Blur is the fifth album by English alternative rock band Blur. Released on 10 February 1997 in the UK, it reached the top of the UK album chart. Blur was also a hit in the US, with "Song 2" becoming a hit there and the album being certified Gold. It also spawned several hit singles in the UK, most notably "Beetlebum" and "Song 2". The album's style was resultant of Blur's dropping their previous Britpop mantle in favor of lo-fi and alternative rock recordings, reportedly at Graham Coxon's urging. As a result, Blur was a hit primarily because it proved that Blur could evolve beyond their Britpop roots. The album's move from Britpop was emphasised by this being the first Blur album not to use Stylorouge cover-art and also not to have lyrics and chords printed in the liner notes, instead having a composite photo of the band in the studio spread out over three panels. The album featured the first song in which Graham Coxon not only wrote the lyrics, but also provided lead vocals, for the song "You're So Great". He would later do the same for "Coffee & TV" for Blur's next album..
Continuing the trend, Blur went straight in at No 1 on its release in February 1997, as had Parklife and The Great Escape before it. Representing a musical evolution for the band, the album is home to two of Blur s biggest hits in Beetlebum and Song 2. B-sides taken from all formats of these two singles are included in the accompanying Blur Special Edition bonus disc, along with b-sides from the album s fourth single M.O.R. Also included on the bonus disc is a 7 mix of Death Of A Party by Adrian Sherwood, the Dust Brothers produced Cowboy Song (which featured on the Dead Man On Campus soundtrack), four acoustic live tracks recorded at Viva Niteclub (previously only released on the German-only version of the M.O.R. single) and three live tracks recorded at MC Vredenburg, Utrecht, Netherlands, which were only previously released on the Netherlands-only version of the album.
Originally released in March 1999, 13 saw a departure from long-time collaborator Stephen Street with William Orbit taking over production duties, what followed was Blur s fourth consecutive No 1 album and a further, more introspective, development of their music. Accompanying the remastered album in the 13 Special Edition is a whole disc of bonus material, including b-sides to the hit singles Tender, Coffee & TV and No Distance Left To Run. Featured in this extensive collection of b-sides are each band member s own remix of the album track Bugman, the track Beagle 2 (which was sent aboard Mars landing spacecraft of the same name) and the epic Cornelius Remix of Tender. Completing the bonus disc are a demo version of I Got The Law (previously only released on the Japanese version of 13) and the Music Is My Radar single (and its b-side) released on the 2003 Blur: The Best Of.
Among contemporary composers of orchestral music, Christopher Rouse is a prominent figure, noted for his extremely virtuosic scores as well as for his dark subject matter. Such fantastic – some might say nightmarish – pieces as the ultra-violent Gorgon (1984) and the enigmatic Iscariot (1989) are true to form in their evocation of mythology or religion, and even the elegiac Trombone Concerto (1991) has its suggestions of otherworldly things, particularly in its quotation of Leonard Bernstein's "Kaddish" Symphony and the haunting, dirge-like adaptation of the folk song Tsintskaro at the opening of the third movement. Yet Rouse's music is much more than its allusions, however meaningful, and it's possible to enjoy these works for their raw power and ethereal beauty without knowing anything about their references.