Blur is an English rock band formed in 1988, consisting of vocalist Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James, and drummer Dave Rowntree. The band was central to the 1990s Britpop movement. They achieved mass popularity in the UK, aided greatly by a chart battle with rivals Oasis in 1995, which was dubbed the “Battle of Britpop”.
Their self-titled fifth album, released in 1997, incorporated influences from the lo-fi styles of American indie rock groups, and the album became their third to top UK charts.
“Song 2” is the second track, and the single, from this self-titled album. This song was atypical of Blur’s previous style as it sounds the least like the rest of the band’s Britpop catalogue. When the band originally wrote the song, they wanted to play it for their label as a joke, because they thought it was far too noisy and horrible to ever be released as a single. However, the label loved it!
The song was written to poke fun at the Grunge music that was bog in America at the time. Graham Coxon was tired of doing complicated parts and wanted to do something simple, but horrible and make as much noise as possible. The song was tracked in Maison Rouge Studio, with the vocals recorded live, and lots of fuzz and distortion on the guitar, producing the loud, extreme sound Coxon was aiming for. The song also featured two drum kits, with Dave Rowntree and Graham Coxon both banging on the drums simultaneously.
The track’s title was originally just a working title, representing the track’s placement on the album, but the name stuck. In the end, the numerology works out well, as the song is not only the second song on the album, but is 2 minutes and 2 seconds long, features 2 verses and 2 choruses, and eventually peaked at #2 on UK charts.
The track was released in April of 1997, and rose to popularity in the UK and overseas. “Song 2” was written to poke fun at the grunge movement that was taking place in America at the time, but the track became Blur’s biggest hit in the US, and was featured on college and modern rock radio stations all over the country.
Watch the full video below to see Graham Coxon give us a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of “Song 2”! And stay tuned as we will be releasing a full breakdown of Blur’s album “Modern Life is Rubbish” with Graham Coxon very soon!