Blur Parklife Alternative Titles Soft Porn Softporn London Sport Magic Arrows Britpop Tribute Band

Every Britpop band & Blur fan instantly recognises the front cover of Parklife by Blur (By photographer Bob Thomas ) featuring Greyhounds at Walthamstow Stadium Dog track races. But did you know Parklife was going to be called a multitude of different other titles first? Britpop Musician Andy Starkey from Brit pop tribute band Britpop Reunion takes you through the stories behind the ideas of Parklife.

 

Blur Parklife Alternative Titles

There were a number of possible alternative titles and sleeve artwork for Parklife by Blur. These included:

  • London.
  • Sport.
  • Soft Porn (Spelled as one whole word Softporn on the album sleeve).
  • Magic Arrows.
  • Park Life (Two separate words)

Chris Thomson & Rob O’Connor (Graphic designers at Stylorouge) designers of Parklife met Damon Albarn and blur at Worlds End pub on Kings Road,  Chelsea and they proceeded to a William Hill betting shop. Between them and Blur they had been exploring “Britishness” including the atmosphere within these types of establishments and the types of folks visiting them. Damon had also been reading London Fields by Martin Amis. A novel about the seedier, working class side of London life and realised his songs for Parklife were somewhat based on this. (Drinking, sex etc)

Chris & Rob’s images depicted the class divide in London, but leaned more towards the Upper Middle Class end as can be seen in the 1960s image of a posh tennis player. But Damon didn’t want this and seeing these images helped him to focus on the working class social class. They were taking images of every day mundane things in London and reappropriating them to put them onto a different format . “Tourist tat” like The Queen’s Guards but making it famous, referencing Pop Art artists like Peter Blake. Pop art.

 

As you’ll see a number of different album sleeves were also trialed for Parklife including:

  • Park Life (With a space) featuring the front grill of a Rolls Royce car.
  • 1960’s image of an upper class male tennis player.
  • 8 models of Buckingham Palace Guards The Queen’s Guards dressed in traditional red tunics and bearskin hats (Tourist tat)
  • Soft Porn featured Buckingham palace and its guards (Again)

Another alternative cover for the Parklife album cover featured a fruit and veg stall in London’s Portobello Road but no images of this are available.

The alternative album sleeves were shown to the band at Maison Rouge Studio where they were working no Parklife with Stephen Street in London, Fulham, Chelsea during 1993 & 1994.  Where they continued to discuss

 

Alternative Title

 

Possible title

Dave Rountree
https://twitter.com/DaveRowntree/status/1242947379088838659/photo/1
LOT 105
Named after the organ…
I think I mentioned that we pinned things on the studio wall during the Parklife sessions. Well not saying that’s where the album title came from or anything..

 

  • B-sides and none featured album songs that never mad it onto Parklife include:
  • Magpie
  • Anniversary Waltz
  • People in Europe
  • Peter Panic
  • Threadneedle Street
  • Got Yer!
  • Beard
  • Supa Shoppa
  • Theme from an Imaginary Film
  • Rednecks
  • Alex’s Song

All of which are featured on the “The Special Collectors Edition” compilation album

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