Release date: 23-04-2015
2015 EU issue pressed on 180g double Vinyl LP+download-First New Album Since 2003's Think Tank! double vinyl LP, gatefold picture sleeve with inners, obi-strip and download code. A full twelve years since their last long-player, all four original members are back together with a whole album of new material, recorded in Japan during down-time from a tour of the far east.
The new album from Blur, titled The Magic Whip, started life in Hong Kong when the band had an unexpected break in touring in May 2013. It will issued by Warner Bros. / Parlophone in April 2015 - 16 years since 13, the band’s last record as a four-piece. The recordings for the band’s eighth studio album began in Spring 2013 at Avon Studios in Kowloon.
Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree spent 5 days jamming together and carried on with their live dates while the recordings were put aside and the group finished touring and returned to their respective lives. Dave resumed his day job as a lawyer and Alex returned home to his farm in Oxfordshire from where he writes a regular farming column in The Telegraph and hosts the annual food and music festival The Big Feastival with Jamie Oliver.
Graham, who has released eight critically acclaimed solo albums to date, continued to work on his own material and, in 2014, Damon released his Mercury-nominated debut solo album Everyday Robots. Then, in November last year, Graham revisited the tracks and, drafting in Blur’s early producer Stephen Street (Leisure, Modern Life is Rubbish, Parklife, The Great Escape, Blur), he worked with the band on the material. Damon then added lyrics and the 12 tracks on The Magic Whip is the result.
Blur were formed in 1989 by Albarn, Coxon, James and Rowntree and signed with Food/EMI the same year. Announcing their arrival with debut album Leisure in 1991, Blur continued to revolutionize the sound of English popular music with second release Modern Life Is Rubbish (1993). Five successive UK #1 albums followed - with Parklife (1994) and The Great Escape (1995) helping to propel the band to mass popularity in the UK and beyond. The eponymous Blur was released in 1997 and seventh album Think Tank (2003) was Blur’s first as a three-piece after the temporary departure of founding guitarist Graham Coxon. One of the most successful British bands of the last two decades, Blur have won a total of five BRIT Awards, and were twice nominated for the Mercury Music Award.
In 2009 Blur reconvened as a four-piece to play a series of UK shows including two sold out dates at Hyde Park and a historic Sunday night appearance at Glastonbury. The film No Distance Left To Run was made that summer and released the following year. In 2012 the band received a BRIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music and wrote two news songs ahead of their massive sold out show in London's Hyde Park to mark the closing of the Olympic Games. The songs "The Puritan" and "Under The Westway" were debuted live on Twitter via a worldwide video stream from a London rooftop. And twenty one years after the release of their debut album, 2012 also saw Blur 21: The Box, the band's body of work compiled and gathered together into one package.
A1 Lonesome Street
A2 New World Towers
A3 Go Out
B1 Ice Cream Man
B2 Thought I Was a Spaceman
B3 I Broadcast
C1 My Terracotta Heart
C2 There Are Too Many of Us
C3 Ghost Ship
D1 Pyongyang 5:38
D2 Ong Ong 3:06