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.
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..
Recorded live at the Roxy, Scratch was one of the Crusaders' best recordings, an extravaganza of jazz and funk with great soloing from the group on top of a set of excellent grooves. From the loose-limbed funk of "Scratch" to a restless, understated version of their live standard "Eleanor Rigby" (which they'd been performing live for over six years), the Crusaders displayed a command of R&B forms in a jazz context. Another cover, Carole King's "So Far Away," is betrayed by a muddy '70s arrangement and sound, but nothing else here fails to illustrate the excellence of the best R&B group in the jazz world.
Stan Getz was such a consistent performer and had such a beautiful tone that nearly all of his recordings are well worth getting. The two radio appearances heard on this 1997 CD are even on a higher level than normal. Joined by pianist Kenny Barron, either Ray Drummond or Yashuito Mori on bass, and drummer Ben Riley, Getz is heard at the peak of his powers on a pair of obscurities (Kenny Barron's "Feijada" and Gigi Gryce's "Stan's Blues") and six numbers (including "Voyage," "Blood Count" and "Warm Valley") that he recorded numerous times. To hear Getz adding even more beauty to Mal Waldron's already gorgeous "Soul Eyes" is a memorable experience.