Blur Was Inconsequential


I’ve recently developed the hypothesis that the band Blur may be the least consequential good band of my lifetime. I own one album of theirs (1997’s “Blur”), I’ve heard a bunch of other songs. I neither love nor hate them. I neither like nor dislike them. And I can’t think of any friends who would identify themselves as “Blur Fans” or “Blur Heads” or whatever fans of Blur would call themselves if they did, in fact, exist, which is doubtful at the moment.

To my knowledge, Blur never played SNL, never won a Grammy, and nobody has ever argued about these being cultural crimes. They have never had a real controversy of any proportion. The only way I can prove they existed is by their tangential relationships to other bands (those being the weird rivalry with Oasis, and the fact that someone in Blur dated someone in Elastica) (but I could tell you more about Oasis and Elastica; I own more Elastica albums than Blur albums – 100% of the Elastica catalog as opposed to whatever percentage one album of Blur’s catalog is).

OK, it’s a little harsh to call the band inconsequential. Which is why I didn’t. I called them “the least consequential.” This means I can list any other band and tell you how they meant something to me, how they’ve influenced me, or something about them. Which is more than I can say for Blur.

Leaving off your basic legends (The Beatles, Stones, Hendrix, Zeppelin), let’s expand out. Here is a list of bands which are “Less-Than Legends” that I think about or have my life affected by more than Blur (which is to say “affected at all”).

Elastica: one great record which is firmly in my iPod and one I kinda loved prior to learning about the relationship to Blur.

Oasis: drunk a-holes who claimed to only listen to the Beatles. Had a HUGE hit record in college, were somehow important through sheer a-hole-ness.

The Hives: one of my favorite live shows and many other reasons.

The Strokes: I own most of their albums, love some of them, enjoy them greatly.

The Black Crowes: not the best band, but capable. Notable for trying to be the Stones and the Faces.

The Faces: they tried to be the Stones, gave one of their members to the Stones, and have some of the hands-down best bar rock songs ever created from 1971 to 1973.

U2: one of my Enemy Bands, which means more to me than you might think.

REM: one of my wife’s favorite bands.

The Cure: one of my wife’s other favorite bands.

Kid Rock: oddly interesting dirtbag. Represents re-birth of David Lee Roth in a way, one of the better live shows I ever saw (for real). Now represents the right-wing south rap rock movement, which is something to think about.

Aerosmith: another Stones-derivative and one of the most middle of the road concerts I’ve ever seen. Also a major connection to “Wayne’s World.”

Soundgarden: sometimes my absolute favorite grunge band, and flirts with being my favorite band. Accepted a Grammy while one of the members (Thail) holding a beer. In the bottle. One of Jim Carrey’s favorite bands. THESE are the things I think about.

Pearl Jam: they fought Ticketmaster.

The Grateful Dead: never saw them, never liked their style. I know Bill Walton likes them. By not being a Dead Head, that says something about me.

Phish: same thing, plus I think they cover entire albums on Halloween shows, and occasionally Snoop Dogg.

Snoop Dogg: See legends category.

Culture Club: saw them live.

Duran Duran: never really liked them/know 3 of their songs very well.

Sarah McLaughlin: sleepy music, makes heartbreaking commercials. My friend Tony believed (at one time) that she had the best voice in music.

Sheryl Crow: her second album was the first album I ever bought on the day of release. My friend Tony listed marrying her as the third step in his plan for stardom (the other two were something like “Move to Hollywood” and “Write hit record”).

Cinderella: I’ve seen Tom Keifer live… because my friend Tony plays guitar for him.

Poison, Def Leppard, Ratt, Bon Jovi: hair bands discussed in one of my favorite books, “Fargo Rock City” by Chuck Klosterman.

Guns N Roses: some of the best and worst videos ever made, an enigmatic (at best) lead singer, and a group I often equate with George Lucas.

The White Stripes: they’re good.

Alice In Chains: they’re good, too.

Bruce Springsteen: Never liked him. Never seen him live, so I’m told if I had, I would’ve understood. I was going to, but I backed out and my friend Tony went instead. This marks possibly the last time I mention Tony today.

Toni Toni Toni: I lied.

And it goes on like this. It’s really weird, and you’re welcome to prove me wrong, but I think I’m right. Blur did not really matter. To me. That’s not to say that there aren’t fans of Blur out there, of course. Maybe Blur mattered to you, guy reading this. But I’m here to tell you, they didn’t make a blip on my life.

In fact, the thing that Blur did that had the most impact on the planet was to form the band Gorillaz, which was only “important” because it was cartoon characters in a band. And because I like cartoons, I took notice.

But that’s it.


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