31st May – The Number One Album in the UK – 2005 (Gorillaz – Demon Days)

Gorillaz_Demon_Days

The Number One Album in the UK on the 31st May 2005 was Demon Days from Gorillaz.

This British visual & musical project created by Damon Albarn (Blur) and Jamie Hewlett a comic book artist and designer known for being the co-creator of the comic Tank Girl.

Their 2001 debut album Gorillaz sold over seven million copies worldwide.

Demon Days was recorded between January – December 2004 at Studio 13 in London with production coming from Gorillaz, Jason Cox, James Dring and Danger Mouse.

Danger Mouse – Brian Burton – an American musician, producer and songwriter who formed Gnarls Barkley with Cee Lo Green; and produced Modern Guilt from Beck & Attack & Release from The Black Keys.

“‘Demon Days’ may end 2005 as one of the year’s most celebrated albums.

Before you even consider the sonic and melodic innovation paraded through the album there’s so much crammed into each of these fifteen songs (without any one of them sounding overproduced or cluttered) that repeated listening is a must.

With ‘Demon Days’, repeated listening is like throwing a dolphin a fire escape – entertaining the first time, impossible to predict the outcome on each subsequent attempt. There’s always something new to enjoy.

Instrumental in this album’s charm is Dangermouse’s production, which propels the album far beyond the limits of its predecessor; the standard Gorillaz sonic motifs (light-headed dub, left-of-centre electronic flourishes, caricatured wailing from another planet and the irresistible thud of a thousand bass bins) remain, but there’s a seemingly unselfconscious desire from all parties to innovate within the realms of the modern pop song. They succeed at every turn, and the inevitable rolecall of guest stars keep it moving. With the exception of the London Community Gospel Choir, who’d arguably turn up to the recording of an envelope being opened, this is an unexpected and imaginatively-plucked succession of cameos, taking in De La Soul, Martina Topley-Bird, Neneh Cherry (on the droopily spectacular ‘Kids With Guns’), Roots Manuva (on ‘All Alone’, the most ‘Gorillaz’-sounding track on the album), Ike ‘nice guy’ Turner, Dennis Hopper… Even the score from ‘Dawn Of The Dead’ pops in to say a spooky hello at the album’s outset” – 8/10 – Peter Robinson, NME, September 2005

Demon Days was a huge success internationally building on the success of their debut album.

The combined sales of the Gorillaz and Demon Days albums have exceeded 15 million copies.

Track listing:

No. Title Length
1. Intro (sampled from the original score of the 1978 film Dawn of the Dead) 1:03
2. Last Living Souls 3:10
3. Kids with Guns (featuring Neneh Cherry) 3:45
4. O Green World 4:31
5. Dirty Harry (featuring Bootie Brown and San Fernandez Youth Chorus) 3:43
6.  Feel Good Inc. (featuring De La Soul) 3:41
7. El Mañana 3:50
8. Every Planet We Reach is Dead (featuring Ike Turner) 4:53
9. November Has Come (featuring MF Doom) 2:41
10. All Alone (featuring Roots Manuva and Martina Topley-Bird) 3:30
11. White Light 2:08
12.  DARE (featuring Shaun Ryder) 4:04
13. Fire Coming Out of the Monkey’s Head (featuring Dennis Hopper) 3:16
14. “Don’t Get Lost in Heaven” (featuring The London Community Gospel Choir 2:00
15. “Demon Days” (featuring The London Community Gospel Choir) 4:28
Total length: 51:40

Personnel

Virtual personnel

2D – vocals, keyboards, piano

Murdoc Niccals – bass guitar

Russel Hobbs – drums, percussion

Noodle – vocals, guitars, keyboards

Non-virtual personnel

Damon Albarn – lead vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar, synthesizers, melodica

Bootie Brown – vocals on “Dirty Harry”

San Fernandez Youth Chorus – vocals on “Dirty Harry”

Neneh Cherry – vocals on “Kids with Guns”

Roots Manuva – vocals on “All Alone”

Martina Topley-Bird – vocals on “All Alone”

MF Doom – vocals on “November Has Come”

Shaun Ryder – vocals on “DARE”

Dennis Hopper – vocals on “Fire Coming Out of the Monkey’s Head”

London Community Gospel Choir – vocals on “Demon Days” & “Don’t Get Lost in Heaven”

Rosie Wilson – backing vocals on “DARE”

Simon Tong – guitar

Ike Turner – piano

Morgan Nicholls – bass guitar

Cass Browne – drums

Amanda Drummond – viola

Isabelle Dunn – cello

Sally Jackson – violin

Al Mobbs – double bass

Prabjote Osahn – violin

Stella Page – viola

Antonia Pagulatos – violin

Emma Smith – double bass

Chris Frangou – bass guitar

Production

All tracks produced by Danger Mouse and Gorillaz.

Co-produced by James Dring and Jason Cox except “68 State”, “People”, “The Swagga” and “We Are Happy Landfill” produced by Gorillaz, James Dring and Jason Cox.

The album was recorded at the Gorillaz’ own studio and mixed at The Pierce Rooms. “All Alone”‘s instrumental was also partially recorded in Africa.

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