Cover #8 is Blur’s “End Of A Century”, written by Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon, released in 1994 on their album Parklife.
I have two confessions to make. Confession one is that I haven’t been recording one cover each day. Some days I’ll record three, and some days I won’t record at all. It’s all in the timing.
Confession two: in 1996, during the great Oasis vs. Blur kerfuffle, I sided with Oasis. Look, I was American. Oasis had more hits over here than Blur did. Oasis had “Live Forever”, “Supersonic”, “Wonderwall”, “Don’t Look Back In Anger”, my personal favorite “Morning Glory” and “Champagne Supernova.” Blur had… well, “Boys and Girls.” Which I knew and loved, but that’s only because I watched Rage TV.
Eventually, Blur came out with “Song 2” and “Coffee and TV’, both of which borrowed heavilly from US indie bands, and everyone knew those tunes. At the very least they knew the “Woo-hoo” song and the video with the walking milk carton. And eventually, I saw the light: Oasis was a great band, no doubt, but Blur had much, much better songs. Not just because they name checked “Balzac and Prozac”, but because they seemed to devote themselves, at a certain point, to finding the profound in the mundane. Oh, and the most beautiful song ever written is “The Universal.”
Point is: this is the first song I actually recorded for this thing. It’s not the best cover in the world – it’s too simple, and this song needs a horn section at the very least – but the song carries it. If Parklife was Blur’s pseudo-concept album about suburbia, this is the song about suburban ennui. Every good evisceration of middle-class life needs one, methinks.
It’s about two people so bored with each other and their lives that they can’t seem to enjoy anything, even New Years Eve. End of a century. It’s nothing special. It’s… well, it’s profoundly freaking sad. May we never become these people.
Next up: Oh what the heck: Nine Inch Nails.