90s Music

Going Blank Again

GBA.jpg

There are two interesting pieces on Ride’s second album, Going Blank Again. One is from the latest edition of Uncut, and another is from 2012.

The band’s next album is This is Not a Safe Place, so I think it is fitting to remember what an incredible sophomore album GBA really is. In terms of second records, it’s one of the best there ever was.

Those big moments, though, are defined by the more concise ones around them. The taut ringing of acoustic guitars on “Chrome Waves” or the lean psych-pop of “Making Judy Smile” or the angular riffage of “Time Of Her Time” all let us hear a new side of Ride. It reminded us that Ride may have made pop built firmly for the dreamworld, but the group never forgot the very real rock muscle this sound could generate underneath all that atmosphere. Here, it’s that physicality that comes to the surface and makes Going Blank Again an album that doesn’t have to take up space to be staggering in its sound. Ride didn’t make the mistake of making one huge-sounding album (Nowhere) and trying to top it with more layers, with bigger distortion, with more muddled volume. Instead, Ride peeled things back most of the time on Going Blank Again, so when they did decide to swell into something more atmospheric, those huge moments were earned.

Definitely go for the expanded version of the album and see them playing live. And track down all of the B-sides, too. If there was ever a record that deserved an omnibus or expanded version, this is it.

Parklife is 25

Parklife.jpg

Blur’s Parklife is celebrating an anniversary:

Blur are to celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘Parklife’ through the release of a range of vintage merchandise and a previously unreleased ‘Live At the BBC’ session.

The seminal album was released in 1994 and is considered to be one of the defining records of both the 1990s and the Britpop scene.

The group’s label Parlophone confirmed today (July 18) that the ‘BBC Radio 1 Parklife Session’ will be released on August 2 together with a special anniversary collection of ‘Parklife’-era merchandise. You can view and pre-order here.

The anniversary merchandise contains iconic vintage designs that were originally available to buy in the 1990s, including Blur FC and their famous dog track logo.

‘Live at the BBC’ was originally recorded at the BBC in Manchester on March 7, 1994 just weeks ahead of the album’s release on April 25, 1994.

I never got into Blur the way others do; I like a trio of songs, if that, and the rest of it never really settled with me. I am weird that way—I should be a huge Blur fan, but I never got into them, the Super Furry Animals, or Muse at all. There are other bands, too—never understood Keane, Menswear, or Mansun, either.

The important thing is not to be a jerk about it. This is an historic re-release of a huge cultural event. There are tons of important bands and songs that were swallowed up in the 1990s—who genres of music were created and thrashed out during that decade, which was the last gasp before the music industry imploded. I think the next decade or so will be awash in nostalgia for the 1990s, and then it will probably just fade away, but I’ve been wrong about everything all the time.