Gorillaz (formed 1998) is a music & animation project, created by Damon Albarn of the band Blur and cartoonist Jamie Hewlett, the creator of Tank Girl. In addition to the music itself, Gorillaz also consists of a 'virtual' band of 2-D members, named 2D (vocalist and keyboardist), Murdoc Niccals (bass), Noodle (guitar and vocals) and Russel Hobbs (drums and percussion).
Musically, Albarn is the primary contributor, with a rotating cast of musicians feeding in to the music.
Creation: The Gorillaz project was created in 1998 when Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett shared a flat in Westbourne Grove, London. The first song that they wrote together was 'Ghost Train', which was eventually released as the B-side to 'Rock the House'. The original trio of musicians consisted of Albarn, Dan the Automator and Del the Funkee Homosapien. Albarn and Dan the Automator had previously worked together on Deltron 3030's debut album.
Career: The debut release from Gorillaz was their Tomorrow Comes Today EP, released in 2000. This was followed by the single 'Clint Eastwood', released the following year. In March 2001, Gorillaz's debut, self-titled album was released. The band also created a half-hour mockumentary, entitled Charts of Darkness, which featured Krishnan Guru-Murthy.
Later in 2001, Gorillaz's collaboration with D12 (minus Eminem) and Terry Hall was released. '911' was a track about the September 11th attacks.
At the 2002 BRIT awards, Gorillaz performed via 3D animation, accompanied by Phi Life Cypher. Despite being nominated for six awards, they finished the evening empty-handed.
Laika Come Home, a dub remix album courtesy of Spacemonkeyz, was released in 2002. Later that year, Gorillaz released a DVD entitled Phase One: Celebrity Take Down. It contained the Charts of Darkness mockumentary, as well as the band's promotional videos.
2004 saw Gorillaz release a video entitled 'Rock It', as well as announcing the release of a new album, to be produced by Danger Mouse. The lead single from the album was 'Feel Good Inc.' and the album, Demon Days, was released in May 2005. The album reached number one in the UK and although it began to drop down the charts, the release of the next single, 'DARE', featuring Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays. The third single was 'Dirty Harry' and the last single from Demon Days was 'Kids with Guns' / 'El Manana'.
A planned tour in which 3D holograms of the band would be employed was eventually called off due to the expense. In October 2006, a DVD entitled Phase Two: Slowboat to Hades. A few months later, Gorillaz' illustrated autobiography was released, entitled Rise of the Ogre. Another documentary film about Gorillaz - Bananaz - was released on the Babelgum website in April 2009.
Plastic Beach was the title for Gorillaz's next studio album, which hit the shops in March 2010.The album featured a number of guest performers, including Snoop Dogg, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon of The Clash, De La Soul, Lou Reed, Mark E. Smith and Bobby Womack.
Gorillaz first album saw a concept realised in full, challenged stereotypes and paved the way for more adventurous musical exploration.
Two decades ago the popular musical landscape was changed substantially by a creation that embraced a cohesive fusion between music and virtual reality in a way that had not been explored on such a scale before. With the advent of Gorillaz there was something new, something vital and something to challenge the turgid norm that permeated much of the music scene around the turn of the century. Brit Pop was in the death throws of it's final spluttering breathe, dance music was reaching a point of mild stagnation and Hip-Hop was limping along to the familiar tune of Jay-Z and Naz.
In a near perfect storm of coincidence and creative longing, Blur were also in a state of fluctuating turmoil. There were on-going differences beginning to surface within the band, and tensions were high. Graham Coxon in particular was unhappy with the direction of the band, and it's musical output. This, coupled with a yearning desire to explore wider musical channels, and realise creative goals that were not deemed possible within Blur at the time, gave Damon Albarn the ideal set of circumstances in which he could seize his moment.
Here are the five most anticipated releases for the next month.
It's the final quarter of the year and we are looking at an excellent month of music for October 2020. It's a rich blend of debut releases and albums from more established artists and we know we'll come out of this month with a new contender for album of the year.
LANY - Mama's Boy
LANY - Mama's Boy
Continue reading: Upcoming Releases: What Have We Got To Look Forward To For October 2020?
The second annual event will feature Little Simz, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Erykah Badu.
Following the success of its inaugural year, Gorillaz have announced the line-up for their second annual Demon Dayz festival - and it's definitely set to be another belter. This year, they are taking the fun overseas with another group of fantastic artists from all around the world.
Gorillaz announce Demon Dayz line-up
Gorillaz are bringing their one-day event to Pico Rivera Sports Arena & Grounds in Los Angeles this year, and the line-up features some of the best underground neo-soul, hip hop and R&B acts the world has to offer. The likes of Erykah Badu, the Internet, Ana Tijoux, Tony Allen, Las Cafeteras and Chulita Vinyl Club are all set to perform.
Continue reading: Gorillaz Have Announced The Line-Up For LA's Demon Dayz Festival
'The Now Now' will be released on June 29th, and two new teaser tracks have appeared - 'Humility' and 'Lake Zurich'.
