Blur FAQ

last modified: 24 February 1998
1. Introduction
2. The Band
2.1 Who are Blur?
2.2 How did they get the name Blur?
2.3 Who was Seymour?
2.4 When are their birthdays and where were they born?
2.5 Family?
2.6 Did they go to college?
2.7 What other bands were they in before Blur?

3. The Blur Catalogue
3.1. Discography of Official Releases
3.2. Videography
3.3. Highest Chart Positions

4. Addresses and Internet Information
4.1 Record Companies
4.2 Fan Club
4.3 Merchandise
4.4 Internet Mailing Lists
4.5 WWW and Usenet
4.6 Does Dave really do their official Web site?

5. Album-by-album facts and trivia
5.1 Leisure
5.2 Modern Life is Rubbish
5.3 Parklife
5.4 The Great Escape
5.5 Blur
5.6 B-sides

6. Misc. Trivia
6.1 What songs have they covered?
6.2 What other artists' albums have they appeared on?

6.3 Have they done any solo work?
6.4 So who are Morgan C. Hoax, Dan Abnormal, and A.J. Sexmeal?
6.5 How can I get "Pop Scene"?
6.6 Did I hear Damon made a movie?
6.7 What is Damon's favorite football team?
6.8 How many Brits did they win in '95?
6.9 Who's the Cheryl on that shirt Graham is always wearing in pictures? What does it say on the back?
6.10 Who appears with a black bar over their eyes in Starshaped?
6.11 Besides their main instruments, what has each member played on record?
6.12 Who's Leo Finlay?
6.13 Who does their cover artwork?

1. Introduction

The Blur FAQ was compiled, edited, verified, and is maintained by Susan Lunsford. If you have any questions or additions, please contact: Feel free to distribute this document as long as it is kept in its entirety. To receive notice of updates, mail the editor. Information initally gathered from the Hoax and Popscene mailing lists, Dave Rowntree's original Blur FAQ, The Blurry Site, Blurb - the Official Blur Fan Club magazine, Select magazine, and various other resources.

This is version 2.0, 24 February 1998.

2. The Band

2.1 Who are Blur?

Damon Albarn - vocals, keyboards
Graham Leslie Coxon - guitar, backing vocals
Stephen Alexander James - bass
David Rowntree - percussion

2.2 How did they get the name Blur?

When Food records signed them, they were asked to change their name from Seymour, providing a list of alternatives. Blur was the name most favored.

2.3 Who was Seymour?

Seymour formed around 1988 and later changed their name to Blur when they were signed to Food Records. The line-up remains unchanged. Six Seymour songs have been released as Blur b-sides: "Shimmer", "Tell Me Tell Me", "Fried", "Long Legged", "Dizzy", and "Mixed Up." The name Seymour refers to the J.D. Salinger character, Seymour Glass. Damon was reading Salinger's Seymour: An Introduction when the band formed.

2.4 When are their birthdays and where were they born?

Dave, 8 May 1963, Colchester, England;
Damon, 23 March 1968, London, England;
Alex, 21 November 1968, Bournemouth, England;
Graham, 12 March 1969, Rinteln, Germany.

2.5 Family?

Damon - Mother, Hazel, an artist; Father, Keith; One sister, Jessica. Unmarried but has a long-term relationship with Elastica's Justine Frischmann.
Graham - Mother, Pauline; Father, Bob, a musician; One sister, Hayley, a nurse. Unmarried.
Alex -Mother, a volunteer worker, Father, a salesman; One sister, Deborah. Unmarried
Dave - Mother, pianist with the London Orchestra; Father, retired BBC sound engineer; One sister, Sarah; Married to Paola.

2.6 Did they go to college?

Graham met Alex while studying at Goldsmith's College in London. Graham was studying art and Alex was studying French. Damon briefly attended drama school at London's East 15. None of them completed their degrees except for Dave who has a Higher Nationa l Diploma in Computer Science from Woolwich.

2.7 What other bands were they in before Blur?

Damon was in a synth duo called Two's a Crowd.
Dave was in the jazz-punk trio, Idle Vice.
Alex's early bands included Age of Consent and Mr. Pang's Bang Bangs
Graham, Dave, and Damon were breifly together in Circus.

