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Blur’s Modern Life is 20: 5 Brilliant Songs

This week we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of one of the greatest Britpop albums of all-time, Blur’s Modern Life Is Rubbish. The album was released on 10 May, 1993, less than two months after Suede’s debut. Remember, 1993 was the most important year for Britpop, as the movement that extolled all things British began to gain momentum during the spring. New bands were formed, unknowns became stars, and classic albums were born. And the media was starting to loudly champion their discoveries over more popular American fare. By the time Modern Life hit store shelves, British music was already in an upswing, but Blur’s new album became instantly synonymous with ‘Britpop.’

We’re going to dedicate a few posts to Blur’s spectacular milestone. The album produced, not only fourteen exciting songs, but plenty of quality b-sides, music videos, and live appearances. Too much to cover in one post!

I thought we could start with the album itself. Modern Life is close to perfection. There really is no filler material. It would be impossible to choose five best songs from the album, so I’ve compiled a selection of the best live or televised performances from this era in Blur’s career. It’s best to watch live or televised footage of Blur when you can because few things are as satisfying as watching Damon lurching around a stage like a drunken hunchback. It’s just the proper way to listen to these songs. Note: the performances may not all be 20 years old.

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This televised performance is from the Channel 4 show, Butt Naked — 30 May, 1994

Colin Zeal

Live in Koln, 1993.

Blue Jeans

Chemical World

Blur on the original Late Night with Conan O’Brien (US) from 1993. The band are dressed to impress, and Damon’s wacky handshake at the end probably only scared Conan a little.

Oily Water

Live at the Roskilde Festival, 1992. I’m fairly certain this featured in Blur’s Star Shaped documentary.

Stay tuned for a look back at some of Blur’s best b-sides and videos from Modern Life, as well as a selection of full concert videos from 1993!

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Britpopping since I first heard 'Animal Nitrate' in 1993

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