Blur Top 30. Number 27 – Oily Water


Sorry for not posting last night, the internet thought it might be a great idea to fuck up for the night and leave me all alone.  Seriously without the internet the world becomes such a lonely place.  Anyway back to the top 30 Blur songs.

Oily Water is off the Modern Life is Rubbish album which was released in 1993.  Oily water has this amazing quite tranquil sound to it.  It’s as if you’re listening to a mirage or vision from some drug overdose it’s such a unique sound.  It goes back to the baggy sounds of Leisure but in this song it has such a hypnotic affect you’re glued to listening to it.  The guitar and drum instrumentals are loud and frantic, I saw this song performed live and it builds up so much atmosphere in the room it becomes chaotic.  Although the sound throughout is unclean and repetitive when played live it’s such a buzz. It only comes onto the list because of the live performance of the song; if it wasn’t for the manic chaos it brings when played live it wouldn’t rank anywhere near my top 30.  The song gives Graham, Alex and Dave a chance to rock out and Damon to run around stage with his megaphone to do whatever he wants.

The lyrics to me are pretty difficult to grasp but I would say it’s about being delirious from lack of sleep or some kind of tiredness.  The lyrics seem based on anxiety and paranoia in the need to take something which is “slipping down my spine” this is probably some drug or alcohol reference like the drugs are taking over his body.  Damon also uses the word “self in decline” which is probably him slipping into depression.  Oily water could be reference to alcohol so when he says “I swallowed too much oily water” it could mean he’s off his head and he’s now deluded lying on his back being all anxious and suspicious.  To me this song is about drugs, alcohol, addiction, anxiety and the lack of sleep that comes from it.  Oily water could be the use of alcohol and drugs and its stronghold it has over Damon.

It’s a pretty common place to hear Blur talk about drug use and here Damon talks about the grasp drugs have on you.  It’s a unique insight into the world of anxiety, alcoholism and drug addiction.  The sound goes perfectly with the lyrics, it’s as if you’ve overdosed whilst you listen to it and I think this was their aim.  The song is one massive drug trip and it’s a brilliant song see performed live.

To listen to the song on Spotify click this link – Blur – Oily Water – 2012 – Remaster


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