3. The Blur Catalogue

3.1 Discography of Official UK Releases

Please see the Discography

3.2 Videography

Full-length videos:

Cat # MVP-4911453
'Three years of candid camera on the road with Blur, from Reading 1991 through the dark ages of the EEC in 1992 and then onto Modern Life'. Also includes all videos from the first two albums.

Live performances include Intermission, Explain, There's no other Way, Luminous, She's so High, Colin Zeal, Pop Scene, When Will We Be Married, Sunday Sunday, Wassailing Song, Coping, Day Upon Day, For Tomorrow, Chemical World, Advert, Commercial Break, Sunday Sunday.

Inexplicably re-released without the videos as a "special edition".

Cat # MVN-4914023
Live video shot at Alexandra Palace, London, 7 Oct 1994 Includes Lot-105, Sunday Sunday, Jubilee, Tracey Jacks, Magic America End Of A Century, Popscene, Trouble in the Message Centre, She's So High, Chemical World, Badhead, There's No Other Way, To The End, Advert, Supa Shoppa, Mr. Robinson's Quango, Parklife, Girls And Boys, Bank Holiday, This Is A Low.

Promo Videos (title, director)
"She's So High" (Dave Balfe)
"There's No Other Way" (UK version, Dave Balfe; US version, Matthew Amos)
"Bang" (Willy Smax)
"Pop Scene" (Dave Mould)
"For Tomorrow" (Julian Temple)
"Chemical World" (Dwight Clarke)
"Sunday, Sunday" (Dwight Clarke)
"Girls and Boys" (Kevin Godley)
"Parklife" (Pedro Romanhanyi)
"To the End" (David Mould)
"End of A Century" (Matthew Longfellow)
"Country House" (Damien Hirst)
"Charmless Man" (Jamie Thranes)
"Stereotypes" (Matthew Longfellow)
"The Universal" (Jonathan Glazier)
"It Could Be You"
"Beetlebum" (Sophie Muller)
"Song 2" (Sophie Muller)
"On Your Own" (Sophie Muller)
"M.O.R." (John Hardwick)

3.3 Highest Chart Positions (UK charts)

She's So High- #48, released 15 Oct, 1990
There's No Other Way- #8, released 15 Apr, 1991
Bang- #24, released 29 Jul, 1991
Popscene- #32, released 30 Mar, 1992
For Tomorrow- #28, released 19 Apr, 1993
Chemical World- #15, released 10 May, 1993
Sunday Sunday- #26, released 4 Oct, 1993
Girls And Boys- #5, released 7 Mar, 1994
To The End- #19, released 31 May, 1994
Parklife- #10, released 22 Aug, 1994
End of a Century- #19, released 7 Nov, 1994
Country House- #1, released 14 Aug ,1995
The Universal- #5, released 5 Nov ,1995
Stereotypes- #7, released 12 Feb ,1996
Charmless Man- #5, released 29 April ,1996
Beetlebum- #1, released 20 Jan, 1997
Song 2- #2, released 7 Apr, 1997
On Your Own - #5 ,16 June, 1997
M.O.R. - #15, 15 Sept 1997
((continued... to be updated))
Leisure, #7 ,
Modern Life is Rubbish, #15 ,
Parklife, # 1,
The Great Escape, #1 ,
Blur, #1,

4. Addresses and Internet Information

4.1 Record Companies

Food Records
9 Greenland St.

Virgin Records America, Inc.
Red Bank, NJ 07701-7022
Red Bank, NJ 07701-7022

4.2 Fan Club

For information send SAE or International Reply Coupon to:
The Official Blur Fan Club
PO Box 525

or visit:

4.3 Merchandise

Send SAE or International Reply Coupon to:
Blur Merchandise
PO Box 17
Lichfield, Staffs

4.4 Internet Mailing Lists

Berserk - Blur, news-only, low volume, send message to with SUBSCRIBE BERSERK in the body.

Communication Blur List - Digest form only. Send message to with a message asking to subscribe.

