“The Great Escape” was always destined to fail, simple as that.

Released in 1995 on September 11th, a date that would become synonymous 6 years later with a far more serious tragedy, the album was the unfortunate victim of circumstances. Firstly its dreadful release timing by the label and band, and secondly, underestimating the absolute monster that (What’s The Story?) Morning Glory would become.

In the face of such overwhelming odds, Blur and their album were f**ked before they even had a chance to get it off the ground, almost nothing could of stopped Oasis in 1995. Blur’s follow up to their own ridiculously successful “Parklife” was never going to make a dent in Morning Glory; that behemoth of an album is so stuffed full of gloriously decadent tunes that Blur’s brand of art collage pop music like Country House or The Universal could never have of touched such instant classics like Wonderwall Don’t Look Back In Anger or Champagne Supernova. Even the weaker songs on the album (if you could even call them that) like Cast No Shadow are far superior to Dan Abnormal or Globe Alone.

 

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If Albarn and co had released the album 6 months later when the dust had settled then maybe it would one more revered - it does have some of their best songs from the Ska infused Topman to the psychedelic He Thought Of Cars and the pub sing along classic Charmless Man. However, all anybody remembers of that period was a media-built battle of Britpop between Roll With It and Country House, which, when given the obvious strength of Morning Glory was a completely pointless exercise other than to help shift a few more copies of NNE and Q Magazine.

A similar thing happened to America in 1991 when the Smashing Pumpkins released Gish, a debut album so superbly gloomy that it practically wrote the rule book for grunge music. Just 4 months later Nirvana dropped Nevermind and Teen Spirit. Which album do you think holds a more meaningful legacy with the disenfranchised youth of the early 90s America?

IMG 5199IMG 5201Timing is everything and in both of these instances there was a major design fault in the release date and marketing by both label and band. It is almost inexcusable that Blur weren't aware of what Oasis were doing. It’s not surprising that The Beatles went so far down the rabbit hole during the recording of Sgt Peppers when Syd and the rest of The Floyd were down the corridor working on Piper At The Gates If Dawn. Do you think perhaps the fab 4 poked their heads round the door once or twice? Or in the case of Lennon, send faithful roadie Mal Evans down to go take a 'butchers' at what the real “hippies” were doing in studio 3?

The point here is not to evaluate either Morning Glory or Great Escape, it is a pointless exercise as they are both fantastic albums made during the absolute height of the Britpop decade; but more for us to think again about how poor planning perhaps ruined a far superior album. Lets be honest, isn’t The Great Escape much better than Morning Glory anyway?!

Come get me, you Parka Monkeys.