Talk:Blur (band)

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Good article Blur (band) has been listed as one of the Music good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.

Boy band?[edit]

On Pitchfork's review of their best of they called Blur a boy band. It was somehow in a positive light. I never thought so myself, but its from a credible source. Is this credible enough to add? -> source: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/830-the-best-of-blur/ Mrmoustache14 (talk) 21:03, 31 October 2013 (UTC)


Lack of objectivity and problems with the presentation of "Song2" (1997) as a hit in the USA where as it was not a success commercially and non respect of two of the most important wiki guidelines: NPOV and OR[edit]

First of all, Billboard.com is the most WP:Reliable Source for Billboard as it is the official organism: "Allmusic.com" is a secondary source. It's always better to use a primary source when it is available.

  • "Song2" was also number 6 in 1997 on Billboard "Alternative Songs" (previously called "Modern Rock Tracks") also via this other Billboard official source but Billboard Modern Rock Tracks is not based on singles sales or units sold. The Billboard "Modern Rock Tracks" ONLY lists the 40 most-played songs on modern rock radio stations, most of which are alternative rock songs. Please read what it is written on the "Billboard magazine" in the 90's at the right of the page 86 just below the title Modern tracks. It is not said that the modern tracks includes datas of singles sales or units sold. Billboard magazine ONLY says that "Modern Tracks compiled from a national sample of airplay supplied by Broadcast Data System's Radio Track service. 32 modern rock stations are electronically monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Songs ranked by numbers of detections".

To resume, "Song2" didn't chart in the Hot 100 like "Girls and Boys" in 1994: this means that the single failed to enter the Hot 100 as there were not enough copies of the single sold in the USA. "Song2" just receives heavy rotation on Alternative Radios as it was N°2 in the "Alternative songs" / "Modern Tracks" in 1997. Only 1997's Blur album went gold in the USA.

Consequently, I propose to change these parts in the article. Note that I follow the guidelines WP:Neutral Point Of View, WP:STICKTOSOURCE, so there is no WP:No Original Research.

Previous version presented facts like this:

  • (in the lead)
  • "Song 2", one of the album's singles, brought Blur mainstream success in the United States.
  • (in the body of the article)
  • In the US, the record received strong reviews as the album and the "Song 2" single became a hit. Blur reached number 61 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold, while "Song 2" peaked at number six on the Modern Rock chart.[1][2]

New version could present facts like that:

