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The Great Escape

76 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 26, 1995
$10.84 $0.01

Editorial Reviews


1. Stereotypes
2. Country House
3. Best Days
4. Charmless Man
5. Fade Away
6. Top Man
7. The Universal
8. Mr. Robinson's Quango
9. He Thought Of Cars
10. It Could Be You
11. Ernold Same
12. Globe Alone
13. Dan Abnormal
14. Entertain Me
15. Yuko & Hiro

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 26, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin Records America
  • ASIN: B000000WA2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,075 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 13, 2002
Format: Audio CD
For their fourth outing, 1995's "The Great Escape," Blur wonderfully combine the successes of their previous two albums, "Modern Life is Rubbish" and "Parklife." This last piece of their fan dubbed "Life Trilogy" is the darkest material they have explored and the most musically over the top. Huge production, stings, horns, and electronica all mix with their trademark witty Britpop.
"Country House," Blur's first #1 single (beating out Oasis' "Roll With It" in a much hyped band war) is a startling song about the drudging, depressed life of a millionaire in his country house. It's upbeat tempo carefully masks the dark tale that sings "Blow Blow me out I am so sad I don't know why."
The centerpiece of the album is the simply bigger than life "The Universal." The song is virtually a lullabye with orchestration, and Damon Albarn's gentle voice echoing over and over "Yes it really, really, really could happen." It's darkness shows itself after several listens with lines like "The future has been sold," and minor key staccato violins.
"Yuko & Hiro" the last track of the album (aside from a brief hidden instrumental reprise of "Ernold Same") is a beautiful electronic song describing the longing between an overworked Japanese couple. The story, perhaps inspired by Albarn's own relationship with Elastica's Justine Frischmann, is the first hint that Blur will leave Britpop, a musical genre they helped to create, but more than that is a truly fantastic song.
Common with Blur releases is the high quality of the album packaging. Interesting and intruiging art and photography make for a booklet that is almost as good as the album itself.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By eightpointagenda on August 12, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I don't care about Oasis. Blur were the undisputed kings of the Brit-pop wars. Long after the wars ended, Blur put out two excellent albums(self-titled and 13). The Great Escape is exactly what it says, Blur escaping from Brit-pop for a new musical direction, and that means even being called sellouts for doing it.
Great Escape is less of a sequel to Parklife as it is an expansion on Modern Life is Rubbish. Taking the orchestrated sound of MLIR and expanding it to an even larger heights. The sound is propelled even more by horns and strings then the forementioned album. The result is a lush, melodically solid album. Not a huge leap forward in sound, but more of refininment. It's not a bad thing since the songs still sound fresh and exciting.
Even with the help of classical instruments, Blur still makes sure that they are the core of the sound. Albarn's vocals are still amazing, mixed in with a dark yet humorous wit. Not to mention he still plays a plethora of instruments as usual. Coxon plays some absolutely bizarre riffs complemented by Roundtree's standard time keeping drumming and James's bass playing. The songwriting is the real star of the album. Composition has always been a star point of Blur and TGE doesn't disapoint. Infact, I would go as far as to say that this is their most musically intricate work to date. So many layers and textures to listen to/for that this album has tons of replay value. Also, Albarn's lyrics have a certain subtitle bite to them, poking fun of modern day life in a way that only he can.
This is certainly a CD that cannot be missed. I understand why they decided to change musical directions. Some say that Great Escape painted them into a corner in which they needed to get out of. I think its more of an ode to a musical sound that they needed a change from. For that, I can't recommend this album enough.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By darragh o'donoghue on June 6, 2001
Format: Audio CD
The great escape is through buying this album, opening yuor mind to a world of possibilities, and not getting stuck in an infernal rut like the characters within it, a sorry world of automatons, stereotypes, caricatures, cliches, mannequins, marionettes and gibbering ventriloquist's dummies.
After the enjoyable Cockney charade of 'Parklife', this is the real thing: a complete nightmare vision, Pynchon's model of informaiton overload leading to entropy and inertia. Despite the 60s aesthetic of many songs, and the spanking 90s modernity of the production, this is a worldview belonging to the 70s, that of Monty Python's stockbrokers, suicidal Reggie Perrin, Martin Amis, Mike Leigh. It is a world where prosperity and progress lead to mindless repetition - the recurrent figure in these songs is the circle: the waltz that surprisingly concludes 'Mr Robinson's Quango'; the fairground roundabout tinkles, where innocence has been replaced by infantilisation.
There is no escape in Damon's bleak lyrics. The respite, the possibilities, come in the music, in this, Blur's most restlessly inventive album. At the time of its release, there was a hyped struggle between Blur and Oasis, but there is no comparison between the latter's laddish monotone, and Blur's musical intelligence. Each song on this album tells of a regimented life grinding to a halt; each song fizzes with musical ideas, pilfered from a vast store of influences, the 60s rock canon, 70s post-punk, 80s American art-rock, Europop, muzak, 'Sound Gallery'-esque functionalism, film soundtracks, lounge music, left-field experimental pop (e.g. Stereolab), half-remembered fragments from TV ads and children's programmes.
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