Demon Days is the second studio album and a concept album by Gorillaz, released on May 23, 2005 in the United Kingdom and on May 24 in the United States. Demon Days entered the UK charts at #1 and the U.S. charts at #6, outperforming the band's 2001 debut, Gorillaz. The album had sold over six million copies as of 2006.
' lead single "Feel Good Inc.
" became Gorillaz' biggest hit (UK #2, US #14, US-Modern Rock #1) at the time. The album's second single, "Dare
" featuring Shaun Ryder
, became a big hit as well, giving the band their first #1 single in the UK. Since its release, Demon Days
has been certified double platinum
in the U.S. and 5 times platinum in the UK.
The album features contributions from De La Soul, Neneh Cherry, Martina Topley-Bird, Roots Manuva, MF DOOM, Ike Turner, Bootie Brown of the Pharcyde, Shaun Ryder, Dennis Hopper, the London Community Gospel Choir and the Children's Choir of San Fernandez.
The album cover is a reference to Let It Be by The Beatles and resembles the Blur: The Best Of artwork, the greatest hits album by Albarn's first band Blur.
Demon Days was first mentioned in articles detailing the reopening of Gorillaz' website in early December 2004. Initially, a March or April 2005 release date was announced, but it was later pushed back. In an article for Q magazine in February 2005 it was reported that the album was to be titled We Are Happy Landfill. Another early title was reported to be Reject False Icons, which is also the title of Gorillaz' culture jamming project.
In January 2005 a promo for the song "Dirty Harry" was released as a white label 12" and an exclusive video was released online entitled "Rock It". It was later reported that the track would not appear on the album, although it later appeared on D-Sides, a collection of remixes, rare songs and B-sides released in November 2007.
Gorillaz on Demon Days
In the interview tape We Are the Dury
, the band answered questions about the record's details and their opinions on the musical theory of the new album:
- Noodle - "It was the procedure of recording this that became the education; the final outcome is the document, but the journey was the destination."
- Russel Hobbs - "As a body of work, Demon Days is more focused and considered than the first album, and maybe it has a greater gravity to it than the first record...The music has a stricter discipline to it, with an undercurrent of dark optimism."
- 2D - "Like someone's taken the first album and coloured it in."
- Murdoc Niccals - "Yeah, well, it came out pretty well like I told her to make it in the first place."
- Spin (p.64) - Ranked #4 in Spin's "40 Best Albums Of 2005" - "[A] vivid, spastic concept album about the last primates to survive the apocalypse" -
- Spin (p.105) - "Albarn still has great taste in other people's music. His new accomplice, copyright pirate Danger Mouse, fills in suggestively dubby spaces with choirs, staggering synths, and MCs ranging from De La Soul to Roots Manuva to MF Doom." - Grade: B
- Entertainment Weekly (No. 821/822, p.136) - "[This] follow-up is spookier, blippier, and more on edge." - Grade: B
- Uncut (p.106) – 4 stars out of 5 - "Dazzlingly clever - great beats, brilliant production, top tunes and some of Albarn's best singing."
- CMJ (No. 914, p.4) - "...an immensely absorbable experience with plenty of rhymes and funked-out marching beats to bite into."
- Vibe (p.143) - "[A]s original - and just as much fun - as the first."
- Mojo (p.18) - Ranked #18 in Mojo's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2005" - "[A] genre-busting, contemporary pop milestone."
All songs written by Gorillaz except as indicated.
- "Intro" (Gorillaz/Don Harper)
- "Last Living Souls"
- "Kids with Guns"
- "O Green World"
- "Dirty Harry" (Gorillaz/Romye Robinson)
- "Feel Good Inc." (Gorillaz/Dave Jolicoeur)
- "El Mañana"
- "Every Planet We Reach Is Dead"
- "November Has Come" (Gorillaz/Daniel Dumile)
- "All Alone" (Gorillaz/Roots Manuva/Simon Tong)
- "White Light"
- "Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head"
- "Don't Get Lost in Heaven"
- "Demon Days"
- "68 State" (Japanese edition)
- "People" (Second Japanese edition)
- "Hong Kong" (live at Manchester Opera House) (Japanese Premium edition)
All of these songs, aswell as "The Swagga" on the limited edition and "We are Happy Landfill" which requires the Limited edition to download are compiled in the D-sides album.
A limited edition of the album was released in a special digipak gatefold, allowing the owner to choose which band member is on the cover. It also contains an exclusive booklet, with lyrics and illustrations for each song, a DVD containing the video (with audio commentary), an animatic for the music video "Feel Good Inc.", short animated films featuring the band, an exclusive audio track titled "The Swagga" and online access to exclusive sections of the band's website, with various wallpapers and screensavers, as well as a crowbar, facilitating the opening of a locked cupboard in the kitchen on Gorillaz.com in order to download the song "Happy Landfill".
- All tracks produced by Danger Mouse and Gorillaz. Co-produced by James Dring and Jason Cox
- except "68 state", "The Swagga", "We are Happy Landfill" and "People" produced by Gorillaz, James Dring and Jason Cox
According to the album liner notes, the contributors were as follows:
This list is exhaustive of the core fifteen tracks (see above), but does not include contributions to bonus tracks.
The album was released in various countries: