Girls and Boys reaches 100 million milestone on Spotify

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Styopa
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Re: Girls and Boys reaches 100 million milestone on Spotify

Post by Styopa » 15 Feb 2021, 17:26

idreamofpikas wrote:
15 Feb 2021, 17:00
Styopa wrote:
15 Feb 2021, 15:56


Still, I would have expected the Universal to be higher, pre-2012 or not. If anything that is a song that has really grown in stature over the decades.

I'm also surprised that Beetlebum isn't higher.
Both are now on 27.7 million. They are fantastic amounts for songs from the 90's that did not break America, still by the far the largest music listening audience. They'd make the top 5 of every other British 90's band apart from Oasis, Radiohead and the Verve (only one would make the top 5, the other would have to settle for 6th).


Lyla 21 million, The importance of Being Idle 24.4 million, The Hindu Times 11.7 million, Go Let It Out 15.6 million, All Around the World
24.3 million. All no1's by Oasis. By comparison the Universal and Beetlebum are doing well.

Now Blur's catalogue is hindered by the fact that Damon and Graham have moved on. Other acts are either still together or still performing on tour the songs that made them famous. Had there been more than one Blur tour or album in the spotify age (2012 onwards seems to be when it became mainstream) we'd probably see even bigger numbers, but right now 1.1 billion is pretty impressive.

I am puzzled why we have not seen a B-sides album or even another Greatest hits album, something to inject a bit of life into the Blur catalogue.
That's very interesting - thank you for the context.

On a connected note, Beetlebum and the Universal sound so "fresh" compared to those Oasis songs you have listed, which (to my ears anyway) sound dated and not in just in an "of their time" way. They just don't sound like great songs outside of their context whereas I think Beetlebum and the Universal still stand up today.

A B-sides album would be a great idea. The last and only one of those they released was back in 94. There have been several fine B-sides since then and they inexplicably left out Young and Lovely from the 94 disc!

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stephen
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Re: Girls and Boys reaches 100 million milestone on Spotify

Post by stephen » 15 Feb 2021, 17:26

Styopa wrote:
15 Feb 2021, 15:56
Ghost Ship could be a Gorillaz song and by virtue of that alone has a more contemporaneous sound and potentially wider reach than most of Blur's back catalogue.
I got shot down for saying that last year :roll:

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Sledge Hammer
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Re: Girls and Boys reaches 100 million milestone on Spotify

Post by Sledge Hammer » 16 Feb 2021, 11:28

Yep a B sides collection on Spotify to show the young uns! lol.

Songs like Tame worth the admission alone!
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dougharrison
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Re: Girls and Boys reaches 100 million milestone on Spotify

Post by dougharrison » 20 Feb 2021, 08:19

stephen wrote:
15 Feb 2021, 17:26
Styopa wrote:
15 Feb 2021, 15:56
Ghost Ship could be a Gorillaz song and by virtue of that alone has a more contemporaneous sound and potentially wider reach than most of Blur's back catalogue.
I got shot down for saying that last year :roll:
I'm somewhat in the camp of people who shot you down. For me there are several Blur songs that could be Gorillaz songs and for that matter vice versa. To me, and I could be very wrong, but it feels like revisionism and an attempt to say that a song that has proven popular is being reappropriated to possibly meet an agenda, which is not to accuse either of you directly of this, just a general feeling I get.

Some examples off the top of my head of Blur songs that could be Gorillaz songs and vice versa just to show the some what arbitrary nature of it at times: On The Way To The Club, Ambulance, Jets, On Your Own, MOR, French Song, Music Is My Radar, I got the Law, Caramel, Brothers and Sisters, Don't Bomb, Melancholy Hill, Revolving Doors, Punk, white light, re-hash. Unsurprisingly much of what I perceive to be overlap is from the period 97-03 (roughly). It feels odd to me that Ghost Ship is the only track ever mentioned as something of a cross over, which I can only assume is because it has had moderate success on digital platforms rather than anything based on musicality.

idreamofpikas
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Re: Girls and Boys reaches 100 million milestone on Spotify

Post by idreamofpikas » 20 Feb 2021, 15:35

dougharrison wrote:
20 Feb 2021, 08:19
stephen wrote:
15 Feb 2021, 17:26
Styopa wrote:
15 Feb 2021, 15:56
Ghost Ship could be a Gorillaz song and by virtue of that alone has a more contemporaneous sound and potentially wider reach than most of Blur's back catalogue.
I got shot down for saying that last year :roll:
I'm somewhat in the camp of people who shot you down. For me there are several Blur songs that could be Gorillaz songs and for that matter vice versa. To me, and I could be very wrong, but it feels like revisionism and an attempt to say that a song that has proven popular is being reappropriated to possibly meet an agenda, which is not to accuse either of you directly of this, just a general feeling I get.

