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Blur's Damon Albarn "I was making a record with David Bowie and Ray Davies"

Damon Albarn has revealed that he almost recorded an album with David Bowie and Ray Davies. 

The Blur and Gorillaz frontman who is currently gearing up for the release of the studio album version of his opera 'Doctor Dee' commented this week on his prolific songwriting career and how much he enjoyed collaborating with other musicians. 

Damon, who has released collaborative efforts with former Clash bassist Paul Simonon, Dan The Automator, Snoop Dogg and Red Hot Chilli Peppers bassist Flea amongst many others told The Quietus: "I do genuinely like working with people but at the same time I don't expect it to work, and there have been a lot of people who a lot of things don't happen. I mean, for about 24 hours, many years ago, I was making a record with David Bowie and Ray Davies. But that only lasted 24 hours."

Albarn also spoke about 'Under The Westway', a new song he has written for Blur, which the band showcased earlier this year during a gig at London's O2 Shepherds Bush Empire and which bassist Alex James has heavily hinted that they will be performing at their Hyde Park show this summer. 

Speaking about 'Under The Westway', he said: "I've done a new tune for Blur, it's really traditional. It's something I've had knocking about for years and didn't know what to do with it. Initially I wrote it as a slightly wistful national anthem for my house, I had this idea of getting it made into an old 78 record and making a flag and then just playing it - just being really silly. But I had these chords and I ended up writing this tune around it."

He then went on to say that although Blur are back playing together for this summer's live appearances, he didn't see it as a full return. "I don't really do anything with Blur any more - there's this concert this year but its not a full time thing at all. Maybe this tune's a last little coda to the whole story."

Meanwhile, Damon's right hand man in Blur, Graham Coxon is also preparing himself for the release of his 8th Solo album 'A+E'. 

Speaking this week to NME, Graham said he believes the recording of this album has opened him up to a whole new style of music. He also revealed that he has another 10 songs recorded but, does not want to release them as he feels it would be a "backward step".

When asked how many songs he recorded for 'A+E', the guitarist replied: "Well I recorded 22 songs, and 'A+E' was 10 of those. If I'd done these 10, it'd be a couple of months. Quite quick. Two of the 22 were rubbish, so really there's another 10." 

Then asked what was likely to happen to those songs, he said: "They're just sitting there. They're not like 'A+E'. 'A+E' was a particular pile of songs, and the other songs went into another pile. They're more what you'd associate with Graham Coxon I guess. Mid-80s, indie, Velvet Underground-influenced, Scott Walker-y, soulful, filmic." 

Asked if those tracks would ever be released, he replied: "I don't think so. It might be backward step. If it feels good to put them out, maybe I will, but with 'A+E' I feel like I've opened another door and I want to have a look through it. I love some of the songs. I don't think they can be dressed up differently either."

'A+E' is released on Parlaphone on the 2nd of April but you can stream it right now on the Guardian website here 

 

 

Associated Links

Learn To Play David Bowie

Jam With The Kinks

The Best Of Blur

 

 

 

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Issue #49

Andy Timmons

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