Pretty Green

Blur – Leisure – 25th Anniversary vinyl re-issue

We all love a re-issue, and the past couple of years (and couple of years to come) have been and will be littered with them.

I have purchased a few and have a few lined up, but each one is procured with a ritualistic moment of reflection. I say reflection, it’s more like a day where I sulk because my imminent 40’s mean that gaping abyss between my joyful teens and present day is getting ever wider. And I look at these records like I did when I purchased them nearly three decades ago. With excitement and anticipation. I still remove the cellophane on an LP with a childlike ignorance, forgetting that I know exactly what the sleeve holds and what the track listing is. The only difference is that now these records no longer fall into new release territory, they are now classics. Old enough to warrant an anniversary pressing *sighs.

So after my momentary reflection I can confirm that Leisure still doesn’t disappoint. First studio album they did, last one I bought as a teen (I worked backwards) but still one of my favourites.

Take away for one minute the cheeky grins, the cockney japes, the arsing about on stage and you are left with a band that, briefly, on each album could take you from the most over whelming moments of subdue reflection to bouncing from the walls. They did it with MLIR (Blue Jean into Chemical World) and Parklife (End of a Century into Parklife).

I refer, of course, to the last song on side A. Sing. Only really got its dues when it featured in Trainspotting. If Renton’s heroin addled struggle was a good stilton, then Sing was the port. Never has a song complimented a film premise quite so much. I have listened to it differently ever since.

But, once you have picked yourself up to flip the vinyl you are instantly catapulted back to reality with There’s No Other Way.

Leisure was originally released in 1991. Pre Britpop. Therefore Leisure wasn’t just a good Britpop album it was a definitive album of its time. Not gaining the commercial success or critical acclaim of its follow up’s Leisure has gone forward to give us some of the foundations of the Blur phenomenon such as She’s So High and Bang.

So I know, I am already preaching to the masses but this is a nice little addition to any record collection. And it’s turquoise. Which is nice.