Gorillaz is the debut album by the British band Gorillaz, released in March 2001. It includes the singles "Clint Eastwood", "19-2000", "Rock the House" and "Tomorrow Comes Today". The album reached #3 in the UK, and was an unexpected hit in the U.S., hitting #14 and selling over ten million copies worldwide.
Throughout the album the band experiments with many combinations of genres, including hip-hop, rock, Latin, punk, dub, acid, and reggae. Gorillaz was released as an Enhanced CD that included screen savers, wallpaper and an autoplay featuring short movie which opened the user's internet browser to a special section of the Gorillaz website, http which is no longer active.
In 2004, the album was packaged with 2002's Laika Come Home in a limited edition box set as part of EMI's "2CD Originals" collection. The beginning of the song "M1 A1" features a successive sound clip from the movie Day of the Dead. The song "Slow Country" features a sample from The Specials' 1981 single "Ghost Town". A sampled loop from "In the Hall of the Mountain Queen" by Raymond Scott is repeated throughout the song "Man Research (Clapper)". The song's title is a nod to Raymond Scott's Manhattan Research. It was recently revealed that the Gorillaz' track Starshine has an alternate version which features Luton-based rap group Phi Life Cypher, this particular version is not available on any releases but it is available on the Phi Life Cypher SoundCloud channel & also on the video-sharing website YouTube.
*Rolling Stone (21 June 2001, p. 78) – 3 stars out of 5 – "A playful piece of genre-squishing art pop. Inspired by the punky reggae parties of Sandinista!-era Clash....running with anything-goes avant-aesthetic."
*Spin (1/02, p. 76) – Ranked #6 in Spin's "Albums of the Year 2001."
*Spin (6/01, p. 148) – 7 out of 10 – "A multiculti grasp of the sweetest kind....Easy on the ears because they know the difference between calling people up and casting them."
*Q magazine (5/01, p. 115) – 4 stars out of 5 – "With its creepily urban feel, and innocent, nursery-rhyme quality of the melodies, Gorillaz couldn't be further from a self-consciously arch 'art' supergroup."
*Alternative Press (2/02, p. 65) – Ranked #15 in AP's "25 Best Albums of 2001".
*Alternative Press (7/01, p. 68) – 8 out of 10 – "Brilliant"
*Magnet (6-7/01, pp. 89–90) – "Nothing short of sheer musical buggery."
*Muzik (5/01, p. 66) – 5 out of 5 – "Genre-splicing, sample-collaging, spliffed-out hip hop...standing head and shoulders over anything Blur have ever achieved...and even overshadows much of Dan The Automator's recent output."
*Mojo (4/01, p. 98) – "A funky...meld of dub, reggae, hip hop, world music, pop and thrash punk....Electric, upbeat, and actually very good."
*NME ( 29 December 2001, p. 59) – Ranked #48 in NMEs 50 "Albums of the Year 2001".
*Included in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
*Gorillaz was placed on Slant Magazine's list of best albums of the 2000s at number 96.
Singles and EPs
*Tomorrow Comes Today (EP) released before the album was released, a promo video was also released.
*"Clint Eastwood" was the first single from the album. It was released on 4 March 2001, just a few weeks before the album and peaked at #4 in the UK Single Charts, #57 in the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 in the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks.
*"19-2000" was the second single, released in June 2001. Peaked at #6 in the UK Single Charts and #23 in Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks.
*"Rock the House" was the third single, released in October 2001. Peaked at #18 in the UK Single Charts.
*"Tomorrow Comes Today" was the fourth and final single from the album, released almost a year after the album, in February 2002. It peaked at #33 in the UK Single Charts. A DVD, a white-label and a CD single were released. Prior to the release of Gorillaz, "Tomorrow Comes Today" had been released as an EP on 27 November 2000.
*As stated in Gorillaz: Rise of the Ogre, "5/4" was repeatedly considered for a single and video, but was edged out by "19-2000" and "Rock the House".
