The Special Collectors Edition


  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

The Special Collectors Edition Review

by Ned Raggett

Like most big U.K. bands in the '90s, Blur had a plethora of non-album tracks surface on singles, which remained a much more viable format in Europe than in the U.S. in terms of actual chart activity and placement. Special Collectors Edition, a Japanese-only release, does a fairly good job in collecting many, though by no means all, of those B-sides and extra tracks from the band's first singles through the Parklife era. As a parallel history of Blur's development from semi-Madchester/semi-shoegazer art school rock to Brit-pop flag wavers, it's manna for fans as well as being interesting in its own right. A fair number of songs could easily have ended up on the group's albums based on overall quality, while other tunes, if not as strong, often have a certain standalone charm. Among the earliest tracks, "Luminous" is noteworthy for its slightly stoned and zoned flavor, Dave Rowntree's percussion almost echoing early Pink Floyd jams, while "Mace," originally a B-side to "Popscene," shows Blur starting to come to grips with a catchier form of whimsy. The Modern Life B-sides are an interesting mixed bag, ranging from the sweet electric psych/acoustic folk drift of "Peach" to the trebly art-punk blast of "Fried." The Parklife tracks show the increasingly ambitious group fully coming into their own, with everything from the goofy carousel-music romp "Anniversary Waltz" to the sweeping, gently self-mocking "Theme from an Imaginary Film." A lovely final touch is the version of "Bank Holiday" at the very end -- the song itself is an album cut from Parklife, but the rough kazoos-only performance is in fact by seven female fans at Tokyo Airport. Edition's humorous packaging also deserves special notice -- prepared by the U.K. design firm Stylorouge, it consists of a series of advertisements for kitsch British products, including a Blur commemorative plate.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Blur SpotifyAmazon
2 Blur SpotifyAmazon
3 Blur SpotifyAmazon
4 Blur SpotifyAmazon
5 Blur SpotifyAmazon
6 Blur SpotifyAmazon
7 Blur SpotifyAmazon
8 Blur SpotifyAmazon
9 Blur SpotifyAmazon
10 Blur SpotifyAmazon
11 Blur SpotifyAmazon
12 Blur SpotifyAmazon
13 Blur SpotifyAmazon
14 Blur SpotifyAmazon
15 Blur SpotifyAmazon
16 Blur SpotifyAmazon
17 Blur SpotifyAmazon
18 Blur SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick