Gorillaz - "Clint Eastwood"
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"Clint Eastwood" is Gorillaz' debut single, taken from their self-titled album Gorillaz, and
..."Clint Eastwood" is Gorillaz' debut single, taken from their self-titled album Gorillaz, and released in March 2001. It peaked at the #4 in the UK and #57 in the US on September 11, 2001.
The song is a mix of electronic, hip hop and rock with a sample from the main theme to the classic western film, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (which stars Clint Eastwood, who is not mentioned in the song itself). The verses are rapped by Del tha Funkee Homosapien (Teren Jones), portrayed as a blue phantom in the video, while the chorus is sung by 2D (Damon Albarn).
The animated music video was directed by Jamie Hewlett and Pete Candeland. It starts with the Gorillaz logo in red against a black screen, and the following quote from the 1978 film Dawn of the Dead: "Every dead body that is not exterminated, gets up and kills. The people it kills, get up and kill" in Japanese then in English. This phrase was deemed offensive in some countries and a censored version was produced that omits this intro.
The video and song name is a reference to the famous western starring actor Clint Eastwood, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The yell from the film's theme song can be heard at the beginning of the video. Closeups of the bandmember's faces are featured throughout the video, something that is used often in spaghetti westerns. Midway through the film, Del summons a graveyard from the ground, which is a reference to the ending of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Although often mistaken for referring to drugs such as marijuana, LSD, or mushrooms, the song's famous chorus, "I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad. I got sunshine in a bag", is actually a reference to the money in the bag Clint Eastwood's character rides off with at the end of the film.
The band is seen playing their music against a completely white backdrop. Russel's cap then begins to mysteriously rise on its own, and the ghost of Del appears to be emerging from under it. He begins to rap, leaving the other band members dumbfounded, and the backdrop at this point is that of a cemetery. Del then begins to summon enormous tombstones to burst out of the ground, as a heavy shower of rain and thunderstorm begins. Shortly afterwards, zombie gorilla hands rise up from the ground. Murdoc is grabbed by the crotch and pulled to the ground (a reference to the Peter Jackson zombie film Braindead.) Seconds later, the zombie gorillas themselves rise up. Murdoc immediately flees at the sight of them, with a number of them pursuing after him. He then turns and glares at them out of frustration at his inability to escape, and the zombie apes engage in a bizarre dance routine before Murdoc is finally struck by lightning (this dance routine is similar to the choreography on Michael Jackson's "Thriller" music video). Noodle is then shown joyfully skipping along, almost as if she is completely unaware of her surroundings, and in her playful skipping, she delivers a hard kick to one of the zombie gorillas in the face. Immediately afterwards, Del is then sucked back into Russel's head as the gorillas all disintegrate, and the band members are left standing in the cemetery, now bright with sunlight. The video then concludes with a split screen showing each of the four band members and their names.
The video for Clint Eastwood won an award at the Rushes Soho Short Film Festival Awards in 2001, defeating entries by Blur, Fatboy Slim, Radiohead, and Robbie Williams.
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