Best Known for being the laed Guitarist with 90’s Britpop Band Blur, The English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and painter Graham Coxon, was born on this day 12th March in 1969
He came to prominence as the lead guitarist, backing vocalist and occasional lead vocalist of Britpop band Blur, His artistic and musical contribution is featured on all seven of Blur’s studio albums, from 1991’s Leisure to 2003’s Think Tank. Although credited as a songwriter on most Blur tracks, his most significant lyrical contributions appeared on the hit singles “Tender” and “Coffee & TV”; a number of tracks in the band’s catalogue were also penned mainly by Coxon. The cover of 1999’s 13 was designed by Coxon.In 2002, he left Blur following a bitter dispute with the other members, notably Damon Albarn. As a result, he played guitar and was credited as a songwriter on only the final track for the following year’s Think Tank.
coxon is also a critically acclaimed solo artist, and has recorded seven solo albums. His first, released on his own Transcopic label was The Sky is Too High in 1998, a ramshackle mixture of English folk music and 1960s-style garage rock, influenced by Billy Childish. This was followed by the more extreme The Golden D in 2000 and the thoughtful Dylan-Drakesque Crow Sit on Blood Tree (2001). After going solo full time, he released The Kiss of Morning in 2002. The album proved to be his most accessible to date and was promoted with the single “Escape Song” which proved to be an interesting hybrid of Syd Barrett’s “Octopus” and progressive rock trail-blazers The Nice. In 2004,
Coxon released his fifth solo album Happiness in Magazines, produced by ex-Blur and The Smiths producer Stephen Street. This proved to be his most successful album to date, and he received the NME Award for ‘Best Solo Artist’ in 2005. In March 2006 he released his sixth solo album, called Love Travels at Illegal Speeds, again produced by Stephen Street. It marks Coxon’s first album away from his now-defunct indie label ‘Transcopic’. The LP was preceded by the singles “Standing On My Own Again” on 27 February and “You & I”. Coxon embarked on a tour of the UK, starting at Newcastle University. He also got involved in a single supporting the England national football team at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The song was a re-working of the Sham 69 hit “Hurry Up Harry”, and was released as “Sham 69 and The Special Assembly” (as well as Coxon and Sham 69, Virgin Radio DJ Christian O’Connell, who had run acompetition on his show to find a band to record a song in support of the team, was involved in the recording of the song). “Hurry Up England” entered the UK Singles Chart at #10.
In October 2006, Coxon released a double live album Burnt to Bitz: At the Astoria immediately after his sold-out London Astoria show. The album features 27 songs, with at least one song from each of his albums. In July 2007 Coxon released a single with Paul Weller, called “This Old Town”. The single peaked at #39 in the UK Singles Chart. Coxon’s seventh 15-track studio album titled The Spinning Top, produced again by Stephen Street, was released on 11 May 2009. Coxon says the LP, which is primarily acoustic, follows a narrative – the story of a man from birth to death. “The album is mainly an acoustic journey although there is, of course, some explosive electric guitar action,” he explained. “There are some guests too! Robyn Hitchcock supplies some counter-attack guitar, Jas Singh plays dilruba and jori with his friends Gurjit Sembhi on taus and Jaskase Singh on esraj. Danny Thompson plays the legendary Victoria, Graham Fox gives plenty of swing on the drums and sizzle cymbals and Louis Vause tinkles the ivories.” Pre-release response has been very positive, with Monday Field of Frank Booth Review dubbing the album “a staggering artistic achievement, and Coxon’s best solo release to date. His next solo album entitled A+E comes out on 2nd April 2012.
In September 2007, Graham Coxon rejoined the band and in late 2008 Damon Albarn announced that the band would reunite 2009 for a number of shows. They are also doing a number of shows during 2012 including a “Best of British” concert at this years Olympic Closing ceremony. Coxon is capable of playing several other instruments, besides guitar, and is famous for recording his albums single-handedly, without much help from session musicians. An innovative lead guitarist, other notable British guitarists such as Jonny Greenwood and Noel Gallagher have lauded Coxon’s musicality and talent, with the latter calling him “the most gifted guitarist of his generation.” He was voted the 15th greatest guitarist of the last 30 years in a national 2010 BBC poll.