*"2D" (voiced by Damon Albarn) – lead vocals, keyboards, piano
*"Noodle" (voiced by Miho Hatori and Tina Weymouth) – guitar, backing vocals
*"Murdoc" (voiced by Phil Cornwell (on occasions only)) – bass guitar
*"Russel" – drums, percussion
*"Del the Ghost Rapper" (voiced by Del tha Funkee Homosapien) – raps
*Damon Albarn – vocals
*Del tha Funkee Homosapien – guest vocals on "Clint Eastwood" and "Rock the House"
*Ibrahim Ferrer – guest vocals on "Latin Simone (Que pasa contigo)"
*Miho Hatori – Backing Vocals, guitar
ReferencesThis text has been derived from Gorillaz (album) on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
Gorillaz is a musical project created in 1998 by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. This project consists of the Gorillaz music itself and an extensive fictional universe depicting a "virtual band" of cartoon characters. This band is composed of four animated members: 2D (lead vocalist, keyboard), Murdoc Niccals (bass guitar), Noodle (guitar, keyboard, and occasional vocals) and Russel Hobbs (drums and percussion). Their fictional universe is explored through the band's website and music videos, as well as a number of other media. The music is a collaboration between various musicians, Albarn being the only permanent musical contributor. Their style is a composition of multiple musical genres, with a large number of influences including: dub, hip hop, alternative rock, electronic and pop music.
The band's 2001 debut album Gorillaz sold over seven million copies and earned them an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Most Successful Virtual Band. It was nominated for the Mercury Prize 2001, but the nomination was later withdrawn at the band's request. Their second studio album, Demon Days, released in 2005, went five times platinum in the UK, double platinum in the United States, earned five Grammy Award nominations for 2006 and won one of them in the Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals category. Gorillaz have also released two B-sides compilations and a remix album. The combined sales of Gorillaz and Demon Days had, by 2007, exceeded 20 million albums. The band's third studio album, Plastic Beach, was released in March 2010. Their latest album, The Fall, was released in December 2010.
Early years (1998–1999)
Damon Albarn - Roskilde Festival 2010.jpgthumbGorillaz co-creator Damon Albarn, 2010
Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett created Gorillaz in 1998 when they were living together in a flat on Westbourne Grove. The idea to create the band came about when the two were watching MTV, "if you watch MTV for too long, it's a bit like hell – there's nothing of substance there. So we got this idea for a cartoon band, something that would be a comment on that," Hewlett said. The band originally identified themselves as "Gorilla", and the first song they recorded was "Ghost Train", later released as a B-side on their single "Rock the House" and the B-side compilation G Sides. The trio of musicians behind Gorillaz' first incarnation included Damon Albarn, Del the Funkee Homosapien and Dan the Automator, who had previously worked together on the track "Time Keeps on Slipping" for Deltron 3030's eponymous debut album. The song can be seen as the genesis of the musical style that continued into Gorillaz' first album.
Phase One: Celebrity Takedown (2000–2003)
The band's first release was the EP Tomorrow Comes Today, released in 2000.
The band's first single, "Clint Eastwood", was released on 5 March 2001. It was produced by Hip-Hop producer Dan the Automator and originally featured Luton-based rap group Phi Life Cypher, however the version that appears on the album features American rapper Del tha Funkee Homosapien known on the album as Del tha' Ghost Rapper who is a spirit in the band's drummer Russel Hobbs, however the Phi Life Cypher version of Clint Eastwood appears on the B-Side album G-Sides, the Live performance has seen the likes of Snoop Dogg, Phi Life Cypher, Eslam Jawaad, Bashy & Kano perform the rap in the absence of Del. Later that same month, their first full-length album, the self-titled Gorillaz, was released, producing four singles: "Clint Eastwood", "19-2000", "Tomorrow Comes Today", and "Rock the House". "19-2000 (Soulchild Remix)" became popular after being featured in both an Ice Breakers commercial, as well as in EA Sports' FIFA Football 2002. Around this time, a half-hour TV mockumentary entitled Charts of Darkness was released. It follows Channel 4 news reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy attempting to track down Albarn and Hewlett after they were placed in an insane asylum.
