This list of songs is inspired by lists published by radio station KEXP-FM from Seattle in 2010, as well as the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part I will faithfully countdown from their lists, starting at Song #500 and going until I reach Song #1. When you see the song title listed as something like: Song #XXX (KEXP)….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. Song XXX (RS) means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: Song #xxx (KTOM), it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In any case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, just so everyone is aware, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Here is the story behind today’s song. Enjoy.
KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #328: Song #2 by Blur.
“Song 2” by Blur was the second song on their fifth album (which was self-titled). The song plays for exactly two minutes and two seconds. It peaked at #2 on the UK song charts the year it was released. Although Blur is a British band, there is nothing Shakespearean about the lyrics. If you can say, “Woo Hoo!” a bunch of times then, you can sing this song, too.
“Song 2” was never intended to be the title of this song. When a band is preparing songs for an album, they often give untitled songs a placeholder-type name. For Blur, this meant that until the second song was written and properly titled they simply referred to it as “Song 2”. But, a funny thing happened on the way to writing this song. The band was uninspired and didn’t have any really good ideas at the moment. The lead singer of Blur, Damon Albarn, tried playing a simple tune on the piano that he was goofing around with. Lead guitarist Graham Coxon, suggested speeding it up and adding some scuzzy guitar as a joke. The band submitted the song to their record management, expecting it to be rejected but, instead, management thought it was fresh and new-sounding and authorized the band to record it. They asked the band what it was called. After a few seconds of stammering and stuttering, the band replied that, for now it was simply “Song 2”. Management thought the title was cheeky and urged them to keep the song as “Song 2”.
At the time “Song 2” premiered in the mid-1990s, the UK music scene was in a reactive mode due to the larger-than-expected impact of Grunge bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden from the US. So, the UK music industry created a counter-scene called BritPop. The UK music press came together to promote rivalries between several UK bands such as Oasis, Blur, Pulp and Suede. Pulp and Suede didn’t really wish to be involved in any manufactured rivalries but Oasis and Blur sure did. There were many polls issued as to who the better band was: Oasis or Blur? Even the UK Prime Minister and Opposition leaders took sides. Blur ended up doing well enough with hit songs such as “Girls and Boys”, “Country House”, “BeetleBum” and “Song 2”. They also won several Brit Awards for Group of the Year and/or Album of the Year. But they never really translated any of that national success onto North America or elsewhere in the world. Funny thing was that they weren’t really unhappy about that, either. Blur had one North American tour and ended up homesick and unhappy the whole time. It seemed that, at their core, they were a band that really enjoyed being a British band. Consequently, they were happy playing and living in the UK.
That is fine, I suppose. After a few years, the manufactured Brit Pop scene gave way to a more pure Pop scene that involved bands such as The Spice Girls, Robbie Williams and so on. Blur has continued to break-up/reunite and then, release new material but, they will always be best known for a two-minute, two-second song that starts out, “Woo Hoo!” and was meant as a joke.
Here are “Blur” with “Song 2”. Enjoy.
The link to the video for the song, “Song 2” by Blur can be found here. ***The lyrics version can be found here.
The link to the official website for Blur can be found here.
Thanks to KEXP for playing BritPop, Synth-Pop and regular old, Pop, too. The link to their website ca be found here.
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