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Formed in 1989 as Seymour at London art school Goldsmiths College, Blur (Damon Albarn, Alex James, Graham Coxon and Dave Rowntree) initially fell between baggy and shoegazing, their 1991 debut Leisure an uneasy hybrid. Just two years later they delivered the literate, clipped Modern Life Is Rubbish, winning critical -- if not commercial -- success. Then came "Girls & Boys," an ironic take on the unreflective hedonism rampant in Britain post-acid house. It struck a chord, climbing to No. 5 in the charts and driving Parklife triple platinum in the process. In a hectic 18 months, Blur edged out Oasis in the Battle of Britpop when "Country House" beat "Roll With It" to No. 1, only to see new album The Great Escape drop off the charts. Cue another shift in musical focus, this time to lo-fi indie rock. With it came spats, splits and separations (Albarn and Elastica's Justine Frischmann broke up), but Blur finally cracked America. However, the departure of Graham Coxon in 2002 after recording just one of Think Tank's tracks finally called time on the band.
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