4.5 WWW and Usenet

Official Site, BlurSpace,

Unofficial sites, use search engines or visit The Ultimate Band List,, for a starting point.


4.6 Does Dave really do their official Web site?

Dave is only involved peripherally. Their record company is responsible for the development and maintenance of BlurSpace.

5. Album-by Album facts and trivia

5.1 Leisure
released 27 August 91

-"She's So High" - Produced by Steve Lovell and Steve Power. The first Blur single, released 15 October, 90. Song was conceived in March of 1988 from a sequence by Alex. Graham wrote some of the lyrics to the verses while Damon was on holiday in Spain. The song was recorded in the same studio that was used for The Stone Roses' "Fool's Gold".

-"There's No Other Way" - TNOW was recorded in the band's first session with Stephen Street who still produces most of the Blur songs.

-"Bad Day" - Was intended to be the second single instead of "TNOW".

-"Come Together" - also release in live form Glastonbury on the 'Parlophone Tape', free with the June 1991 Select.

-"Fool" - produced by Mike Thorne while Stephen Street was in New York to produce the final Psychedelic Furs album. The song was written during the band's Seymour days and Alex describes the song as "Damon trying to be Morrissey." Graham plays the drums briefly in the middle section of this song.

-"Birthday" Written by Damon after he woke up in a cell at Holborn police station with a gurka after a drunken night.

"Bang" - The third single off Leisure this is the song the band hates most.

"Bad Day" - Damon wrote this while suffering from a streptococcal viral infection.

"High Cool" - The name of the song is from a setting on an air conditioning unit in The Premises, a jazz studio in which the band rehearsed.

-The US version of Leisure replaces "Sing" with "I Know," a b-side to "She's So High"

5.2 Modern Life Is Rubbish
Released in the UK on 10 May 1993

-The title came from graffiti written on a wall on Bayswater Road in West London near Marble Arch. The graffiti has since been painted over.

-At first a spring 1992 release of the second album was imagined with the tracklist of "Oily Water", "Mace", "Badgeman Brown", "Popscene", "Resigned", "Garden Central", "Hanging Over", "Into Another", "Peach", "Bone Bag", "Never Clever", "Coping", "My Ark", "Pressure on Julian". Most of the songs became b-sides for the singles on Modern Life Is Rubbish.

-"Chemical World" was demoed under the title "Americana".

-"Pressure on Julian" The Julian of this song is Julian Cope, though some fans believe that "Julian" is Alex. The lyric "magical transit children" is from graffiti the band noticed during a Melody Maker photo shoot near St. Pancras. The middle segment of the song should be twice as long, but this was forgotten during the recording and left as is.

-"Oily Water" was the first song from MLIR to be released. It was released in demo form for the Volume 2 compilation in November of 1991. The demo version was judged good enough to be released on the album.

-"Resigned" was first released 14 December, 1991 at the Food Records Christmas party on a 2,000 copy limited edition cassette. On February of 1992, "Resigned" was released on the Rollercoaster EP to promote the Rollercoaster tour.

-"Miss America" Graham's shout of "Michael!" in the beginning refers to publisher Mike Smith. The band had gone down to the pub with him to celebrate his move from MCA to EMI Publishing, Graham later went back to Matrix studio to add guitar parts to "Miss America" while the others went to a Pulp show. When the rest of the group returned, they found a very drunk Graham banging on a chair leg. As Mike Smith entered the studio, Graham shouts his name. Dave does not play on this track and is credited with being at "The Plough, Bloomsbury."

-"Intermission" and "Commercial Break": Seymour live set leftovers originally titled "The Intro" and "The Outro," respectively.

-The US release differs with the inclusion of "Pop Scene", now the band's most coveted single, as track 15, the demo version of "Chemical World" (it was thought that this version would be more attractive for US fans), and two b-sides "When the Cows Come Home" and "Peach" as the 68th and 69th tracks of the album.

-The band was disappointed with "Turn It Up", but was included on the album because David Balfe thought it was the only song on the album that had any chance of success in America.

-There were also suggestions that the album be re-recorded and produced by Butch Vig (producer of Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana,; drummer for Garbage) for American release.

