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No squealing, remember (that it's all in your head)

Clint Eastwood is the debut single by Gorillaz and the fifth track on their first studio album, Gorillaz. It features rap verses by American rapper and hip-hop artist Del The Funky Homosapien. The song is named after the actor of the same name due to its similarity to the theme music of The Good, the Bad and the UglyW.[1]

Background Information[]

On the Gorillaz autobiography Rise of the Ogre, the song is claimed as the band's big signature tune. A huge smash initially in the UK, where it remained in the charts for months and in the Top 10 for weeks.

At around the same time radio in Europe also went mad for the song. Slightly later in 2001 the song would also become a massive radio hit in the US and Central & South America. Bigger than Damon Albarn's previous smash, Song 2 (with Blur), this song remains one of Damon's biggest hits to date (with its long standing popularity only later beaten by Feel Good Inc.).

In the UK, the Ed Case Refix, made by DJ Ed Case featuring reggae singer Sweetie Irie, actually got far more airplay than the regular verson due to the popularity of UK Garage at the time, resulting in the inclusion of said remix on the debut LP. B-side Dracula was probably the best of the off cuts from the 'Gorillaz' sessions and became the most popular b-side track from Phase One as well. British hip-hop group Phi-Life Cypher also contributed providing rap verses and vocals to the original version of Clint Eastwood, later released on G-Sides, and at the live BRIT Awards performance along with concerts from the Gorillaz LIVE tour.

Because of legal issues that Damon Albarn had with Del The Funky Homosapien, his rap parts could not be used during live performances, and so various rappers have contributed to different versions of to the song, including Phi-Life Cypher themselves, De La Soul with Bootie Brown or The Last Emperor in the Demon Detour, Tinie Tempah (Johnathan Ross Show), Snoop Dogg (Glastonbury), Bashy & Kano (Escape To Plastic Beach World Tour), Eslam Jawaad (Damascus), Little Simz and Vince Staples (on the Humanz Tour and later occasions) and many other artists.

During an interview with SpinW magazine, Del stated that he did not want to perform the song live with the band as he did not understand how their performances worked and was afraid of the audience misconstruding his own works. However, after both Del and Damon sorted out their problems and Gorillaz' style of live performances became more refined and established, the original rap with Del has been used again, first during Damon's Everyday Robots Tour and later from the Humanz Tour onwards. Other artists, however, continue to be featured on some live performances to this day.

Recording[]

Real Life Backstory[]

The foundation of the song is based around a preset produced by the Suzuki OmnichordW OM-300 called 'Rock One'. Its original demos were recorded by Albarn using a drum machine and a guitar, with similar demos being re-recorded into LogicW as a backing track.

The strings featured in the song are from a string machine, the Solina String Ensemble. According to the engineer, Jason Cox: "

Damon gave us the OK to set fire to it on stage, but we said 'No, you can't set fire to that! It's a classic!', and it's ended up being used on two or three (other) tunes.

The drums were provided by a drum machine and the main instrument used was the melodica, which Albarn used to make the basic track as well.[2]

The original rap was done by Phi-Life Cypher and planned to keep that as the album version. However, Dan the Automator insisted a different rapper was used instead, and courted Del The Funky Homosapien (who he was working with on Deltron 3030 at the time) as the guest rapper. Del was initially hesitant and only agreed to record his It after being shown the band’s artwork and recognizing Jamie Hewlett’s art style from Tank Girl (a comic book series he collected as a teenager). Using techniques he learned from reading a book called “How To Write a Hit Song”, he wrote and recorded his verses for the song. It was considered superior and stuck as the album version, quickly becoming one of the band’s biggest hits.

Del later said that he was completely unaware of the song's release and its success until people he knew began telling him that it was being played all over the radio.[3]

Virtual Band Backstory[]

While recording at Kong Studios, 2-D started fiddling around with his melodica and Russel Hobbs took the good bits out of it, while Murdoc wrote the melody and 2-D sang it. 2-D also claimed he had a cold when he did the vocals but they still worked nonetheless.

Murdoc jokingly said that when he did the song he just pushed the "reggae setting" button on his Honda Z-Chord autoharp, turned the knob from 'flop' to 'hit', and popped out the song.

The original recording featured him signing "colourless, atonal vocals", but Dan the Automator, the producer of the album, suggested the song could be improved by replacing his sections with a rap. Such suggestion seemed to trigger a ghostly summoning which shook all of Kong, and Del's phantom erupted from Russel's head and sang his own lines while Russel was sent to a coma. Russel later claimed that Del transformed the whole sound.

After finishing the song, they named it 'Clint Eastwood' because the melodica line felt similar to the theme song from the movie The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. 2-D also stated that, because of its dub feel, it was a hat tip to all 1970's reggae stars who used names like that.

