On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Blur – End of a Century (1994)
” End of a Century” is a song by alternative rock band Blur. Released in November 1994, it was the last single to be released from their third album . “End of a Century” reached number 19 on the UK Singles Chart, considered a disappointment by Andy Ross of Food Records.
We’re staying in the UK today, dear reader, and find ourselves in London. Formed in 1988 Blur comprised Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree and they would be one of the big names in the Britpop movement of the mid-1990s alongside the likes of Oasis and Suede. We join them in 1994 with the release of their fourth album – Parklife – and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the fourth single from the record – End of a Century.
End of a Century is concerned with young relationships and slipping into a mundane routine in front of the television as the millennium draws to a close. Some moments were taken from Damon Albarn’s own life and his relationship with then girlfriend, Justine Frischmann who was a member of the band, Elastica. The song paints a morose image of daily living as the century draws to a close and the track’s refrain of “It’s nothing special” emphasises how the lives of others and the narrator have stagnated and become somewhat pointless.
Blur’s fourth album propelled them to huge success and they would go head to head with rivals Oasis as the Kings of Britpop. I am not sure to this day who won the battle, if anyone, but it was interesting to watch it unfold during my secondary school days. End of a Century wasn’t an obvious choice from Parklife but it is still a good example of what Blur were all about at this time. The band grew and developed as the years unfolded and though there have been hiatuses, they continue to perform to this day.
Favourite songs so far: