Why is Blur's Song 2 called Song 2?

31 August 2020, 15:15

Blur pictured in 1997
Blur pictured in 1997. Picture: Brian Rasic/Getty Images

How well do you know the classic post-Britpop tune?

  1. Song 2 was the second track on the eponymously-titled fifth album from Blur, released on 10 February 1997.

  2. It was released as a single two months later, on 7 April 1997

  3. Pleasingly, Song 2 lasts for exactly 2 minutes and 2 seconds

  4. The B-side to Song 2 was Get Out Of Cities

    Blur launch their self-titled album in February 1997
    Blur launch their self-titled album in February 1997. Picture: Fred Duval/FilmMagic/Getty Images
  5. The extra tracks on the CD singles were Polished Stone, Bustin’ + Dronin’ and an acoustic version of Country Sad Ballad Man

  6. Song 2 reached Number 2 in the UK singles chart

    Blur - Song 2 single cover
    Blur - Song 2 single cover. Picture: Press/EMI
  7. It also made Number 2 in Australian radio station Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 1997, where it was kept off the top by an Aussie band called The Whitlams.

  8. Song 2 was first performed live on 15 June 1996 at the Hultsfred Festival in Sweden

    It was introduced by Damon saying: “I don’t know what it’s called, I don’t even know what it’s about, ‘cos I haven’t really written it yet. At the moment it’s called Song Number 2.” The lyrics were pure gibberish!

  9. Song 2 was initially just a working title

    But when as the track became the second song on the band’s eponymous fifth album, the name became the official title.

  10. Alex James later admitted that he was hungover when he recorded the track

    Alex James performs with Blur at the 1995 BRIT Awards
    Alex James performs with Blur at the 1995 BRIT Awards. Picture: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive/PA Images
  11. Damon recorded the guide vocal with nonsense lyrics

    But producer Stephen Street considered the stream of consciousness to be perfect as it was, so it was included on the final take.

  12. The classic video was directed by Sophie Muller

    She also did the business for The Stone Roses’ Ten Storey Love Song, Mr Brightside by The Killers and Use Somebody by Kings Of Leon.

  13. The clip was nominated for Best British Video AND Best British Single at the 1998 BRIT Awards,

    It lost in both cases to Never Ever by All Saints! Here's popular radio celebrity from the 90s Alan Partridge announcing the winner.

  14. Song 2 was Blur’s biggest hit single in the US, making Number 55 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1997

  15. The track appears on the game FIFA: Road To World Cup ’98

  16. The song was used in the TV trailer for Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi satire Starship Troopers.

  17. Song 2 could be heard during the London New Year’s Eve fireworks display in 2011

    ...alongside London Calling by The Clash and We Will Rock You by Queen.

  18. As well as that, Song 2 can be heard in the Simpsons episode Sunday Cruddy Sunday.

  19. Dave Rowntree told us once: “If we didn’t play Song 2 we’d never get invited to a festival again”

  20. This ticket barrier sounds like it’s singing Song 2. A bit.