BLUR, MODERN LIFE IS RUBBISH ( 1993)
Chosen by: Pete Paphides, Q writer
In 1993, it was with little left to lose that Blur’s Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon – bottom of the bill at an Xfm fundraiser in Finsbury Park – premiered a new composition to a small, indifferent crowd. Entitled For Tomorrow, it was a sad little love song to the city on which Albarn so desperately wanted to make his mark. If there was a hitherto untapped passion in the way Albarn sang the line about “hanging on for dear life”, it was hardly surprising. That was him there, forlornly throwing out one last seed into the arid popscape of Britain after grunge. We scarcely need dwell upon what happened next. In years to come, they’ll be teaching it on the national curriculum. With the release of For Tomorrow – the first single to be taken from Modern Life Is Rubbish – Albarn effectively announced his arrival as a songwriter comparable to the greats who had so clearly inspired him: Ray Davies, Jerry Dammers, The Clash, Paul Weller. For the full measure of its magnificence, the Visit To Primrose Hill extended version is the one to seek out.