Speaking to Zane Lowe on Beats 1, the former Blur frontman confirmed that Gorillaz’ sixth studio album will be released on June 29th, titled The Now Now. It comes a little over a year after the project’s last record, Humanz, was released to critical acclaim.
Gorillaz, consisting of Albarn and animator Jamie Hewlett, are renowned for using a galaxy of guest stars to bring their studio creations to life, but the sixth album features very few outside collaborators. However, in typical fashion, the few they have chosen are stellar, including hip-hop star Snoop Dogg and legendary American guitarist George Benson.
Continue reading: Gorillaz Confirm New Album 'The Now Now'
So much nostalgic for 2017.
It's been a particularly nostalgic year for music, with all sorts of whispers of future reunions of our favourite bands from the 90s and 00s - plus, there have been a few reunions that have come to fruition with new albums or singles. Here are ten of the most exciting comeback releases:
Liam Gallagher - As You Were
1. Liam Gallagher - As You Were: It wasn't actually that long ago when the former Oasis star released his final album with his band Beady Eye, but his debut solo album 'As You Were' certainly counts as a comeback album given that it's his first musical offering since the group disbanded. And what a comeback it was too! The album reached number one in the UK and even had the highest one-week vinyl sales in two decades.
Outstanding. Spectacular. Gorillaz first tour in nearly seven years was worth the wait. It was a superlative frenzy as Damon Albarn brought his massive musical assemble to Brighton.
With the Humanz tour selling out at the speed of light, so much talk has been about the variety of musicians who had featured over the American and UK tour. From Carly Simon to Noel Gallagher, the tour is a fantastic example of how Albarn has been inviting artists from all genres of music to step in and perform live.
For the Brighton show, fans were treated with two thirds of De La Soul, who enthusiastically came running on stage pumping the crowd for 'Superfast Jellyfish' and 'Feel Good Inc,' though it was the lesser known artists who stood out in this meticulous masterclass of music.
Continue reading: Gorillaz - Brighton Centre 27.11.2017 Live Review
There's a lot going on for this Black Friday event.
Record Store Day is almost upon us which means all kinds of exclusive and unique releases are coming from the likes of Paul McCartney, U2, Gorillaz and many others. It's an annual celebration of indie recordings, and marks an appreciation of the tangible when it comes to musical enjoyment.
Paul McCartney at Desert Trip Festival
Paul McCartney has two 'Holidays Rule' 7-inch singles, both with a new version of 'Wonderful Christmastime' recorded with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, one with Norah Jones' live rendition of 'Peace' recorded at the Sheen Center and the other with 'Jesus Christ' by The Decemberists.
The digital alter-egos of virtual experimental band Gorillaz hit the dancefloor in a live action setting in the video for their new single 'Strobelite', taken from their fifth studio album 'Humanz'. The song features vocals from Illinois musician Peven Everett.
Similar to their 2010 video 'Stylo', the video - directed by Raoul Skinbeck - is a mixture of both live-action and 3D CGI shots. It also features cameos from other Gorillaz collaborators including Vince Staples, Posdnous of De La Soul and Savages' Jehnny Beth.
Gorillaz released 'Humanz' in April 2017 through Parlophone and Warner Bros., with it reaching number 2 in both the UK and the US charts. The group are currently on tour in support of the album, kicking off the North American leg in San Francisco and finishing off at Argentina's Tecnópolis exhibition in December. November will also see them perform across Europe, with one night in Dubai on October 27th.
Famous rocker Steve Earle has calls Noel Gallagher ''the most overrated songwriter ever'' and praised Damon Albarn.
The 'Copperheard Road' hitmaker has slammed the Oasis legend's lyrical ability and thinks his band rocketed to fame in the 1990s because they ''behaved badly'', but hailed fellow British musician Damon Albarn - who sang and penned tracks in rival group Blur - a ''real f**king songwriter''.
He told The Guardian newspaper: ''I dislike Man City because it is Oasis's club. Noel Gallagher is the most overrated songwriter in the whole history of pop music. They were perfect for the Brit press because they behaved badly and got all the attention. Blur were really great. That guy Damon Albarn is a real f**kin' songwriter.''
Continue reading: Steve Earle: Noel Gallagher Is 'most Overrated Songwriter Ever'
The band will broadcast their new festival online.
Tickets may be all sold out for Gorillaz's inaugural Demon Dayz Festival this weekend, but if you missed out you'll still get to have the experience with a live online broadcast of show. In fact, it will be repeated on a loop for 24 hours.
Gorillaz bring Demon Dayz to Dreamland
Gorillaz founders Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett are curating an incredible day of musical fun on Saturday (June 10th 2017) at Kent amusement park Dreamland Margate. Plus, if you haven't managed to bag tickets, you can watch it all live on Red Bull TV for free from 7pm, presented by Julie Adenuga of Beats 1.
Continue reading: Tune In To See Gorillaz Live At Demon Dayz Festival 2017