A Visual Retelling Of Gorillaz Four Musical Phases

A Visual Retelling Of Gorillaz Four Musical Phases

Avatar of Alejandro Arroyo Cano

By: Alejandro Arroyo Cano

March 30, 2017

Music A Visual Retelling Of Gorillaz Four Musical Phases
Avatar of Alejandro Arroyo Cano

By: Alejandro Arroyo Cano

March 30, 2017

At what point did Noodle leave behind her innocent and mischievous image to become an attractive and lethal woman? Gorillaz are not a fictional band; they are as real as you are, and that's a statement they've highlighted in their fourth phase and new album, titled Humanz. 

gorillaz humanz four

This album is a successor to Plastic Beach, which was released seven long years ago. During that time each one of the band members had adventures and misadventures. If you don't exactly remember the last events of their lives, you have to see the video below, whose narration is told by Murdoc and reminds us of what happened during the band's transition from phase 2 to 3. 

After a recap of the latest events in the lives of Gorillaz members, you may want to go forward into their lives and see what they were up to in 2010, when they released their album Plastic Beach, the phase previous to their 2017 comeback.

October 31, 1990, Japan. When she was nine years old, she arrived to the United Kingdom inside a FedEx crate with no memories of who she is. Since she was a really skillful guitar player, she joined Gorillaz almost instantly. That's her first phase. While touring in Japan, she recovers her memories and remembers that she was raised as a super soldier government experiment. That's the reason why she can speak different languages and has such expertise in weapons. There she mets her mentor, Mr. Kyuzo, the person who smuggled her to the United Kingdom to prevent her death. Apparently, only Mr. Kyuzo knows the two code words that can be used to wipe Noodle's memory or turn her into a deadly machine.
gorillaz humanz noodle

Noodle's second phase begins with the album Demon Days. We usually see her dancing to the beat of "Dare" while Shaun Ryder delivers his catchy rhymes. She plays the guitar with a more stern face in the "Feel Good Inc." video clip. However in "El Mañana," the calm comes to an end when the floating island is gunned down by two armored helicopters. At the end  of the video, we see the windmill falling into a precipice with Noodle inside it.

Her third phase begins in Plastic Beach, with the song "Oh Melancholy Hills." By then, the fanbase had mistakenly believed she had died during the helicopter's attacks, but she comes back, a few centimeters taller, with a new fascination for weapons, and wearing an Oni mask. 


Murdoc Niccals
gorillaz humanz murdoc

His full name is Murdoc Alphonce Niccals. He was born on June 6, 1966 in England. Presumably, he was abused during his childhood and developed many addictions and a hostile attitude as a result. The book The Rise of the Ogre shared that Murdoc had previously played in different, unsuccessful bands before joining Gorillaz. He roamed the world until he accidentally bumped into 2-D and Russel. After the significant success that was the album Gorillaz, he fell into a life full of booze, sex, and Satanic rituals. After having some issues with the rest of the band, he made a trip to Tijuana, got involved in sex trafficking, and was jailed shortly after. During his confinement, he got a demonic tattoo that symbolizes the seven deadly sins. After his transition to the dark side, he escapes prison with the help of two Mexican criminals.

He makes it back to Kong Studios only to find that Noodle had written almost and entire album during his absence.  Thus begins the second phase, when the attacks to the floating island and Noodle's alleged death takes place. 2-D and Russel blame the island's demise on Murdoc, believing he planned it all. After clearing up that misunderstanding and creating "Cyborg Noodle," he is chased by a bounty hunter. The only way to escape is to hide in the Plastic Beach, which is the third phase.

gorillaz humanz 2-D

His real name is Stuart Pot. He was born on May 23, 1978. According to his biography, he worked as a shop boy until one day Murdoc crashed his car through the wall of the shop where he had been working and the bumper crashed into Stuart's face. Murdoc's punishment was to take care of Stuart 10 hours a week until he regained consciousness. Some time later Stuart was once again involved in an accident caused by Murdoc. In an attempt to impress a woman, Murdoch did a 360º in a car park and this sent Stuart crashing through the windscreen, hitting his head on the curb, heavily damaging his eye. After recovering consciousness Murdoc noticed Stuart was a skilled piano player and had a remarkable voice, so he started calling him 2-D because of the "Two Dents" in his head, and together they started Gorillaz. Their debut project was the "Clint Eastwood" video clip. After the conclusion to the first phase, with Murdoc in jail, 2-D stayed away from Kong Studios and was reluctant to participate in the album Demon Days, but Noodle managed to convince him. By the end of the second phase, he decides to retire and settle in Beirut. 

When 2-D believed he had finally found a peaceful life, he is kidnapped by Murdoc who locks him up in a trunk. Once he breaks out of the case, he heads to Plastic Beach along with Cyborg Noodle. His third phase starts with the persecution in the "Stylo" video clip, which reaches its climax in the video clip "Oh Melancholy."

gorillaz humanz russel

Russel was born in 1975 into a rich New York family. He was a well-mannered and respectful boy who always got good grades at the Xavier School For Young Achievers. All balance was lost when he discovered "demonic poetry" and was possessed by a demon. He attacked several classmates while possessed and was ultimately expelled. After the demon was exorcised by Father Merrin, Russel attempted to return to school and he was rejected. He completed his studies in a Brooklyn high school, where many students were gifted in hip-hop music. One rainy night, his friends were killed in a shooting incident. After the shooting, the spirits of Russel's friends came to inhabit his body. His best friend, Del, often possesses his body and manifests in the form of a blue "Ghost Rapper."

During the first phase he befriended Noodle. After completing the first album, he hid in Iker Turner's basement to recover from a second exorcism. On October 31, 2007 in an official statement to the press, Murdoc says that Russel is dealing with his demons somewhere in Brooklyn. 

Russel hasn't been very present since the beginning of the third phase and the announcement of Plastic Beach. In the "On Melancholy Hill" music video, Russel appears as a giant due to having swallowed the ocean's pollution.

After their 7-year absence Gorillaz reunited once again at Kong Studios to record their fifth album Humanz. As the name points out, in this phase Murdoc, 2-D, Noodle, and Russel will be present in flesh and bone and may even take the limelight away from Damon Albaran, the one who has gotten all the credit during the last years.

The album will be released on April 28, this year. Meanwhile you can enjoy one of their most recent hits

Translated by Andrea Valle Gracia

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