Gorillaz - Gorillaz (2xLP Vinyl)

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Gorillaz is the eponymous debut studio album by English virtual band Gorillaz, released on 26 March 2001 in the United Kingdom by Parlophone and in the United States by Virgin Records. The album reached number three in the UK and number fourteen in the US, and the top ten in several countries. Gorillaz has sold over seven million copies worldwide. The album's success earned the group an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "Most Successful Virtual Band", and spawned the singles "Clint Eastwood", "19-2000", "Rock the House", and "Tomorrow Comes Today".

Musician Damon Albarn and comic book creator Jamie Hewlett met in 1990 when guitarist Graham Coxon, a fan of Hewlett's work, asked him to interview Blur, a band Albarn and Coxon had recently formed. The interview was published in Deadline magazine, home of Hewlett's comic strip, Tank Girl. Hewlett initially thought Albarn was "arsey, a wanker"; despite becoming acquaintances with the band, they often did not get on, especially after Hewlett began seeing Coxon's ex-girlfriend Jane Olliver. Despite this, Albarn and Hewlett started sharing a flat on Westbourne Grove in London in 1997. Hewlett had recently broken up with Olliver and Albarn was at the end of his highly publicised relationship with Justine Frischmann of Elastica.

The idea to create Gorillaz came about when Albarn and Hewlett were watching MTV. Hewlett said, "If you watch MTV for too long, it's a bit like hell – there's nothing of substance there. So we got this idea for a cartoon band, something that would be a comment on that." The band originally identified themselves as "Gorilla" and the first song they recorded was "Ghost Train" which was later released as a B-side on their single "Rock the House" and the B-side compilation G-Sides. The musicians behind Gorillaz' first incarnation included Albarn, Del the Funky Homosapien, Dan the Automator and Kid Koala, who had previously worked together on the track "Time Keeps on Slipping" for Deltron 3030's eponymous debut album.[6]

Although not released under the Gorillaz name, Albarn has said that "one of the first ever Gorillaz tunes" was Blur's 1997 single "On Your Own", which was released for their fifth studio album Blur.

2xLP pressing on gatefold 180-gram vinyl. 

When I first heard the Gorillaz, they blew me away. I was never much of a fan of hip-hop until recently, but something about Gorillaz was different. Now that I'm older and wiser, I can see that that's because they really don't have much to do with hip-hop beyond the production. No, apart from Clint Eastwood and Rock the House, the two songs featuring Del tha Funkee Homosapien's rapping, this is just pop music. But I'll be damned if they don't do it well. And why shouldn't they? With this largely being Damon Albarn's side-project from Blur, it comes as no surprise that this is catchy. Gorillaz is a big departure from the pop-rock of Blur, but his keen ability to write hooks remains, leaving Dan the Automator to work his production magic. This was rather innovative at the time of its release, and I still haven't heard much of anything else that's like this. It takes more than just originality to be a winning album, though, and Gorillaz delivers in the song department, too. This is some of the catchiest stuff ever recorded, and while it's not terribly deep, not everything needs to be. This album can do it all from downbeat songs like Tomorrow Comes Today to the hip-hop classic, Clint Eastwood, to the well, punk of, Punk, to even a little bit of Latin (ok, a lot of Latin) influence on Latin Simone. 19-2000 is the most like Blur, and it's also great. I can see why this album fails to do much for a lot of people, and there are definitely some songs that fall under the failed experiment category, but it's all interesting, and tons of fun. I know this is a bit blasphemous, but I actually prefer this to most of Blur's work. Certainly not for everyone, but I'd recommend you give it a chance.

And never mind the fact that they're a virtual band with awesome music videos and artwork by Jamie Hewlett.

By: Moe Hartman.

1. "Re-Hash" 3:38
2. "5/4" 2:40
3. "Tomorrow Comes Today" 3:13
4. "New Genious (Brother)[a]"
Damon AlbarnOdetta Gordon
5. "Clint Eastwood" (featuring Del the Funky Homosapien)
AlbarnTeren Jones
6. "Man Research (Clapper)" 4:32
7. "Punk" 1:37
8. "Sound Check (Gravity)" 4:41
9. "Double Bass" 4:45
10. "Rock the House" (featuring Del the Funky Homosapien)
AlbarnJonesDan NakamuraJohn Dankworth
11. "19-2000" 3:28
12. "Latin Simone (¿Qué Pasa Contigo?)" (featuring Ibrahim Ferrer)
AlbarnIbrahim FerrerLázaro Villa
13. "Starshine" 3:31
14. "Slow Country" 3:36
15. "M1 A1" (includes hidden track "Clint Eastwood" (Ed Case and Sweetie Irie refix))
AlbarnJohn Harrison

Tracks listed sequentially on the release.
Re-released in gatefold sleeve, including two printed inner sleeves. No track timings on any printed matter.

(C) TM Gorillaz Partnership 2000
(P) 2001 except tracks 3 & 10 (P) 2000 the copyright in this sound recording is owned by Parlophone Records Ltd. (C) 2001 Parlophone Records Ltd. A Warner Music Group Company. Made in the EU.

There is a locked groove between Tracks 15 and Track 16.

Recorded at Gee Jam Studios, Jamaica

Photography credit is printed as "Ed Reeves and Jow@spiritproductions" on the release.

Ibrahim Ferrer appears courtesy of World Circuit Records. Del Tha Funky Homosapien appears courtesy of Hieroglyphics Imperium Recordings. / Damon Albarn appears courtesy of EMI Records. Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd. with exception of Track 4: EMI Music Publishing Ltd. / Pookie Tree Publishing Co., New York Track 5: EMI Musin Publishing Ltd. / EMI United Partnership Ltd/WB Music Corp. Track 12: EMI Music Publishing Ltd. / World Circuit Music Publishing Ltd. Track 15: EMI Music Publishing Ltd./Laurel Show Music (administered by Ensign Music Corporation) and Harbro Music. / "New Genious (Brother)" contains portions of "Hit or Miss" by Odetta Gordon and is published by Pookie Tree Publishing Co., New York & performed by Bo Diddley, used courtesy of Chess records. Under License from Universal Music Enterprises, a division of UMG recordings. "M1 A1" contains portions of the film "Day Of the Dead" music written by John Harrison. Published by Laurel Show Music (administered by Ensign Music CDoporation) and Harbro Music. "Rock The House" contains portions from "Modesty Blaise" written by J.Dankworth and published by EMI United Partnership Ltd./WB Music Corp (ASCAP)

The back of the sleeve doesn't have any mention whatsoever of EMI. The EMI logo is also missing. Those help in differentiating the 2015 pressing from the 2001 one.