  • (in the lead)
  • The album including the "Song 2" single, brought Blur mainstream success in the United States.
  • (in the body of the article)
  • In the US, the record received strong reviews as the album and the "Song 2" single was popular on alternative rock radios. Blur reached number 61 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold,[3] [4] while "Song 2" peaked at number six on the Billboard Alternative Songs.[5] Yet, the single failed to break into the Billboard Hot 100.[6] - Woovee (talk) 18:31, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
I think the above is correct, and that "hit" as per our Hit single article, indicates that a song made the Billboard 100. SilkTork ✔Tea time 17:50, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Woovee and SilkTork. Further, there is apparently a false claim at the song article that it did chart. The claim is sourced to Whitburn, but Blur does not have an entry in his book of Top 40 Hits because they never had a Top 40 Hit in the US. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 17:59, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
So I make the changes now. Woovee (talk) 18:10, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
I was arguing for the inclusion of "hit" on the basis of its ubiquity (which apparently made Blur GBP 2 million according to Select). If the word can only be used in the narrow sense to denote doing well on a country's main chart, then I guess "Song 2" isn't a "hit".
Anyway, I'm mostly okay with the new wording except "Yet, the single failed to break into the Billboard Hot 100"—it's absurd to list charts a song didn't chart on. Also, the alternative songs charts was known as modern rock tracks back then.—indopug (talk) 14:53, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Y'all might want to read this. The word "hit" is much broader than what the (uncited) hit single article suggests.—indopug (talk) 16:25, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm not seeing any evidence that the song charted at all in the US. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 16:40, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Here you go. That was never the the issue, which is whether you need to chart on the Hot 100 to be considered a hit.—indopug (talk) 16:51, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Allmusic sometimes makes mistakes. Why isn't "Song 2" listed by Billboard. They list the band's other two US "hits"? I see it now; its here. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 16:54, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Look under Alternative Songs in the dropdown in your link.—indopug (talk) 16:57, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Indopug is right. I think this is more of a sourcing issue, since "Song 2" did in fact chart at number 6, but we weren't linking the correct chart. I would say that yes, the song was a hit, but I would specify which chart with proper sourcing. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 16:59, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Gabe, exactly what you say was in the version of the article before Woovee edited: "In the US, the record received strong reviews as the album and the "Song 2" single became a hit. Blur reached number 61 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold, while "Song 2" peaked at number six on the Modern Rock chart.[27][48] After "Song 2" was licensed for use in various media—such as soundtracks, advertisements and television shows—it became the most recognisable Blur song in the US. After the success of Blur, the band embarked on a nine-month world tour.[44]"—indopug (talk) 17:06, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Indopug, that actually looks fine to me now. I'm not sure what I saw before, or how I missed that qualifier. Sorry for contributing to the confusion. Maybe consider combining the two phrases, because you say it was a hit, then go onto other things, then mention its peak chart position. How about, "the 'Song 2' single became a number six hit on the Modern Rock chart", or similar. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 17:20, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Gabe, Billboard.com lists it at number six on "Alternative songs" (previously called "Modern rock tracks"). Billboard doesn't list it in the "Hot 100", neither Allmusic.com. Where do you see mistakes on the Billboard.com site? Woovee (talk) 17:23, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
I've seen mistakes on Allmusic, not Billboard. If the debate comes down to the proper label, "Alternative songs" and "Modern rock tracks", then I suppose we ought to list it as what Billboard originally called it, so Modern rock tracks, but that might be confusing to those who look at the source and see it listed under alternative. We could provide a note explaining that Billboard changed the title of the chart. Regardless, if the song peaked at number sixe on a Billboard chart then I think we can safely call it a hit, but if this is still contentious, then we should consider avoiding the term and simply describe its peak chart position. I.e., "'Song 2' peaked at number six hit on the Modern Rock chart", or similar. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 17:34, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
If a song charted at no. 6 on Modern, no. 4 25 on Mainstream, is described by critics as "their biggest hit in America" and was used everywhere soon after release, it is definitely a hit. Which is why it isn't just a "number six hit"; all these other factors are important too.—indopug (talk) 17:47, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Not at all. Please, read my message below and reply below. The fact that a track is playlisted at n°6 on modern and 25 on Mainstream not 4 as your wrote, don't include sales or units sold. see my other message right below this one. Woovee (talk) 17:59, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Gabe, there aren't any mistakes on Billboard.com as Modern Rock Tracks has been renamed Alternative Songs in 2009. You can read either the wiki articles on Modern Rock Tracks and Alternative Songs.
SilkTork asked me to be concise. So, only read this:
* In the lead, it was said that "song 2" brought the band mainstream success in the states. This is not true: it was only the album that was certified gold in the USA, not that "song 2" single. Indeed, this single never entered the Hot 100, the one and only chart that included the sales: so how could it be presented as a hit. What is true is that the "song2" single was played a lot on modern rock radios, as it peaked at n°6 in the Modern Rock Tracks, exactly like the single "Girls and boys" in 1994. The use of the word "hit" is not appropriate: "song 2" just had heavy rotation on alternative radios". Woovee (talk) 17:49, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
An excessively strict definition of "hit". You should gain consensus for it at a much broader forum such as WP:SONGS or WP:CHARTS first, before enforcing it on individual articles. Especially when you want to do so against the express declarations of reliable sources such as Allmusic.—indopug (talk) 18:11, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
It's not my issue, it's yours. Here, Billboard is the primary source, it is the organism that established these lists, Allmusic is a secondary source. The allmusic article about "Song 2" that you cited, says it is a hit but it is not in terms of sales according to Billboard. That's a fact. The wiki "neutrality" guideline is respected with the new changes as it is said and explained that the song then was used for advertisements. So, the popularity of the song is established. Woovee (talk) 18:27, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
You may want to read WP:PRIMARYSOURCE. When using a primary source, "Do not analyze, synthesize, interpret, or evaluate material found in a primary source yourself; instead, refer to reliable secondary sources that do so." Nowhere does Billboard say that not charting on Hot 100 = not a hit in the US; that is your own WP:SYNTHESIS. On the other hand, there is a reliable secondary source that says that it is. Also, please provide sources that define a US hit as being solely "in terms of sales according to Billboard".—indopug (talk) 18:39, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
You may read the wp:neutrality policy as well. And, re-read the first post of Gabe with this part: "The claim is sourced to Whitburn, but Blur does not have an entry in his book of Top 40 Hits because they never had a Top 40 Hit in the US." You keep on confusing on purpose the use of a alternative songs chart that only reproduces the playlist on Modern Rock radios, and the Hot 100 that is the one and only chart that includes the singles sales. You can use the allmusic articles as sources but wp:NPOV has to be respected. It didn't chart in the Hot 100. So, the sentence mentioning that the single failed to enter in the Hot 100, has to stay to my point of view. Please also note that the allmusic biography doesn't state that it was a hit. Woovee (talk) 19:04, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
I reply here to the previous remarks. 1) no, it is not absurd to include the sentence "Yet, the single failed to break into the Billboard Hot 100" and BTW, there's another similar sentence in the article "Modern Life Is Rubbish peaked at number 15 on the British charts, but failed to break into the US Billboard 200, selling only 19,000 copies there." This brings precisions and nuances. No more confusion for the readers, please. Inaccurate facts ("song 2" as hit) previously included in the article, have to be counter-balanced by precisions. 2) Billboard "mainstream rocks" doesn't include "units sold" or "singles sales": it just reflects the playlist of the mainstream radios. 3)re-read the sources that I put in my initial text right above this issue: they are explanations from the official billboard magazine. Woovee (talk) 17:11, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Full protection[edit]

