WHEN BRITPOP CAVALIERS Blur unexpectedly announced in February the imminent dispatch of a ‘reunion’ album – The Magic Whip, available on April 27 – it signalled 25 years of the quartet’s existence as Blur.
At the height of their success in the ’90s, their battle with Oasis to be acknowledged Britain's biggest, most important band transfixed the nation, but their journey to that point had been far from smooth. Signed by Food in 1989, they had been groomed to ride shotgun on the 'baggy’ bandwagon, a move that paid dividends with their big 1991 hit There's No Other Way; but within a year of their breakthrough their natural inclination towards arty punky confrontation had reasserted itself, much to their paymasters’ chagrin.
Threatened with being dropped, they rallied to make the Britpop-defining mid-’90s tryptich of Modern Life Is Rubbish, Parklife and The Great Escape, before expanding the boundaries of their cerebral, genre-colliding music with Blur, 13 and the mostly Graham Coxon-less Think Tank.
A hiatus followed; then in 2009 the band made their peace with Coxon – read the latest issue of MOJO for the full, untold story – which has now borne surprise fruit in the guise of The Magic Whip.
To celebrate Blur’s quarter-century musical adventure, MOJO has compiled 10 great clips that tell their extraordinary tale. Just click on the slider below to enjoy them, and then let us know your own thoughts on the group's sonic triumphs and tribulations at MOJO Facebook and Twitter (@MOJOmagazine)
TOP PHOTO: Paul Postle