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Blur – Parklife (1994/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Blur – Parklife (1994/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 00:52:43 minutes | 1,16 GB | Genre: Rock
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | ©  Parlophone Records
Recorded: June 1993 – January 1994

Parklife is the third studio album by the English rock band Blur, released in April 1994 on Food Records. After disappointing sales for their previous album Modern Life Is Rubbish (1993), Parklife returned Blur to prominence in the UK, helped by its four hit singles: “Girls & Boys”, “End of a Century”, “Parklife” and “To the End”. Certified four times platinum in the United Kingdom, in the year following its release the album came to define the emerging Britpop scene, along with the album Definitely Maybe by rivals Oasis. Britpop in turn would form the backbone of the broader Cool Britannia movement. Parklife therefore attained a cultural significance above and beyond its considerable sales and critical acclaim, cementing its status as a landmark in British rock music.

Modern Life Is Rubbish established Blur as the heir to the archly British pop of the Kinks, the Small Faces, and the Jam, but its follow-up, Parklife, revealed the depth of that transformation. Relying more heavily on Ray Davies’ seriocomic social commentary, as well as new wave, Parklife runs through the entire history of post-British Invasion Britpop in the course of 16 songs, touching on psychedelia, synth pop, disco, punk, and music hall along the way. Damon Albarn intended these songs to form a sketch of British life in the mid-’90s, and it’s startling how close he came to his goal; not only did the bouncy, disco-fied “Girls & Boys” and singalong chant “Parklife” become anthems in the U.K., but they inaugurated a new era of Brit-pop and lad culture, where British youth celebrated their country and traditions. The legions of jangly, melodic bands that followed in the wake of Parklife revealed how much more complex Blur’s vision was. Not only was their music precisely detailed — sound effects and brilliant guitar lines pop up all over the record — but the melodies elegantly interweaved with the chords, as in the graceful, heartbreaking “Badhead.” Surprisingly, Albarn, for all of his cold, dispassionate wit, demonstrates compassion that gives these songs three dimensions, as on the pathos-laden “End of a Century,” the melancholy Walker Brothers tribute “To the End,” and the swirling, epic closer, “This Is a Low.” For all of its celebration of tradition, Parklife is a thoroughly modern record in that it bends genres and is self-referential (the mod anthem of the title track is voiced by none other than Phil Daniels, the star of Quadrophenia). And, by tying the past and the present together, Blur articulated the mid-’90s Zeitgeist and produced an epoch-defining record. –Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Tracklist:
1 Girls & Boys 4:51
2 Tracey Jacks 4:20
3 End Of A Century 2:46
4 Parklife 3:05
5 Bank Holiday 1:42
6 Badhead 3:26
7 The Debt Collector 2:11
8 Far Out 1:38
9 To The End 4:05
10 London Loves 4:15
11 Trouble In The Message Centre 4:09
12 Clover Over Dover 3:22
13 Magic America 3:38
14 Jubilee 2:48
15 This Is A Low 5:17
16 Lot 16 1:19

Personnel:
Damon Albarn – lead and backing vocals, keyboards, hammond organ, moog synthesizer, machine strings, harpsichord on “Clover Over Dover”, melodica, vibraphone, recorder, programming
Graham Coxon – guitars, backing vocals, clarinet, saxophone, percussion
Alex James – bass guitar, vocals on “Far Out”, crowd noise
Dave Rowntree – drums, percussion, programming, crowd noise

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