The end of the year brought the song "911", a collaboration between Gorillaz and rap artists D12 (without Eminem) and Terry Hall about the 11 September attacks. Meanwhile G Sides, a compilation of the B-sides from the Tomorrow Comes Today EP and first three singles, was released in Japan on 12 December 2001 and quickly followed with international releases in early 2002. The new year also saw the band perform at the 2002 BRIT Awards, appearing in 3D animation on four large screens along with rap accompaniment by Phi Life Cypher. The band was nominated for six awards at the event, including Best British Group, Best British Album and Best British Newcomer, but left the award show empty-handed. Finally, Laika Come Home, a dub remix album, containing most of the tracks from Gorillaz reworked by Spacemonkeyz, was released in June 2002. The single to follow, "Lil' Dub Chefin'", contained an original track by the Spacemonkeyz titled "Spacemonkeyz Theme".
In November 2002, a DVD titled Phase One: Celebrity Take Down was released. The DVD contains the four Phase One promos, the abandoned video for "5/4", the Charts of Darkness documentary, the five Gorilla Bitez (short vignettes), a tour of the website by the MEL 9000 server and more. The DVD's menu was designed much like the band's website and depicts an abandoned Kong Studios.
Rumors were circulating at this time that the Gorillaz team were busy preparing a film, but at an EMI interview, they later revealed that plans for the film were abandoned. Haruka Kuroda, who voices the character Noodle, told the fan website Gorillaz-Unofficial that Jamie Hewlett rejected many scripts before giving up on the film. Hewlett later explained why the film was abandoned, "We lost all interest in doing it as soon as we started meeting with studios and talking to these Hollywood executive types, we just weren't on the same page. We said, fuck it, we'll sit on the idea until we can do it ourselves, and maybe even raise the money ourselves."
Phase Two: Slowboat to Hades (2004–2007)
On 8 December 2004, the band's website reopened with an exclusive video entitled "Rock It". Along with the music video, there was an announcement of a new album on the way, which would be produced by Danger Mouse. A talent contest entitled Search for a Star was also launched on 15 December 2004, allowing fans to send in a minute-long clip of video or audio or an image file. A viral marketing project named Reject False Icons was formed criticising modern pop figures.
The first single from the album was "Feel Good Inc.", released as an EP in Japan and as a CD single in Europe and Australia. The single entered the UK Singles Chart at #22, several weeks before the CD single was released due to the single being released as a 7" vinyl in April, and new charts regulations included sales at online music stores, where the song had been available since 22 March. "Feel Good Inc." managed to reach #2 in the UK Singles Chart the week it was released, being the band's highest ever positioned single up to that point in time. The single stayed in the top ten for eight consecutive weeks. In the United States, it peaked at #14. The song also garnered a Record of the Year nomination for the 2006 Grammy Awards later that year. It was later included in the popular PlayStation 2 title SingStar, a game where players attempt to sing along karaoke style. It was also recently included on Activision´s Guitar Hero 5 and was released as downloadable content on Harmonix and MTV Games' Rock Band.
The album Demon Days was released on 11 May 2005 in Japan, 23 May in the United Kingdom and Australia, and on 24 May in the United States. The album debuted at #1 on the UK Albums Chart, but fell as low as #29 in just seven weeks. However, as the music video for the second single "DARE" started getting played on MTV and other music channels, Demon Days rose up to the top 10 again. "DARE" was released on 29 August 2005 in the UK, where it debuted at #1. A Japanese EP followed on 7 September. "DARE" eventually reached #87 in the United States, also becoming a Top 10 hit on the Modern Rock listings. Shortly afterwards, Gorillaz contributed an exclusive track entitled "Hong Kong" to the charity compilation Help!: A Day in the Life released on 10 September 2005.