Gold padlock

This article has been fully-protected. A fully protected page can be edited only by administrators. The protection may be for a specified time or may be indefinite. Modifications to a fully protected page can be proposed on the talk page for discussion. Administrators can make changes to the protected article reflecting consensus. Placing the {{Edit protected}} template on the talk page will draw the attention of administrators for implementing uncontroversial changes. SilkTork ✔Tea time 21:53, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Dispute resolved. Article is now open for editing. SilkTork ✔Tea time 11:42, 21 January 2014 (UTC)


Dispute over "hit"[edit]

I've locked down the article as there is too much edit warring occurring. There needs now to be a consensus on the wording that appears in the article, and how to define the impact that Song 2 had in America (and globally), and the relevance that had for Blur. Thankfully, there are a number of sources which discuss the matter, so a solution should be found which uses wording common to the sources, and which would be readily understood by the readers of the article.

That's a starting point. What I suggest is that folks start putting forward numbered suggested wordings, such as:

  • 1 "Song 2" was very successful in America, and brought the band a new audience....

That is not a suggestion, merely an example. The numbers make it easier to refer to in discussions, and the green ink of the example template makes the suggestions easier to pick out from the discussions. The template is created by writing {{ex| text }}. SilkTork ✔Tea time 22:15, 10 January 2014 (UTC)


