|Single by Blur|
|from the album The Great Escape|
|Released||14 August 1995|
|Format||CD single, 7" vinyl, cassette|
|Blur singles chronology|
"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. "Country House" was the first of two Blur singles to reach number one on the UK Singles Chart (the second being 1997's "Beetlebum").
Background and writing
"Country House" features the lines "He's got morning glory/And life's a different story", a line often assumed to be an allusion to the title of Oasis's album (What's the Story) Morning Glory?. In fact, Blur recorded the song before Oasis had completed, let alone released, their album. Other explanations have included a reference to the Jamiroquai song "Morning Glory", released in 1994, or a jibe at Julian Cope, who, like Dave Balfe, was formerly a member of The Teardrop Explodes, and was known for using LSD. It may, however, simply have been a reference to the British slang term for waking up with an erection.
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 event, "Country House" won the 'battle', attaining the No. 1 spot while "Roll with It" came in at No. 2 and having marginally fewer sales. However, the sales for Blur's album The Great Escape were lower than those for Oasis's album (What's the Story) Morning Glory?.
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.
Promotion and release
On Sunday 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 British 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."
All tracks recorded live at the Mile End Stadium in London on 17 June 1995.
- "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
|Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)||4|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||30|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||26|
|UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)||1|
"Never Forget" by Take That
|UK Singles Chart
Number 1 single
20 August 1995 – 3 September 1995
"You Are Not Alone"
by Michael Jackson
- 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.
- "BLUR | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- Country House at songfacts.com.
- "Cockney revels". NME 26 August 1995.
- "Australian-charts.com – Blue – Country House". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
- "Blue: Country House" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
- "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: B". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Blue – Country House". VG-lista.
- "Charts.org.nz – Blue – Country House". Top 40 Singles.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Blue – Country House". Singles Top 60.
- "Blue – Country House – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.