For Tomorrow

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"For Tomorrow"
Single by Blur
from the album Modern Life Is Rubbish
B-side "Into Another", "Hanging Over" (12")
"Peach", "Bone Bag" (CD1)
"When the Cows Come Home", "Beachcoma", "For Tomorrow (acoustic)" (CD2)
Released 19 April 1993
Format 12" vinyl, cassette, 2 x CD
Recorded January 1993
Genre Britpop
Length 4:18 (album and single version)
6:00 (Visit To Primrose Hill Extended version)
Label Food
Producer(s) Stephen Street
Blur singles chronology
"Popscene"
(1992)
"For Tomorrow"
(1993)
"Chemical World"
(1993)
Music video
"For Tomorrow" on YouTube

"For Tomorrow" is a song by English alternative rock band Blur. It is the lead track to their second album, Modern Life Is Rubbish (the title appears in the lyric). Released 19 April 1993 as the first single from the album, "For Tomorrow" charted at number 28 in the UK Singles Chart. The Visit To Primrose Hill Extended version of "For Tomorrow" was included in the band's compilation albums, Blur: The Best of, (being the only song from Modern Life Is Rubbish to be featured) and Midlife: A Beginner's Guide to Blur.

Single background[edit]

In this period the band had gone on a tour of the USA which they greatly detested[citation needed], especially as the country was the home of grunge and audiences were not receptive to their music. After that tour lead singer Damon Albarn started to write songs with a very British feel. This was one such song, written on Christmas Day 1992 at the family piano in his parents' house. David Balfe, the head of the band's record company, commissioned this song as the original album did not have any hit singles.

Like the rest of Modern Life Is Rubbish, the song was produced by Stephen Street, although Jeff Lynne was also considered as a possible producer.[1] The chorus features a la la la refrain, sung by female backing singers, whom, Street instructed to sing like Thunderthighs on the classic Mott the Hoople singles. Guitarist Graham Coxon explained that “Everyone, wherever they are in the world knows what la la la means."[1] A string section, The Duke String Quartet, was also used by the band for the first time.[1] The single cover of the two World War II fighter planes was used by the band as a sense of Britishness.[2]

Release and reception[edit]

The single was released without a 7" vinyl format, possibly to emphasise the importance of the six minute long 'Visit to Primrose Hill extended' version which appears on the 12" vinyl, cassette and CD1. CD2 however did feature the shorter 'single version'. The song charted at number 28 in the UK[3] in its first week of release, a position matched by Blur's next single, "Chemical World". This was the third lowest chart position the band reached in the UK, the previous single "Popscene" had reached number 32 and "She's So High" in 1990 didn't make the Top 40, charting at number 48.[3] The song did not chart in any other countries.

Much like the band's next single "Chemical World", the CD1 contained a big Compac-Plus box for both CD1 and CD2 to go in, but CD2 was sold separately.

The song received many more popular reviews than "Popscene".

Lyrical themes[edit]

The lyric of the song is about London, and especially Primrose Hill, a hill in the borough of Camden, North London. From there one can see the whole of central London before them. The complete phrase from the song says "Take a drive to Primrose Hill // It's windy there, and the view's so nice". Part of the promotional video was also filmed at Primrose Hill.

The ending of the song has a line about a man, Jim, entering his house in Emperors' Gate, SW7 (Kensington). When Albarn's parents first moved to London, they lived in a flat nextdoor to The Beatles. In a 2005 interview Damon Albarn stated that he used Emperors' Gate in the lyric because of this [4](13 Emperors' Gate was the first London-based home for the Lennons; they lived there in 1964 [5] ). He found it "romantic" that his parents lived right next to these people.

Increase in stature[edit]

Like Modern Life is Rubbish, the album this song appears on, "For Tomorrow" has increased in stature since its release. The song charted at number 15 in a Time Out poll about the best songs about London, the magazine labelled the track as an "indie anthem".[6] In addition, Mojo magazine chose this song in their "50 Greatest British Tracks Ever" list.[7] In a blurtalk.com vote, For Tomorrow was voted fifth out of all of the band's singles, despite being the third lowest charting on its release.[8]

Music video[edit]

The video, directed by Julien Temple, was filmed in a classic black and white style. The video was shot entirely in London. Some repeated scenes include:

The video ends with Albarn rolling down Primrose Hill with a girl.

Track listings[edit]

All songs written by Albarn, Coxon, James and Rowntree.

Charts[edit]

Charts (1993) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart[3] 28

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Cavanagh, David; Stuart Maconie (July–August 1995). "How did they do that?". Select. 
  2. ^ [1] Last accessed: 24 March 2007
  3. ^ a b c "BLUR | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.timeout.com Best London songs "For Tomorrow" [2] Last accessed: 24 March 2007
  5. ^ Chris Ingham (2003). The Rough Guide to the Beatles (1). p. 336. 
  6. ^ "The 50 best London songs". Time Out. Retrieved on 14 December 2008.
  7. ^ MOJO- Greatest British Tracks ever [3] Last accessed: 24 March 2007
  8. ^ http://www.blurtalk.com- Blur Singles vote [4] Last accessed: 24 March 2007

External links[edit]