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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - British band Blur will release its first single for seven years later this month, although only 1,000 copies of the limited edition vinyl record will go on sale, NME music magazine reported on Friday.
The two songs, recorded two weeks ago, follow the band's reunion shows last summer and are part of an initiative to support Record Store Day on April 17.
The annual event is designed to highlight the plight of independent record stores which have struggled to survive in the digital download age.
"We want independent record stores to continue, they're an important part of our musical culture," said Blur frontman Damon Albarn. "Music is a simple way for Blur to show our support and we hope people like it."
The release is likely to heighten expectations of a full Blur reunion. Last summer the popular group played major shows at London's Hyde Park and the Glastonbury and T in the Park festivals.
The new Blur release is part of a series of limited edition seven-inch singles being released by the band's label to mark the day, with The Beatles and Lily Allen also among EMI's releases limited to 1,000 copies each.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato