Gorillaz - Demon Days

NME.COM feature on Gorillaz - Demon Days album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.

Album Review

Release date: 04 September 2006

Gorillaz - Demon Days

Gorillaz: Demon Days

Pretty clever...

If you were to invent a pop act right now, where would you begin? Well, human beings take too many drugs and start boo-hooing when they don’t get their own way, so you’d create something, like a cartoon character, to front the whole shebang. You’d do something to make sure The Kids’ parents didn’t understand the appeal – it’s the punk rock way, after all. And since we live in such...

Read full review

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Gorillaz - Demon Days: Wikipedia Album Entry

Demon Days is the second studio album and a concept album by Gorillaz, released on 23 May 2005 in the United Kingdom and on 24 May in the United States. The album features contributions from De La Soul, Neneh Cherry, Martina Topley-Bird, Roots Manuva, MF DOOM, Ike Turner, Bootie Brown of the Pharcyde, Shaun Ryder, Dennis Hopper, the London Community Gospel Choir and the Children's Choir of San Fernandez.

Demon Days entered the UK charts at #1 and the U.S. charts at #6, outperforming the band's 2001 debut, Gorillaz. The album had sold over six million copies as of 2006. The album features the singles "Feel Good Inc.", "DARE", "Dirty Harry" and "Kids with Guns" / "El Mañana".



Album information
Demon Days was first mentioned in articles detailing the reopening of Gorillaz' website in early December 2004. Initially, a March or April 2005 release date was announced, but it was later pushed back. In an article for Q magazine in February 2005 it was reported that the album was to be titled We Are Happy Landfill. Another early title was reported to be Reject False Icons, which is also the title of Gorillaz' culture jamming project.

In January 2005 a promo for the song "Dirty Harry" was released as a white label 12" and an exclusive video was released online entitled "Rock It". It was later reported that the track would not appear on the album, although it later appeared on D-Sides, a collection of remixes, rare songs and B-sides released in November 2007.

Demon Days' lead single "Feel Good Inc." became Gorillaz' biggest hit (UK #2, US #14, US-Modern Rock #1) at the time. The album's second single, "DARE" featuring Shaun Ryder, became a big hit as well, giving the band their first #1 single in the UK. Since its release, Demon Days has been certified double platinum in the U.S. and 5 times platinum in the UK.

The album cover is a reference to Let It Be by The Beatles and resembles the Blur: The Best Of artwork, the greatest hits album by Albarn's first band Blur.

This album has been released with the Copy Control protection system in some regions.

A limited edition of the album was released in a special digipak gatefold, allowing the owner to choose which band member is on the cover. It also contains an exclusive booklet, with lyrics and illustrations for each song, a DVD containing the video (with audio commentary), an animatic for the music video "Feel Good Inc.", short animated films featuring the band, an exclusive audio track titled "The Swagga" and online access to exclusive sections of the band's website, with various wallpapers and screensavers, as well as a crowbar, facilitating the opening of a locked cupboard in the kitchen on Gorillaz.com in order to download the song "Happy Landfill".


Marketing

Reject False Icons
The phrase 'Reject False Icons' was first mentioned on 24 November 2004 on a Gorillaz mail out to fans. On 8 December, the Gorillaz website was re-opened with a brand new music video, "Rock It", which has the saying "Reject False Icons" at the end. On 19 December the 'Reject False Icons' campaign kicked off with the launch of rejectfalseicons.com. Fans could submit their photos of ways to spread the message by using graffiti or by sticking 'Reject False Icons' stickers that were available for a limited period from the site and from selected record shops in the UK. It was first Respect False Icons, but Albarn changed it to Reject False Icons. Noodle said it is both 'Respect' and 'Reject'.


Search for a Star
In December 2004, the Gorillaz launched their own talent contest, Search for a Star, to find an artist to collaborate with. There were on average over 100 entries per week whittled down to around 10 to be put forward for the public vote. The 200+ entries were viewed over a million times. A gallery room was added to Kong Studios which displayed all of the entries. Originally, Gorillaz' competition, was initially run to pick just one winner from entries submitted to Gorillaz.com. However, at the end of the competition, it was announced that two further entries—one from the submitted images, and one from the submitted audio files—would be chosen by online vote.

The winners for each entries are as followed:

Video: "Table Manners" by Carlos "Sourbee" Sowerby
Audio: "Indian Dance" by Danny "Asidus" Gonzalez
Image: "2D and Paula" by Irina "Schneeflocke" Bolshakova ( www.schneef.com )
All three collaborated on the fourth single release of Phase Two, "Kids With Guns" / "El Mañana". Sourbee provided his animated incarnation of the "Don't Get Lost In Heaven (Original Demo Version)" B-side, featured on the DVD version of the single. Asidus made a "Dirty Harry" remix called "Uno Quatro" featured on the Gorillaz website. Schneeflocke created her own artistic interpretation of "El Mañana", featured on an insert included on the DVD version of the single.


