Leisure (album)

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Leisure
Studio album by Blur
Released 26 August 1991
Recorded May 1990 – March 1991
Genre Alternative rock, baggy, shoegazing
Length 50:13
Label Food
Producer Steve Lovell, Steve Power, Stephen Street, Mike Thorne, Blur
Blur chronology
Leisure
(1991)
Focusing in with Blur
(1991)
Singles from Leisure
  1. "She's So High"
    Released: 15 October 1990
  2. "There's No Other Way"
    Released: 15 April 1991
  3. "Bang"
    Released: 29 July 1991

Leisure is the debut album by English rock band Blur. The album was released on 26 August 1991 in the United Kingdom via Food Records, and peaked at number 7 in the UK Albums Chart. It was released in the US a month later with a different track listing. The album was certified Gold in the UK. The US version of Leisure was frontloaded with Blur's three UK singles, and the song "Sing" was replaced by the B-side "I Know" (see track listings for exact changes). The Canadian version has the same tracklisting as the UK version.

Overview[edit]

Despite a generally positive critical reaction upon release, lead singer Damon Albarn has since referred to Leisure as "awful".[1]

"Sing" was included on the Trainspotting soundtrack in 1996. The original version, "Sing (To Me)", was recorded as a demo in late 1989 under the band's former name, Seymour, and can be heard on the ultra-rare promo-only single which was released over a decade later in February 2000 and on the first of 4-disc set with rare stuff in Blur 21 box set.

In 2008, Coldplay announced upon the release of Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends that "Sing" from Leisure provided a starting point for "Lost!".[2]

As part of the album's 21st anniversary, Leisure was remastered and reissued along with the band's other studio albums on 30 July 2012.[3]

The artwork for the album originates from a 1930’s photoshoot for a swimming cap ad campaign.

Reception[edit]

Leisure received mixed reviews from the British music press.[4] A highly enthusiastic David Cavanagh wrote in Select magazine that "The four Blur boys have guaranteed themselves a hefty leg-up in the being-taken-seriously stakes with the thrills they've carved into the grooves of 'Leisure'." He concluded that "[Leisure], in short, is one of those happy occasions when the hype is dead right."[5] Q magazine's Paul Davies rated the album four out of five stars, and felt it fulfilled the early promise Blur showcased. "This latest bunch of floppy-fringed pop cadets in baggy clothing should consummate their burgeoning pop romance in fine style," Davies elaborated, "for Leisure is a substantially stocked treasure-chest of hit singles just waiting to happen."[6] Alexis Petridis however, writing in Lime Lizard, stated "on the evidence of this album, they don't appear to know what they're doing and as a result make appalling mistakes all over the place", also criticising the lyrics.[7]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[8]
Adrian Denning 5.5/10 stars[9]
BBC Music (favourable)[10]
Brotherspork (85%)[11]
Entertainment Weekly A−[12]
Michigan Daily (favourable)[13]
NME (favourable)[14]
Pitchfork (5.8/10)[15]
Q 4/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2.5/5 stars[16]

Track listing[edit]

  • UK Release
  1. "She's So High" – 4:45
  2. "Bang" – 3:36
  3. "Slow Down" – 3:11
  4. "Repetition" – 5:25
  5. "Bad Day" – 4:23
  6. "Sing" – 6:00
  7. "There's No Other Way" – 3:23
  8. "Fool" – 3:15
  9. "Come Together" – 3:51
  10. "High Cool" – 3:37
  11. "Birthday" – 3:50
  12. "Wear Me Down" – 4:49

The US and Japan releases of the album had different track listings.

Personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Production credits[edit]

  • "She's So High" and "I Know", produced by Steve Lovell and Steve Power
  • "Fool", "Birthday" and "Wear Me Down", produced by Mike Thorne
  • "Sing", "Inertia" and "Mr. Briggs", produced by Blur
  • "There's No Other Way", "Bang", "Slow Down", "Repetition", "Bad Day", "High Cool" and "Come Together", produced by Stephen Street

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Digital Spy – Albarn cusses own albums.". Retrieved 11 May 2007. 
  2. ^ Coldplay Give Track-By-Track Tour of Viva La Vida, MTV.com, 9 June 2008.
  3. ^ Blur 21 at Blur's website
  4. ^ Strong, Martin C. The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, 2003. ISBN 1-84195-335-0. pp.635–635.
  5. ^ Cavanagh, David. "Blur – Leisure". Select. August 1997.
  6. ^ a b Davies, Paul (August 1991). "Blur – Leisure". Q. republished on Veikko's Blur Page. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  7. ^ Petridis, Alexis (1991) "Blur Leisure", Lime Lizard, October 1991, p. 53, "Neither is printing your lyrics on the sleeve when they're as bad as these"
  8. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/leisure-r2198
  9. ^ http://www.adriandenning.co.uk/blur.html
  10. ^ Smith, Sid (2007). "Blur Leisure Review". BBC Music Reviews. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  11. ^ Dogliani (28 July 2011). "Overlooked Classics: Leisure". Brotherspork. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  12. ^ Wyman, Bill (8 November 1991). "Music Review: Leisure (1991) / Blur". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  13. ^ Petruso, Annette (11 November 1991). "Records: Blur – Leisure". Michigan Daily archived at Google Books. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Album A&E – Blur, 'Leisure'". NME. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  15. ^ Pitchfork review
  16. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City: Simon and Schuster. p. 89. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  17. ^ http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=bCgEAAAAMBAJ&lr=&rview=1
  18. ^ "British chart positions". chartstats.com. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  19. ^ http://www.bpi.co.uk/certifiedawards/search.aspx