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May 8, 2015

10 things you didn't know about The Magic Whip


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  1. Blur produced this album secretly in Hong Kong, when they were there for tour in 2014. Graham Coxon even revealed that he had to lie to friends and family in order to keep their new album secret.
  2. In May of 2013, Blur were set to play Japan's Tokyo Rocks Music festival. However, the entire festival was cancelled for unknown reasons, leaving the band stranded in Hong Kong for an extra 5 days. The result of this extra 5 days of studio work is the new album, where Albarn later stated he was unsure whether the resulting music would ever be released.
  3. Stephen Street, the producer of The Magic Whip, actually produced Blur's first album 'Leisure' and several other subsequent albums. He had a fall-out with the band a few years ago where there was a mini-feud between him, William Orbit and other Blur members. 
  4. The Magic Whip is band's first studio album since Think Tank (2003), marking the longest gap between two studio albums in their career.
  5. Stephen Street actually plays keyboard in several of Blur's live performances as part of their new 2015 tour. See this video for Stephen on the keyboards! 
  6. The cover of the album features the Chinese words of 模糊 魔鞭, which translates into "Blur Magic-whip". The artist, Tony Hung, who also created the lyric video for "Go Out",  met with frontman Damon Albarn in early 2015 to discuss the album artwork and was shown photos and ephemera from the singer's travels in Hong Kong.
  7. Damon Albarn has always enjoyed featuring Asian cities or Chinese elements in his songs. His hit from Gorillaz- Hong Kong- was also about the city, as is the whole of The Magic Whip. The song 'Ong Ong' in particular is also a tribute to Hong Kong. 
  8. Graham Coxon said that The Magic Whip is his favourite Blur album of all time. His reason? "It's poignant – a lot of what Damon [Albarn]'s saying with the lyrics would maybe resonate with someone who's my age, feeling dislocated by technology but also slightly enslaved by it, and worried about where it's all going to end up. I feel like he's saying the stuff that I feel". 
  9. The Magic Whip actually contains only half of the songs that Damon Albarn has written in Hong Kong. Alex James has revealed that the band have enough material to release another new album, having only used half of the tracks they wrote for 'The Magic Whip'.
  10. Damon Albarn’s voice has changed a lot, evident in his new album. His voice matured from a more high-pitched voice to a deeper, raspier and melancholic voice which conveys the feeling of the Magic Whip well. It's probably why the new album received very positive critical reviews. 
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May 6, 2015

Graham Coxon and Stephen Street Interview

Here's a great little interview about Blur's Hong Kong sessions and recording their newest album The Magic Whip. Graham Coxon and Stephen Street talks about their latest collaboration and feelings towards the album.


May 4, 2015

Blur at UK Number 1 for New Album

The Magic Whip, Blur's first album since 2003 has topped the UK Top Album chart in May 2015. It's currently at number 1 on the list. This is the group's first number one album in 12 years. 
They knocked out last week's chart topper Josh Groban's Stages, into fourth place.
The album chart saw little in the way of new entries aside from Blur, with Scottish twins The Proclaimers scoring the second highest new entry with Let's Hear it for the Dogs debuting at number 26. Taylor Swift's 1989 was at number two, followed by James Bay's Chaos and the Calm at three. 




May 3, 2015

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