THE 1000 BEST SONGS IN THE WORLD EVER.
256-Blur starring Phil Daniels-Parklife.
1994-Number 10 single.
Best Bit-At 0.21. This song is as quintessentially British as Fish N’ Chips, or the BBC, or making a cup of tea in response to a crisis, or of course talking about the weather.
‘Parklife’ is one of the songs that defined the genre of music that was known as ‘Britpop,’ ‘Britpop’ was a UK based music and culture movement in the mid-1990’s which emphasised ‘Britishness,’ and produced brighter catchier Alternative Rock, partly in response to the darker lyrical themes of the United States led Grunge Music. There were many bands around at that time who were placed under the Britpop banner, but the ones who were considered as the ‘big four’ were Oasis, (see also best songs 1006-758 and 15) Blur, (see also best songs 21) Suede, (see also best songs 695 and 244) and Pulp (see also best songs 605 and 285.) The ‘Britpop’ sound was influenced from the music of the 1960’s, the Glam Rock, and Punk Rock of the 1970’s, and the Indie Pop of the 1980’s. For example Blur were obviously heavily influenced by the Kinks, (see also best songs 1014 and 770) and Oasis were heavily influenced by the Beatles (see also best songs 599-319-238-218-141-80-51-10 and 5.)
Blur were formed in 1988, in London, England, by Damon Albarn, (vocals) Graham Coxon, (guitar) Alex James, (bass) and Dave Rountree (drums.) They were originally called ‘Seymour,’ but became Blur in March 1990, they have released eight studio Albums to date between 1991-2015, and since then the band have been on hiatus. ‘Parklife’ was the title track of Blur’s third studio Album from 1994, with all four band members receiving the song writing credit, Blur also produced the song along with Stephen Street, and John Smith.
The lyrics to Parklife were written by Damon Albarn, who also sings the songs chorus, Albarn had originally tried to perform the verses as well, but felt he couldn’t get into character. It was Graham Coxon who suggested the actor Phil Daniels, as Coxon was a big fan of the 1979 film ‘Quadrophenia,’ (see also best songs 265) which had starred a young Phil Daniels. At that time Daniels was not familiar with Blur, but after talking with Albarn he accepted the job. Daniels recorded his spoken lyrics in around 40 minutes, and opted for a share in the royalties rather than being paid a set fee.
Damon Albarn has said that inspiration for the song came to him after reading the 1989 novel ‘London Fields’ written by Martin Amis, he has also said, when introducing the song in 2009 at a concert in Hyde Park, London,’I came up with the idea for this song in this park. I was living in Kensington Church Street, and I used to, you know, watch people, and pigeons.’
‘Confidence is a preference for the habitual voyeur of what is known as… and morning soup can be avoided if you take a route straight through what is known as…’