-The painting on the steam engine cover, Mallard, is meant to represent British tradition.

-European releases feature a color-painting of the band on the tube on the inside cover. The US release features a black and white, reversed, version of this painting.

5.3 Parklife
released 25 April 1994

For this album, Damon was largely influenced by Martin Amis' London Fields

-"Girls and Boys" Damon says this song is about the Ibanez-type holidays that consist of "sex, sun, and Sangria."

-"Tracey Jacks" Alex does the crowd noise in this song. In the liner notes to the Japanese, Canadian, and British releases these lyrics feature a drawing by Graham of a man in drag playing golf. This led to the common misconception that Tracey Jacks is a transvestite.

-"Parklife" Guest vocalist is actor Phil Daniels of Quadrophenia. Graham plays saxophone for the first time on a Blur record.

-"Bank Holiday" This song was featured as sung by Japanese fans on the Special Collector's Edition.

-"The Debt Collector"- Graham counts in the song which was recorded live in the studio. Originally, Damon intended to feature Phil Daniels on this song but was unable to write lyrics. His bandmates encouraged him to give Daniels, "Parklife," for which Da mon had been unsuccesfully trying to adopt a Cockney cabbie accent.

-"Far Out " Alex's first penned tune, the lyrics recite the names of various heavenly bodies..

-"To The End" Laetitia Sadier from Stereolab, sings the French parts. A version featuring Francoise Hardy was also recorded and later released as a b-side. Justine Frischmann originally sang on the demo. This was the only song on the album that was not pr oduced by Stephen Street, Stephen Hague was brought in instead.

-"London Loves" The working title was "Fripp," from Bowie guitarist Robert Fripp whose break in "Fashion" Graham used as the basis for his guitar solo. The lyrics recall many nuances of Amis' London Fields. A traffic report Damon taped from GLR fea tures at the close.

-"Trouble in the Message Centre" Damon wrote the lyrics on a hotel room receipt, lifting phrases from the hotel telephone, "local and direct," "room to room." When these lyrics were reproduced in the liner notes so was director Kevin Godley's phone numbe r, which appeared on the receipt itimization. The number was removed in later pressings.

-"Clover Over Dover"- The lyrics recall the final scene of Quadrophenia . Originally demoed as a ska song, the final version featues Damon playing a harpsichord and Johnny Marr-like guitar arpeggios from Graham. This song has never been performed live.

-"Jubilee"- The computer game sounds on the bridge are from a electronic pocket keychain.

-"This is a Low" The music for this song was recorded first and believed to be among the best of the new album. Damon was having trouble with the lyrics though, and as recording neared its end the wordless song was in danger of being left off. Finally Da mon found inspiration in a Christmas gift from Alex, a silk handkerchief that featured a map of the shipping routes of England. The band often listened to the shipping forecast while on the road to ease their homesickness. The lyrics begin at one point o n the map and trace England through these routes.

-"Lot 105" - The name comes from the Hammond organ Damon plays, acquired at an auction for #150. Graham thought of the one line in the song, "18 times a week, girl, ha ha ha ha ha."

5.4 The Great Escape
released October 1995
produced by Stephen Street

-"Stereotypes" Debuted at the Dublin Castle secret gig. Was considered for the first single.

-"Country House" Written about former Food head, David Balfe. Debuted at historic Mile End concert, 17 June 1995.

-"Charmless Man" was previewed when Blur supported REM at their '95 Milton Keynes concert. Has been rumoured to be about Morrisey or Justine Frischmann's brother.

-"Universal" was first attempted during Parklife sessions as a ska number and was resurrected by Alex.. About a Prozac-type drug of the future.

-"Mr. Robinson's Quango" A Quango is a Quasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organisation. First song recorded for this album.

-"It Could Be You" Last song to be written, began as a piano ballad called "Dear Ray," in homage to Ray Davies of the Kinks.

-"Ernold Same" Features a narrative by Ken Livingstone MP. The shouting at the beginning is Damon pretending to be drunk in front of an off-license in Shepherd's Bush.

-"Dan Abnormal" is about an over-zealous fan. The title is Damon's anagramic pseudonym.