Some examples off the top of my head of Blur songs that could be Gorillaz songs and vice versa just to show the some what arbitrary nature of it at times: On The Way To The Club, Ambulance, Jets, On Your Own, MOR, French Song, Music Is My Radar, I got the Law, Caramel, Brothers and Sisters, Don't Bomb, Melancholy Hill, Revolving Doors, Punk, white light, re-hash. Unsurprisingly much of what I perceive to be overlap is from the period 97-03 (roughly). It feels odd to me that Ghost Ship is the only track ever mentioned as something of a cross over, which I can only assume is because it has had moderate success on digital platforms rather than anything based on musicality.
Given Blur's sound tended to evolve and change every few years I think it could be argued much of Gorillaz's output could have been a future Blur's. It is not like Blur had not experimented with other singers before.

Had Damon never been so close to Jamie (or never fallen out with Graham) we may have seen Blur morph into a more alternative Maroon 5, though a decade earlier.

dougharrison
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Re: Girls and Boys reaches 100 million milestone on Spotify

Post by dougharrison » 20 Feb 2021, 18:07

idreamofpikas wrote:
20 Feb 2021, 15:35

Given Blur's sound tended to evolve and change every few years I think it could be argued much of Gorillaz's output could have been a future Blur's. It is not like Blur had not experimented with other singers before.

Had Damon never been so close to Jamie (or never fallen out with Graham) we may have seen Blur morph into a more alternative Maroon 5, though a decade earlier.
Yeah I think there's potentially a Venn diagram to be drawn up by somebody with far too much time on their hands one day. I think it's probably fair to lump Phil Daniels (twice) and Ken Livingstone somewhat in the novelty category, but Franchise Hardy and Marianne Faithful represent credible collaborations. I think my issue is that it feels like an attempt at revisionism to pigeon hole Blur as some meat and potatoes formulaic pop-rock band, which I feel is far too dismissive.

Styopa
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Re: Girls and Boys reaches 100 million milestone on Spotify

Post by Styopa » 24 Feb 2021, 09:58

dougharrison wrote:
20 Feb 2021, 18:07
idreamofpikas wrote:
20 Feb 2021, 15:35

Given Blur's sound tended to evolve and change every few years I think it could be argued much of Gorillaz's output could have been a future Blur's. It is not like Blur had not experimented with other singers before.

Had Damon never been so close to Jamie (or never fallen out with Graham) we may have seen Blur morph into a more alternative Maroon 5, though a decade earlier.
Yeah I think there's potentially a Venn diagram to be drawn up by somebody with far too much time on their hands one day. I think it's probably fair to lump Phil Daniels (twice) and Ken Livingstone somewhat in the novelty category, but Franchise Hardy and Marianne Faithful represent credible collaborations. I think my issue is that it feels like an attempt at revisionism to pigeon hole Blur as some meat and potatoes formulaic pop-rock band, which I feel is far too dismissive.
I agree. I think over the years Damon has made a rod for his own back with some disparaging remarks about his work with Blur. I think he has cultivated the idea that he outgrew Blur, which maybe was true in a psychological sense, but I think there was plenty more mileage in the artistic tank, plenty more scope for growth based on the work the band were producing up to and including the final work as full, actively functioning four piece band. I feel like Blur could easily have done what Radiohead did, for instance, in terms of remaining artistically vital whilst continuing to work within the context of a traditional band.

More often than not it seems to be personal issues rather than artistic differences which precipitate break- ups of successful partnerships such as bands. Going right back to the Beatles! Admittedly the former and latter often merge but in the case of Blur, Damon and Graham's relationship seemed to be at a much better place artistically at the time of their split than it was during their most successful period.

