It’s been a while since we heard a peep from the world’s greatest band, (at least they are in my mind), the cartoon quartet composed of Murdoc Niccols, Noodle, 2D and Russell Hobbs, also known as the Gorillaz.
Formed in 2000 by Damon Albarn (Blur) and illustrator Jamie Hewett, there have been several regulars in the band over the years, beginning from Tomorrow Comes Today EP contributors Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and Dan the Automator. After the release of this first EP, they captivated radio waves with their first full length Gorillaz, which included mega hit “Clint Eastwood,” peaking at Number 4 in the UK. Over the years, the Gorillaz have counted Snoop Dogg, De La Soul, Lou Reed, Danger Mouse, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, Bobby Womack, and many others as notable collaborators.
The Gorillaz represent the best in 21st century music: a collaborative bent; a mix of rock, hip hop, electro and pop; charismatic and charming personalities; a high impact visual experience; and mass appeal. The group celebrated their 12th birthday this week, although the question remains: where did they go? According to some, creative differences between Albarn and Hewitt are to blame (my best guess is the illustrators’ well ran out of ink).
In an interview with Metro in April 2012, when asked if he would reconcile with Hewitt, Albarn states, “I don’t think so. We’ve been through too much together for it to be that big of a mountain to climb. We’ve just fallen out like mates do sometimes. I’m not the only person to fall out with mates and then make up again – everyone does it.” So many to choose from, I hope you enjoy this week’s throwback “Kids With Guns.” Let us all collectively wish the best for their return from Plastic Beach, which hopefully include a new wardrobe reflecting their evolved tastes. Happy Birthday & we miss you!