The third single off Demon Days was "Dirty Harry", which had already been released as a promotional single earlier that year. It was released in the United Kingdom on 21 November 2005. On its first week, it charted at #6. The release of the single raised the album once again back up to the top 10. The fourth and final single was the double A-side, "Kids with Guns"/"El Mañana". It was released in the UK on 10 April 2006. Unlike its Top 10 predecessors, "Kids With Guns" / "El Mañana" reached #27 upon its release in the UK. A week later, the single had fallen out of the Top 40 in the UK (see 2006 in British music). By the end of 2005, Demon Days had sold over a million copies in the UK, making it the UK's fifth best selling album of 2005. Demon Days has since gone five times platinum in the UK, double platinum in the United States, triple platinum in Australia and has sold over 6 million copies worldwide.
De La Soul Demon Days Live.jpgthumbDe La Soul performing "Feel Good Inc." with the Gorillaz at the Demon Days Live concert in Manchester.
Plans were unveiled for Gorillaz to go on a holographic world tour in 2007 and 2008. The cartoon members would be shown as holograms on stage using Musion Eyeliner technology, giving them a life-like appearance on stage. The holograms were first used at the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards on 3 November 2005 and again at the 2006 Grammy Awards on 8 February 2006 with the addition of a virtual Madonna, where the band played a pre-recorded version of "Feel Good Inc." However, the tour was eventually called off due to budget issues. Jamie Hewlett has stated that "...it was extremely expensive, extremely difficult, a million and one things can go wrong, every second that the thing's playing."
In 2005, a set of Gorillaz figures were released by Kidrobot to coincide with the release of Demon Days. Two variations of the set were released, known as the Red and Black editions, and a limited edition Noodle from the music video for "DARE" was also released. Three new sets of Gorillaz vinyl figures were released in 2006. The Basic set was released on 16 October 2006 and the 2-tone and White edition sets were released on 2 November 2006.
On 21 September 2006, the main lobby of Kong Studios was destroyed by Murdoc for the money he had invested in it, as revealed in the game Escape to Plastic Beach. and a teaser clip for Slowboat to Hades appeared and could be played on a TV screen. The Phase Two: Slowboat to Hades DVD was released on 30 October in the United Kingdom, and 31 October in the United States. The official Gorillaz illustrated autobiography, titled Rise of the Ogre, was released on 31 October 2006 in the United Kingdom, and 2 November in the United States. D-Sides, a compilation of B-side and remixes, was released on 19 November 2007 in the UK and on 20 November 2007 in the US.
Hopes for a Gorillaz film were revived in 2006 when Hewlett stated that they would be producing the film on their own. American film producer and Weinstein Company co-chairman, Harvey Weinstein, was also said to be collaborating with Albarn and Hewlett. In a September 2006 interview with Uncut magazine, Albarn was reported saying " has been a fantastic journey which isn't over, because we're making a film. We've got Terry Gilliam involved. But as far as being in a big band and putting pop music out there, it's finished. We won't be doing that any more." In an interview with the Gorillaz-Unofficial fansite, Jamie Hewlett and Cass Browne revealed that in the film the band members will act as other characters presenting a new story, instead of playing themselves. Hewlett also said that the film's soundtrack will be the next Gorillaz album. "The soundtrack will be the third album. Damon will do the soundtrack, which will be the soundtrack, which will be the third album." As of April 2007, Cass Browne is still finishing the script and Albarn has said that he hopes production of the film will begin in September 2007. No further news was heard about the film until February 2008 when, in an interview with Gorillaz-Unofficial, Hewlett said "Ultimately we didn't think that feel we're in a position to make the kind of movie we want to make with Gorillaz at the moment. But I'd still like to make a full, lavishly-animated Gorillaz movie someday."
On 24 October 2007, the official Gorillaz fansite announced that a documentary film about the Gorillaz, titled Bananaz, would be released. The film, directed by Ceri Levy, documents the previous seven years of the band. The film was released online on the Babelgum website on 20 April 2009 followed by the DVD release on 1 June 2009. Gorillaz also appeared on the Martina Topley-Bird song Soldier Boy along with rapper Roots Manuva, the song interpolates certain elements from the Gorillaz demo "Snakes & Ladders" which also features Roots Manuva & Martina Topley-Bird.
