively, there was also an edge to the music. Above all else, where Oasis had seemingly stood still and simply wanted to regurgitate the songs that were the cash-cows, Blur challenged their fans to keep on loving them.
The Comeback single was released on 20 January 1997.
mp3 : Blur - Beetlebum
Was it a dig at Liam & Noel with their never-ending fixation on The Beatles? That's what it sounded like first time round. It was one of those tracks that sounded OK on the radio but not one that would instantly stick in your brain. But it was popular enough to reach #1, only the second time this had happened to Blur after the afore-mentioned Country House (strangely enough it would be the last #1 single they ever had).
But it wasn't until around three weeks later that I really appreciated Beetlebum for being a truly great song. I bought the new album, called Blur, and gave it a listen. The lead single was the opening track and as I was impatient, I hit the skip button to listen to everything else afterwards. After about eight songs I realised I owned a CD that was a bit special so I stopped there and there and went back to the beginning. And listened properly to Beetlebum. It sounded so much better played loud on the stereo than it did on the radio...the talents of Graham Coxon, Dave Rowntree and Alex James really shone through...and Damon Albarn provided a great reminder of how good a singer he was. Forget the fact that Oasis were now in a different league to Blur in terms of popularity and record sales.....this was the sound of the most important British band of their era coming good yet again.
Here's yer b-side of the single. Warning...there's a reason they din't end up on the LP.....
mp3 : Blur - All Your Life
mp3 : Blur - A Spell (For Money)
mp3 : Blur - Woodpigeon Song
mp3 : Blur - Dancehall
mp3 : Blur - Beetlebum (Mario Caldato Jr Mix)