Music Video[]

ClintEastwoodMV
Main Article: Clint Eastwood (Music Video)

The music video for Clint Eastwood was released alongside the single on the 5th of March 2001. It was directed by Jamie Hewlett & Pete Candeland and animated by Passion Pictures.

The music video features the band performing the song in the graveyard next to Kong Studios when suddenly Del The Ghost Rapper appears from out of Russel's head and starts rapping. It also introduces the band members by their names around the end of the video, to get the audience to know the characters.

Lyrics[]

[2-D]
Oh oh oh oh oh

I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad
I've got sunshine, in a bag
I'm useless, but not for long
The future is coming on

I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad
I've got sunshine, in a bag
I'm useless, but not for long
The future is coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on

[Del]
Yeah... Ha Ha!
Finally someone let me out of my cage
Now, time for me is nothing 'cause I'm counting no age
No, I couldn't be there
Now you shouldn't be scared
I'm good at repairs
And I'm under each snare
Intangible
Bet you didn't think so I command you to
Panoramic view
Look, I'll make it all manageable
Pick and choose, sit and lose
All you different crews
Chicks and dudes
Who you think is really kickin' tunes?
Picture you gettin' down in a picture tube
Like you lit the fuse
You think it's fictional?
Mystical? Maybe
Spiritual, hearable
What appears in you to clear your view
When you're too crazy
Lifeless, to know the definition for what life is
Priceless to you because I put you on the hype shit
You like it?
Gun smokin', righteous with one toke
Psychic among those
Possess you with one go

[2-D]
I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad
I've got sunshine, in a bag
I'm useless, but not for long
The future is coming on

I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad
I've got sunshine, in a bag
I'm useless, but not for long
The future is coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on

[Del]
The essence, the basics
Without it, you make it
Allow me to make this
Child-like in nature
Rhythm
Yyou have it or you don't, that's a fallacy
I'm in them
Every sprouting tree
Every child apiece
Every cloud and sea
You see with your eyes
I see destruction and demise, corruption in disguise
From this fuckin' enterprise
Now I'm sucking to your lies
Through Russel, not his muscles but percussion he provides
With me as a guide
Y'all can see me now 'cause you don't see with your eye
You perceive with your mind
That's the inner
So I'mma stick around with Russ and be a mentor
Bust a few rhymes so motherfuckers remember
Where the thought is
I brought all this
So you can survive when law is lawless
Feelings, sensations that you thought was dead
No squealing, remember
(That it's all in your head)

[2-D]
I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad
I've got sunshine, in a bag
I'm useless but not for long
The future is coming on

I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad
I've got sunshine, in a bag
I'm useless but not for long
My future is coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on

My future is coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on

My future is coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on

My future is coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
My future is coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
My future is coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
My future

[4]

Single Formats[]

Standard CD/Digital Re-Release[]

  1. "Clint Eastwood (Single Version)"
  2. "Dracula"

Enhanced CD[]

  1. "Clint Eastwood (Single Version)"
  2. "Clint Eastwood (Ed Case Refix) (Edit)"
  3. "Dracula"
  4. "Clint Eastwood (Music Video)"

Cassette[]

  1. "Clint Eastwood (Edit)"
  2. "Clint Eastwood (Ed Case Refix) (Edit)"
  3. "Dracula"

12" 45 RPM Vinyl[]

  1. "Clint Eastwood (Original Mix)" [A1]
  2. "Clint Eastwood (Ed Case Refix)" [B1]
  3. "Clint Eastwood (Phi Life Cypher Version)" [A2]

UK Promo CD[]

  1. "Clint Eastwood (Original Mix Edit)"

EU Promo CD[]

  1. "Clint Eastwood (Ed Case Refix Edit)"
  2. "Clint Eastwood (Original Mix Edit)"

US Promo CD[]

  1. "Clint Eastwood (Original Mix Edit)"
  2. "Clint Eastwood (Ed Case Refix Edit)"
  3. "Clint Eastwood (Phi Life Cypher Version)"
  4. "Clint Eastwood (Call-Out Hook)"

PAL VHS Promo[]

  1. "Clint Eastwood (Music Video)"

7" 33 ⅓ RPM UK Promo Vinyl[]

  1. "Clint Eastwood (Single Version)" [A]
  2. "Dracula" [B]

12" 33 ⅓ RPM US Promo Vinyl[]

  1. "Clint Eastwood (Original Mix Edit)" [A1]
  2. "Clint Eastwood (Instrumental)" [A2]
  3. "Clint Eastwood (Ed Case Refix Edit)" [B1]
  4. "Clint Eastwood (Phi Life Cypher Version)" [B2]

12" 33 ⅓ RPM US 'Clean Versions' Promo Vinyl[]

  1. "Clint Eastwood (12" Clean Edit)" [A1]
  2. "Clint Eastwood (Radio Edit)" [A2]
  3. "Clint Eastwood (Ed Case Refix Clean Version)" [B1]
  4. "Clint Eastwood (Phi Life Cypher Clean Version)" [B2]

Note: The 'Single Version' is not labeled as such on any of the single formats.