Phase Three: Escape to Plastic Beach (2007–present)
In late 2007, Albarn and Hewlett began working on Carousel, a new Gorillaz project which eventually evolved into the band's third studio album Plastic Beach.
Albarn said "I'm making this the biggest and most pop record I've ever made in many ways, but with all my experience to try and at least present something that has got depth." The album features guest performances by Snoop Dogg, Lou Reed, Mos Def, Bobby Womack, Gruff Rhys, Mark E. Smith, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Kano, Bashy, De La Soul, Little Dragon, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, sinfonia ViVA, and The Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music.
On 18 January 2010, it was announced that Gorillaz would be headlining the final night of the Coachella music festival on 18 April 2010.
The first single from the album, "Stylo", featuring Bobby Womack and Mos Def was made available for download 26 January 2010. Further singles from the album include "On Melancholy Hill", "Superfast Jellyfish" and "Rhinestone Eyes", as well as "White Flag", which was released exclusively for Record Store Day 2010.
Plastic Beach was first released on 3 March 2010 in Japan, followed by multiple other dates for other countries. The album received positive reviews from critics. To fit the Plastic Beach theme, the Gorillaz website was dramatically altered and changed. A virtual tour of the Plastic Beach was added, including a new Gorillaz game titled 'Escape to the Plastic Beach'. Several 'Shorts' of each band member was included in the follow-up to the albums release, to give fans an understanding of the fictional band members' story before their arrival to the island. A Windows 7 theme was also released. An international tour was announced in mid-2010 to promote the album, however it was only in the UK and Ireland. Later, in early July 2010, they announced their first world tour, titled the "Escape to Plastic Beach World Tour." The UK tour was merged with the world tour, and the UK dates were cancelled or rescheduled to fit the new schedule.
On 5 October 2010, Gorillaz announced their new single "Doncamatic" featuring Daley.http It premiered later that same day on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show. The single was released on 22 November 2010.
On 8 December 2010 Albarn confirmed via an interview that a Gorillaz album recorded on the American leg of the Escape to Plastic Beach tour will be released to download for free exclusively to paying fan club members from the Gorillaz website on Christmas Day, 25 December 2010.http
On 15 December 2010, Albarn confirmed whilst interviewed on Triple J that the new album would be titled The Fall as it was recorded on their American tour in October. The official video for "Phoner to Arizona" was also released on Gorillaz' official website for free on December 24, 2010.http It was announced that Gorillaz would be performing on March 16, 2011 at the MTV Woodie awards. They were also been nominated for the Best Video Woodie for "Stylo" at the MTV woodie awards.
Gorillaz is also planning to release a digital single of the tracks "Revolving Doors" and "Amarillo" from their new album The Fall on 14 March 2011.http Photos were released of frontman Damon Albarn & USA rapper Pharrell Williams recording with an iPad, Omnichord & Korg Donca Matic when on Gorillaz' Escape to Plastic Beach World Tour, Albarn said in an interview that he doesn't know when the track will be released.
Fictional band members
* Stuart "2D" Pot – lead vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar (1998–present)
* Murdoc Niccals – bass guitar (1998–present)
* Noodle – lead guitar, backing vocals (2000–2006, 2010–present)
* Russel Hobbs – drums, percussion, DJ (active 1998–2006)
* Cyborg Noodle – lead guitar (2010–present)
* Paula Cracker – lead guitar (1998–2000)
* Del the Ghost Rapper – guest vocals (2001–2003)
In the half-hour TV mockumentary Charts of Darkness, it was explicitly stated that Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett were behind the project. Albarn said "There could be fifty here, but there's two". The first album featured the voice of Miho Hatori of Cibo Matto as Noodle, most notably on the song "19-2000", and Tina Weymouth formerly of Talking Heads. Phil Cornwell provides the voice of Murdoc.
