Damon Albarn this week told Britain's NME that Blur has been practicing and recording together again. The band's guitarist, Graham Coxon, told the magazine the same thing back in February. C'mon fellas! You've gotta have something for us by now! That's almost a whole year of pointless pottering about! Big sigh. Blur's lackluster progress on the recording front, however, just forced us into a YouTube-based nostalgia-fest, during which we recalled how bloody brilliant early-'90s Britpop was. Here are six moments we'd forgotten about that deserve to be remembered.
1. "Chemical World," Blur
Pre-Parklife, Blur was quintessentially English, without getting cartoon-ish about it (like they did later on -- *cough* "Country House" *cough*). Modern Life Is Rubbish is a masterpiece of tea-drinking, pigeon-racing, Fred Perry-wearing excellence -- and "Chemical World" was the best single on it. Here they are frolicking with bunnies and buttercups in an English field somewhere. Really rather lovely.
2. "Stutter," Elastica
Now, we know full well that you remember this song. Of course you do -- it's two minutes and 20 seconds of awesome. But do you remember the first version of the video, before they made the posh American one? Probably not, because it's just Elastica looking awkward on a pile of newspaper -- and its no-bullshit aesthetics make us very happy indeed. This came out during the period before someone had thought up the "Britpop" term, so the British music press was referring to the quartet almost exclusively as NWONW -- the New Wave of the New Wave. Thank Christ that didn't last long.
3. "Babies," Pulp
Remember the flouncing, flamboyant, hip-cocking, lip-pouting, eye-framing Jarvis Cocker from the "Common People" video? Well, that was after he'd toned himself down a bit. Rewind back a couple of years to when "Babies" came out, and he was just ... spectacular. His bare-chested, velvet-jacketed, twitching and jittering in this video is some next-level shit. The Peeping Tom lyrics are incredible, too ("I wanna give you children"!). We love you, Jarvis. Alright!
4. "Blue," The Verve
Before "Bittersweet Symphony" blew them up around them up around the world, and before there was a "The" in front of their name, Verve was a trippy, pseudo-psychedelic affair. We kind of liked the band better that way too, truth be told.