Best Gorillaz Songs

Updated on April 30, 2024

Gorillaz, the brainchild of musician Damon Albarn and visual artist Jamie Hewlett, is a groundbreaking band that has left an indelible mark on the music industry since their inception in 1998.

This imaginative and genre-bending collective combines animated characters with a variety of musical styles, from alternative rock and hip-hop to electronic and world music. Gorillaz' ability to push creative boundaries and collaborate with impressive artists has resulted in a discography that boasts some of the best songs in modern music.

In this article, we will dive into the world of Gorillaz to reveal their best works. Introducing their artistic evolution and unique synthesis of sounds that have made them a beloved and influential force in the music industry.

From iconic, generation-defining hits to hidden gems waiting to be discovered, we'll explore the best Gorillaz has to offer.

So join us on this musical journey as we celebrate the incredible artistry of Gorillaz and their timeless songs.

1. "Clint Eastwood" (feat. Del The Funky Homosapien) (2001)

Album: Gorillaz

Producer: Gorillaz, Dan the Automator, Jason Cox, Tom Girling

"Clint Eastwood" is an iconic track from Gorillaz's self-titled 2001 debut album, blending hip-hop and alternative rock elements with catchy melodies and distinctive lyrics.

Del the Funky Homosapien provides memorable rap vocals, while 2D (Damon Albarn's animated character) handles the chorus, featuring the infectious refrain, "I'm happy, I'm feeling glad; I got sunshine in a bag."

This groundbreaking single introduced Gorillaz with a unique, funky aesthetic and remains a timeless fan favorite. Del's dynamic verses complement Albarn's distinctive tenor, creating a captivating contrast.

Despite its cryptic lyrics, "Clint Eastwood" endures as a musical gem that redefined Gorillaz's artistic identity, making it a "perfect" song, according to Albarn.

2. "Feel Good Inc." (Feat. De La Soul) (2005)

Album: Demon Days

Producer: Gorillaz, Danger Mouse, Jason Cox, James Dring

"Feel Good Inc." is a standout track from Gorillaz's 2005 album "Demon Days." It features a catchy melody and a groovy bassline.

The song's unique blend of hip-hop and alternative rock defines Gorillaz's signature sound. Undoubtedly, it ranks among Gorillaz's greatest hits alongside "Clint Eastwood". De La Soul's energetic verses complement the song's cartoon-inspired madness, while Albarn's catchy vocals add depth.

It's an instant classic that reached the top 10 in 17 countries, earning a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration. At its core, "Feel Good Inc." makes you dance while pondering the deeper issues of society.

3. "DARE" (feat. Shaun Ryder) (2005)

Album: Demon Days

Producer: Gorillaz, Danger Mouse, James Dring, Jason Cox

"DARE" is as close to a perfect dance track as you can get.

With one of Gorillaz's catchiest choruses, dreamy verses, and an irresistible bassline, it's a genre-hybrid club cut that exudes the kind of seductive energy that turned Blondie into stars. Interestingly, "DARE" remains Gorillaz's only number-one single in the UK, and it even samples Daft Punk's "Revolution 909."

This track seamlessly combines disco, trip-hop, and new-wave elements. It's an undeniably danceable and infectious song that's impossible to resist moving to, making it a standout in Gorillaz's discography.

4. "On Melancholy Hill" (2010)

Album: Plastic Beach

Producer: Gorillaz

"On Melancholy Hill" is a restrained yet gorgeous electropop gem that effortlessly avoids cliches.

Damon Albarn's mastery of synth-pop balladry shines through, reminiscent of '80s soundtracks. The song's lyrics contain a poignant sense of longing. Albarn sings "If you can't get what you want, you can come with me," conveying a deep sense of boredom that transcends words.

Gorillaz's ability to navigate different musical worlds within a single album, like the somber "On Melancholy Hill," adds depth to their versatile identity.

While their music is often filled with vitality, they also embrace the beauty of melancholy. They turn the monotony of life into moments of introspective beauty.

5. "Stylo" (2010)

Album: Plastic Beach

Producer: Gorillaz

"Stylo" is a standout track from Gorillaz's 2010 album "Plastic Beach".

