Chemical World

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"Chemical World"
Single by Blur
from the album Modern Life Is Rubbish
B-side "Maggie May" (7")
"Es Schmecht", "Young & Lovely", "My Ark" (12")
"Never Clever" (live), "Pressure On Julian" (live), "Come Together" (live) (CD1)
"Young & Lovely", "Es Schmecht", "My Ark" (CD2)
Released 28 June 1993
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl, CD
Recorded Feb 1993
Genre Britpop, neo-psychedelia[1]
Length 4:02 (UK album version)
3:53 (Radio edit)
3:45 (Reworked/US album version)
Label Food
Producer(s) Stephen Street, Blur, Clive Langer, Alan Winstanley, Steve Lovell
Blur singles chronology
"For Tomorrow"
"Chemical World"
"Sunday Sunday"
Music video
"Chemical World" on YouTube

"Chemical World" is a song by English alternative rock band Blur, featured on their second album Modern Life Is Rubbish (1993).


The single was released in the UK on 7" and 12" vinyl and two CDs. CD1 and the 12" featured the reworked demo version while CD2 and the 7" featured the Stephen Street version (in edited form on the 7").

The 12" and CD2 feature three exclusive tracks "Young & Lovely", "Es Schmecht" and "My Ark". "Young & Lovely" was hailed as one of the greatest "lost tracks" by Q in 2007.

CD1 features three tracks recorded live at Glastonbury Festival 1992. The song "Never Clever" had not been previously released. It was originally intended as the follow-up to Blur's fourth single, "Popscene". However, the commercial death of "Popscene" prompted those plans to be abandoned. The studio version of "Never Clever" was eventually released on a promo CD to celebrate Food Records' 100th release in 1997.

The 7" vinyl has a cover version of Rod Stewart's "Maggie May", which had been recorded for and was first released on Ruby Trax, a 1992 triple album compilation of cover versions issued by the NME on its 40th birthday. It was also featured on Blur's The Special Collectors Edition in 1994 along with "Es Schmecht".


It was released on 28 June 1993 as the second single from that album, equalling their previous release "For Tomorrow" at number 28 in the UK Singles Charts.[2] In the United States, the song reached number 27 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, becoming the only single from Modern Life Is Rubbish to chart there.[3]

The song was commissioned by Blur's American record label, SBK Records, to increase the album's appeal for the American market.[4] The first version shown to SBK was a demo produced by the band. It was then re-recorded in a version produced by Stephen Street. This version was used for the UK version of the album but SBK preferred the demo which was 'reworked' by producers Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley and used for the US album. Although originally never labelled as such (with only the producer credits on the sleeves and labels showing which version is used), this version is now known as "Chemical World (Reworked)" which is how it appeared since the 1999 singles box set.

The music video shows the band in a grassy field surrounded by wildlife. On Beavis and Butt-head, when the video was reviewed, Beavis said that he wanted to urinate all over the band and the wildlife, including a snail and Damon Albarn.

"Chemical World" did not appear on the 2000 greatest hits compilation Blur: The Best Of but was included on the 2009 compilation Midlife: A Beginner's Guide to Blur.

Track listings

All music composed by Albarn, Coxon, James and Rowntree. All lyrics composed by Albarn; except where noted.


  • "Chemical World" and "Young & Lovely" produced by Stephen Street
  • "Es Schmecht" produced by Blur
  • "My Ark" produced by Blur and John Smith
  • "Maggie May" produced by Steve Lovell
  • "Chemical World" (Reworked) produced by Blur, Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley
  • Damon Albarn: Lead Vocals
  • Graham Coxon: Guitar, Backing Vocals
  • Alex James: Bass Guitar
  • Dave Rowntree: Drums


Charts (1993) Peak
UK Singles Chart[2] 28
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[3] 27


  1. Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Modern Life Is Rubbish". AllMusic.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "BLUR | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 6 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Blur - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Cavanagh, David; Stuart Maconie (July–August 1995). "How did they do that?". Select. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links