Posts tagged "Blur"

The 50 Best Pop Singles Of 1994 (Featuring New Interviews With Ace Of Base, TLC, Lisa Loeb, Real McCoy & Haddaway)

As 2014 draws to a close, one thing that stands out the most about this year is the huge wave of artists who broke international barriers and crossed over into our pop music consciousness. And we’re not just talking about the UK, where Disclosure, Sam Smith, Charli XCX, Ella Henderson and Clean Bandit hail from — you also had Australia (Iggy Azalea), Ireland (Hozier), Canada (MAGIC! and Kiesza) Norway (Nico & Vinz), Sweden (Tove Lo) and Amsterdam (Mr. Probz) waving their flags high. It got us thinking that we hadn’t seen a foreign invasion of the American charts like this in 20 years.

So what else is it about 1994 that made it such an utterly memorable year, musically? Before we get to that, let’s first paint a quick picture of what life was like during this particular 12-month period when iTunes and YouTube and Twitter didn’t exist, nor did texting or Snapchatting — when being “social” meant driving (sans GPS or the Maps app) to meet up with friends in person, or, at the very least, putting a pen to paper and mailing a letter.

First off, when 1994 rolled around, Bill Clinton was entering the second year of his first term as President. Cell phones were the size of bricks and e-mail and the Internet were sporadically-used luxuries. It was the days of Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan and the 1994 Winter Olympics. And CD-ROMs. We watched O.J. Simpson go on the run on live TV and also tuned into the first seasons of Friends, ER and Party Of Five. Tom Hanks was America’s favorite silver screen star. At the box office, The Lion King roared loudest, while Speed, Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction also packed movie-goers in. And when Kurt Cobain was found dead at his home on April 8th, it was, as they say, the end of an era…

…which brings us back to music. It would have been the easy way out for us here at Idolator to assemble a simple list of, say, the 20 best singles from 20 years ago, and dash out a a sentence or two on each one. But it turns out, when we really dug deep into what pop had to offer in 1994, there were just far too many good songs to leave off the list. From sultry slow jams to trip hop to synth-pop to Eurodance to Swedepop to alt-rock, it truly was an eclectic year when popular music produced something for everyone.

So instead, we gathered up the 50 best pop singles that made an impact in 1994 below, and reviewed and ranked them by their overall awesomeness. Most of these songs sprung up that year, but you’ll find that some first appeared on albums released in 1993 and didn’t get a single release until ’94, or perhaps were released as a single in late ’93 but their chart run carried into the next year. Whatever the case may be, they’re the tracks we felt left an unforgettable impression.

To add a bit of flavor, we reached out to some of the artists featured — Ace Of Base, TLC, Lisa Loeb, Real McCoy and Haddaway — and asked them to share their memories of what it was like contributing to the year 1994 in pop. Ready to hop into our time machine and step back 20 years? On your mark, get set… More »

Ke$ha Channels Blur’s “Song 2″ On New Track “Woo Hoo”: Listen To A Clip

While the world collectively wrings its hands anxiously, waiting for Ke$ha‘s new album to arrive, there is some slight relief today, pop pickers —  a snippet of new song said to be called “Woo Hoo” has arrived! In addition to declaring that she lives her life like she’s been “raised by wolves,” Ke$ha also interpolates Blur’s ’90s classic “Song 2″ into her song’s chorus.

The dollar-signed one demurely chirps the following atop a stomping beat: “Woo hoo, if you’re ready to throw down, woo hoo, like we’ve never been allowed / woo hoo, if you just don’t give a fuck, throw ‘em up, throw ‘em up, e’erybody throw ‘em up!”

Marvel at the poetry below! More »

Gorillaz And Blur Are Not Finished After All

It looks like we won’t have to go memorializing Gorillaz and Blur after all. While being interviewed by Metro UK, Damon Albarn was asked if this was really the end of his two most noteworthy bands. “No. That comes from an article which was an interesting take on a very long conversation,” Albarn said, referencing his recent interview in The Guardian. “I don’t know how we’ll feel when we [Blur] play Hyde Park. Some days I feel one way and other days I feel the other. If you don’t see something as a career but as an important part of your life, you don’t know how you’re going to feel about it. We want to put on a great performance but nothing’s been said between us about the beginning or the end.” 

