All Your Life

From the band’s let’s-see-if-we-can-get-away-with-stealing-from-Bowie phase. They were unmasked in the case of “M.O.R.”, but last time I looked the credits of “All Your Life” still read Albarn/Coxon/James/Rowntree. A miracle, because the verses of the song share more than a few similarities with the great Dave’s “Oh, You Pretty Things!”. Had it been included on Blur, instead of the “Beetlebum” single, surely two songs on that album would’ve partly been creditted to Bowie. All that should not obscure the fact that “All Your Life” is a marvellous song, and another contender for a b-sides compilation, should there ever be one.

Lyrically, it reads as a goodbye to the Britpop-scene:

Put a new t-shit on and wash my face in beer
Fall through the crowd and disappear

Hold my breath and count to a hundred and ten
And back up the hill to start again

Oh England, my love, you lost me
Made me look a fool

A change of scenery after the highly succesful but emotionally draining year of 1995 kept the band together, and Damon sane. “It was only whilst being in Iceland overlooking the Arctic Ocean and the glorious mountains that I had a very different feeling towards creating songs”, he said, and the line about going up the hill to start it again may reflect that (though it may also be yet another Bowie reference, but admittedly that would be pushing).

In any case, as far as b-sides go, they don’t come more essential than “All Your Life”, a four minute summary of what happened to Damon (and Blur) in 1996, the year they were on the receiving end of much ridicule as that other band involved in the Britpop wars grew to rediculous size. How fortunes have changed since then.

Published in: on July 11, 2007 at 11:06 am  Leave a Comment  

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