"M.O.R.", from Blur's eponymous 1997 album, mocks the easy tropes of contemporary songwriting and the rolling wheel of entertainment. "Under the pressure/ Gone middle of the road," Damon Albarn sings. Making mainstream music is easy, he seems to suggest: an overburdened iconoclast's last resort. Just so you know that Blur haven't gone the same way on their difficult post-success record, the music is a conceptual continuation of the chord progression that Bowie and Eno threaded through Lodger's "Boys Keep Swinging" and "Fantastic Voyage".
"M.O.R." hit number 15 in the UK singles chart in mid-September, when Elton John's "Candle in the Wind" was in its second week (of five in total) at number one. John had re-recorded (and retooled) his 1973 tribute to Marilyn Monroe to commemorate the death of Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash on August 31, 1997. The song was performed at her funeral, watched live on TV by 19.29m viewers in Britain alone.