Blur’s 13 Sets A Record: Wake-Up Video

Normally, the landmarks and accomplishments memorialized in this space focus specifically on events within the United States, but today is different, mostly because there’s an excellent excuse to post the awesomely adorable video below. On this day in 1999, Blur took the number one spot on the album chart in the United Kingdom with 13, netting them their fourth number one in the U.K. in the ’90s. Only two other artists managed to match that feat: R.E.M. and, inexplicably, Simply Red. It’s a great notch in the belt for Blur, especially considering their early decade rivalry with Oasis (who probably would have had four chart-topping albums in the ’90s if they only were able to get it together enough to release four albums).

13 was Blur’s follow-up to their huge self-titled album from 1997, which contained the still-massive hit “Song 2″ (or, as it’s known in football stadiums all over the world, “The Woo-Hoo Song”). While that album began to move away from the group’s signature Britpop sound into something a little more raw and sinister, 13 found itself knee-deep in prog structures, strange electronic noises and an extra layer of indie fuzz. Frontman Damon Albarn wrote most of the album in the midst of his break-up with Elastica leader Justine Frischmann, and there are open emotional wounds all over it. The first single, “Tender,” further explored Albarn’s interest in sad-eyed country ballads and manages to balance a haunting melody with some sonic surreality.

The signature tune from 13 is the single “Coffee & TV,” which drapes a simple campfire singalong in psychedelic sludge and featured a video created by Hammer & Tongs (“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”) starring an anthropomorphic milk carton.

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