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Four scenes from Stylo
Stylo

Single CD, Digital Download & Remix CD

Stylo is the first single released by Gorillaz from their 2010 album, Plastic Beach. It features guest vocals by Mos Def and Bobby Womack.

Content

Band member Murdoc Niccals stated the following about "Stylo" in a track-by-track commentary:

"This is a new sound for Gorillaz. An electro-ish ‘crack funk’ sound, with a little bit of politics and a lot of soul going down. With 'Stylo', I wanted the music to feel euphoric, whilst still putting across how precarious our tightly packed situation is now, worldwide. Where we’re at as a species on this overpopulated planet (“Comin' up to the Overload. Overload. Overload”)."

"Bobby Womack’s chorus, he just explodes into the track. How good is it to get Bobby Womack on the record? This was the first recording he’s made in 15, 20 years, so what an honour. Bobby said he only returned to do this Gorillaz track because his granddaughter said Gorillaz were cool. Which is true. We are."

Background Information

A demo form of the track, then just a rough beat, was premiered on the Zane Lowe show on 14 January 2009, along with "Electric Shock" and "Broken".

About a week before the official premiere, Parlophone president Miles Leonard described the song as "a dark, twisted track that sounds like the 'Saturday Night Fever' soundtrack on MDMA".

The single was leaked onto the internet on 20 January 2010. Murdoc stated on his Twitter account, "A leak! A leak! Plastic Beach has sprung a leak! One of those Russian pirates has put a bullet hole on my island! My single's leaked! 'STYLO!'" He later added, "If anyone's going to leak my single, it'll be me!"

The song's official premiere was on NME Radio that same day, shortly followed by its addition onto the Gorillaz official website. Gorillaz manager Chris Morrison stated about the leak, "I just think that illegal downloading and pirating could be stopped, without a doubt. We have to take the gloves off and say it has to be stopped."

On 26 January 2010, "Stylo" was released for digital download from iTunes.

The song was a hit in Japan, but generally underperformed elsewhere. Despite excellent reviews, it did not chart in the top 100 in the UK, and though it reached the US Billboard Alternative Songs chart, it failed to enter the main US Hot Hundred chart.

Lyrics


Mos Def: Love, electricity, shockwave central
Power on the motherboard, yes.
Push up to overload, legendary heavy glow
Sunshine, thunder-roll, keep this on, oh
Yes, the lantern burns firm and easy
And broadcast so raw and neatly,
Thunder-roll, sunshine, work it out.

2D (Damon Albarn): Overload, overload, overload
Comin' up to the
Overload, overload, overload
Comin' up to the
Overload, overload, overload
Comin' up to the
Overload, overload, overload
Comin' up to the

Oh Stylo, go forth blossom in your soul
When you know your heart is light
Electric is the love.
When the mako flies
Up from the bottom in your eyes
Then I know the twilight skies
Are not so broken hearted.

Bobby Womack: If it's love, it's electric
It'll be flowing on the streets,
Night after night
Just to get through the week,
Sometimes it's hard
Right now

2D: Sing yourself out of depression
Rise above all recession
If I know your heart
Electric is the love

Womack: There's only one way.
Let it play a little while longer
It's got a way of passing through man and woman
In another world
In another world in the universe

Right now
Here's what we've got to do.
If it's love, it's electric,
It'll be flowing on the streets
Night after night,
Just to get through the week,
Sometimes it's hard.

Mos Def(?): That's what I'm talking about.

Mos Def: Love, electricity, shockwave central
Power on the motherboard, yes
Push up to overload, legendary heavy glow
Sunshine, thunder-roll, keep this on, oh
Yes, the lantern burns firm and easy
And broadcast so raw and neatly,
Thunder-roll sunshine work it out.

Womack: Right now

[1]

  1. "Plastic Beach [Japanese experience edition]", TOCP-66950, booklet pp.12-15

Release dates and chart positions

  • US : 26/01/10 – highest chart position : 24 (Billboard Alternative Songs chart)
  • EUROPE MAINLAND: 26/01/10 - highest chart position: 5
  • JAPAN : ??? - highest chart position : 8

Controversy

Reggae singer Eddy Grant has claimed that this song bears similarities to his 1983 song "Time Warp" stating that "I am outraged that the Gorillaz have infringed the copyright of my song Time Warp, claiming their song Stylo to be an original composition" and is currently consulting lawyers.

The talk of suit and acknowledgment began on March 15th, 2010.

As of March 27th, no one of Gorillaz camp has not been given a lawsuit or contacted. EMI, that distributes music by both groups, has stated it will be handled between the two privately. Since then, no news of the lawsuit have been given out to the public.

Music Video

Gorillaz - Stylo05:02

Gorillaz - Stylo

Trivia

Headshot Stylo

Cyborg Noodle failing as the result of a bullet wound obtained before the start of the video.

  • On the singles cover art, Cyborg Noodle is striking a pose and appears to be completely oblivious of the bullet hole that is gaping from her forehead. In the video this bullet wound becomes a problem as she begins leaking what would appear to be oil, before completely shutting down.
  • "Stylo" was featured in Activision's DJ Hero 2


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