Release Dates and Chart Positions[]

  • UK: 05/03/01 – highest chart position: 3
  • AUS: 07/05/01 – highest chart position: 17
  • USA: 26/03/01 - highest chart position: 57

Availability[]

Single Version[]

  • Clint Eastwood single.

Album Version[]

Official Versions[]

Standard[]

  • Original Mix/Single Version (5:54) - on the 12" vinyl, certain CDs and digital single formats;
  • Album Version (5:39) - on Gorillaz and The Singles Collection 2001-2011;
  • Unfaded Un-mastered Version (6:33) - on the Gorillaz (Un-mastered Tracks) promo CD;
  • Unfaded Instrumental (6:40) - on the Gorillaz (Instrumentals) promo CD.

Edits[]

  • 12" Clean Edit (5:54) - on the US Clean Versions promo 12" vinyl;
  • Album Version Clean Edit (5:39) - on the US Gorillaz (Clean Version) CD;
  • Original Mix/Single Version Edit (3:44) - on various CD, cassette and vinyl single formats and the Now That's What I Call Music! 8 compilation;
  • Radio Edit (3:44) - on the US Clean Versions promo 12" vinyl;
  • Clean/Video Edit [no outro] (3:34) - on many promo CDs;
  • Clean/Video Edit [with outro] (4:28) - on the music video;
  • Original Mix Clean Edit [shorter version] (3:46) - on the 4 Mixes promo CD;
  • Original Mix Clean Edit [longer version] (5:41) - on the Lazy Sunday: The Best of Now, Then and In-Between compilation.
  • Original Mix Clean Edit New Version (3:46) - on many promo CDs;
  • Call-Out Hook (0:17) - on the US promo CD.

Remixes[]

  • Ed Case Refix (4:30) - on the 12" single vinyl, the 12" remixes vinyl promos and some versions of Gorillaz;
    • Ed Case Refix Edit (3:42) - on many single formats, most versions of Gorillaz and The Singles Collection 2001-2011;
    • Ed Case Refix Clean Version (3:55) - on the US Clean Versions promo 12" vinyl;
    • Ed Case Instrumental Mix (4:34) - on The UK Garage Remixes promo 12" vinyl.

Other Recordings[]

  • Phi Life Cypher Version (4:50) - B-side on various single formats, a promo acetate and G-Sides;
    • Phi Life Cypher Clean Version (4:57) - on the US Clean Versions promo 12" vinyl.
  • Live at the Forum (4:38) - on the Live At The Forum, 2001 LP;
  • Live at the Forum Reprise (5:53) - on the Live At The Forum, 2001 LP;
  • Sarm Studios Session version (4:50) - on the Live Tracks promo CD and the single & EP Series releases of DARE;
  • iTunes Session version (4:32) - on the iTunes Session live EP.

Videos[]

Trivia[]

  • Clint Eastwood is the first song by the band (and one of the few) to directly address a band member by name in the lyrics. In one verse, Del says "Through Russel, not his muscles but percussion he provides", and on the other "So I'mma stick around with Russ and be a mentor".
    • Funnily enough, the original Phi Life Cypher Version addresses both Russel and Noodle as well, in the verses "I'm a mad dred, causin' so much havoc in Russel's head" and "I smash the top of your head with a guitar that I borrowed from Noodle".
  • The Spacemonkeyz remix of the song from Laika Come Home is named A Fistful Of Peanuts, and also has an extended version named More Peanuts.
  • The Singles Collection 2001-2011 includes the album version of the song instead of the single one, likely as a mistake.

Gallery[]

Physical Releases[]

Wallpapers[]

Others[]

References[]

  1. "Welcome to the Monkey House". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  2. Inglis, Sam (September 2001). "Recording Gorillaz's 'Clint Eastwood'". Sound on Sound. URL status: dead. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  3. "Del the Funky Homosapien on Not Wanting to Do Gorillaz "Clint Eastwood" (Part 6)", located at 7:13. djvlad (15 January 2018). Retrieved on 23 September 2022.
  4. Gorillaz, "The Singles Collection 2001-2011 [Japanese standard edition]", WPCR-50332, Booklet p. 10-13.

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