Country House (song)
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Country House Song

"Country House"
Country House CD single.jpg
Single by Blur
from the album The Great Escape
Released14 August 1995 (1995-08-14)
FormatCD single, 7" vinyl, cassette
Recorded1995
GenreBritpop
Length3:57
LabelFood
Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree
Stephen Street
Blur singles chronology
"End of a Century"
(1994)
"Country House"
(1995)
"The Universal"
(1995)
Music video
"Country House" on YouTube

"Country House" is a song by English alternative rock band Blur. It was released as the lead single from the band's fourth album The Great Escape on 14 August 1995. Released on the same day as the Oasis single "Roll with It" - in a chart battle dubbed the "Battle of Britpop" - "Country House" reached number one in the UK Singles Chart (the first of two Blur singles to reach number one, the second being 1997's "Beetlebum").[1] The song is the band's best-selling single, with over 540,000 copies sold as of May 2014.[2]

Background and writing

In an interview for the South Bank Show, Damon Albarn explained that it was inspired by former Blur manager Dave Balfe, who left Blur's label Food Records and bought a house in the country.

Content

The song is about a man who retires to an expensive country house to escape the pressures of the city. The cover art features a horizontally-flipped image of Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria.[3]

Release and "battle" with Oasis

"Country House" received a great deal of media attention when Blur's label Food Records moved the original release date to the same day as Oasis's "Roll with It". The British media had already reported an intense rivalry between the two bands and this clash of releases was seen as a battle for the number one spot, dubbed the "Battle of Britpop". In the end, "Country House" won the "battle", attaining the No. 1 spot while "Roll with It" came in at No. 2.[4][5]

Music video

The music video for "Country House" was directed by artist Damien Hirst, who had attended Goldsmiths, University of London, with members of Blur. It features the band and a businessman (played by Keith Allen) in a flat with the band playing a board game called "Escape from the Rat Race" before they become trapped in the game where they are with farm animals and other people before appearing in the flat again. The band appears in the video alongside British comic actors Matt Lucas and Sara Stockbridge and model Jo Guest. It features pastiches of - or tributes to - Benny Hill (Lucas' doctor chasing scantily clad young women culminating in the entry of the milk van of Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)) and Queen's 1975 video for "Bohemian Rhapsody". It was nominated for Best Video in the 1996 BRIT Awards.

A candlestick from the video sold on eBay for £92 in March 2005, though it was estimated to be worth £500.[6]

Promotion and release

On 20 August 1995 the charts were officially announced. (The Chart Show announced the winner the day before, though the show's chart was unofficial) "Country House" topped the UK Singles Chart, selling 270,000 copies, compared to 220,000 sold by "Roll with It", which came in at number two. Albarn himself was surprised that "Country House" topped the charts. He told NME, "I sort of believed all the papers, including NME, who told me Oasis were going to win."[7]

Track listings

All music composed by Albarn, Coxon, James and Rowntree. All lyrics composed by Albarn.

Production credits

  • "Country House" and "Charmless Man" produced by Stephen Street
  • "One Born Every Minute" produced by Blur and John Smith
  • "To the End (la comedie)" produced by Stephen Hague, Blur and John Smith
  • Damon Albarn: Lead vocals, keyboards, organ
  • Graham Coxon: Guitar, backing vocals
  • Alex James: Bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Dave Rowntree: Drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Additional brass by: The Kick Horns

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[22] Platinum 600,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

References

  • Harris, John. Britpop! Cool Britannia and the Spectacular Demise of English Rock, 2004. ISBN 0-306-81367-X
  • Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop. Passion Pictures, 2004.

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b "Blur: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  2. ^ Myers, Justin (2 May 2014). "Official Charts Flashback 1994: Blur - Parklife". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ Smith, Oliver (24 February 2016). "54 locations that defined Britpop". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2007/may/08/inspring2008blurandoasis
  5. ^ http://metro.co.uk/2015/08/14/7-reasons-why-oasis-should-have-won-the-britpop-battle-of-1995-5338311/
  6. ^ "Country House by Blur". Songfacts.com. 13 December 2008. Retrieved 2014.
  7. ^ "Cockney revels". NME 26 August 1995.
  8. ^ "Australian-charts.com - Blue - Country House". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  9. ^ "Hits of the World - Eurochart Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 12 no. 37. 16 September 1995. p. 16. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ "Blur: Country House" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat - IFPI Finland.
  12. ^ "Tonlist Top 40". DV. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts - Search Results - Country House". Irish Singles Chart.
  14. ^ "Charts.nz - Blue - Country House". Top 40 Singles.
  15. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com - Blue - Country House". VG-lista.
  16. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  17. ^ "Swedishcharts.com - Blue - Country House". Singles Top 100.
  18. ^ "Swisscharts.com - Blue - Country House". Swiss Singles Chart.
  19. ^ "Music & Media 1995 in Review - Year End Sales Charts" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 12 no. 51/52. 23 December 1995. p. 14. Retrieved 2020.
  20. ^ "Årslista Singlar - År 1995" (in Swedish). Hitlistan. Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 2020.
  21. ^ "Top 100 Singles 1995". Music Week. 13 January 1996. p. 9.
  22. ^ "British single certifications - Blur - Country House". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2018.Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Country House in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Country_House_(song)
 



 



 
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