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Midlife: A Beginner's Guide to Blur
Blur
Midlife: A Beginner's Guide to Blur
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #2

2009 two CD collection from the Britpop legends, released to coincide with their 20th Anniversary and reunion tour. Midlife: A Beginners Guide To Blur is a unique collection of the best songs from the band's career to date...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Blur
Title: Midlife: A Beginner's Guide to Blur
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Virgin Records Us
Original Release Date: 1/1/2009
Re-Release Date: 7/28/2009
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop, Rock
Styles: British Alternative, Europe, British Isles, Dance Pop
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPCs: 400000016344, 5099996630723

Synopsis

Album Description
2009 two CD collection from the Britpop legends, released to coincide with their 20th Anniversary and reunion tour. Midlife: A Beginners Guide To Blur is a unique collection of the best songs from the band's career to date. Standing separate from Blur's previous Best Of, Midlife represents a comprehensive collection of their biggest hits and favorite album tracks. The tracklist has been hand-picked by the band and offers a deeper look into the group's entire musical output, across two discs. 25 tracks including 'Song 2', 'Girls & Boys', 'Sing', 'Parklife', 'The Universal', 'Beetlebum' and 'Popscene', which was originally released in 1992 as a non-album single and unavailable since. EMI.

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CD Reviews

Excellent title for a Blur collection
Andrew Terrick | Pittsburgh, PA | 08/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I'll admit to being one of those Americans who didn't know much of anything about Blur before Song 2. As so often happens when coming across some music that is enjoyable, I immersed myself in the back catalog, and by that time Blur's was already entailing four studio albums, albums that showcased quite a musical difference from the self-titled LP. And I loved every minute of it. Whereas the Greatest Hits collection showcased the vast amount of singles, this album truly comes across as a beginner's guide...a smattering of hits and album tracks from those five albums and the subsequent two afterward. Its more of a superbly constructed personal mixtape or iTunes playlist for the band than anything, showcasing some extraordinary songs not released on their own like Trimm Trabb, Badhead, This is a Low, and Advert.

Every compilation package for any band comes with its faults, and this is no different. Some big hits are missing (especially for the US audience, Country House and There's No Other Way could've made the cut over some of the other singles). No track from their incredible b-side collection is represented. And there's nothing new to give those of us with the studio albums reason to go out and buy this (maybe that's a good thing...though probably not from a marketing standpoint). But if I were to be on the lookout for a quality introduction to one of the best bands of the 90s, this comes pretty close to how it should be.

"
THERE'S NO OTHER WAY
Cousin Bobby | Tarpon Springs, Florida | 02/15/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Howdy Ya'll--
Cousin Bobby here to tell ya 'bout Blur.
This 2 cd collection contains most of Blur's best songs, as I said
most--the set does not contain "There's No Other Way", "Country House" (no loss)
"Charmless Man" and "End Of The Century".So you'll have to pony up
some more dough to get those songs.

Better yet you're better off with the "Best Of Blur"--
a 2 cd set that came out ages ago. It's probably alot
more cheaper than this set. But more about Blur.

Blur are one of the better Brit-Pop bands of the early-mid 1990's.
Big enough they had a "war" of singles with Oasis that made the newspapers.
For a time, Blur actually outsold Oasis in their home country
but never made it big over in America, unlike Oasis.
Bands like Blur are a throw back to the
Mod bands of the 60's and their songs don't always translate well across the Atlantic.

Mod bands from the 60's like The Small Faces barely made a dent over here,
the Kinks faded away for awhile when they did their Mod music
and the Who didn't really make it big until the album
"Tommy" and by then they sounded like a totally different band than the one that
recorded "Magic Bus" and "Pictures Of Lily".
Sure it's nice these bands sing about Englands problems, like Blur does on a
trio of classic albums-"Modern Life Is Rubbish", "Parklife", and "The Great Escape",
but outside of England does anyone care ?
Don't get me wrong, I like Blurs music very much but it's easy to see why
they didn't make it over here in America.

In one of the more ironic moments in music, Blurs most
popular song over in America is "Song 2; which in itself
was a satire of the American grunge movement and a big departure of their
signature sound. Of course the Brit-Pop movement was an answer/rebuttal
to the American Grunge movement and Blurs big American movement
was essentially doing a grunge like song.

I would recommend the Best of Blur over this set as that
2 cd set seems more complete. If your interested in the best single cd then go for
"Parklife" which captures Englands mood at the time probably better than
any cd, or at least as good as Pulp's "Different Class"

Blur may have won the battle with Oasis but eventually lost the war.
Just goes to show ya, people don't want to hear about Englands problems
they want to hear about sex, drugs and rock and roll- so it should be no surprise
that Oasis became bigger.


Cousin Bobby"
The anti-Greatest Hits album....
H. Jin | Melbourne, Australia | 03/10/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Well, this is different.

Normally with "Greatest Hits" packages, the band emphasises its most commercially successful period, with more interesting and unusual material from their early or late career ignored. 'Midlife' is basically the exact opposite of this: it almost turns its back on Blur's Britpop era in favour of key album tracks and fan favourites. Instead of focussing heavily on 'Parklife' and 'The Great Escape', every album gets a decent representation here, even the much-maligned `Leisure'.


On one hand, this really works. Blur were a lot more varied than casual fans might think, from the Madchester-influenced 'Leisure' to the alternative lo-fi of 'Blur' and '13' and the electronic art-rock of 'Think Tank'. The selections (particularly from the last three albums) seem deliberately chosen to highlight this diversity; distorted rockers, dark introspective ballads, unsettling electronic soundscapes. It certainly wasn't all bright Britpop, so it's good to see that `Midlife' really showcases these different styles, instead of just the big, obvious hits.

Although the songs are not presented in chronological order (which would have been nice), the track listing is excellent. `Beetlebum' and `Tender' are strong openers, while `This is a Low' and `Battery in your Leg' are obvious closers. And both CDs contain a mixture of radio hits (`Parklife', `Song 2', `Girls & Boys', `Coffee & TV') and more challenging material (`Trimm Trabb', `Death Of A Party', `Bugman', `Strange News From Another Star').

But to leave 'Country House' and 'Charmless Man' off is ridiculous; there's no way around that. These songs were not only hits, they virtually defined Blur's sound and image in the mid 90's, and arguably defined the whole Britpop era. If you absolutely must make an artistic statement , leave off some of the lesser hits from the period. But these two songs are essential, particularly considering 'Midlife' is a 2 CD set containing 25 songs. A few other important songs like `Crazy Beat', `End Of A Century', and `There's No Other Way' are missing as well.

I give it four stars. The music itself is probably worth five, but to leave off those important songs means `Midlife' doesn't quite do its job of being `A Beginner's Guide To Blur'.....even if it does contain some excellent cuts, and some of the best music of its era.
"