Leisure (album)

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Leisure
LeisureUK.jpg
Studio album by Blur
Released 26 August 1991
Recorded May 1990 – March 1991
Genre
Length 50:13
Label Food
Producer
Blur chronology
Leisure
(1991)
Modern Life Is Rubbish
(1993)
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 studio album by the English rock band Blur, released in August 1991 by record label Food.

Content[edit]

The original version of "Sing", entitled "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.

The artwork for the album originates from a 1930s photoshoot for a swimming cap ad campaign.[citation needed]

Release[edit]

The album was released on 26 August 1991 in the United Kingdom by record label Food. It was released in the US a month later with a different track listing: this version is frontloaded with Blur's three UK singles, and the song "Sing" was replaced by "I Know", previously an A-side with "She's So High" (see track listings for exact changes). The Canadian version has the same track listing as the UK version.

Leisure peaked at number 7 in the UK Albums Chart.[2] The album was certified Gold in the UK.[citation needed]

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]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Alexis Petridis unfavourable[4]
AllMusic 3/5 stars[5]
BBC Music favourable[6]
Entertainment Weekly A−[7]
Michigan Daily favourable[8]
NME favourable[9]
Pitchfork 5.8/10[10]
Q 4/5 stars[11]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2.5/5 stars[12]
Select 5/5 stars[13]

Leisure received mixed reviews from the British music press.[14] 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."[13] 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."[11] Alexis Petridis however, stated that "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". He also described the lyrics as "bad".[4]

In 2007, lead singer Damon Albarn referred to Leisure as "awful" and one of two bad records he had made, along with Blur's The Great Escape (1995).[15]

"Sing" was included on the Trainspotting soundtrack in 1996. 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!".[16]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written and composed by Blur (Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree).

  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

Note: The US and Japan editions of the album have different track listings.

Personnel[edit]

  • Damon Albarn – lead vocals, keyboards, production on "Sing", "Inertia" and "Mr. Briggs"
  • Graham Coxon – guitars, backing vocals, production on "Sing", "Inertia" and "Mr. Briggs"
  • Alex James – bass, production on "Sing", "Inertia" and "Mr. Briggs"
  • Dave Rowntree – drums, percussion, production on "Sing", "Inertia" and "Mr. Briggs"
  • Steve Lovell – production on "She's So High" and "I Know"
  • Steve Power – production on "She's So High" and "I Know"
  • Mike Thorne – production on "Fool", "Birthday" and "Wear Me Down"
  • Stephen Street – production on "There's No Other Way", "Bang", "Slow Down", "Repetition", "Bad Day", "High Cool" and "Come Together"

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ian Wade. "Blur: The Sound Of The Essex Boys Beyond The Hits". The Quietus. 
  2. ^ a b "Blur | Full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  3. ^ Blur 21 at Blur's website
  4. ^ a b Petridis, Alexis. "Blur - Leisure". Lime Lizard. October 1991. p. 53.
  5. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Leisure - Blur - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. 
  6. ^ Smith, Sid (2007). "Blur Leisure Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  7. ^ Wyman, Bill (8 November 1991). "Music Review: Leisure (1991) / Blur". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  8. ^ Petruso, Annette (11 November 1991). "Records: Blur – Leisure". Michigan Daily archived at Google Books. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Album A&E – Blur, 'Leisure'". NME. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Blur". Pitchfork Media. 
  11. ^ a b Davies, Paul (August 1991). "Blur - Leisure". Q (Bauer Media Group). 
  12. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City: Simon and Schuster. p. 89. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  13. ^ a b Cavanagh, David (October 1991). "Blur - Leisure". Select (Emap). 
  14. ^ Strong, Martin C. The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, 2003. ISBN 1-84195-335-0. pp.635–635.
  15. ^ "Digital Spy – Albarn cusses own albums.". Retrieved 11 May 2007. 
  16. ^ Coldplay Give Track-By-Track Tour of Viva La Vida, MTV, 9 June 2008.
  17. ^ "ACTUAL ARTICLE TITLE BELONGS HERE!". Billboard. google.co.uk. 
  18. ^ http://www.bpi.co.uk/certifiedawards/search.aspx

External links[edit]

  • Leisure at YouTube (streamed copy where licensed)