They liked to get in your face, often drunkenly, but their big bet, on English-flavoured pop at grunge’s apex, paid off. The subsequent alignment of UK pop culture behind their lead went to their heads, or did them in, or both, but it’s to their credit that the crash, when it came, fuelled music that bore the scars, in the scratchy comedown vibe of Blur, the deconstructive urges of 13, and beyond, into idiosyncratic solo projects.
9. GORILLAZ - GORILLAZ
And Blur live on. Reunited in 2009 after Graham Coxon’s 2002 exile, they’ve almost semi-regularly staged big gigs in Hyde Park, while a whole new Blur album, The Magic Whip, was carved out of off-the-cuff sessions conducted in Hong Kong in 2013. Time will tell if it secures a place in the pantheon. But No Distance Left To Run? Not on this evidence.
8. Blur - MODERN LIFE IS RUBBISH
These have included flibbertigibbet James’s footie-song supergroup, Fat Les, and Coxon’s guitar-slashing, Jilted John cris de coeur. Meanwhile, Albarn stormed classical citadels and danced to Afro grooves in Lagos and Mali.