Leisure (album)

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Leisure
LeisureUK.jpg
Studio album by Blur
Released 26 August 1991
Recorded May 1990 – March 1991
Genre Psychedelic rock, alternative rock
Length 50:13
Label Food
Producer
Blur chronology
Leisure
(1991)
Modern Life Is Rubbish
(1993)Modern Life Is Rubbish1993
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 material in the Blur 21 box set.

The cover photograph was taken in May 1954[1][2] by Charles Hewitt, for a Picture Post fashion feature on bathing hats, "Glamour In The Swim."[3]

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.[4] 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.[5] The album was reissued a second time, on vinyl, on August 26, 2016.[6]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[7]
Drowned In Sound8/10[8]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[9]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[10]
Pitchfork5.8/10[11]
Q4/5 stars[12]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2.5/5 stars[13]
Select5/5[14]

Leisure received mixed reviews from the British music press.[15] 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."[14] 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."[12] 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".[16]

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).[17]

"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" provided a starting point for "Lost!".[18]

Track listing[edit]

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

Europe edition (Parlophone/Food Records)
No.TitleProducer(s)Length
1."She's So High"
4:46
2."Bang"Stephen Street3:37
3."Slow Down"Stephen Street3:11
4."Repetition"Stephen Street5:26
5."Bad Day"Stephen Street4:24
6."Sing"Blur6:01
7."There's No Other Way"Stephen Street3:25
8."Fool"Mike Thorne3:14
9."Come Together"Stephen Street3:52
10."High Cool"Stephen Street3:38
11."Birthday"Mike Thorne3:50
12."Wear Me Down"Mike Thorne4:52
Bonus disc notes
  • 13 and 14 from "She's So High"/"I Know" single (October 1990)
  • 15 to 21 from "There's No Other Way" single (April 1991)
  • 22 to 26 from "Bang" single (July 1991)
  • 27 from fan club single (October 1997)
  • 28 from fan club single (November 1998)
  • 29 is previously unreleased

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. ^ "Picture Post photographer Charles Hewitt working on a fashion feature... News Photo - Getty Images". 
  2. ^ "Swimming Hats Stock Photo - Getty Images". 
  3. ^ "Two models wearing ornate 'Viking' swimming caps by Kleinert.... News Photo - Getty Images". 
  4. ^ a b "Blur | Full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  5. ^ Blur 21 at Blur's website
  6. ^ Pearce, Sheldon. "Blur Announce Leisure Reissue | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  7. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Leisure - Blur - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. 
  8. ^ Gourlay, Dom (27 July 2012). "Blur: Leisure (21 reissue)". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 26 August 2017. 
  9. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8. 
  10. ^ Wyman, Bill (8 November 1991). "Music Review: Leisure (1991) / Blur". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Blur". Pitchfork Media. 
  12. ^ a b Davies, Paul (August 1991). "Blur - Leisure". Q. Bauer Media Group. 
  13. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City: Simon and Schuster. p. 89. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  14. ^ a b Cavanagh, David (October 1991). "Blur - Leisure". Select. Emap. 
  15. ^ Strong, Martin C. The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, 2003. ISBN 1-84195-335-0. pp.635–635.
  16. ^ Petridis, Alexis. "Blur - Leisure". Lime Lizard. October 1991. p. 53.
  17. ^ "Digital Spy – Albarn cusses own albums". Retrieved 11 May 2007. 
  18. ^ Coldplay Give Track-By-Track Tour of Viva La Vida, MTV, 9 June 2008.
  19. ^ Billboard. google.co.uk https://books.google.com/books?id=bCgEAAAAMBAJ&lr=&rview=1.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 September 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 

External links[edit]

  • Leisure at YouTube (streamed copy where licensed)