With its funky and electronic sound, Bobby Womack's guest vocals, and a driving beat, this is an infectious and musically rich song. "Stylo" is more than just a song. It's a hypnotic funk groove featuring a looping synth and a monolithic beat that mesmerizes listeners.

mechanistic rhythm is contrasted by Womack's soulful, superhuman baritone vocals, creating an exciting audio experience. The track also carries a message about the environmental challenges of overpopulation and pollution, adding depth to its catchy melody.

"Stylo" marked the sleek return of Gorillaz with "Plastic Beach". Featuring collaborations and an electro-crack funk sound that defies easy classification.

6. "19-2000" (2001)

Album: Gorillaz

Producer: Gorillaz, Dan the Automator, Tom Girling, Jason Cox

"19-2000" is a catchy and upbeat song by Gorillaz from their 2001 self-titled debut album. Its blend of pop, electronic, and hip-hop elements creates an infectious melody.

The lyrics playfully reference car rides, highlighted by the recurring line, "Get the cool shoeshine." Accompanied by a colorful and surreal music video featuring the animated Gorillaz characters, the song exudes a whimsical charm.

"19-2000" was a mind-blowing experience for many nerdy kids around the turn of the Millennium.

It was their first look at Gorillaz, accompanied by an explosive and hilarious video reminiscent of a modern-day "Looney Tunes" episode.

7. "El Mañana" (2005)

Album: Demon Days

Producer: Gorillaz, Danger Mouse, Jason Cox, James Dring

"El Mañana" stands out from the Gorillaz singles because it deviates from the usual dance tunes.

It carries a haunting and beautiful sadness that makes you feel caught between the sweet past and the distant promise of a brighter tomorrow. The music video depicts the destruction of the band's floating island and marks the moment when Noodle goes missing in the storyline.

While it may not have had the commercial success of Demon Days' previous singles, "El Mañana" is a heartfelt song, a melancholic anthem that stays in your heart on rainy days, forever etched in your memory.

8. "Rhinestone Eyes" (2010)

Album: Plastic Beach

Producer: Gorillaz

"Rhinestone Eyes" showcases Gorillaz' lyrical prowess with a fast-paced pop sound and poetic lyrics that evoke vivid images.

This electro-funk track is weird, with synth organs and swirling ghostly voices creating a dark yet energetic atmosphere. It captures the essence of the city's shadowy activities, bright neon lights, and the sparkle of jewels.

Despite its merits, the song didn't get the release it deserved and the intended music video was never produced, leaving it as a hidden gem in the Gorillaz catalog.

The line, "your rhinestone eyes are like factories far away",  has a deep meaning, symbolizing manufactured emotions and materialism, fitting perfectly with the theme of "Plastic Beach."

9. "Saturnz Barz" (feat. Popcaan) (2017)

Album: Humanz

Producer: Gorillaz, Remi Kabaka Jr., Anthony Khan

"Saturnz Barz" shows Gorillaz' willingness to experiment and explore new sonic territory.

With Popcaan as a guest artist, the track takes on a dark and haunting atmosphere, standing out as a unique addition to their music catalog. It's like a distress call from a deserted planet, conveying a sense of isolation and emptiness through its music.

This bold direction challenges the boundaries of their sound and showcases their artistic evolution.

10. "Fire Flies" (2018)

Album: The Now Now

Producer: Gorillaz, Remi Kabaka Jr., James Ellis Ford

"Fire Flies" captures the iconic Gorillaz sound with Damon Albarn's distinctive vocals and their signature pop style with rubbery synths.

It features a dreamy and ethereal sound with a mellow tempo. From "The Now Now" album, this track delicately explores themes of addiction, insecurities, and romantic relationships.

Albarn's gentle melodies take center stage, making "Fire Flies" one of the album's standout singles.

In conclusion, Gorillaz has consistently provided a kaleidoscope of musical innovation, pushing boundaries and enthralling audiences around the world.

From the infectious hooks of "Clint Eastwood" to the haunting melancholy of "El Mañana" and the lyrical delicacy of "Fire Flies," their discography is a testament to their artistic evolution.

With each song, they invite you into their surreal world, challenge conventions, and leave an indelible mark on the music landscape. With new horizons, we look forward to the next sonic adventure from this groundbreaking band