Bad news, Britpop fans: Blur will soon be no more.
The four-piece band, one of the mainstays of the '90s British invasion who famously duked it out on the charts with rivals Oasis, have announced they're calling it quits following a farewell gig this summer at the London Olympics.
Say it ain't so!
While the group has largely been dormant in recent years, Damon Albarn, Blur's frontman who's also the leader of electronica-hip-hop act Gorillaz (as well as the Good, the Bad & the Queen and a few other endeavors), confirmed the news to the U.K.'s Guardian, saying that a song the band recently recorded titled "Under the Westway" will mark the end of their recording career while an Aug. 12 concert in London's Hyde Park will likely be their final public performance.
"I'll give it 100 percent, like I did last time. And that's it," Albarn told the newspaper. "And I hope that's the truth: that's how we end it."
As for the chance of new music, alas, those hoping for an album will have to settle for the one tune, which the quartet laid down in one take and whose release will be timed with the Hyde Park show.
"I don't really see any more recordings after this. So it's nice to have finally done one song where we did it properly," the singer added, regarding "Under the Westway."
Part of the reason he cited for the breakup is the fact that it's harder and harder to get the boys together as they each pursue their own passions.
Formed in 1990 by Albarn, childhood friend and guitarist Graham Cox, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree, Blur became synonymous with the Britpop music scene that exploded out of England in the mid-'90s, particularly on the strength of such singles as "Girls & Boys," "Song 2" and "Sing," which was included on the Transpotting soundtrack.
The 2000s marked a long hiatus for the group and Albarn subsequently went on to found a music and visual project called Gorillaz with artist Jamie Hewlett, which used cartoon characters as musical stand-ins, has sold a combined 20 million albums and spawned the hit "Clint Eastwood."
However Albarn told the Guardian that his time with Gorillaz may also be finished due to creative differences between himself and Hewlett.
"I think we were at cross-purposes somewhat on that last record, which is a shame," he said, adding that they wouldn't work together "until a time comes when that knot has been untied."