My only concern is that wp:NPOV is respected and that one brings nuances and the two types of opinions expressed by journalists. Concerning the impact that Blur had in the USA in 1997, certain critics only recognize that the album was gold, due to the popularity of "Song 2" and there's also two new sources at the opposite that put the word "hit" next to "Song 2". It looks in the following sources below like the song was popular on alternative radios, (that what the Modern Rock tracks proves). According to several papers, the song became really popular in the months that follow its release because it was also played in various ads, even in sports events.
Here are already a few sources. What matters is if the word "hit" is used, it has to be-counterbalanced by the sentence that "Song 2 failed to enter the Hot 100". I recall what user SilkTork said previously in this talk: "hit" as per our Hit single article, indicates that a song made the Billboard 100." User Gabe also said it "The claim is sourced to Whitburn, but Blur does not have an entry in his book of Top 40 Hits because they never had a Top 40 Hit in the US." The song was popular and present in the playlist of modern rock radios (=alternative radios) and then very famous in terms of publishing apparently, as Albarn said it because it was played everywhere in public places. Neutrality is the rule and all facts supplied by the sources have to be reproduced. I will be looking for other sources in the next 7 days. Woovee (talk) 20:45, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Woovee, Wikipedia is not a reliable source. What the (unsourced) hit single article has to say is irrelevant. Gabe's comment was based on a misunderstanding of his; he thought the song didn't chart on the Modern and Mainstream charts either (and he subsequently regretted his involvement in the discussion). You've pointed out many Wikipedia policies, but could you quote the exact bits that back your point of view. I continue to be puzzled why we should take your definition of a "hit" (charting on the basis of Hot 100 alone), over the word of several independent reliable sources that have been provided here, who have declared "Song 2" a smash hit in the US. On the other hand, nobody has explicitly stated ' "Song 2" was not a hit in America because it didn't chart on the Hot 100" which is what you need to have to back your position (based on NPOV, STICKTOYOURSOURCES, RELIABLESOURCES etc) in this debate.
SilkTork, thanks for doing extensive research on this. As for your suggestion that a "solution should be found which uses wording common to the sources, and which would be readily understood by the readers of the article", to be fair the version of the article before Woovee edited (i.e. the version that had a silent consensus for it for years and was approved for GA by you), already takes care of this (presented as the pre-existing option 0):
2. In the US, the record received strong reviews as the album and the "Song 2" single became a hit. Blur reached number 61 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold, while "Song 2" peaked at number six on the Modern Rock chart.[1][7] After "Song 2" was licensed for use in various media—such as soundtracks, advertisements and television shows—it became the most recognisable Blur song in the US. After the success of Blur, the band embarked on a nine-month world tour.[8]
The only problem with it is that a user has a too-strict definition of "hit" (we know this because music scholars and critics quoted above clearly do not share his view).That it is not grounds enough to change.—indopug (talk) 02:42, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks to both of you for contributions so far. I am seeing points in both arguments. As there is some uncertainty over the word "hit", is it possible to either word the passage without using that word, or to use quotes instead, or to explain what is meant by "hit" if using it. It does appear to be a little unclear. There appears to be more than one use of the word "hit". There is the narrow definition as mentioned by Woovee which relates to "official" hit singles, as mentioned in our article; and there is the general use of hit as something successful - as when people use it of any endeavour that worked well. I suspect that when writers are talking of "Song 2", they are using the term the second sense. It wouldn't hurt to clarify in the article the exact nature of the single's success. SilkTork ✔Tea time 08:49, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Indopug, The only problem is not that I've got a strict definition of the word "hit". User Gabe told you the same thing: Joel Whitburn's book about all the US top 40 hits "The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits 1955-2009" doesn't mention once "Song 2". The reason is simple, it didn't make the Billboard top 100 singles sales.
For the word "hit" associated with "Song 2", there are not "several reliable sources" that support this: in fact, there are only two sources that qualify that "song 2" as a "hit in the usa": this one "The A to X of Alternative Music By Steve Taylor" (Steve Taylor is a english freelance journalist and a Dj for radio London "XFM") and this other source the "Song 2" article by Allmusic. That's not the majority.
For now, there's a very large majority of articles and sources available, saying that the "Song 2" single was popular without using the word "hit". There's no need to write the definitions of the words "popularity" and "notoriety": a song can become popular after being played on radios, advertisements, even without entering the Top 100 Singles Sales. That's the case here, the US customers bought in mass the eponymous album (1997) which includes "Song 2", but they didn't buy in mass the "song 2" single. The notion of popularity and notoriety is better established.
When one looks at another allmusic article, their biography, one sees that there aren't any sentence mentionning "Song 2" in the charts, bar the notion of "popularity". The journalist is yet keen to write about the success of another single "Girls & Boys" in the US Billboard Hot 100 : "The stylized new wave dance-pop single "Girls and Boys" entered the charts at number five; the single managed to spend 15 weeks on the U.S. charts, peaking at number 52, but the album never cracked the charts." The notion of popularity seems in the end more relevant, and closer to the truth.
For all these reasons, especially as "Song 2 " was clearly presented as a "US hit" in only two sources where as all the other sources above said that it was just popular and insist more on the commercial performance of the album, I'd say that this version seems more apt to me :
  • 3. In the US, the record received strong reviews as the album and the "Song 2" single was popular on alternative rock radios. Blur reached number 61 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold,[9] [10] while "Song 2" peaked at number six on the Billboard Alternative Songs.[5] Yet, the single failed to break into the Billboard "Hot 100".[6] After "Song 2" was licensed for use in various media—such as soundtracks, advertisements and television shows—it became the most recognisable Blur song in the US. After the success of Blur, the band embarked on a nine-month world tour.[8]
Woovee (talk) 17:19, 14 January 2014 (UTC)


I am going to merge the two versions together, and then see what you folks think.

