Our Top 10 Gorillaz Songs list takes a look at one of music’s most unique bands. Gorillaz is a British virtual band who got their start in 1998. Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett created the band. The band consists of four animated band members. The characters names are 2-D, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle and Russel Hobbs. Albarn is the only permanent contributor to the band. Their music usually features collaborators from different genres of music. Remi Kabaka Jr.was the producer of the band. He became the producer after providing the voice of Hobbs. The non-virtual members of the band are Albarn, Hewlett and Kabaka. 2-D, Niccals, Hobbs and Noodle were the virtual members of the band.
Let’s take a look at the band’s discography. They released their self-titled album in 2003. The album peaked at number three in the U.K. and number 14 in the U.S. They earned a spot in The Guinness Book of World Records for the most successful virtual band. It features the singles “Clint Eastwood,” “19-2000,” “Rock The House” and “Tomorrow Comes Today.” The album sold over seven million copies.
They released their second album Demon Days in 2005. The album peaked at number one in the U.K. and number six in the U.S. This album went on to outsell their debut album. This album has guest appearances. De La Soul, Neneh Cherry, Ike Turner, Pharcyde, Dennis Hopper, as well as others appear on the album. It features the singles “Feel Good Inc.,” “Dare,” “Dirty Harry” and “Kids with Guns.” This album left an impression in alternative music. It is considered a classic album. The album sold over eight million copies.
They released their third album Plastic Beach in 2010. This album features guest artists. Snoop Dogg, De La Soul, Bobby Womack, Mos Def, Little Dragon, as well as others appear on the album. The album received mostly positive reviews. The album was number two on both U.K. and the U.S. charts. It features the singles “Stylo,” “Superfast Jellyfish” and “On Melancholy Hill.” The album sold over 500,000 copies.
They released their fourth album The Fall in 2011. There weren’t as many guest vocalists on this album. Bobby Womack and members of The Clash appear on this album. It peaked at number 24 on the Billboard 200. It features the single “Revolving Doors.” This album didn’t do as well as their previous albums.
After the release of their fourth album, there were rumors that there was tension within the band. Albarn said they weren’t going to release new music because Hewlett wasn’t happy with his animation. He wasn’t happy that his animation wasn’t as important to the band anymore. Unlike Albarn, Hewlett thought the band had a future. Hewlett thought the band was expensive and complicated too produce. Albarn released solo projects before the band got back together.
Their fifth album Humanz came out in 2017. This album features guest vocalists Mavis Staples, Grace Jones, Jehnny Beth, Anthony Hamilton, Pusha T, as well as other artists appeared on the album. The album peaked at number two on both the U.K. And U.S. charts. It sold over 140,000 copies in its first week. It features the singles “Saturnz Barz,” “We Got the Power,” “Ascension,” “Andromeda,” “Let Me Out,” “The Apprentice,” “Strobe Lite” and “Garage Palace.”
Their sixth album The Now Now came out in 2019. It received positive reviews. The album peaked at number five in the U.K. and number four in the U.S. Snoop Dogg appears on this album. It features the singles “Humility,” “Lake Zurich,” “Sourcererz,” “Fire Flies,” “Hollywood” and “Tranz.”
They released their seventh album Song Machine, Season 1: Strange Timez in 2020. It is a music based web series. The episodes contain stand-alone singles and their music videos. The album received positive reviews. The album peaked at number 12 on Billboard and number two in the U.K. It features the singles “Momentary Bliss,” “Desole,” “Aries,” “How Far?” “Friday 13th,” “Pac-Man,” “Strange Timez,” “The Pink Phantom” and “The Valley of the Pagans.”
Gorillaz are a unique and creative band. They released songs that are different from other bands. Their creativity is what helped them become successful artists. They have won numerous awards throughout their career. This Top 10 Gorillaz Songs list will feature their hit songs.
# 10 – Dare
The first song on our Top 10 Gorillaz Songs list is “Dare” from their Demon Days album. It has a disco, funk, hip hop and electro pop sound. This is an infectious song about freestyling. They didn’t want to write depressing songs so they came up with this fun song to make you move. The song is catchy and danceable. The music is a mixture of different genres so it has a little bit of something for everyone. The music is very synth heavy. It also features party noises. This is the song that introduced Gorillaz’s fans to Noodle. Noodle aka Roses Gabor has a unique voice. She doesn’t sound like any other female vocalist. Her vocals blend well with the music. Shaun Ryder and 2D aka Damon Albarn provide the backing vocals in the song. They do a great job supporting her in the background. This song is underrated and should have been a bigger hit in the U.S.
# 9 – Dirty Harry ft. Bootie Brown
The next song on our Top 10 Gorillaz Songs list is “Dirty Harry” which is also from their Demon Days album. This song has a funk and hip hop sound. This is a thematic sequel to their hit song “Clint Eastwood.” This is a social song about what is going on during the war. The song is designed to make you think about what’s going on and how it is affects the youth. The band included children in the chorus. The music breaks down in the bridge allowing you to dance to the funky and groovy beat. Bootie Brown makes a guest appearance in the song. He sounds very passionate as he is rapping about the war. The song has a deep message about what is going on today. The song was done over 15 years ago, but it is still relevant today.
