With the seeming finality of the release of their career-spanning compilation, 21, and a triumphant show at the Olympic after-party, Blur’s future remains unaddressed. Their career has spanned four decades, yielded seven albums, a boatload of singles, and has simultaneously entrenched itself into several storylines in rock and pop mythology. Their infamous war with Oasis in 1995 may have marked the height of their popularity, but while Oasis continued to try its hand at remaking its most successful releases, Blur moved on. Released within a span of 11 years, the eclecticism of these 15 tracks is quite astonishing.

There’s really no hard and fast rule for what makes a good Blur song; the various styles on display here are too diverse to warrant even an attempt at making one. As the band’s chief songwriters, Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon were masters of melody, form, wit and scope. Any contemporary British band you care to name has a few fragments of Blur in their sound. All of their albums deserve full listens, but if you don’t have $150 to fork out for 21 right now, these songs will put you on the right track.

Listen with Spotify while you run down our list:

[Intro] [Page 1] [Page 2] [Page 3]

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