What inspired Graham Coxon to write Blur’s Coffee & TV?

28 June 2023, 14:47

Graham Coxon with Blur's Coffee And TV video inset
Graham Coxon with Blur's Coffee & TV video inset. Picture: 1. David Tonge/Getty Images 2. YouTube/Blur
Radio X

By Radio X

Taken from the 13 album, Coffee & TV is one of Blur's finest moments. But what's the story behind the song?

Blur's Coffee & TV was released on 28 June 1999.

The single was famously penned by guitarist Graham Coxon, but how much do you actually know about the song, its accompanying video and the album it featured on?

Find out more about Coffee & TV and what inspired Graham Coxon to write it here.

  1. Coffee And TV it was the second single from Blur's 13 album

    Blur's Coffee & TV single artwork
    Blur's Coffee & TV single artwork. Picture: Press

    It followed lead track and No.2 hit Tender, and preceded third single No Distance Left To Run.

  2. The song wasn't just written by Graham Coxon, he sang it too

    Blur in 1996: Dave Rowntree, Alex James, Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon
    Blur in 1996: Dave Rowntree, Alex James, Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon. Picture: Alamy

    The Blur guitarist also sang lead vocals on the track, with frontman Damon Albarn on backing vocals.

  3. Its video won multiple awards

    Blur - Coffee and TV

    The video, which follows Milky - an anthropomorphic milk carton on his quest to find the missing Coxon - was created by British production and directing duo Hammer & Tongs.

    Among several of its awards were the gongs for Best Video at the 1999 NME Awards and Best Video at the 2000 MTV Europe Awards.

  4. Graham Coxon was ralso esponsible for its artwork

    Blur's 13 album artwork
    Blur's 13 album artwork. Picture: Album Artwork/Graham Coxon

    Not only taking centre stage for one of their 13 album's biggest singles, Coxon also is responsible the artwork surrounding the album.

    The album cover comes from a 1996 oil painting by Coxon called Apprentice, with the numbers 1 and 3 painted so they also appear to also look like a B.

    It is said he created the artwork for all the singles too.

  5. The song is about struggling with acoholism

    Graham Coxon performing at the Astoria in London, 2003
    Graham Coxon performing at the Astoria in London, 2003. Picture: Alamy

    Much of Blur's 13 album is about Damon Albarn's breakup with Elastica frontwoman Justine Frischmann.

    Though many tracks were written by Albarn or with all the band members, the lyrics in this song are specifically attributed to Coxon.

    They are said to be about the guitarist's struggle with alcoholism, and how he would try to watch television with a cup of coffee and write songs instead.

    The experience is said to have contributed to his debut solo album The Sky Is Too High.

    "So give me coffee and TV/Peacefully/I've seen so much, I'm going blind/And I'm brain-dead virtually".

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