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Bit of a Blur [Paperback]

Alex James

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Book Description

July 3 2008
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Frequently Bought Together

Customers buy this book with Britpop!: Cool Britannia and the Spectacular Demise of English Rock CDN$ 18.95

Bit of a Blur + Britpop!: Cool Britannia and the Spectacular Demise of English Rock
Price For Both: CDN$ 32.66

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (July 3 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349119937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349119939
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #169,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Alex James is a witty, engaging guide to the mad goings-on behind the scenes of Britpop. Blur's bassist famously estimates that he blew around GBP1m on champagne and cocaine during the Nineties. Here's how. INDEPENDENT Bright, passionate ... James writes with wit and flair TIME OUT *'The definitive guide to Britpop ... this effervescent memoir emerges as the most fascinating, as well as hilarious, document to date of those times OBSERVER Guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye - in a good way ELLE

About the Author

Alex James is the bass player with Blur. He is also a visiting scientist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Europe's largest space research facility.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Apt Title, mostly enjoyable apart from a few irrelevant excursions March 19 2011
By C. D. White - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As an American Blur fan, I am pretty unfamiliar with the 4 personalities within Blur. Since they have never been huge over here I have not been bombarded with press about them. So, the vague impressions I had of the bassist were that he was a life of the party archetypal rock star. This impression is fleshed out in his autobiography. His personality comes through as he relays what it was like to be in one of the biggest bands in the world through the 90s. And a major plus about this book is that it isn't bogged down with too much back story of his life as a child...just enough to give you a taste of where he came from. But that brevity is somewhat of a double edged sword because he also gives only cursory recollections of the recording process of Blur's music. As a fan of the band I felt a little short changed by that. Make no mistake though he does talk about it to some degree but not as much as I would have liked (for instance I don't recall him even mentioning "The Universal" much less go into detail about it). He does however go on at length about French literature, space travel, and flying among other topics that I could really take or leave. This is not to say that I only want to read about his musical ventures, but when entire chapters are devoted to these aforementioned other topics, wading through it does get a bit trying.

That being said, all in all this was an enjoyable read for someone interested in Blur. James is witty and recalls things with a style that will put a smile on your face as you read what it was/is like to be in Blur whether it's in front a mass of adoring people in Sweden or walking through a snake infested wilderness in Montana. His personal insight into his other bandmates; Damon, Graham and Dave is also even keeled and gives you a more well-rounded perspective than any outside source could. Also, his observations on the nature of celebrity are quite eye opening.

I would recommend this to any fan of the band curious to get an up close and personal account of the band. However for those wanting to read a book that concentrates mostly on the musical output of the band I would recommend reading Blur: 3862 Days: The Official History first.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book but changed my view of the author May 5 2012
By A. Bazin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a huge Blur fan, I have been since the height of the Blur vs Oasis episodes during my teens. This book charts the formation of the band through to almost the present day from the point of view of Alex James, the band's bass player. For a music autobiography it's surprisingly well written, highlighting the more literate nature of Blur compared to many of their contemporaries. What I was surprised by is how much of a git (Amazon censored my original choice of adjective) Alex James appears to have been, sure he puts a funny and lighthearted gloss on it, but at the end of the day I respect and admire him a little bit less than before I read the book.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So disappointed Dec 2 2013
By J.E. Beal - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a tremendous Blur fan and was anxious to get a look into the workings of what I consider to be one of the most talented bands to have recorded. With this book I got the pretentious rambling of a man who, despite being an extraordinary bass player, is so full of himself and all the things his money can buy and the general consumption of everything except music that I found the book unbearable. I was expecting something this book wasn't--I have absolutely no interest in James' interest in astrology, flight, alcohol, Fat Les, Damien Hirst, or his life outside of Blur. I wanted to read about the construction of some of the best pop music ever made, not his palatial country house (after reading this, I'm not entirely sure "Country House" wasn't written about him.). James comes off as a snobbish bore whom I like less for having read this book. He should thank whatever God he believes in (and my guess is the author's God is named Alex James) that he was lucky enough to be in a band with Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn. So disappointed.
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Dec 3 2013
By Mario A. Ortega Vadillo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved every word.
Most highlighted book in my collection.
Came for the Blur, stayed for the witty and heartfelt prose.
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun And Lively Memoir Aug. 4 2013
By Douglas P. Murphy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Alex James has had a rather intersting life as a rock star. This memoir is well-written and enhanced by the author's somewhat, self-deprecating sense of humor. There are plenty of adventurous anecdotes that will keep the reader entertained and intrigued. Alex James fell headlong into the opportunities offered by the fame and wealth of a successful rock band, In his case his activities involved consuming great quantities of alcohol, encounters with numerous women and hanging out with like-minded people at private clubs in London and the rest of the world. However, he also had interests in flying, astronomy and space travel that deviate significantly from the path of most rock and roll musicians. I really enjoyed this book and can highly recommend it.
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