Hackskeptic’s 500 Greatest Songs: Blur – The Universal


194 – Blur – The Universal (1995)
Written by Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree
Produced by Stephen Street
Label – Food

“The Universal” is Blur’s recognition that being Britain’s biggest pop band wasn’t the magnificent achievement they’d imagined. Damon Albarn was questioning the inert, faceless, technology driven future that confronted human kind, and guitarist Graham Coxon was struggling with fame and all the seemingly empty trappings it entailed. Their sad, resigned take on a cold dystopian future is perfectly captured by Stephen Street’s grandiose arrangement that is deliberately at odds with Albarn’s descriptions of a flat, facile and unsatisfying existence.

16 responses to “Hackskeptic’s 500 Greatest Songs: Blur – The Universal

  1. I always loved this track. Blur also had some rockers under its belt but it was their “ballads” that always did it for me. The video for this is great too. A nod to A clockwork orange as I recall.

  2. This was the track that turned me into Blur. I didn’t pay much attention to them, but knew folks who liked them (my brother included). This one flipped the switch, though. Such a great song. Though British Gas have done their very best to destroy it for me.

  3. Absolutely exemplary track!
    I didn’t get the Great Escape until years after the fact so I somehow missed this tune at the time.
    My favourite Blur song & would be in my all time top 15, fine choice Geoff!

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