Blur – Live At The Budokan (1996/2022) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Blur – Live At The Budokan (1996/2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:36:38 minutes | 1,12 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Parlophone UK

Blur’s 1995 show at iconic Tokyo venue The Nippon Budokan is now available in digital formats. The band visited Japan almost 20 years ago on The Great Escape Tour, performing to 20,000 fans at the Budokan on 8th November 1995. The audio received a Japanese physical release the following year, going on to become a much sought after and hugely popular import around the world. Now, with audio remastered by Frank Arkwright at Abbey Road Studios, the legendary show is finally be available everywhere for the first time!

In front of a quite appreciative audience — if they don’t generate the same level of hysteria as Cheap Trick did in the same venue some years before, they get close — Blur recorded this Japanese-only two-disc effort. It’s an album hardcore fans will definitely want to find and more casual followers should also keep an eye out for, drawing mostly from Modern Life is Rubbish onward (aside from a somewhat pedestrian run-through of “She’s So High”). Recorded during the group’s 1995 tour for The Great Escape — the set itself starts with a delightful marching band gone art-punk version of the original movie’s main theme — Live conclusively demonstrates that in concert Blur is Coxon’s band, not Albarn’s. Even at his most economical, Coxon demonstrates a fine ability to spike up a song’s energy. When given the opportunity on louder numbers, he blasts out feedback power like nobody’s business. James and Rowntree’s rhythm section doesn’t falter in the slightest either, and together, the three simply go for it in grand style, pumping up calmer studio cuts with vigor and transforming rockers like “Popscene” into thrashy monsters. They know when to play it cool and calm, though, so songs like “To the End” and an affecting, appropriate take on “Yuko and Hiro” benefit from the combination of live bite and arranged drama. Albarn in contrast seems somewhat tired at points and a parody of himself at his most English at others, undercutting what should have been an all-around commanding show. He does have moments to shine, though, including winning renditions of “Girls and Boys” and “This is a Low.” Special note should be given to the all-around packaging, based on an airport/flying theme in the style of The Great Escape’s design. The live shots inside are all quite fine, including a quite lovely one of pin-up bassist James. – Ned Raggett

1-1. Blur – The Great Escape (Live at the Budokan) (01:37)
1-2. Blur – Jubilee (Live at the Budokan) (03:10)
1-3. Blur – Popscene (Live at the Budokan) (03:08)
1-4. Blur – End of a Century (Live at the Budokan) (02:55)
1-5. Blur – Tracy Jacks (Live at the Budokan) (04:09)
1-6. Blur – Mr Robinson’s Quango (Live at the Budokan) (05:06)
1-7. Blur – To the End (Live at the Budokan) (04:06)
1-8. Blur – Fade Away (Live at the Budokan) (04:20)
1-9. Blur – It Could Be You (Live at the Budokan) (03:09)
1-10. Blur – Stereotypes (Live at the Budokan) (03:35)
1-11. Blur – She’s So High (Live at the Budokan) (05:15)
1-12. Blur – Girls & Boys (Live at the Budokan) (04:50)
1-13. Blur – Advert (Live at the Budokan) (03:26)
1-14. Blur – Intermission (Live at the Budokan) (01:37)
1-15. Blur – Bank Holiday (Live at the Budokan) (01:49)
1-16. Blur – For Tomorrow (Live at the Budokan) (06:24)
1-17. Blur – Country House (Live at the Budokan) (04:39)
1-18. Blur – This Is a Low (Live at the Budokan) (05:09)
1-19. Blur – Supa Shoppa (Live at the Budokan) (03:24)
1-20. Blur – Yuko and Hiro (Live at the Budokan) (04:42)
1-21. Blur – He Thought of Cars (Live at the Budokan) (05:02)
1-22. Blur – Coping (Live at the Budokan) (03:23)
1-23. Blur – Globe Alone (Live at the Budokan) (02:43)
1-24. Blur – Parklife (Live at the Budokan) (03:38)
1-25. Blur – The Universal (Live at the Budokan) (05:10)


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