We’re dipping into the Far Out Magazine vault to bring you an oddball moment of MTV lunacy as Blur go from the sublime to the stupid with a performance of ‘The Universal’ and then a mocking rendition of Oasis’ ‘Roll With It’.
The ’90s were a strange time. It was the ending of an era as we moved away from the analogue life of old and made a bold new step towards the digital age we now find ourselves in. But nothing, absolutely nothing, was as weird the shows on MTV Europe back in the ’90s—one perfect example of this is Blur’s appearance on MTV’s Most Wanted back in 1995.
The show’s premise is simple; invite one of the biggest bands in the world on to the show, ask them to play some tunes, speak with fans, really get to know them etc. All seems easy enough, and one can imagine that if this show was happening now that there would be a huge production ensuring that this would be slick and seamless. But this was certainly not the case in 1995.
The production is chaotic—one suspects as a way of being ‘down with the kids’—the camera work is something truly to behold. Simply nothing can prepare you for the host’s disgusting jacket, an item of clothing so unwaveringly upsetting it’s routinely commented on by the band, with their usual boyish charm.
For all the ’90s tropes that are present in the video below, one thing that is brilliant about the clip is that Blur, in all their cockney swagger play a brief rendition of Oasis’ hit ‘Roll With It’, as well as a beautiful version of ‘The Universal’. It’s a wonderful moment of lunacy that typifies the Britpop years.
At this point of the Blur journey, the band’s rivalry with Oasis was almost at fever pitch, the two bands representing opposing ends of the country and continuously butting heads with each other at events, charity or otherwise. It felt like it may blow up into violence at any brief encounter. So while it’s a bit of fun, the deliberate mocking of Oasis, the cover is also a somewhat aggressive act.
So here comes 40 minutes of the aforementioned lunacy. That being, a heap of chaotic presenting, some of the oddest interview techniques you’ve ever witnessed, a lot of on-set drinking, some questionable gurning jaws, and some dilated pupils.
All underlined by a beautiful live performance of ‘The Universal’ backed with a sumptuous orchestra and a cockney pub-piano version of Oasis’ ‘Roll With It’. Ladies and gentlemen, if you ever wanted to know what pop stardom in the ’90s was like—here it is.