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stephen
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Re: Girls and Boys reaches 100 million milestone on Spotify

Post by stephen » 24 Feb 2021, 12:52

I can't remember the term but in business there's major benefit to working with people you wouldn't naturally. The idea is that if you work with people that are very similar to you, the job would appear easy because everyone is agreeing with each other but you wouldn't learn or get the best result. If you are paired up with people that are different and have different views the overall outcome/result is much better. The only issue with this is that it is incredibly painful to spent most of your days arguing about things that seem incredibly obvious and it takes its toll on stress

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Re: Girls and Boys reaches 100 million milestone on Spotify

Post by jonathas » 24 Feb 2021, 15:46

I think the comparison with Radiohead is a bit misleading - Blur have always been a band who were intensely interested in competition, in standing out, in reflecting the time and in demonstrating their influences, whereas Radiohead have always been a (creditably) inward-looking band. Blur could in theory have mimicked Radiohead's much more insular, private direction but I think it would have been very alien to them. (Am not a Radiohead fan but I concede they have remained interesting and varied throughout their career. It's hard to think of many others who have been able to pursue that path. Beck? Bjork?).

To be honest, I've never felt that Blur and Gorillaz were that radically different. As has been indicated already, it's incredibly easy to draw a straight line from, say, Trailerpark to Music Is My Radar to Tomorrow Comes Today to On Melancholy Hill. When you factor in Damon's solo record and TGTB&TQ, the main thing evident in the progression is just a widening of the sonic palette, and a broad switch from Think Tank onwards from guitars to synths. The instrumental of Girls and Boys, with its funky-bass and disco drums, isn't that far off the instrumental of Feel Good Inc, either.

There's another thing that often gets a bit overlooked in Damon's transformation from band-member to serial-collaborator, and it's not about collaborating more, it's about collaborating less. It was obvious even before Think Tank that Damon wanted to play guitar as well as sing. By the first Gorillaz LP he was clearly really enjoying playing bass. And by Plastic Beach it was obvious that he wanted to programme the drums. I think the better you get at writing songs, the more control of arrangements you want. You could make a similar point with Steve Malkmus who, by the last Pavement LP, was re-recording everyone's parts when they weren't looking.

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Re: Girls and Boys reaches 100 million milestone on Spotify

Post by Styopa » 24 Feb 2021, 16:44

jonathas wrote:
24 Feb 2021, 15:46
I think the comparison with Radiohead is a bit misleading - Blur have always been a band who were intensely interested in competition, in standing out, in reflecting the time and in demonstrating their influences, whereas Radiohead have always been a (creditably) inward-looking band. Blur could in theory have mimicked Radiohead's much more insular, private direction but I think it would have been very alien to them. (Am not a Radiohead fan but I concede they have remained interesting and varied throughout their career. It's hard to think of many others who have been able to pursue that path. Beck? Bjork?).

To be honest, I've never felt that Blur and Gorillaz were that radically different. As has been indicated already, it's incredibly easy to draw a straight line from, say, Trailerpark to Music Is My Radar to Tomorrow Comes Today to On Melancholy Hill. When you factor in Damon's solo record and TGTB&TQ, the main thing evident in the progression is just a widening of the sonic palette, and a broad switch from Think Tank onwards from guitars to synths. The instrumental of Girls and Boys, with its funky-bass and disco drums, isn't that far off the instrumental of Feel Good Inc, either.

There's another thing that often gets a bit overlooked in Damon's transformation from band-member to serial-collaborator, and it's not about collaborating more, it's about collaborating less. It was obvious even before Think Tank that Damon wanted to play guitar as well as sing. By the first Gorillaz LP he was clearly really enjoying playing bass. And by Plastic Beach it was obvious that he wanted to programme the drums. I think the better you get at writing songs, the more control of arrangements you want. You could make a similar point with Steve Malkmus who, by the last Pavement LP, was re-recording everyone's parts when they weren't looking.
Yeah I know what you mean, Blur and Radiohead are different bands in many ways. I guess the reason I compared them was because they are both highly creative and intelligent bands who were around at the same time and pushed at the boundaries of popular music as it was then.

In terms of artists remaining interesting throughout their careers I can think of many solo artists from Bob Dylan to David Bowie to Tom Waits remaining relevant with new work over periods of decades. Bands doing it is more rare-maybe because few bands remain active (or at least actively making albums) for more than ten years? Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds maybe? I don't know if that counts more as a band or solo...

