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Gorillaz is a British virtual alternative rock band comprised of four animated members: 2D (lead vocals and keyboard), Murdoc Niccals (bass guitar), Noodle (guitar, keyboard) and Russel Hobbs (drums and percussion). The group is most well known for its genre-crossing music style that draws influences from hip-hop, reggae/dub and rock music, multimedia music videos and performances, as well as its collaborations with various artists.
Gorillaz was created by Damon Albarn, the frontman of British alternative rock band Blur and English comic book artist Jamie Hewlett. The idea was conceived while the two were watching MTV in their apartment. From there on, the group collaborated with Deltron 3030 to produce their first album, Gorillaz.
"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.". From there on, they first identified the band as "Gorilla" and recorded a single track under the name titled "Ghost Train".
Gorillaz has gone through several phases, with each phase bringing a new style of music and art style.
Phase One: Celebrity Takedown
The first phase of Gorillaz, the phase lasted from 1999 to 2003. With the phase came the release of their self-titled album alongside 4 singles, Tomorrow Comes Today, Clint Eastwood, 19-2000 and Rock the House. The album had sold 6 million copies worldwide and had earned the group the Guinness World Record of "Most Successful Virtual Band".
Phase Two: Slowboat to Hades
The second phase of Gorillaz lasted from 2004 to 2007. The phase led up to the release of their most successful album to date, known as Demon Days, with 5 singles being released during the phase, including Rock It, Feel Good Inc., El Mañana, Dirty Harry, and DARE. Since the release of Demon Days, the album has gone 5 times platinum in the UK, double platinum in the USA and has sold over 6 million copies.
Phase Three: Escape to Plastic Beach
During the third phase, which spanned from 2008 to early 2012, Gorillaz released two studio albums Plastic Beach and The Fall, along with five additional singles: "Stylo," "Superfast Jellyfish," "On Melancholy Hill," "Rhinestone Eyes" and "Doncamatic."
In early April 2012, Damon Albarn stated in an interview with The Guardian that future Gorillaz projects were "unlikely" due to a build-up of tension and subsequent fall out between him and Jamie Hewlett during the third phase. However, on April 25th, Albarn revealed that he had worked out his differences with Hewlett and felt confident about collaborating on another record. In 2014, the fans' anticipation for a new Gorillaz album began to escalate as both Albarn and Hewlett hinted at a follow-up release in a number of media appearances.
Phase Four: We Are Still Humanz
On January 29th, 2015, Hewlett effectively confirmed the rumors of a new album by sharing three never-seen-before sketches and color illustrations of Murdoc and Noodle via his Instagram account (shown below), along with the caption "Yes, Gorillaz returns."
On March 23rd, 2017, following a series of accidental leaks of Phase Four's music videos on Vimeo two days prior, Gorillaz released four new songs as part of Phase Four ("Saturnz Barz" shown below). The new phase, titled 'Humanz', premiered its first song on BBC Radio 1 and also had a sold-out secret concert performed that night. The full album will be released on the 28th of April, 2017.
Gorillaz has a large online following due to their interactive website Gorillaz.com, a website showcasing the fictional band members biographies and their current home in the animated universe. There was also an unofficial fan-created Gorillaz website (known as Gorillaz Unofficial) that had posted announcements and news that the official website hadn't posted, but it has been down since April 2014. Gorillaz has also had Twitter accounts made for each of the animated characters.
As of February 2015, the Gorillaz Facebook page has over 9 million likes and the main Twitter account has 300 000 followers.
The group has gained a large fandom due to its genre-crossing music and because of its animated members. The group has several Tumblr blogs related to them, such as fuckyeahgorillaz and Gorillaz Confessions. Gorillaz also has a sub-reddit and over 100 000 tagged images on DeviantArt, many of them being fanart.
Gorillaz "Demon Days" Cover Parodies
Gorillaz "Demon Days" Cover Parodies are parodies of the cover of the album art of Demon Days, often replacing the band members with other fictional characters, often stylized in a similar way.
 Wired – Keeping it (Un)real
 Wikipedia – Formation of Gorillaz
 Wikipedia – Gorillaz: Phase Two
 Wikipedia – Gorillaz: Phase 3
 tumblr – fuckyeahgorillaz
 tumblr – Gorillaz Confessions
 Reddit – r/gorillaz
 DeviantArt – Search results for "Gorillaz"
 Gorillaz Wikia – Gorillaz Unofficial
 Business Insider – Tracks from the new Gorillaz album leaked online because someone found them on Vimeo and guessed the password
 The Fader – Gorillaz Will Premiere A New Song Tomorrow
 SongKick – SongKick – Gorillaz
 Consequence Of Sound – Gorillaz to release new album, Humanz, on April 28th
Feb 17, 2015 at 12:34PM EST in reply to
Feb 20, 2015 at 06:59PM EST
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