Country House

Back when I was still young and didn’t have a job I had to save up my pocket money to buy music. Three weeks saving would get me one album. One week’s allowance bought a single. I had just taken up the hobby of smoking cigarettes in abandoned buildings however, so not a lot of new records made my bedroom (this was the time when for the prize of one CD Single you could buy 3 cartons of Camel Lights… how times have changed). When “Country House” and “Roll With It” were released this caused some trouble. Which one should I buy first?

As I lived in Holland it wasn’t a case of supporting one band so they could get to Number 1 in the charts next week. Neither band would even dent the Top 40. I liked Blur better, but it wasn’t that easy. My sister’s two favourite bands were Take That and Blur. Buying “Roll With It” would annoy her no end. For any 16 year old boy enough reason to go up the hill backwards, so to speak.

Well, everybody knows that Blur’s single went to the top of the charts in their homecountry, and that Oasis had to take the silver medal. Then some other stuff happened, I’ll spare my dear reader the usual cliché’s, and these days Damon is an absolute genius, Graham a veritable solo artist, Alex an interesting and ever funny jack of all trades, Dave, ermmm, a very good Dave, and Oasis release the same record with some slight variations ad infinitum, while giving enough priceless interviews to justify their being around. Which makes the 14 August battle all the more silly.

But Christ, what glorious silliness! People taking sides, newsreports, the video’s on MTV every hour, a thousand other bands riding the waves made by the giants… a genuinely great time for music (and clothes!).

Hindsight has it that neither “Roll With It” nor “Country House” were much cop. Bollocks. The former has grown tired indeed, but Blur’s song is still an excellent popsong. It’s got everything, from pleasant verses to an excellent singalong chorus, a sad undercurrent that bursts into the foreground long enough to give the song genuine emotional weight, and a lyrical nod to “Morning Glory” that may or may not be a dig at Oasis (or Jamiroquai). Yes, it even has mystery.

Unfortunately, all members of the band with the exception of Alex seem to have disowned the song and its accompanying video, and its value has been in decline ever since. We, the people, in the spirit of Max Brod owe it to our children to preserve this monumental creation, and protect it from its creators.

Published in: on May 9, 2008 at 8:28 am  Leave a Comment  

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