Song Of The Week - Blur - Beetlebum
“She’ll suck your thumb/She’ll make you come” – and that line was number one and played on Top of the Pops back in what are rapidly becoming the increasingly revisited ‘90s. This came at the height of the Britpop Wars, where you were either Oasis or Blur, where “which side are you on?” genuinely mattered, in what was probably the last sighting of tribalism is pop music. “1D or 5SOS?” – see, doesn’t really have the same ring to it, does it?
Of course, with the clarity of hindsight, we all realised there should never have been such a division in the first place. Noel Gallagher and Damon Albarn proved to be the finest two songwriters of their generation and we should have been grateful to have them around and alive at the same time, pushing each other to new heights, even if it was only out of spite. (They’ve since kissed and made up and gone for a pint.)
Beetlebum was Blur at their most experimental and accessible all at once, with Damon for once digging himself into heretofore Noel’s territory of Beatle-mining. Famously, the song reflected his brief dalliance with heroin (standard issue rock star) but was by no means out of control, highlighting the precision playing of Graham Coxon and the louche Alex (cheese-maker) James’ louche bass playing.
Not everyone made it out alive from the Britpop Wars. You try telling kids these days that there was once a time when Britain had two great bands and every new single was an opportunity to re-evaluate how you felt about the world in general and the world of pop music in all its infinite glory in particular – and they won’t believe you!
Oh yeah – we need a cinematic connection, don’t we? Beetlebum is played loud over the opening titles of the recently released Kill Your Friends, which is by no means a perfect film, but serves to remind you that this is a damn near perfect song.
Hit “Play” already!
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