-"Yuko and Hiro" Originally called "Japanese Workers." The Japanese words translate as, "I work for the company/We work together/We work for the future/They will protect me."

-The castle featured in the booklet and on the "Country House" single is called Neuschwanstein. It is a world-famous tourist spot and is the model for the Cinderella castle at Walt Disney World.

-"Fade Away" was originally called "Rico (Fade Away)" to acknowledge the influence of ex-Specials trombonist Rico on the the track.

5.5 Blur released 11 February 1997
produced by Stephen Street

-The album was nearly called Five and the nurse on the cover originally sported a halo.

-"Beetlebum" is a nonsense word according to Damon.

-"M.O.R." stands for Middle Of the Road.

-"You're So Great," is Blur's first album track completely penned and recorded by one member. Graham plays an acoustic guitar and a slide guitar. He claims the song is about the states of drunkenness and soberity. According to Stephen Street, Graham recor ded the song while sitting beneath a table in the darkened studio. Some controversy exists about the words in the second verse, which were indeed written by Graham as "Tea, Tea, and Coffee," rather than "D.T.s and Coffee," as some listeners might believe.

-"Death of a Party," was demoed in 1992. That version was released to the fan club prior to the version which appears on the album.

-"Look Inside America," The lyrics make reference to the L.A. radio station, KROQ.

-"Essex Dogs," This was originally performed by Damon in the Poetry Olympics at the Royal Albert Hall in July 1996. Ray Davies and Patti Smith also read poetry at the event.

-"I'm Just a Killer for Your Love," was recorded in Damon's own studio, originally for a b-side but was then considered too good to be overlooked. This was the last album track to be recorded.

5.6 B-Sides

-"Explain" is always referred to by the band as "Can't Explain," which was the title of the Who's first single.

-"Mr. Briggs," is based on a Liverpudlian Damon met in early 91

-"Day Upon Day," was their first live release. Former tour manager, Drac, recorded the song at the 19 Dec 90 Bath Moles gig. Earlier in the show, Damon's nose was broken by the machine heads of Alex's bass.

-"Badgeman Brown" originally was for a soundtrack they intended to compose for a Storm Thorgeson film.

-"Beachcoma" was originally called "Hole."

-"Into Another" was originally called "Head" and "Headist."

-"Mace" relates a tale of being maced by bouncers while supporting Manchester band Too Much Texas.

-"Maggie May," Alex refused to play citing a dislike of Rod Stewart. The bass was done on a keyboard.

-"Never Clever," recorded live at Glastonbury '92, was to be the follow-up for "Pop Scene." After "Pop Scene's" commercial failure, this plan was shelved and this is now the only recording of this song.

-"Wassailing Song" Five-hundred copies of this one-sided 7" were give out a 16 Dec 92 gig. Each verse is sung in turn by (in order): Damon, Graham, Dave, and Alex. A wassail is a wooden bowl into which hot punch is poured. This is the most rare Blur recor d and most fans have only heard the song when it accompanies the Stonehenge footage in Starshaped.

-"Substitute" Damon calls this their worst performance on record and refuses to keep a copy in the house.

-"Es Schmecht" is a slight misspelling of a German phrase meaning, "It tastes good."

-"Daisy Bell," and "Let's All Go Down the Strand," Justine Frischmann was among the group of singers brought in to back these traditional British pub songs.

-"Theme from an Imaginary Film" was written to be the theme for Stephen Berkoff's film of his West End play, "Decandence." After approving the instrumental, Berkoff rejected the song when Damon's vocals were added.

-"Anniversary Waltz" Originally recorded as a jingles for Simon Mayo's radio show. It was later played on a Mark Goodier session with the title, "Why is the Time Signature of 3/4 Obsolete in The Late 20th Century?" The geese sample is taken from the BBC's Sound Effects, which Street also used for the cow sample on the Smith's "Meat is Murder."

-"Magpie" The lyrics are taken from the 1794 William Blake poem, "The Poison Tree."

