The ‘Rocketman’ singer recently collaborated with Albarn on ‘The Pink Phantom’ for Gorillaz’ latest project ‘Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez’.
Speaking in a new interview, John praised Albarn for throwing himself into projects that interest him, rather than focusing on what might be deemed more commercially successful.
“Damon really is special,” John told Record Collector magazine. “He’s someone who I really, really admire.
“When you see what he’s done, when you compare him and Blur with Oasis – including the last Blur album [2015’s ‘Magic Whip’], which is a masterpiece – and then you look at what he’s done outside of Blur, he’s just done so many different things.”
He continued: “And he’s just finished an opera that just opened in Paris.
“I think he’s a British jewel because he just does what he wants and, for him, success is just working with great musicians like Tony Allen, just doing things that interest him.
“I mean, for fuck’s sake, he did an album with Bobby Womack! So this is a mind I admire because he’s always looking forward.”
Speaking to PA News ahead of a series of virtual Gorillaz gigs next week, Blur and Gorillaz frontman Albarn said: “This present government has no empathy with the arts whatsoever and sadly that is a really important part of British culture. It is an essential part of British culture.
“We live in a pretty fucking miserable country at times and we need our arts to uplift us. It should be part of the prescription for our national health.”
The 73-year-old singer explained that the entirety of his vast collection of music remains in his house, rather than in storage, so that he can maintain regular access to it at all times.