|Single by Blur|
|from the album 13|
|B-side||"All We Want" (7")
"All We Want", "Mellow Jam" (CD)
|Released||22 February 1999|
|Format||7" vinyl, cassette, 2 x CD|
|Length||7:40 (album version)
4:30 (radio edit)
|Blur singles chronology|
Lyrics and live performances
The song's lyrics were written by Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon and the vocals are shared on the track with backing vocals provided by the London Community Gospel Choir. The line "Tender is the night", and by extension the name of the song, is a reference to the novel Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose title was in turn a quotation from Keats' Ode to a Nightingale.
During Coxon's hiatus from the group, Blur continued to perform the song live with Albarn asking the audience to sing Coxon's lines; "Oh my baby/Oh my baby/Oh why?/Oh my". At Blur's headline appearance at Reading Festival in 2003, he introduced the song by saying "I don't want, for one moment, to be a sentimental but... Graham wrote this song as well... you know the bits he sings and I want you to sing them as loudly as you possibly can. Everyone needs to sing this song." Drummer Dave Rowntree would also sing Coxon's lines on occasion. In July 2009 when Blur re-formed, Coxon's lines in "Tender" were repeated and sung powerfully by the audience to call Blur back to stage at Glastonbury, Hyde Park and T in the Park.
It is the first track on Blur's sixth album 13 and was also released as the lead single before the album's release. The single reached number 2 in the UK Singles Chart – kept off number one by Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time". "Tender" was nominated in the category of Best British Single at the 2000 BRIT Awards. However, the award was won by Robbie Williams for "She's the One".
Video, B-side and remix
The video for the song is a live studio performance, filmed in black-and-white, featuring the band and a group of backing singers. Like Blur's earlier video for End of a Century, it does not use the studio version's audio track. An official video for this track was recorded by Sophie Muller (director of the promo videos for "Beetlebum" and "Song 2"), but it was never released as the band simply didn't like it. Initially, the track "Swamp Song" was slated to appear as one of the single's B-sides, but was promoted to the parent album 13. The appearance of "Song 2" on the single was a last-minute substitution. A remix of the song by Cornelius was released on the "No Distance Left to Run" single.
- "Tender", "Mellow Jam", "French Song" and "Swamp Song" produced by William Orbit
- "All We Want" and "Song 2" produced by Stephen Street
- Damon Albarn: Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
- Graham Coxon: Lead Vocals, Electric Guitar
- Alex James: Bass, Backing Vocals
- Dave Rowntree: Drums, Backing Vocals
- Additional Vocals By. The London Community Gospel Choir
|Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)||15|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||94|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||90|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||12|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||45|
|UK Singles Chart||2|
In popular culture
- Hunter, James (4 May 1999). "Blur’s Tender Mercies Shine Through Sheen of 13", The Observer
- "BLUR | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- "Australian-charts.com – Blur – Tender". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
- "Ultratop.be – Blur – Tender" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
- "Musicline.de – Blur Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
- "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: B". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Blur – Tender" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
- "Charts.org.nz – Blur – Tender". Top 40 Singles.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Blur – Tender". VG-lista.
- Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Blur – Tender". Singles Top 60.
- "Swisscharts.com – Blur – Tender". Swiss Singles Chart.