D-Sides Best of
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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. 68 State|
|2. People (Dare Demo)|
|4. We are Happy Landfill|
|5. Hong Kong|
|6. Highway (Under Construction)|
|7. The Rockit|
|8. Bill Murray|
|9. The Swagga|
|10. Murdoc is God|
See all 13 tracks on this disc
|1. Dare (DFA Remix)|
|2. Feel Good Inc (Stanton Warrirors Remix)|
|3. El Manana (TTC Remix)|
|4. Kids with Guns (Turn To Monsters - Jamie T Remix)|
|5. Dare (Soulwax Remix)|
|6. Kids with Guns (Hot Chip Remix)|
|7. El Manana (Metronomy's El Metronan...)|
|8. Dare (Junior Sanchez Remix)|
|9. Dirty Harry (Chinese New Years Remix )|
|10. Kids with Guns (Quiet Village Remix)|
Two CD set. While Gorillaz take a well-earned break from global domination, the menials at Kong Studios have been hard at work. As 2D finishes his law degree and Russel reinvents himself as a personal trainer, the glorious ephemera from the last phase of their musical career has been swept up, gathered together and pickled in plastic for music fans everywhere. D-Sides sees the B-sides from Gorillaz' multi-platinum selling second album Demon Days, along with early demos and previously unreleased tracks collected together for the first time. Highlights include Gorillaz' dubbed-out collaboration with The Bees, 'Bill Murray', and the apocalyptic scum-pop of 'We Are Happy Landfill'.
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The first track, "68 State" is a fully instrumental groove techno track, a quite good one, that gets the proceedings off to a nice start.
It's followed up nicely by "People" which is another techno-dance track, this time with some repeating verses. "People" develops the beat that would later go on to form the hit single "Dare", but I rather like it better in this form.
"Hongkongaton" follows, and is one of the oddest tracks here, as it starts off with some piano and synth riffs and builds off some rather unintelligible and almost inaudible lyrics, as it builds up with some more elements, it is catchy but on the bizarre end of catchy.
Track 4, "We Are Happy Landfill" is a full fledged song, originally available as a download (that you had to use a crowbar to fetch out of a kitchen cupboard) if you bought the deluxe version of Demon Days. It's a good track and perhaps the song most suited to being a Gorillaz single on this comp.
Track 5 "Hong Kong" is a reworked version of the beautiful song Damon made for the War Child project. It was popularized as the closer for the Gorillaz live performances in Manchester and Harlem, though Damon originally did not intend it to be labeled a Gorillaz track. But as the track stands here in this new recording, it is even more beautiful and easily the centerpiece of this collecton.
"Hong Kong" is followed up with another more mellow track, "Highway" which has a very nice vocal melody built off of a simple bass/handclap beat.
"Rockit" is a simple track with a recognizable Gorillaz groove. It was originally leaked online as a harbinger to note that Gorillaz were at work on a new album, it even has a video which has been playing on the website since 2005 and has already been anthologized on the last Gorillaz dvd.
"Bill Murray" is a loose groove with a couple movements and some repeated lyrics, I suppose it could suit a Bill Murray character in one of his recent movies.
"The Swagga" is a very good track, which is a more developed track lyrically as the song builds in tempo and force from some very simple electro beats, and features Damon yelling "Whoo" in the chorus, so it by all rights should become extremely popular, just like "Song 2" (Whoo hoo!).
"Murdoc is God" has loud guitar and repeats things like the title of the song, probably the most throw away of any track here.
"Spitting Out the Demons" has a reggae-ish vibe which builds nicely into the demo of "Don't Get Lost in Heaven" which has a very happy and loose dancehall feel, you could almost light skank to it.
Things finish up on disc one with the beautiful "Stop the Dams", a really nice way to wrap up the proceedings.
So, there's a lot of nice stuff here that exposes a lot of different angles to Damon's song writing process and the Gorillaz collaboration. Some of the material is very beautiful (Stop the Dams, Hong Kong) and shows Damon near the height of his powers as a singer, other tracks might be better suited to something like Damon's Democrazy album (which the demo for Dirty Harry came out on) as they are roughly formed, but still catchy and at least expose the sort of foundation for some of the Gorillaz sound, behind the scenes glimpses in a way.
