- Feb 22 2023Damon Albarn with Gorillaz in Perth, 2010 (Photo by Matt Je
Damon Albarn’s Biggest Hits In Australia
Damon Albarn’s Biggest Hits In Australia
Not many musicians are fortunate enough to be successful with two separate bands, but Damon Albarn was a regular visitor to the ARIA singles chart in the 1990s and 2000s as the singer for both Britpop band Blur and virtual group Gorillaz. Here are his highest-charting singles from the two projects.
7. "Country House” by Blur
Peak: number 28
In the UK, this single went head-to-head with Oasis’ “Roll With It” in a much-hyped Battle of Britpop chart stoush – and won the fight, reaching number 1 there. The lead single from the band’s fourth album, The Great Escape, also became Blur’s second hit in Australia, albeit with a more modest top 30 placement. As the title suggests, the song is about giving up the rat race of the city for a simpler life.
6. "Girls And Boys” by Blur
Peak: number 19
Blur’s first top 50 hit in Australia was the lead single from Parklife, and was inspired by Brits abroad holiday resorts on continental Europe where hordes of teenagers and twentysomethings descend, drink and have sex. The song was helped up the chart by a Pet Shop Boys remix that gave the track even more of a summer holiday feel.
5. "Clint Eastwood” by Gorillaz
Peak: number 17
The song that introduced the world to the cartoon band (drawn by Jamie Hewlett) was named after Clint Eastwood due to the use of a melodica playing a riff inspired by classic Western film The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, in which the veteran actor starred. While Damon, as band member 2D, performed the chorus, the verses of the song are rapped by Del The Funky Homosapien of 1991 hit “Mistadobalina” fame.
4. "Dirty Harry” by Gorillaz
Peak: number 15
Taken from Gorillaz’s second album, Demon Days, “Dirty Harry” once again took inspiration from Clint Eastwood - specifically his antihero cop character Harry Callahan. A comment on the attitude of then-president George W Bush’s towards the American soldiers fighting in the Middle East, the song features a rap by Pharcyde’s Bootie Brown (who features in the music video) and vocals by the San Fernando Valley Youth Chorus (who appear in animated form).
3. "Dare” by Gorillaz
Peak: number 11
Just missing out on a top 10 peak, this second single from Demon Days is mostly performed by Gorillaz member Noodle (voiced by Rosie Wilson) and guest vocalist Shaun Ryder (from Happy Mondays and Black Grape), with Damon providing backing vocals as 2D.
2. "Song 2” by Blur
Peak: number 4
Blur’s biggest Australian hit is also the band’s shortest single, clocking in at just 2:02, and wasn’t something the band seriously intended to include on their self-titled fifth album, but their record company saw its hit potential. The song’s working title ended up becoming its actual name, and besides reflecting its duration, also ties in with the fact that “Song 2” was Blur’s second track and second single, has two verses and choruses, and features two distorted bass guitars.
1. "Feel Good Inc” by Gorillaz
Peak: number 3
Damon’s most successful single in Australia was the lead release from Demon Days, which was one of the first tracks he worked on with producer Danger Mouse, whose idea it was to feature rap trio De La Soul on the song. As well as providing Gorillaz with a big hit single to kick off their second album, “Feel Good Inc” also won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2006 and was nominated for Record of the Year.
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