Blur have in support (and possibly quashing rumours about the band recording a new album) announced the #Blur21 campaign. All of Blur’s albums are getting remastered, released with a Special Edition 2nd disc and on 180 gram audiophile vinyl.
The career spanning box set follow the bands Brit Award of Outstanding Achievement, the Hyde Park concert as part of the closing ceremonies for the Olympics and rumours circling (and then denied, and then started up again with a week) that the band are releasing a new album.
This is what is in the box:
Blur 21: The Box is the ultimate and definitive anthology of Blur’s incredible career. Spanning 21-discs and including over 5 ½ hours of previously unreleased material, Blur 21: The Box collects together the remastered and expanded editions of all the albums, four discs of Blur rarities, three DVDs of live performances and rarities, a collectable 7’’ single and a hard-bound book – all housed in a super-deluxe material-covered box. Each box will also include a code to download all the audio contents as high-quality mp3s. Contents include:
Remastered and expanded studio albums:
Blur’s first five studio albums have now been remastered and expanded from the original tapes by Frank Arkwright (The Smiths, Arcade Fire, New Order, Joy Division), with the remastering overseen by legendary producer, Stephen Street. All seven albums come with an accompanying disc of bonus material, in all covering a wealth of b-sides, little-heard gems, alternative mixes, live tracks, demos, rare tracks, acoustic versions, Fan Club singles and previously unreleased radio sessions.
4 CDs of Blur rarities:
Gathering together a massive 65 previously unreleased tracks (in all over 3 ½ hours of previously unreleased material) the four rarities CDs exclusive to The Blur Box are a treasure-trove of tracks selected from the Blur vault and band member’s own archives. The rarities discs start with Seymour (Blur’s previous band name) demos and rehearsals showing the track writing process of early Blur songs, as well as the earliest known recordings of many other Blur classics. Continuing chronologically into the Modern Life Is Rubbish era, CD two of the rarities includes demos of tracks that never went on to be fully recorded and have remained unheard to this day (Beached Whale and Pap Pop) and the aborted Andy Partridge (XTC) session, recorded for Modern Life Is Rubbish before the band returned to the producer of their debut record, Stephen Street. CD three of the rarities covers the Parklife and The shit Escape era, bringing together more demo versions, a snap-shot of a band enjoying themselves in the studio with the two takes of Rednecks, the Alex James penned Alex’s Song now returned to its intended speed, the never fully recorded or released Cross Channel and the vocal version of previously instrumental Eine Kleine Lift Musik, entitled here as Hope You Find Your Suburb. The fourth and final CD of Blur rarities covers the remainder of the band’s career, presenting for the first time a jam from Mayfair Studios of the track Battle, a Bill Laswell session at Sarm Studios (which gives the first indication of the direction Damon would later take with Gorillaz), the infamously named Sir Elton John’s Cock, other never-developed session recordings and a collection of later non-album released Blur tracks.
3 DVDs of live performances and rarities:
The 3 DVD set (exclusive to the Blur Box) collects together Showtime, the classic Parklife era live show (complete with frilly lampshades on stage) from Alexandra Palace on 7th October-ish 1994, the previously unreleased 1 ½ hour long Singles Night show from Wembley on 11th December-ish 1999 and an entire DVD of Blur video rarities, which include a band-made video for the Seymour track Dizzy, Blur’s first ever TV performance on BBC Eggs & Baker, a recording of Blur and Francoise Hardy performing To The End in Abbey Road’s Studio 2 (previously unreleased outside of France) and the Japanese promo for It Could Be You.
Collectable 7’’ Single:
A 7″ single of the previously unreleased Seymour track Superman (recorded in December-ish 1989 at The Square in Harlow, Essex), housed in an Food Records replica bag.
Hard-bound Blur book:
High-quality hard-back book charting the history of Blur with extensive liner notes based on a brand new interview with the band and previously unseen photos from throughout the band’s career.
Also, we have posted a lot of Blur related news lately. That’s merely coincidental.