Totally agree with you about the common threads linking Blur, Gorillaz and TGTB&TQ. Actually probably the biggest difference between Blur and Gorillaz is the rapping. A lot of the other stuff, even synths, could quite happily sit on Blur albums I think. You mentioned Trailerpark to Music Is My Radar to Tomorrow Comes Today to On Melancholy Hill. I'd go even further back to Death of a Party and 1992, which were both written in 1992 I believe. Possibly Blue Jeans as well. All of these songs could fit together on a single and coherent album.

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Re: Girls and Boys reaches 100 million milestone on Spotify

Post by rich » 24 Feb 2021, 18:17

You've only got to look at the set lists from Damon's solo shows in 2014 to realise that he saw liitle difference between blur/gorillaz/Mali/Damon solo music...
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Re: Girls and Boys reaches 100 million milestone on Spotify

Post by stephen » 25 Feb 2021, 08:51

They all come from the same person the end is just different. There's blur demos that became Gorillaz tracks and Democrazy could have been used either side. On Melancholy Hill originally was meant to be a TGTBTQ song, theres so many cross overs because they come from the same place it just depends how they get distributed. If he hadn't had set up Gorillaz I think a large amount of the stuff would have easily become blur songs. If you listen to gorillaz first album, think tank, and demon days apart from the collaborations they almost fit as a trilogy

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Re: Girls and Boys reaches 100 million milestone on Spotify

Post by rich » 25 Feb 2021, 11:48

stephen wrote:
25 Feb 2021, 08:51
On Melancholy Hill originally was meant to be a TGTBTQ song
Thanks - didn't know this - but now I can hear how Paul's stuttering dubby base would have worked wonderfully with this track 🙂
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Re: Girls and Boys reaches 100 million milestone on Spotify

Post by stephen » 25 Feb 2021, 14:31

rich wrote:
25 Feb 2021, 11:48
stephen wrote:
25 Feb 2021, 08:51
On Melancholy Hill originally was meant to be a TGTBTQ song
Thanks - didn't know this - but now I can hear how Paul's stuttering dubby base would have worked wonderfully with this track 🙂
They played it in 2011 at Coronet, London.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crkw9pDHwzg

http://vblurpage.com/gigography/gbq/11_1110_coronet.htm

Actually getting quite emotional, I'm probably one of the heads you see at the front

I totally forgot this existed! I would have heard this before On Melancholy Hill but never put the two and two together before now

https://youtu.be/FrjWJPJqq2c?t=62

Also this page goes into the impact TGTBTQ had on Gorillaz

https://gorillaz.fandom.com/wiki/The_Go ... _the_Queen
A few of the songs on Demon Days had originally came from recording sessions that The Good The Bad and The Queen had while at Fela Kuti’s studio in Nigeria, with All Alone being one of them.

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Re: Girls and Boys reaches 100 million milestone on Spotify

Post by JackS » 26 Feb 2021, 09:57

stephen wrote:
25 Feb 2021, 14:31
rich wrote:
25 Feb 2021, 11:48
stephen wrote:
25 Feb 2021, 08:51
On Melancholy Hill originally was meant to be a TGTBTQ song
Thanks - didn't know this - but now I can hear how Paul's stuttering dubby base would have worked wonderfully with this track 🙂
They played it in 2011 at Coronet, London.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crkw9pDHwzg

http://vblurpage.com/gigography/gbq/11_1110_coronet.htm

Actually getting quite emotional, I'm probably one of the heads you see at the front

I totally forgot this existed! I would have heard this before On Melancholy Hill but never put the two and two together before now

https://youtu.be/FrjWJPJqq2c?t=62

Also this page goes into the impact TGTBTQ had on Gorillaz

https://gorillaz.fandom.com/wiki/The_Go ... _the_Queen
A few of the songs on Demon Days had originally came from recording sessions that The Good The Bad and The Queen had while at Fela Kuti’s studio in Nigeria, with All Alone being one of them.
It could go both ways as well. Behind The Sun or Northern Whale could so easily have been Gorillaz songs. In fact it really wouldn't surprise me if Behind The Sun started out as Gorillaz in some way

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