Dirty Harry was actually the first Gorillaz release of phase two when it appeared as a limited 12" white label vinyl promo with no band name or record label logo (catalog number 'KONG01') in January 2005.
Initial copies were released in the UK but by early February plenty had made their way over to the US.
The white label did not bear the name "Gorillaz" or the name of any of their record labels. The track was later selected to be the third single from Demon Days and got a full commercial release in the UK / Europe, and Japan. The extra tracks on the release were this time quite disappointing in that most dedicated fans already had all but two of the tracks across the formats, having obtained them from promos, imports and radio broadcasts, etc.
An early version of what would become "Dirty Harry" appeared on Damon Albarn's 2003 solo release "Democrazy" under the title "I Need a Gun".
1. Dirty Harry (Single Version)
2. All Alone (Live)
1. Dirty Harry (Single Version)
3. Dirty Harry (Animatic)
4. Dirty Harry (Animatic with Dirty Harry Instrumental)
Release dates and chart position
UK : 21/11/05 – highest chart position: -
EUROPE: 21/11/05 - highest chart position: -
JAPAN : 07/12/05 – highest chart position: -
- Main Article: Dirty Harry (Video)
The video was first released on 25 October 2005 to subscribers of the Gorillaz website mailing list. Like the video for "Clint Eastwood", the video for "Dirty Harry" references the film of the same name. "Dirty Harry" is one of the few Gorillaz music videos to be filmed on-location, the others being "Stylo" and "DoYaThing". The band was going to use a computer animated desert, but it turned out simply flying the crew and band to the desert was cheaper and easier. Most of the video features shirtless 2-D and an animated version of the Children's Choir San Fernandez stranded in the middle of a desert, following what appears to have been a helicopter crash. The survivors keep themselves entertained with the song while awaiting the arrival of rescuers, portrayed by Noodle and Murdoc crewing a South African Defense Force Casspir mine-proof vehicle driven by Russel (who wears a Fu Manchu). The song and video feature a guest appearance by Pharcyde rapper Bootie Brown, who leaps out of the sand dune in World War II military fatigues to perform his verse of the song. In the end of the video the Gorillaz, the children and Bootie Brown depart the crash site in the military vehicle, which breaks down meters away. The themes in the single, as well as the themes in the entire album are all based on Damon Albarn's observations on the state that the world is in today. The helmet which appears on the single cover and the poster for the video, seen in the cinema section of the Gorillaz website, is reminiscent of the Full Metal Jacket film poster.
- The song's lyrics contain the line "The war is over so says the speaker with the flight suit on", a reference to George W. Bush's Mission Accomplished television speech.
- Dirty Harry is also a 1971 film directed by Don Siegel.
- One of Gorillaz' earlier singles is the name of the actor who played this film's title character, Clint Eastwood.
- The single cover is similiar to that of the film Full Metal Jacket.