Disc two features remixes of all the Demon Days singles, 3 a piece for Dare and Kids With Guns, 1 each for the others. There's a few very good remixes and a couple that are just okay. Dirty Harry is redone in Chinese by other performers, and track 3 is basically a new song built around elements of Kids With Guns that has a rap developed around the kids turning to monsters theme, almost a broadway character sketch of a song. Those tracks might be more or less novelties, but most of the other remixes are quite worth listening to.
Those who pick up the deluxe package will be treated to a nice gift box, a sew-on patch, a set of 4 buttons, a sheet of stickers of the Gorillaz characters and 2 nice art prints, in addition to the nice booklet and both discs.
Well worth the pick up for serious Gorillaz fans, though casual fans will possibly be perplexed. The deluxe set also makes a great gift or collectors item for the true fan.
Now, whether this will be the final release from Gorillaz, or whether there will be future albums, that movie that's been in the works for so long, a soundtrack for it... we'll have to wait and see. With this package, the Gorillaz have both left themselves a lot of directions to go in, or at least a nice document of where they've already explored.
In the deluxe set you get a nice black box package, with a stamped lid that comes fully off to open the package. Inside there is a cardboard, 2 disc slip case with the discs included and a track listing on the back with the times of each track. You get the booklet, which is likely the same as the regular edition, though I can't be certain. There is a sheet of 4 stickers with 1 of each of the Gorillaz. There are 4 buttons which have Gorillaz related designs, though they aren't "Gorillaz" badges or buttons. There are 2 Gorillaz art prints that are pretty cool (I don't know if different ones are inserted in different sets, or if everyone gets the same ones.) There is also a sew-on patch relating to the album artwork. And that's all. So, while I like the box and am pleased with the extras, I'm sure most fans won't necessarily want to pay extra for buttons, stickers, a patch and a couple art cards. So, assess how devoted the fan you're buying for is before making your decision.
So, in my opinion, the first disk or the b-sides is much stronger. These songs are really good. The remix side isn't as great. It's probably because they remix the same songs over and over again (you can only here DARE so many times) and compared to the Spacemonkeyz album - which had a cohesive structure these just aren't as good. Here's hoping they (Spacemonkeyz) remix Demon Days.
All in all if you own G-sides you have no reason not to buy this one for the content and the price this is a really good set of disks. I give it 4 stars because I think the second disk is weaker in my opinion.
If you are a Gorillaz fan you won't be disappointed. I got the mp3's off Amazon since they were cheaper (and faster) and since they are encoded at 256 VBR - I would have just filed the CD away at home had I gotten the physical copy (and spent more money)...
That said, there are 22 tracks on the version I have. Amazon lists 23 tracks with "El Manana" appearing twice on the remixed second disc. I only have it once, and that's the "El Manana (Metronomy Remix)".
Disc One: For the most part I liked the first disc consisting entirely of b-sides. There aren't any tracks that have a wow factor, but some that stood out to me were the interesting seven minute "Hong Kong" and the much shorter "Hongkongaton". "Bill Murray" and "The Swagga" are fairly memorable as are "68 State", "People" and "Stop The Dams". They could have shredded and trashed the awful "Murdoc Is God" and the throwaway demo version of "Don't Get Lost In Heaven". Overall, I felt that the 13 tracks fluctuated between dub/ambient/hip hop that give the disc a chill out feel.
Disc Two: Nine remixes of songs we already have with "Dare" and "Kids With Guns" sharing three versions a piece. Right away I could have done without the 12 minute version of "Dare (DFA Remix)". Unless you are going to do something interesting with a song, there's no need for a 12 minute version of it. Likewise, the 10 minute version of "Kid With Guns (Quiet Village Remix)" was disposable. In fact, I didn't like the other two versions "Kids With Guns (Jamie T's Turns To Monsters Mix)" or "Kids With Guns (Hot Chip Remix)" either. "Dare (Soulwax Remix)" and "Dare (Junior Sanchez Remix)" were average. "Feel Good Inc (Stanton Warriors Remix)" didn't add anything to the original. "El Manana (Metronomy Remix)" was okay. The best song, really, was "Dirty Harry (Schtung Chinese New Year Remix)". The original was good, but this Chinese version with oriental instrumentation, made the song just different enough while retaining the essence of the original that I will probably only keep that song on my player.
In general, unless you're a hardcore Gorillaz fan, or you really like cutting room floor songs and remixes, I'd recommend passing on this one.