Out of time, under the radar...

Discussion about the band and related projects.

Moderators: MrMagpie, tom_cas1, Caitlin

Out of time, under the radar...

Postby TracyJosh » 24 Jun 2017, 16:23

I must apologise for the regularity of my posting of new topics, as one of the more relatively younger members on here and only really becoming a huge fan of Blur at 15(which was the year of the reunion), there's a lot of their history I wasn't conscious of while it was unfolding.

When 'Out of time' was released I was 10, and although I was very switched on to new music and having a mild affection for Blur's previous singles, I have utterly no memory of hearing it on the radio or seeing the video on TV. When I became a Blur fan proper, Think Tank was naturally the last album I got into and I was shocked to find that 'Out of time' charted at number 5 in the U.K.!? One of my favourite Blur songs, but for one of their highest ever charting songs it seems to have gone completely under the radar ever since. I've heard Sweet Song played on the radio, but never Out of time. Was it a case of it charted high because it was almost a miniature comeback single after 4 years without a studio album? Or does anyone have any other explanation?

Every other top 10 song by Blur has received at least moderate airplay over the years. Most people I play it to don't even remember it being released and being a hit single either...
TracyJosh
 
Posts: 83
Joined: 21 May 2016, 12:20

Re: Out of time, under the radar...

Postby dougharrison » 24 Jun 2017, 23:49

I think the mini-comeback theory also has some merit to it, but I'd also add that IIRC at that point you had to shift far less copies of a single for a top 5 entry, it was definitely prior to digital counting for anything. Again IIRC the single fell down the charts pretty rapidly after release (somewhat tying in with your mini-comeback perception theory). I'd also add that the unusual (in the context of British pop music) instrumentation meant the song had to be a massive ubiquitous hit in order for significant airplay later, as it simply doesn't fit alongside much pop music from a radio DJ perspective, unlike for the sake of example Stereotypes.
dougharrison
 
Posts: 173
Joined: 08 Sep 2014, 03:01

Re: Out of time, under the radar...

Postby sara-m-a » 25 Jun 2017, 03:19

I remember going to the music store and listening to the album in a sort of totem thing that had several cds on display, mind you there are no music stores anymore... at least not a chains, these days there are very tiny stores and not nearly as much variety, I fucking hate the future xD

I miss you feria del disco...
Image

I do remember watching the video and listening to the song, though it didn't have as much rotation as crazy bit did
Image
User avatar
sara-m-a
 
Posts: 548
Joined: 19 Feb 2015, 12:54
Location: Chile

Re: Out of time, under the radar...

Postby 101reykjavik » 25 Jun 2017, 09:06

I remember driving to work and hearing it on the Radio 1 breakfast show during its release. It got decent airplay from what I recall.
Image
User avatar
101reykjavik
 
Posts: 5303
Joined: 08 Sep 2014, 20:26
Location: Beautiful Somerset

Re: Out of time, under the radar...

Postby rich » 25 Jun 2017, 17:22

depends what you mean by 'under the radar' ... it hasn't as a live song :)

Damon played it repeatedly as as a piano piece during his 2014 solo tour - see my vids https://vimeo.com/96996981 and https://vimeo.com/111991524 and blur played it with Graham throughout their 2015 Magic Whip tour...

always a firm favourite / sing along :) song with the audience

and this from the closing credits of New World Towers is spine tingling...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UahMkQtKFeg
He thought of cars and where, where to drive them...
my gig videos https://vimeo.com/user19376405
User avatar
rich
 
Posts: 712
Joined: 07 Sep 2014, 16:58
Location: London UK

Re: Out of time, under the radar...

Postby TracyJosh » 27 Jun 2017, 22:12

See what you're saying Doug about it maybe not receiving continued airplay over the years because of how outlandish a musical arrangement it is for a top 10 single, but sometimes that means songs get more recurring attention, like the likes of Paranoid Android and Viva La Vida... It's a shame it hasn't been praised more for how incredibly unique it is for a pop song that did well!

I'm aware and very glad that Blur have always kept it in the set, absolutely deserves to be played at every gig. That, Beetlebum and For Tomorrow are the only big singles that I'm not sick of listening to.
TracyJosh
 
Posts: 83
Joined: 21 May 2016, 12:20

Re: Out of time, under the radar...

Postby Mallard No. 22 » 28 Jun 2017, 04:05

I don't think it has received the airplay over the years that other Blur singles have.

I agree with doug that in 2003 it didn't need to sell huge to get in the top ten (for probably just one week?). And also that the song is not 'radio-friendly' as such.
"Everybody's Doing It...So Do It Too...."
User avatar
Mallard No. 22
 
Posts: 2031
Joined: 01 Oct 2014, 07:46
Location: North East UK

Re: Out of time, under the radar...

