The Ongoing History of New Music, Episode 807: A Complete History of Gorillaz

It seems that everything is virtual these days. Outside of the stuff you’ve got in your pick, money is nothing but a bunch of zeroes and ones zipping across hard drives. We shop at virtual stores. We read virtual books on our tables. Even our relationships have gone that way because of social media.

A lot of our music is virtual, too. It’s been that way since we started ripping our CDs and trading MP3s online. Then came stores like iTunes with its digital tracks and albums loaded with metadata.

Therefore it stands to reason that we should have virtual artists, too; performers that don’t exist at all in real life. Sure, there’s some human component, but the meatbags stay in the background where we rarely (if ever) see them.

Back in the 60s, we had cartoon creations like The Archies, Josie and the Pussycats not to mention Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Banana Splits. The Muppets introduced us to Dr, Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.

Since then we’ve had Dethklok, Prozzak and Crazy Frog, Mistula is from the Philippines and is manifested by a bunch of female dolls. The Bots are all CG creations. Hatsune Miku is a Japanese hologram. Then there’s Jen and the Holograms.

They all have their appeal, but there’s one virtual group that eclipses them all. Not only have they had hit singles and multi-platinum albums, they’ve also gone on world tours. They’re even listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful virtual band of all time.

This is the story of Gorillaz.

Songs heard on the radio show

Gorillaz, We Got the Power

Pulp, Common People

Gorillaz, Tomorrow Comes Today

Gorillaz, Clint Eastwood

Gorillaz, Feel Good Inc.

Gorillaz, Dare

Gorillaz, Kids with Guns

Gorillaz, Stylo

Gorillaz, Phoner to Arizona

Gorillaz, Andromeda

This playlist from Eric Wilhite should help things out.

Don’t forget that you can get the podcast version of this podcast through iTunes or wherever you get your on-demand audio.

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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