# 8 – We Got The Power ft. Jehnny Beth
This mysterious song is from their Humanz album. This song has a rock, punk, pop and new wave sound. This is a powerful and moving song about having the power to get rid of hate. The message in the song tells us to love one another. It’s easy not to take this message seriously because they use animation for their videos. It you listen to the song, you will get the deep message behind it. Here is some trivia about the song. Albarn had a rivalry with Noel Gallagher in the past. Gallagher is singing in the background of this track so it’s strange to know that they didn’t get along in the past. Albarn and Jehnny Beth sing lead on this song. Their voices blend well together. They also blend well with music. The music is bouncy and energetic considering the theme of the song. Gallagher uses AutoTune, but it doesn’t hurt the song. It actually goes with the song.
# 7 – Rhinestone Eyes
The eerily creepy “Rhinestone Eyes” is from the Plastic Beach album. This song has an electro funk sound. This is a dark song about the band reuniting on Plastic Beach. They are telling a story about what happened while they were deserted together. The lyrics of the song are different, but the song is still catchy. It doesn’t feature a standout chorus. It’s just verses. The music is rhythmic. It has a thumping synthetic keyboard. Albarn’s deadpan delivery is perfect for the song. He is hard to understand without looking at the lyrics. Despite that, it doesn’t change how good this song is. Noodle provides the backing vocals, which makes the song stand out even more than it already did. Fans of the group wouldn’t be disappointed by this dark melody.
# 6 – Humility ft. George Benson
This breezy song is from The Now Now album. The song has a reggae, rock, punk and jazz sound. This is an anthemic song about escaping loneliness and being in isolation. This song is perfect for anyone who is feeling lonely and isolated. This music is slow and melodic. You can move around to it in your seat. The music is breezy and light and something you would expect to hear in the summertime while you are relaxing. The music kept the lyrics from sound depressing. George Benson’s guitar has a euphoric sound. Albarn plays the synths with subtlety without being overbearing. Gorillaz and George Benson are an unlikely pairing, but they worked well together. Albarn takes the lead on the vocals while Benson provides backing vocals. This decision gave the song a funky sound.
# 5 – 19-2000
The next song on our Top 10 Gorillaz Songs list is the playful “19-2000” from their self-titled album. This song has a funk sound. This is a quirky song about taking the time to stop and smell the roses. The band wants you to take the time to appreciate life. The music is simple and infectious. It features overlapping melodies throughout the song, which aren’t all necessary, but it doesn’t take away from the amazing song. The song has limited lyrics. There are long musical pauses that will give you a chance to enjoy the music. Albarn sings in time with the music. Noodle is also providing vocals in the song. She does a good job with her vocals. She’s not in the song that much, but she makes a good impression during the time that she’s in the song.
# 4 – Stylo ft. Bobby Womack and Mos Def
This offbeat song is from the Plastic Beach album. This song has a funk, pop, hip hop and rock sound. This is a metaphoric song about racing to freedom through technology. This song is mostly instrumental until Bobby Womack gets in it. The music has a bass heavy electro beat. The synths are flowing throughout the track. It sounds like a futuristic song. Albarn takes a backseat in this song. Bobby Womack sings the majority of the lyrics. Bobby Womack’s soulful vocals give the song its funky edge. He surprisingly sounds right at home with the music.
Mos Def appears at the end of the song. He has a blink and miss it role in the song. Here is some trivia about the song. Gorillaz and Bobby Womack weren’t sure about the collaboration. They weren’t sure if it was going to work. Bobby Womack’s granddaughter convinced him to do the song. He did it because she thought the band was cool. It’s a good thing they went through with the collaboration because it was a hit song for them.
# 3 – Don’t Get Lost in Heaven
This psychedelic song is from the Demon Days album. It has a dance, funk and soul sound. This is an anti-religious fictional story about someone living in a bad neighborhood and getting hooked on drugs. He turned to drugs because he felt as if God didn’t help him. This isn’t a subject singers usually tackle. The music hooks you as soon as the synthesizer begins. The music has an old school sound to it. It is sad and melancholy to match the subject of the track. Albarn’s vocals are somber which also matches the theme of the song. The music towards the drowns him out, but you can convey the message of the song. A choir does the backing vocals, which is ironic since it’s an anti-religious song. They blend well together in the background.
# 2 – Clint Eastwood ft. Del the Funky Homosapien
This conscious song is from their self-titled album. This song has a hip hop, rock and dance sound. This is an ominous song about drugs and your mental health. Here is some trivia about the song. The song isn’t about the actor. They used his name because the song samples his movie The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. This music is haunting. It will have you bopping your head to the beat. It has a catchy beat and moving synths that’s guaranteed to get you moving. The hook of the song is like an earworm because it will be stuck in your head all day. Albarn uses his signature deadpan vocals in the song, which works for the theme of the song. Albarn sings his verses about drug use while Del the Funky Homosapien raps about being trapped in a warped reality. This is a perfect song for such a unique band.
# 1 – Feel Good Inc. ft. De La Soul
The number one song on our Top 10 Gorillaz Songs list is the deep “Feel Good Inc.” from their Demon Days album. This song has a rock, hip hop and funk sound. This is a cryptic song about people pretending to be happy when they are not. Most people can relate to this emotional message because they have been in similar situations where they had to pretend to be happy when they aren’t. The melody is infectious because of the incredible bassline. The guitar riffs will send chills up your spine. The hook is great and goes through beat changes. It switches between club and acoustic. Albarn sings lead on this track. He uses his signature vocals throughout the song. De La Soul raps in time with the music. He does a great job rhyming in the song. It does have laughter in the background that could have been omitted, but the song is amazing. It’s no surprise that this is their biggest hit single.
Top 10 Gorillaz Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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