The traffic to the blog slows up over the Festive period, and it’s therefore something of an opportunity to take a bit of a breather.

Over a period of 26 days, I’ll be posting a single never previously featured on its own before – it might have sneaked in as part of an ICA or within a piece looking at various tracks – with the idea of an edited cut’n’paste from somewhere (most likely wiki) and then all the songs from either the vinyl or CD.

C is for Chemical World, released by Blur as a single in June 1993.

It was the second single from the album, Modern Life Is Rubbish. It was issued on 7″ and 12″ vinyl and two CDs. Here are the tracks from the vinyl versions.

mp3: Blur – Chemical World (single edit)  (7″ and CD2)
mp3: Blur – Maggie May (7″)

mp3: Blur – Chemical World (Reworked) (12″ and CD1)
mp3: Blur – Es Schmecht (12″ and CD2)
mp3: Blur – Young And Lovely (12″ and CD2)
mp3: Blur – My Ark (12″ and CD2)

Maggie May had originally been made available on Ruby Trax – The NME’s Roaring Forty, a compilation album released in September 1992 to commemorate 40 years of publication of the paper, featuring 40 cover versions of Number 1 songs.

The tracks not featured today on CD1 were all taken from the set performed at Glastonbury the previous year.

Es Schmecht, Young And Lovely, and My Ark have a review on the allmusic website:-

“Young and Lovely” fits in perfectly with Modern Life Is Rubbish’s general aesthetic of psych/pop anthems, betraying the often unremarked upon XTC influence that clearly directed much of the band’s work at the time. Andy Partridge could easily sing Albarn’s chorus as he delivers it, for one thing. “Es Schmecht” is Blur in slightly obtuse mode, aiming for Wire-style angularity and detachment and finding it, somewhat uncomfortably. The addition of distorted keyboard-as-horn parts does make it more weirdly compelling towards the end, though. “My Ark” concludes the disc, a slightly heavier funk take on the indie dance moves with which Blur first came to attention — it’s okay enough, but not one of the band’s strong points. More an exercise in previous styles.

Chemical World reached #28 in the UK singles chart, the same position as reached previously by lead-off single, For Tomorrow.



  1. Modern Life Is Rubbish is the LP that helped me ‘get’ Blur. I enjoyed some of the previous singles and Leisure was an ok listen.

    It was quite a wait between the 1st and 2nd LP. I can only imagine this was to give Mr Albarn time to channel his inner David Bowie sings Anthony Newley (that one never gets old round these parts) persona.

    I had to do a wee vinyl check to make sure I still had the 12″ – so much vinyl has gone ‘missing’ – and … there it is. That was a pleasant surprise.

    Blur were still relatively ‘underground’ at this point – indie faves, for indie kids who frequented indie clubs. A year later and they seemed to be everyone’s darling.

    Chemical World opens less Britpop and more grunge. It remains an ok listen and I’ll be spinning that 12″ today Thanks, JC

    The down side of Modern Life Is Rubbish and it’s singles is the art work.

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