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Blur - Parklife (Special Edition) [2LP] (180G)




A1 Girls & Boys    
A2 Tracy Jacks    
A3 End Of A Century    
A4 Parklife
A5 Bank Holiday    
A6 Badhead    
A7 The Debt Collector    
A8 Far Out    
B1 To The End
B2 London Loves    
B3 Trouble In The Message Centre    
B4 Clover Over Dover    
B5 Magic America    
B6 Jubilee    
B7 This Is A Low    
B8 Lot 105

At the time of this album's original release, Blur weren't faring too well in terms of the music charts and popularity. They needed a breakthrough. The single "Girls and Boys" was a success, finally getting them some much-deserved recognition. The following singles "To The End", "Parklife", and "End of A Century" all broke the top 20 in the UK as well. But this isn't just a singles album.

This album went on to be praised by fans and critics alike, and it certainly deserves it. There isn't a bad song on the album, though there are a few peculiar tunes ("The Debt Collector", "Lot 105", and James's "Far Out" come to mind.) All the songs are melodic, and none seem just tossed off. Among the non-singles, standouts include the punky "Bank Holiday", the peaceful "Clover Over Dover", the mellow "Badhead", and the epic penultimate song "This is A Low", though every song is memorable to some degree. Probably the weakest track is "Magic America", but it's still good. And not just the vocal melodies are catchy; this album has some nice basslines from James and a lot of great guitar courtesy of Coxon. The drums don't particularly stand out, but they're in time and fit the songs well, so there's nothing wrong with them either.

The sound quality of all the songs is exceptional. It's no wonder, as the music was remastered at Abbey Road Studios. Thankfully, the people who worked on the remasters aren't participating in the loudness war.