damon albarn q

On the occasion of Damon Albarn´s 50th birthday we salute the Blur frontman, Gorillaz´s ringmaster and occult pop alchemist with 4x playlists.

  • DAMON ALBARN: 50, NOT OUT / An unmannerly rip-off from Q Mag (please go buy the mag in real life)
  • DAMON ALBARN IN 20 SONGS / Straight out of the m90 office – 20 songs representing Blur, Gorillaz, The Good, The Bad and The Queen, Rocket Juice and The Moon and solo. In chronological order
  • DAMON ALBARN & FRIENDS / Celebrating his many collaborations
  • DAMON ALBARN IN 100 SONGS / Albarn bonanza from the m90 office


Here´s an extract of Q Mag, May 2018.

damon q


Our favourite 20 Damon Albarn songs, as dedicated by illustrious fans, friends and the Q writers.



Blur “Blur” (1997)

Chosen by: Noel Gallagher

“Shit, I wish I´d written that”


Blur “13” (1999)

Chosen by: Graham Coxon

“I respond as a kind of interpreter of Damon. So on things like 1992 where his chords take an unexpected turn I think how I can exaggerate the beauty of them”


Gorillaz “Demon Days” (2005)

Chosen by: Shaun Ryder

“…so I said, `Turn it up!´ It starts going up and I´m going, `It´s going up, it´s going up, it´s going up, it´s there!´ Damon goes, `Right! That´s it!´ I went, `What?!?´ It was great that it went to number 1…”


Blur “13” (1999)

Chosen by: Jules Jackson, The Big Moon

“I love Tender, it has that quality of being universally touching.”


Rocket Juice and the Moon “Rocket Juice and the Moon” (2012)

Chosen by: Tony Allen

“My favourite depends on which band of his it is…but on Rocket Juice and The Moon (a group featuring Albarn, Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tony Allen), it´s Poison”

“For Tomorrow”

Blur “Modern life is Rubish” (1993)

Chosen by: Pete Paphides, Q Writer

“ …Albarn effectively announced his arrival as a songwriter comparable to the greats who had clearly inspired him: Ray Davies, Jerry Dammers, The Clash, Paul Weller”

“Ghost Ship”

Blur “The Magic Whip” (2015)

Chosen by: Paul Weller

“I love Ghost Ship, it´s a beautilful melody and one of Damon´s best vocals, I think. He´s a very talented man”


The Good, The Bad & The Queen “The Good, The Bad & The Queen” (2007)

Chosen by: Dave Rowntree

“…It´s very minimal, it´s all about painting pictures with the words”

“Go back”

Tony Allen feat. Damon Albarn “Film of life” (2014)

Chosen by: Chris Difford, Squeeze

“…it+s very gentle and he strikes me as a very gentle person when I listen to him singing and the approach he has to songwriting”


Damon Albarn “Everyday robots” (2013)

Chosen by: Tom Doyle, Q writer

“On the surface a song about playing computer games, gunning down nameless `hostiles´, it was also, its writer admitted, trying to capture the doleful hours of a hangover…”

“Clint Eastwood”

Gorillaz “Gorillaz” (2001)

Chosen by: Loyle Carner

“Me and my mum used tol listen to the first Gorillaz album in the car everywhere we went when I was younger”

“Feel Good Inc.”

Gorillaz “Demon Days” (2005)

Chosen by: Posdnuos, De La Soul

“It truly helped to introduce a younger crowd to De La Soul”

“This is A low”

Blur “Parklife”

Chosen by: Victoria Segal, Q writer

“…suggest unsettled conditions both nationally and emotionally”


Blur “Parklife” (1994)

Chosen by: Ray Davies

“He said once when he turned 30 that he was too old to be in a rock band, remember that?”

“Kingdom of Doom”

The Good, The Bad and The Queen “The Good, The Bad and the Queen” (2007)

Chosen by: Dave Everly, Q writer

“London has always been Albarn´s greatest muse, and 13 years after “Parklife´s “ cartoonish portrait of the city, he returned to his old stomping ground with a darker state-of-capital address.”

“Out of Time”

Blur “Think Tank” (2003)

Chosen by: Gruff Rhys, Super Furry Animals

“…the whole feel of the song is very raw and sounds more like a Gábor Szabó track than a conventional pop song but obviously his mad skills as a melodicist shine through”.

“Pocket Piano Dub” (Not included on playlist)


Chosen by: Alex James

“He just can´t fucking help it, he literally shits them…There was one on that memory stick called Packet Piano Dub which I still listen to now. It´s fucking brilliant. It sounds like tomorrow”


Gorillaz “Plastic Beach” (2010)

Chosen by: Dorian Lynksey, Q writer

“Stylo is Gorillaz´s most seamless conversation between genres and generations”


Blur “Leisure” (1991)

Chosen by: Chris Catchpole, Assistant editor

“…but it´s the crashing, blissed-out wave of Albarn´s chorus that can still cause shivers”

“Apple Carts”

Damon Albarn “Dr Dee” (2012)

Chosen by: Gwenno

“Damon´s searching for the root of his idendity and the why, and to me that is the most fascinating thing about him as an artist”




The following playlist – straight out of the m90 office – 20 songs representing Blur, Gorillaz, The Good, The Bad and The Queen, Rocket Juice and The Moon and his solo work. In chronological order.


damon albarn in 20 songs


It’s coming up, it’s coming up, it’s coming up
It’s coming up, it’s coming up, it’s coming up
It’s dare




The man who never sleeps – 20 collaborations – Repetition kills you


damon and friends.jpg



damon albarn & friends





The birthday boy in desirable large amount


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