Twelve years on and this still sounds fresh as a daisy – one of Blur’s musical pinnacles. There were many. This cover is great and it sums up the song perfectly: a stupid, brightly-coloured American car comin’ straight for you. And it’s, er, flying across some kind of Martian landscape for no good reason. The yellow of the car and the Blur logo contrasts beautifully with the purple vinyl, it’s truly an aesthetic delight. The packaging was designed by Yacht Associates, who worked with the band during their weirding-out American indie rock phase. Before that it was Stylorouge, I believe, who helped to create some of the band’s memorable early sleeves. I remember once visiting a certain design agency in London and being impressed by the hypercool minimalist interior decor I found myself within – but I was even more impressed by the fact that Stylorouge had the office upstairs. Not sure what I was expecting to happen – a representative to pop downstairs, know that I was a fan of their work and offer me a job on the spot? It didn’t happen… it just seemed to be an office like many others. Always good to remind oneself that heroes are just people, I suppose.
The sticker in the top left corner of the sleeve states ‘Also available: CD1 / CD2’. Do labels still do this kind of nightmarish multi-formatting? It was all the rage back in the nineties. Has downloading and belt-tightening stamped out this greedy strategy?