Postby Neal Zeal » 28 Jun 2017, 05:40

Yo Tracy,
I'm a chart positions/airplay/record sales geek so hopefully I can shed some light.
Think Tank was the first Blur album since Modern Life not to yield any big singles in terms of both airplay and sales.
The success of a single isn't entirely related to its chart position - more its longevity.
From Parklife to 13, every first single off a Blur album did very well in the charts, usually surviving in the top 10 for several weeks (possible exception of Beetlebum although that did reach #1). Although the Blur albums in the late 90s became less commercial (or 'tuneful', one could argue!) - they still had at least one massive single. Even the tedious and melodically weak 13 had the huge gospel-pop success of Tender, followed by the lesser (but still considerable) airplay hit of Coffee and TV.
But Out of Time sank like a stone with very little airplay at the time (it might have made the Radio 2 B-list) and relatively little since. It wasn't played at all last month in the UK despite 25 other Blur songs receiving exposure (http://comparemyradio.com/artists/Blur/tracks). Although it made the top 10 on its release, this is a little misleading as it went flying out of the charts in just 2 or 3 weeks whereas the big Blur singles of the 1990s stayed in the charts for 2 or 3 months.
Why did it receive so little airplay then and now?
The problem is mainly that the song is just so ... slight. Very understated. The classic Blur singalong vibe of their 1990s heyday is completely absent. It shuffles into view almost apologetically, does its thing, and then evaporates! It's just too quiet and minimal for the radio stations to feel it's worth playing.
Like most people round here, I think it's a beauty - one of their best. But I don't blame radio stations for giving it a wide berth.
Neal Zeal
 
Posts: 239
Joined: 17 Oct 2014, 16:43

Re: Out of time, under the radar...

Postby semi » 28 Jun 2017, 09:40

Out of Time is not even in my top 20 blur songs... To me it was the decline of Damon writing blur hits. Well... it was Music is My Radar first.

Don't get me wrong, I like these songs, but they aren't as catchy as the ones from the 90s.
semi
 
Posts: 26
Joined: 19 Feb 2015, 14:58

Re: Out of time, under the radar...

Postby TracyJosh » 28 Jun 2017, 11:53

Thanks for that explanation Neal! Very insightful.

I suppose then it boils down to the fact that it would have been the first proper single from the first full length studio album in 4 years so the initial spike in interest would have seen the single shoot up the charts, but it wouldn't have attracted sales from neutrals like previous earworms and thus it fell down the charts rapidly..

Isn't conventional enough a pop song for radio play.
TracyJosh
 
Posts: 83
Joined: 21 May 2016, 12:20

Re: Out of time, under the radar...

Postby 101reykjavik » 28 Jun 2017, 12:09

It's a beautiful song in my opinion. Daring instrumentally and bristling with a genuine emotion that suits the melody and mood perfectly. It's so wonderfully melancholy. It's not natural playlist fodder of course.

I just have to take you up, Neal Zeal, on 13 being 'tedious and melodically weak.' It sounds like you prefer their earlier, more immediate pop melodies? Nothing wrong with that of course. How an album of such raw emotion could be tedious though I struggle to understand, unless of course one craves a hook over a more subtle unfurling of mood and atmosphere. I find pleasure in both. I think melodically weak is wide of the mark too. It's an album which is possibly more concerned with texture and rhythm than melody, which sits in stark contrast to much of their earlier work. One could interpret that as 'weak' if so inclined, I suppose, but that would be an incorrect assessment in my opinion.
Image
User avatar
101reykjavik
 
Posts: 5303
Joined: 08 Sep 2014, 20:26
Location: Beautiful Somerset

Re: Out of time, under the radar...

Postby Neal Zeal » 28 Jun 2017, 21:14

TracyJosh wrote:Thanks for that explanation Neal! Very insightful.
I suppose then it boils down to the fact that it would have been the first proper single from the first full length studio album in 4 years so the initial spike in interest would have seen the single shoot up the charts, but it wouldn't have attracted sales from neutrals like previous earworms and thus it fell down the charts rapidly..
Isn't conventional enough a pop song for radio play.


Glad to be of use!
I'm not sure that it's a particularly unconventional song, though. It has a proper intor/outro, verses, choruses and a middle eight.
It's just very low key and understated. The intro is way too long (over 45 seconds) for starters. Radio listeners would change stations!
Spending one week in the top 10 doesn't need that many sales. I don't know what the total sales were but I expect they were very low compared with the other Blur top 10 singles so radio airplay (at the time and since) probably reflects sales to a large extent. It's always a treat to hear at the live shows though. For any strummers out there, it's also fun to play along to. Em F and G in the verse, Em F Am E and C in the chorus. Simples!
Last edited by Neal Zeal on 28 Jun 2017, 21:18, edited 1 time in total.
Neal Zeal
 
Posts: 239
Joined: 17 Oct 2014, 16:43

Next

Return to Blur

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 8 guests