Flashback To Blur’s Victory Performance of “Country House” on Top of the Pops in 1995

Flashback To Blur’s Victory Performance of “Country House” on Top of the Pops in 1995

Posted 27 Aug 2020
blur, 1995
Image via YouTube. 

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a quarter of a century since the infamous Battle of Britpop saw English rivals, Blur and Oasis go head to head in the charts when their respective singles, “Country House” and “Roll With It” were released on the very same day. 

Despite the Gallagher brothers’ notoriously contentious spirit, it’s fair to say that this particular battle was started by Blur. Oasis had planned to release their single “Roll With It” on August 14 1995, but at the last minute, Blur announced they would be releasing their track “Country House” on the same day. It was a decision that sparked a pop culture phenomenon as the working-class Manchurians (Oasis) and college-educated Southerners (Blur) captured the world’s attention with their brazen, media-fuelled crusade for the top spot. 

Ultimately, Blur took out the crown in August of 1995 when “Country House” hit number one on the U.K. singles chart after outselling “Roll With It” – which was at number two – by 50,0000 copies. In this instance, Blur definitively won the battle, but the war was far from over. That didn’t stop them from enjoying a well-earned victory lap that included this triumphant December 25th appearance on Top of the Pops, introduced by non-other than Bjork. Enjoy below. 

Blur | “Country House” [Top of the Pops, 1995]

Of course, it was never going to be that simple; retrospectively, the Britpop giants were only just getting started. Oasis rebounded from the loss with the global smash, “Wonderwall” solidified by follow-ups “Champagne Supernova” and “Don’t Look Back in Anger” all from the honeypot that was 1995’s (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?. In 1997, Blur hit back with a self-titled album that came with their own grungey global smash, “Song 2.” 

As the years have passed, the focus of the title has surely shifted being a popularity contest to a question of legacy, but the flames have long-since smouldered. In an interview with Vogue (see here), Liam Gallagher named Blur as his “secret guilty pleasure” and Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher even performed a duet of Blur’s “Tender” at a London charity event in 2013. 

But the thrill of ‘95 remains an era-defining moment which, looking back, makes both bands winners.

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