The band's music videos (with the exception of "Rock It" and "Tomorrow Comes Today") are created by Passion Pictures. The live band's current lineup includes half of The Clash (Mick Jones and Paul Simonon).
*Damon Albarn – vocals, keyboards, guitar, bass guitar, melodica (1998–present)
*Jamie Hewlett – illustration, visuals, FX (1998–present)
*Mike Smith – keyboards (1998 – present)
*Cass Browne – drums, percussion (1998 – present)
Live members –
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Apollo Marquee 2006.jpgthumbGorillaz played five sold out shows at the Apollo Theater, New York in April 2006
Between 1 November and 5 November 2005, there was a Gorillaz festival at the Manchester Opera House. The event was filmed by an EMI film crew for a DVD release, Demon Days Live, in late March 2006. It was later announced that an American version of the event would take place from 2 April to 6 April 2006 at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem. Within an hour of release tickets were sold out. The 6 April show was filmed for a live webcast at MSN Video. Palladia (then known as MHD) also broadcasted an Apollo Theater show in HDTV on 31 December 2006.
At the 2006 Grammy Awards, held on 8 February 2006, Gorillaz opened the show using the same transparent 2-D projection technique sharing the stage with Madonna. Their performance was a mash-up of the Gorillaz' "Feel Good Inc." and Madonna's "Hung Up". A week later, on 15 February 2006, Gorillaz performed their song "Dirty Harry" at the 2006 BRIT Awards, with Bootie Brown and the Children's Choir San Fernandez. This concert had giant versions of the video clips on large screens, with Bootie Brown and the Children's Choir San Fernandez to either side of the screens. A similar, but not completely identical, version of this performance was shown on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and the video was projected at the 2006 Designer of the Year Award exhibition, which Jamie Hewlett later won.
A world tour was planned using the hologram technology described above. However, due to extreme costs and fine technical difficulties, the tour was cancelled. Gorillaz headlined the final night of the Coachella music festival on 18 April 2010, performing to one of the largest crowds in Coachella history of over 70,000 people strong. On 27 April they were the main guests on Later... with Jools Holland (aired on 30 April). In addition, Gorillaz played a short run of intimate UK rehearsal gigs exclusively for G-Club members, before taking up a two-night residency at London's Camden Roundhouse (29 and 30 April 2010). Mick Jones and Paul Simonon of The Clash performed guitar and bass respectively with the band and more than once in the evening chords from The Clash song "Guns of Brixton" were heard as a subtle reference to their presence.Télémoustique 5/5/2010, page 59, Roundhouse concert review by Luc Lorfèvre These will both feature the full Gorillaz production, including video animation, artwork and film. On 22 March they were announced for Roskilde Festival. On 22 April, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett appeared on The Colbert Report for an interview as Gorillaz. They performed "Stylo" without animation of the members with special guests including Bobby Womack, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon, and with a backdrop featuring the animated music video.
Gorillaz took the Friday night Pyramid stage slot at the Glastonbury Festival on 25 June 2010, U2 having been forced to pull out. Damon Albarn became the first performer to headline Glastonbury two years in succession. Guest singers included De La Soul, Bobby Womack, Mark E Smith, Shaun Ryder, Snoop Dogg and a special appearance by Lou Reed.
Gorillaz kicked off their first ever world tour on 20 July at Byblos, Lebanon. The tour will then take them across America in October, Europe in November, and finally through Australia, New Zealand, and one date in Asia in December.
In 25 July 2010, Gorillaz performed a concert at the Citadel of Damascus in Syria.
The Escape to Plastic Beach World Tour officially kicked off in Montreal, Canada on 3 October to rave reviews.httphttp
During the Gorillaz show at Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand on 21 December 2010, Damon Albarn announced that it would be their final live show with the Plastic Beach line up.http
* Gorillaz (2001)
* Demon Days (2005)
* Plastic Beach (2010)
* The Fall (2011)
* G-sides (2002)
* Laika come home (2002)
ReferencesThis text has been derived from Gorillaz on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0