Under the Westway
by Blur

Album: Not on an album (2012)
Charted: 34
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Songfacts®:

  • Blur guitarist Graham Coxon and vocalist Damon Albarn debuted this song during War Chid's benefit concert at London's Shepherds Bush Empire on February 19, 2012. "It's a new song we wrote just up the road a couple of weeks ago," Albarn told the crowd. "It's got a lot of words, not as many as Ed Sheeran but a lot." It marked Blur's first new song since the 2010 Record Store Day release of "Fool's Day."
  • The Westway is a two-and-a-half mile long elevated dual carriageway section of the A40 road in west London running from Paddington to North Kensington. It was constructed to relieve congestion at Shepherd's Bush caused by traffic from Western Avenue struggling to enter central London on roads of insufficient capacity. Blur previously referred to the route on their song "For Tomorrow," where Albarn describes a couple lost on the road. "London's so nice back in your seamless rhymes," he sings. "But we're lost on the Westway."

    West London band The Clash also gave the road a mention in their 1977 track "London's Burning." Joe Strummer sings sarcastically: "I'm up and down the Westway, in and out the lights. What a great traffic system, it's so bright. I can't think of a better way to spend the night, than speeding around underneath the yellow lights." In addition, the punk quartet titled their 2000 Grammy-winning documentary Westway To The World.
  • The single was recorded live in one take. "It's the first Blur song where it's been one take, because previously I never finished the lyrics before we recorded - which is quite nice, because I don't really see any more recordings after this," Albarn told The Guardian.
  • The song peaked at #34 in the UK, Blur's lowest-charting single since "She's So High" reached #48 in 1990.

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