Personalities | Gorillaz | Twenty-First Century | Rock

(Animated vocal group, 1998–present)

Gorillaz, a virtual band created as an antidote to the bland pop its creators (Blur’s Damon Albarn and cartoonist Jamie Hewlett) saw dominating the charts, have, through stunning choice of guest vocalists and Albarn’s gift for melody, made some of the most memorable pop music of recent years. Their self-titled debut (2001) was comparatively low-key in comparison to its follow-up, but nevertheless held the breezy UK Top 10 hit ‘Clint Eastwood’.

2005’s Demon Days took the four animated characters in the band and coupled them with real-life musical legends, in a glittering ensemble cast that included De La Soul, Ike Turner, Bootie Brown, Neneh Cherry and Shaun Ryder. Singles ‘Feel Good Inc’ and ‘Dirty Harry’ saw child choirs, rap artists and Albarn’s insightful harmonizing employed to near universal acclaim. The band are also pioneering in their sadly infrequent live performances, utilizing everything from computer graphics to simple shadows to convey the characters without actually revealing the masterminds behind them. 2010 brought Plastic Beach.

Styles & Forms | Twenty-First Century | Rock
Personalities | Gossip | Twenty-First Century | Rock

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley


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