Gorillaz celebrates the 20th anniversary of its debut album


The band members of Gorillaz as they appear in the music video for “Clint Eastwood.”

Margaret Troup

The British rock-alternative band Gorillaz recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of their self-titled debut album.

“Gorillaz” debuted in March 2001 and gave the world songs that are still popular to this day. Some of the album’s most popular songs include “Clint Eastwood,” “Tomorrow Comes Today” and “Rock the House.”

Since the band’s full debut, Gorillaz has accumulated seven studio albums, many music videos, a documentary-style movie and an upcoming animated movie. Despite taking a seven-year gap between their albums “Plastic Beach” and “Humanz,” the hype for Gorillaz never slowed, and with their recent albums “The Now Now” and “Song Machine,” this unique band doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

“Song Machine,” Gorillaz’ most recent album, was unique in that every song wasn’t released on the same day in one collection as is custom for album releases. Instead, one song from the album was released every month throughout 2020, bimonthly or so, until the entire album could eventually be heard. 

Many different artists have contributed to Gorillaz’ albums over the years, a custom that started with their debut EP. While the lead singer of Gorillaz, Damon Albarn, takes part in every Gorillaz song to some degree, other artists have just as much creative freedom with Gorillaz songs as he does.

Famous artists that appeared in “Gorillaz” (2001) are Odetta Gordon, Teren Jones — better known as Del the Funky Homosapien — and Sir John Dankworth. Arguably the greatest example of Gorillaz collaborating with other artists is from their 2019 film “REJECT FALSE ICONS.”

In this limited-release movie, the documentation of three vital years in the band’s life are recorded and shown to fans. The creation of “Humanz,” “The Now Now” and the accompanying tours the band and the over 50 collaborative artists took are showcased in this raw and informative film.

With “Song Machine” having wrapped up its release in November 2020, only time will tell if fans get the promised “Season Two” of “Song Machine.”