17 Years of Gorillaz


Cameron Lamb

On March 26th, 2001, the band known as the Gorillaz released their first album. With their famous smash hit songs, “Feel Good Inc.” and “Clint Eastwood”, you have likely heard of them before. If you don’t know who they are, however, feel free to look them up on YouTube as they have uploaded HD versions of their original music videos so you can get immersed in their world with the art style of Jamie Hewlett and vocal talents of Blur lead singer Damon Albarn.
The now 17-year-old self-titled album in question was released to much critical acclaim. It started a whole new generation of music with its unique style of alternative hip hop. The band isn’t an ordinary band as all the members of the band are completely 2D-animated, making the music videos very distinctive.
The title of their first single and song was Clint Eastwood, named after the popular actor.  It has the band’s lead singer 2D (voiced by Damon Albarn) with a rapper named Del, who raps for the majority of the song. The music video accompanying it is very interesting as it had the band in a graveyard fighting gorillas and Del is a ghost. This may sound absolutely insane hearing it second-hand, but trust me- it is a very great video and a good introduction to the band’s music. The video introduces all of the band members including bass player Murdoc, lead guitarist Noodle, drummer Russel and previously mentioned lead singer 2D.
The style of the first album is known as reverse hip hop. The single was later incorporated into their first self-titled album Gorillaz which had other classics like “2000-19”, “Tomorrow Comes Today”, and “Rock the House”, all with animated music videos of the band. With their first album released, where would they go next?
On May 11th 2005, after releasing a few singles here and there, their most well known and arguably best album Demon Days was released to critical acclaim. It included classics like “Dare”, “Dirty Harry”, “El Mañana (The night)” and their all time classic, “Feel good inc.”, which got number 2 on the British charts and the top 40 on American charts in 2005- the highest ratings they’ve ever received. They went on to release other great albums like Plastic Beach (2010), a fan favorite which included the song “Melancholy Hill”, my personal favorite. Humanz (2017), their most recent album, handled some controversial topics like Donald Trump and his presidential promises. While they also did a pet project, The Fall (2011), Demon Days was their crowning achievement, winning many awards, including a Grammy for “Feel Good Inc.” and many other nominations.

None of this would have happened without their first hit album, Gorillaz, which is now 17 years old but still holds up well today. They have even been teasing a new album which is rumored to come out later this year, so now is a great time to get into the band if you haven’t already!