End Of A Century

When my parents took my two sisters and me on holiday to Luxembourg in 1994, Parklife was the soundtrack to our ploughing through the country’s lovely landscape. I tried, for variation, to slip in some cassette’s with self-made Death Metal compilations, but my mum would protest as soon as the mighty Chuck Schuldiner and his ape(r)s opened their mouths.

While transferring Parklife to tape someone (mum with vacuum cleaner?) had knocked against the CD player, and towards the end of “End Of A Century” the music skipped back some ten seconds, causing the final words out of Damon’s mouth to be sung twice. However, it skipped so perfectly that everyone in the car that didn’t already know the song thought that was the way it was supposed to go, and only later when they heard the album as intended did they get to hear the real version. My dad still prefers “the Luxembourg version”, as it’s become known in my family.

Of all Blur’s opening lines, “she says there’s ants in the carpet” is my favourite. It sets the scene for what is to follow, a song of comfort. Or too much comfort, depending on the listener’s own opinion of a life spent with television and going to bed on time. The protagonists of the song certainly sound not only safe and secure, but dulled.

The music is nothing short of perfect, equal measures Kinks and Beatles shaken, stirred and poured into a Blurglass. Ice is provided by Graham; Confronted with Damon’s statement that the final song isn’t notably different from his original demo, the guitarist replied, “if he wants to think that, I’ll let him”.

The single didn’t do too well when released in November 1994, presumably because it was the fourth single from an album that everyone that would buy a Blur record by then had already owned for the better part of the year, and the b-sides weren’t much to phone home about.

Published in: on June 15, 2007 at 11:24 am  Leave a Comment  

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