Song of the Day: Blur, “Song 2” (1997)

“Song 2” is not only the most internationally loved song by Blur. It is also a quintessential song of the ’90s. In fact, it particularly represents a landmark recording that came at the tail-end of the few years during which Britpop ruled supreme, and just as big-beat sub-genres were about to overshadow it in terms of popularity.

In many ways, “Song 2” is not only the song of a band trying to reposition itself in the international market. It is also a homage to rock music and guitars in general. In today’s super-electronic pop music, where guitars seem to have all but disappeared, it is almost bittersweet to hear a two-minute song that is as “garage” as it is “arena.”

Structured around the standard stadium beat and recorded in lo-fi, its propulsive guitars are matched in energy by Damon Albarn’s fevered woo-hoo-ing and nonesensical lyrics. “Song 2,” to this day, is the first song that many new bands start playing and also, perhaps, one of the first that guitarists use to play around with their distortion pedals.

“I got my head checked by a jumbo jet / It wasn’t easy but nothing is.”

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