-"Red Necks" a comedic song about American truck drivers written and sung by Graham. He, Damon (who was playing a keyboard owned by Donna Matthews of Elastica), and Alex are audibly intoxicated. Dave was not on the recording as he was taking his cat Chevy to the vet.

-"Alex's Song" Alex's voice is upped a couple of octaves with an Eventide harmoniser. He claims his bandmates made him r> laughably alter what was a serious composition.

-"Ultranol" is a Prozac-type drug of the future.

-"Entertain Me The Live It! Remix" was remixed by Jason Cox, Blur's long-time studio and road technician.

-The b-sides to "On Your Own" were taken from Blur's performance on Peel Acres in April of 1997.

-"The Horrors" was part of the soundtrack to Blur's aborted documentary video, "The Great Escape/B-roads." This track along with the other "Charmless Man" b-side, "A Song," is basically a Damon solo.

6. Misc. Trivia

6.1 What songs have they covered?

The Buggles - "Video Killed the Radio Star" which was never released
The Who - "Substitute" features on The Who tribute album Who Covers Who
Rod Stewart -"Maggie May" on NME/Ruby Trax compilation, also appeared on the Japanese Special Collector's Edition
Elvis Costello - "Oliver's Army," released on the Peace Together tribute album.

Blur have also been known to perform The Specials - "Niteklub," live.
Damon collaborated with Matt Sharp of The Rentals to cover "We Have a Technical" for a Gary Numan tribute album.
Dave Rowntree plays drums on the track.

6.2 What other artists' albums have they appeared on?

Alex - bass w/ Marianne Faithful, Stephen Duffy
Damon - keyboards for Elastica's eponymous debut as "Dan Abnormal;" keyboards on Gary Numan tribute album; piano on the live version of "I Go to Sleep," on the Pretenders' album, Isle of View; sings, plays keyboards, and co-writes, "Chasing a Rainbow" by Terry Hall for album Home.
Dave - plays drums on Sharp/Albarn track.
Graham - played sax on the Sleeper single, "Vegas"

6.3 Have they done any solo work?

Alex - released a 3-song single with the band MeMeMe in 1996.
Damon has released a solo song, "Closet Romantic" which appeared on the Trainspotting soundtrack in 1996.

6.4 So who are Morgan C. Hoax, Dan Abnormal, and A.J. Sexmeal?

These are the angramic pseudonyms of Graham, Damon, and Alex, respectively.

6.5 How can I get "Pop Scene"?

Besides the hard-to-find single release, "Pop Scene" appears on bootlegs, the US release of Modern Life Is Rubbish (track 15), and live on the Live at Budokan album, as a b-side to the On Your Own single, and on the Japanese compliation, Food 100.

6.6 Did I hear Damon made a movie?

Damon appears in the film Face, with Robert Carlyle (of "Trainspotting" and "Full Monty"), where he plays a member of a gang of thieves.

6.7 What is Damon's favorite football team?


6.8 How many Brits did they win in '95?

Four. Best Song, "Parklife"; Best Video, "Parklife"; Best Album, Parklife; and Best Band.

6.9 Who's the Cheryl on that shirt Graham is always wearing in pictures? What does it say on the back?

Cheryl's identity is lost to eternity. The sorority shirt says "What you see is What you get" on the back.

6.10 Who appears with a black bar over their eyes in Starshaped?

Their former manager, Mike Collins.

6.11 Besides their main instruments, what has each member played on record?

Damon- organ, piano, sleigh bells, melodica, Moog, synthesiser, hammond, machine strings, harpsichord, vibraphone, recorder, programming
Graham-tambourine, Black and Decker drill, Moog, slide guitar, drums, triangle, clarinet, saxophone, banjo, bass
Alex-handclaps, vocals, crowd noise
Dave-timpani, handclaps, loop and programmed drums, crowd noise

6.12 Who's Leo Finlay?

Finlay was the first journalist to write about Blur. They dedicated their 10 Feb 97 gig at the Astoria, and singles off of Blur to him.

6.13 Who does their cover artwork?

Blur has worked with acclaimed design firm, Stylorouge, throught the career. With their fifth album, however, they brought in Stylorouge break-off firm, Yacht Associates.