  • 4. In the US, the record received strong reviews; and the album and "Song 2" were popular on alternative rock radio. Blur reached number 61 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold,[11] [12] while "Song 2" reached number six on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.[1] After "Song 2" was licensed for use in various media—such as soundtracks, advertisements and television shows—it became the most recognisable Blur song in the US. After the success of Blur, the band embarked on a nine-month world tour.[8]

Essentially, the differences in the two versions were 1) The use of the word "hit" to convey the sense that the song was popular - this use is ambiguous, and could lead readers to think that the song had more significant chart success than it did, so I have preferred the version that says "popular". 2) The statement that song failed to reach the Billboard 100. I don't think that is needed once the word "hit" is replaced with "popular". There are many things the song did not do, but we don't list them, so I have removed that.

I would like confirmation from both of you that this version is acceptable; as soon as we have that, this version can be inserted in the article, and it can be unlocked. Alternatively, if there are no objections after seven days, I will take that as consent, unlock the article and action the edit. SilkTork ✔Tea time 09:30, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Silk, I agree to compromise and am fine with your version, but "alternative rock radio" is excess detail. Also, I've not really seen a source that explicitly mentions that the album/song were popular on alt radio. My suggestion:

  • 5. In the US, the album received strong reviews; Blur reached number 61 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold.[13][14] The album's "Song 2" single was also popular, reaching number six on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.[1] After it was licensed for use in various media—such as soundtracks, advertisements and television shows—"Song 2" became the most recognisable Blur song in the US. After the success of Blur, the band embarked on a nine-month world tour.[8]

Another problem with the current version of the article is the lead, which has the ungrammatical "The album including the "Song 2" single, brought Blur mainstream success in the United States." A comma should be added after "album".—indopug (talk) 12:23, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

I'll make the comma edit. Still waiting for Woovee to comment on either version 4 or 5. If there's no further comment after six days I'll unlock and action version 6. SilkTork ✔Tea time 13:29, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Putting "alternative rock radio" after "popular" is not "excess detail": it is to follow the wiki policy of sticktosource. It is always better to be precise. (no more confusion for the readers, please). "Modern rock tracks" reproduces the playlist of alternative rock radios in the 90's, now it is in fact called "alternative songs". This is what is supported by the source at the end of the sentence : the song was "popular on alternative radios". There is no need to add another source but if one is needed, this one, "Rolling Stone, April 1997; America meet Blur" precises: "Song 2, a two-minute explosion of angst which Virgin are releasing as the first American single off the album... college radio stations which have been supportive of Blur". [college radios = alternative radios]

I'd also prefer that the source is "Billboard.com" instead of "allmusic". Indeed, user Gabe said earlier: "We could provide a note explaining that Billboard changed the title of the chart." So, I propose this below in the first version, for the title of the source: {...|title=Billboard Alternative Songs [previouslly called modern rock tracks]"...}

I also agree that the statement with "that song failed to reach the Billboard 100" is no more necessary. So, one could pick up one of these two versions (merging from the previous ones):

  • 6. In the US, the record received strong reviews as the album and the "Song 2" single was popular on alternative rock radios. Blur reached number 61 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold,[15] [16] while "Song 2" peaked at number six on the Modern Rock Tracks.[5] After "Song 2" was licensed for use in various media—such as soundtracks, advertisements and television shows—it became the most recognisable Blur song in the US. After the success of Blur, the band embarked on a nine-month world tour.[8]

or

  • 7. In the US, the album received strong reviews; Blur reached number 61 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold.[17][18] The album's "Song 2" single was also popular on alternative rock radios, reaching number six on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.[5] After it was licensed for use in various media—such as soundtracks, advertisements and television shows—"Song 2" became the most recognisable Blur song in the US. After the success of Blur, the band embarked on a nine-month world tour.[8]

Woovee (talk) 17:51, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Fine we'll go with your no. 7 (which I have just numbered). My only opposition is the use of the Billboard website, which is notoriously unstable—it seems to completely change URLs every few months, rendering the links in the article dead. This problem is absent with Allmusic, which directly takes it chart positions from Billboard (via agreement IIRC) and meets WP:RS as well.—indopug (talk) 04:47, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for discussing this and coming to an agreement. I've unlocked the article and will action version 7. It's OK for both of you to now edit the article. If either of you disagrees with an edit by the other, please do not revert, but attempt to resolve it here on the talkpage. If you feel you cannot resolve it within a reasonable time frame, please contact me. SilkTork ✔Tea time 11:42, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
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