Reception
Spin (p.64) - Ranked #4 in Spin's "40 Best Albums Of 2005" - "[A] vivid, spastic concept album about the last primates to survive the apocalypse" -
Spin (p.105) - "Albarn still has great taste in other people's music. His new accomplice, copyright pirate Danger Mouse, fills in suggestively dubby spaces with choirs, staggering synths, and MCs ranging from De La Soul to Roots Manuva to MF Doom." - Grade: B
Entertainment Weekly (No. 821/822, p.136) - "[This] follow-up is spookier, blippier, and more on edge." - Grade: B
Uncut (p.106) – 4 stars out of 5 - "Dazzlingly clever - great beats, brilliant production, top tunes and some of Albarn's best singing."
CMJ (No. 914, p.4) - "...an immensely absorbable experience with plenty of rhymes and funked-out marching beats to bite into."
Vibe (p.143) - "[A]s original - and just as much fun - as the first."
Mojo (p.18) - Ranked #18 in Mojo's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2005" - "[A] genre-busting, contemporary pop milestone."

Track listing
All songs written by Gorillaz except as indicated.

"Intro" (Gorillaz/Don Harper) – 1:03
"Last Living Souls" – 3:10
"Kids with Guns (featuring Neneh Cherry)" – 3:47
"O Green World" – 4:32
"Dirty Harry (featuring Bootie Brown & Children's Choir of San Fernandez.)" (Gorillaz/Romye Robinson) – 3:43
"Feel Good Inc. (featuring De La Soul)" (Gorillaz/Dave Jolicoeur) – 3:41
"El Mañana" – 3:50
"Every Planet We Reach Is Dead" – 4:53
"November Has Come (featuring MF Doom)" (Gorillaz/Daniel Dumile) – 2:41
"All Alone (featuring Roots Manuva)" (Gorillaz/Rodney Smith/Simon Tong) – 3:30
"White Light" – 2:08
"DARE (featuring Shaun Ryder)" – 4:04
"Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head (featuring Dennis Hopper)" – 3:16
"Don't Get Lost in Heaven" – 2:00
"Demon Days (featuring The London Community Gospel Choir)" – 4:28

Bonus tracks
"68 State" (Japanese edition) – 4:44
"People" (Second Japanese edition) – 3:26
"Hong Kong" (live at Manchester Opera House) (Japanese Premium edition)
All of these songs, as well as "The Swagga" on the limited edition and "We are Happy Landfill", which requires the Limited edition to download, are compiled in the D-Sides album.


Personnel
According to the album liner notes, the contributors were as follows:


Fictional members
2D (voiced by Damon Albarn)- lead vocals, keyboard
Noodle (voiced by Rosie Wilson (in "DARE"))- backing vocals, guitar
Russel Hobbs- drums
Murdoc Niccals- bass guitar

Additional musicians
Neneh Cherry - guest vocals on "Kids with Guns"
Amanda Drummond – viola
Isabelle Dunn – cello
Dennis Hopper – spoken word
Sally Jackson – violin
Al Mobbs – double bass
Prabjote Osahn – violin
Stella Page – viola
Antonia Pagulatos – violin
Emma Smith – double bass
Chris Frangou - Bass guitar
Simon Tong – guitar
Martina Topley-Bird – vocals
Ike Turner – piano
Rosie Wilson – backing vocals
London Community Gospel Choir – choir
San Fernandez Youth Chorus – children's choir
MF DOOM - vocals


This list is exhaustive of the core fifteen tracks (see above), but does not include contributions to bonus tracks.


Production
All tracks produced by Danger Mouse and Gorillaz. Co-produced by James Dring and Jason Cox.
except "68 state", "The Swagga", "We are Happy Landfill" and "People" produced by Gorillaz, James Dring and Jason Cox.

Studios
The album was recorded at the Gorillaz own studio(the virtual Kong Studios and the real Studio 13),and mixed at The Pierce Rooms.

Release details
The album was released in various countries:

Country Date Label Format Catalogue
Japan 11 May 2005 Toshiba-EMI CD TOCP 66380
CD/DVD TOCP 66381
31 August 2005 CD TOCP 66466
8 March 2006 CD - Grammy Edition TOCP 66534
United Kingdom 23 May 2005 Parlophone LP 8738381
CD 8738382
CD/DVD 4744070
United States 24 May 2005 Parlophone, Virgin CD 7243 8 73838 2 1
CD/DVD 7243 4 77304 0 5


Singles
"Feel Good Inc." was the first single released from the album. It was released as an EP in Japan on 27 April 2005 and as a single in the UK and Australia on 9 May 2005.
"DARE" was the second single released from the album. It was released 29 August 2005 in the UK, and 7 September 2005 in Japan as an EP.
"Dirty Harry" was the third single released from the album. It was released 21 November 2005 in the UK, and 7 December 2005 in Japan as an EP.
"Kids with Guns" / "El Mañana" was the fourth and final single released from the album. It was released 10 April 2006 in the UK, and 19 April 2006 in Japan as an EP . The winners for the Search for a Star competition collaborated with Gorillaz in various ways on this single.

User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License and may also be available under the GNU FDL.

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