After 20 years away, Blur is back on Billboard’s Alternative Airplay chart.

“The Narcissist,” the lead single from the Damon Albarn-led band’s upcoming album The Ballad of Darren, debuts at No. 37 on the list dated June 10.

The band last made the chart in 2003, when “Crazy Beat” peaked at No. 22 that April. The song was last on the chart dated May 24, 2003.

The 20-year, two-week break between Alternative Airplay chart appearances for Blur marks the longest for any band in the tally’s nearly 35-year history. It surpasses the 13 years, five months and three weeks between visits by Sublime (“Doin’ Time” in December 1997 and “Panic,” credited to Sublime With Rome, in May 2011).

The all-time longest respite between charted songs on Alternative Airplay belongs to Debbie Harry, whose “Kiss It Better” wrapped its run in January 1990, followed by the Blondie frontwoman’s featured credit on Just Loud’s “Soul Train” in December 2018 – nearly 29 years later.

As Harry’s record ties into a featured credit, the longest break for an act credited as the lead artist on both bookending songs is Kate Bush, who went over 28 years between January 1994 (“Rubberband Girl”) and “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” in June 2022, the latter due to its resurgence sparked by its synch in Netflix’s Stranger Things.

Back to Blur, “The Narcissist” is the band’s sixth appearance on the ranking. Three have reached the top 10, led by “Girls & Boys” at No. 4 in July 1994.

In between 2003’s Think Tank, on which “Crazy Beat” is included, and this year’s The Ballad of Darren, Blur released one album: 2015’s The Magic Whip, which hit No. 2 on the Top Alternative Albums chart.

Albarn has made Alternative Airplay eight times in the meantime as part of Gorillaz. In fact, Albarn appears on the latest list twice, as Gorillaz’s “New Gold,” featuring Tame Impala and Bootie Brown, ranks at No. 15.

Concurrently, “The Narcissist” bows at No. 29 on Adult Alternative Airplay, marking Blur’s first appearance on the tally, which began in 1996.

On the all-rock-format, audience-based Rock & Alternative Airplay chart, “The Narcissist” premieres at No. 39 with 711,000 equivalent album units earned, according to Luminate.

Blur’s The Ballad of Darren is set for release July 21.





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