All appears to be well with Gorillaz as well… just not right now. “When Jamie [Hewlett] and I have worked out our differences, I’m sure we’ll make another record.” We hope that stays a “when”, not “if”, but let’s not get too down — when asked when the biggest misconception is of him, Albarn replies, “That everything that comes out of my mouth is serious.” 

Damon Albarn Confirms The End Of Gorillaz And Blur

Damon Albarn, the musical mastermind behind Blur and Gorillaz, is giving his fans one hell of a bummer. In a recent interview with The Guardian, the artist confirms the end of both his groups. More »

The 2012 BRIT Awards: Full Winners List

Though the big winner of the 2012 BRIT Awards was clearly Adele’s middle finger, the 21 singer and Ed Sheeran walked away with the most awards, with two each. Coldplay took home Best British Group, Bruno Mars scored International Male Solo Artist, and Lana Del Rey nabbed International Breakthrough Act. While accepting her award for International Female Solo Artist, Rihanna thanked all her fans “who continue to support me no matter what… at times when I feel misunderstood, my fans always remind me that it’s okay to be myself.” (Is it just us, or is she slyly referencing the “Birthday Cake” controversy?) Head below for the full winners list. More »

Adele, Lana Del Rey, Florence & Jessie J Nominated For BRIT Awards

Adele and Jessie J are the leading ladies at this year’s BRIT Awards after nabbing three nominations apiece, while 20-year-old Halifax, West Yorkshire native Ed Sheeran got the most nods of all, with four. Sheeran’s 2011 UK hit “The A Team” will compete with nine other songs in the British Single category — including Adele’s “Someone Like You”, Jessie J’s “Price Tag” and The Wanted’s “Glad You Came”.
More »

The “Parklife” Stamp: Even Better Than Sealing Your Letter With A Kiss

Next year, the UK will issue a series of stamps dedicated to the art of the British album cover. The Stones’ Let It Bleed, New Order’s Power, Corruption, and Lies, Primal Scream’s Screamadelica, and Blur’s Parklife will all be honored in this 10-stamp issue. If the US had a similar stamp issue, I wonder what albums would get the nod? You’d think Thriller would be a no-brainer, and Madonna’s True Blue would look kinda dynamite, but after that… ? (First person to shout Merriweather Post Pavilion!” is fired.) The full issue of stamps after the jump.

Album Art - Block new

Haha, Coldplay. Oh, you Brits.

Design Classics: Classic Album Covers – 7 Janaury 2010 [Norvic Philatelics via NME]

If you’re awake and reading this right now, you probably missed this weekend’s Glastonbury Festival–and Blur’s fest-closing reunion set last night. Thanks to the Internet, though, MP3s of the performance are out there! Well, for now, anyway. [Deaf Indie Elephants / Pic via slint4587]

Blur In Surprise Gig Shocker (Although You Probably Missed It Before It Even Happened)

Blur’s career retrospective Midlife comes out in the UK today, and to celebrate that fact–not to mention their upcoming shows around that country–the band has decided to surprise everyone with a show at an undisclosed location in London today. According to Blur’s official site, the first 170 people to show up at the Brixton Academy box office would get tickets to the gig… although the queue for these tickets started at 11 a.m. local time, so they’re probably long gone by now. But!

There were rumors that the show would be at the famed record store Rough Trade, but those rumors were quickly scuttled. But 170 seems like an oddly… precise number of tickets to give out, doesn’t it? Now, I don’t live in the area, but traipsing around Google reveals that there’s one London music venue with both a 170-reveler capacity and an opening on the calendar for 15 June: The Buffalo Bar, which is conveniently located near the Tube and which hosted a tribute to the band earlier this month. Aw, so cute!

Mornin all [Graham Coxon via Drowned In Sound

Why Is Damon Albarn Wearing A Backpack While Rehearsing?

Blur’s first concert since 2000 is happening in London this Saturday, and to whet peoples’ appetites–and make Americans who don’t have the type of spending money to jet across the Atlantic to see Blur for a weekend insanely jealous–they’ve posted footage of themselves rehearsing three songs online: “Song 2,” “For Tomorrow,” and “Death Of A Party.” But as many astute YouTube observers noted, lead singer Damon Albarn is wearing a backpack during the test run of “Song 2.” Why would that be? Are there weights in there to help him get in shape for what might be a hyperactive performance of the most unlikely jock jam? Is he hoping to bring back raving? Did he really not want to lose his keys? So many mysteries. Video after the jump!

Blur post rehearsal footage of 3 songs [YouTube via Music Radar]