Blur have abandoned album sessions, says William Orbit

Recording was apparently stopped at the behest of Damon Albarn, to the bafflement of the rest of the band

Blur have abandoned their comeback album, according to producer William Orbit. After months of "amazing" work, Damon Albarn recently called off the group's recording sessions, Orbit has said.

Orbit, who worked on two previous Blur albums, told NME the band were working on new material following their 2009 reunion. "The new stuff sounded amazing," he said. But three weeks ago, all that came to an end. "It was all over with Damon, and the rest of the band were like, 'Is this it?'"

As recently as January, Orbit was tweeting happily about Blur's recording sessions. "Loving the guitars you laid down!" he wrote in a message to Graham Coxon. "Vocal session March 3!" But when March came around, Orbit's tone was rather more dour: "Blur could have been good," he tweeted. "But Damon, brilliant and talented tho he is, is kinda a shit to the rest of Blur."

Although there were no guarantees about new Blur albums, there have been hints that something is afoot ahead of their appearance at the London Olympics closing concert. In February, Parklife producer Stephen Street said Blur were working with Orbit on a new single, Under the Westway. "I got the impression that they don't want the pressure of having to make a new [LP]," he said.

If Orbit's comments about Albarn seem unusually direct, he took a similar tone writing about Madonna last week. Orbit was heavily involved with the singer's commercially disappointing new album, MDNA. "You won't see me exactly jumping up and down with delight over the way that things have panned out," he said on Facebook. "We were very pushed for time … and various pressing commitments took up [Madonna's] limited time, such as perfume ranges and teen fashion contests and other such endeavours which are beyond my own limited understanding of pop star agendas." Orbit later removed the posts, apologising on Twitter: "I regret that I said [these things] online. Not fair to M."


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Blur release Olympic closing concert as live album
ParkLive is already available on iTunes, and a deluxe box set is due in November featuring a 60-page book

Sean Michaels

15, Aug, 2012 @8:48 AM

Article image
Blur announce The Magic Whip, their first new album for 12 years
Album features full quartet of Albarn, Coxon, Rowntree and James, and fans can celebrate with summer gig in London’s Hyde Park

Harriet Gibsone

19, Feb, 2015 @2:14 PM

Article image
Blur: 21 – review
Alexis Petridis: It's a hardy soul who'll get through all 21 discs, but Blur's complete works make for a fascinating listen

Alexis Petridis

26, Jul, 2012 @2:30 PM

Article image
Old music: Blur – Country House

Marc Burrows: The runt of Blur's litter turns out to be a sturdy beast when you look more closely – Shed Seven could never have done it

Marc Burrows

14, Mar, 2012 @12:01 PM

Article image
Blur: Olympic Closing Ceremony Celebration Concert – in pictures

London's Hyde Park was packed on Sunday night when Blur headlined a special gig to celebrate the end of the Olympics, with support from the Specials and New Order. Was it Blur's last-ever show? Or just an excuse for one of the best knees-ups of the summer? Relive the night with our gallery from the concert

13, Aug, 2012 @12:47 PM

Article image
Blur to mark 21st birthday with 21-disc box set

Collection will include studio LPs, seven CDs of bonus material, four discs of rarities, three DVDs, a book and limited-edition single – and a song called Sir Elton John's Cock

Sean Michaels

20, Apr, 2012 @10:41 AM

Article image
Blur to reunite for one-off Wembley show next year
Band will headline at the London stadium on 8 July for their 35th anniversary, supported by Slowthai, Self Esteem and Jockstrap

Shaad D'Souza

14, Nov, 2022 @2:10 PM

Article image
How we made: Graham Coxon and Stephen Street on Parklife by Blur
'Damon wasn't comfortable doing the verses – he just couldn't get into character'

Interviews by Caroline Sullivan

16, Jul, 2012 @5:41 PM

Article image
Blur: 'We used to take it in turns to punch each other'
Back in Hong Kong, where they recorded their album The Magic Whip, Damon, Graham, Alex and Dave talk about falling out and making up, the state of British pop music and why 90s Britpop was a wasted opportunity

Tim Jonze

30, Jul, 2015 @6:27 PM

Article image
Blur's summer concert should be their last, Damon Albarn says
New song, Under the Westway, likely to bring Blur's recording career to an end

John Harris

07, Apr, 2012 @6:00 AM