The Albums: Modern Life Is Rubbish (1993), Parklife (1994), The Great Escape (1995)
Though Blur would release four albums widely regarded as great, the trio of Modern Life Is Rubbish, Parklife, and The Great Escape comprises their sparkling Britpop period, the body of work where their sharp, tongue-in-cheek pop-rock anthems were at their best. Shunning their grunge past, 1993's Modern Life Is Rubbish drew clear influence from a number of important (and somewhat obvious) British forebears, never dipping into retread, invigorating in its snark and satisfying sensibilities. 1994's Parklife used an ambitious palette of British rock subgenres dating from the 1960s to create a cohesive and always engaging journey that cut with charm into the life of mid-90s urban Englanders. Completing the tightly released trilogy, 1995's The Great Escape reprised Parklife's genre exploration with a slightly darker bent, moving its cast of characters to the suburbs, keeping Albarn's sharp tongue and keen observations intact.