He's the guitarist of one of London's most delightful Brit-pop bands, and Graham Coxon is the quiet one. As the chief guitarist of Blur, his sheer and jointed guitar riffs made him a distinctive part in leading the four-piece into alternative creative outlets, not to be overshadowed by the popular hysteria painted by the press. Noticeably, Blur went from cockney rebels to experimental intellects throughout their growing roster of material during the mid- to late '90s. Still Coxon wanted to steer into another musical invention. Expectations and personal wishes led him to throw his energy into a solo career. It was a side project of sorts, a loophole for Coxon to streamline his own ideas his own way.
Blur enjoyed mainstream success in America with "Song 2" from their 1997 self-titled release. Coxon's musical influences start to appear during this time, elements of American indie rock (Pavement, Pixies, Sonic Youth) shower through the band's work. It was shortly thereafter that Coxon founded his own label, Transcopic and released The Sky Is Too High in 1998 (the album was released on Caroline stateside). His straight-ahead lo-fi sound and post-punk yearnings were finally captured on a glowing debut, a favorite among the college charts, but still a stifling move for die-hard Blur fans. No one was sure what to make of Coxon's solo motivation. Unfortunately, a year later, it was brushed aside by the release of Blur's sixth album, 13. Coxon remained the quiet one, despite his deepest efforts to make his most artistic side more apparent. But keeping up with the speed of things, Coxon put all things Blur aside to release his second LP, The Golden D, in mid-2000.
Two years later, Coxon shocked Blur fans around the world by announcing his departure from the band. Recording for Think Tank had just gotten underway in Marrakesh, Morocco; however Coxon had already grown distant, personally and creatively, from the rest of the band. In turn, he fell back on his solo career and focused on fatherhood. His fourth album, Kiss of Morning, appeared in October. Two years later, Coxon hooked up with producer Stephen Street for his biggest solo achievement yet. Happiness in Magazines was released in May 2004. Love Travels at Illegal Speeds appeared two years later and was followed in 2009 by The Spinning Top. The guitarist returned in 2012 with the more experimental, Krautrock inspired album, A+E. ~ MacKenzie Wilson, Rovi