Superfast Jellyfish is a promotional single and the sixth track on Gorillaz' 2010 album, Plastic Beach. It features the talents of Gruff Rhys and De La Soul. Dave (the mechanic working in the Plastic Beach basement on the Gorillaz' site) was probably talking about this song when he mentioned a new single called "Pink Stink Fish".
Although a raft of remixes were issued as promos, and the track is included on The Singles Collection 2001-2011, it never became a full retail single, being dropped from the Gorillaz release schedule in favour of "On Melancholy Hill".
Band member Murdoc Niccals stated the following about "Superfast Jellyfish" in a track-by-track commentary:
"When you think about Gorillaz, it makes sense to have a Super Furry Animal on there, doesn’t it? I’ve always loved them, so I sent a jet over to pick Gruff up and take him over here."
"A lot of fun, this track. If you turn it up loud enough all the colours start spilling and washing out of the speakers. You could flood your room with a track like this."
The popularity behind this song is based in its rather mysteriously random context. There is little depth to the peppy song itself, minus the fact that there is a breakfast item of some sort being advertised made with freeze-dried jellyfish, although what kind of item that it is remains ambiguous. There is some clue that it is a sort of cereal, what with the fact that "it comes with a toy" and that it boasts exceptional "gritty crunch that tastes just like chicken". However, the fact that it comes in "wrappers of mini bite sizes" and that it can be cooked over open flames and in a microwave says otherwise, perhaps that it may be a Pop-Tart variety breakfast-snack. There is a possibility the song is talking about many different variations of the snack, as a line mentions "a whole line of breakfasts you've got time for". Regardless, it can be prepared in a relatively fast "three microwave minutes", hence the name Superfast.
Possible Hidden Meaning
Although lovingly simple and groovy in its own regards, Superfast Jellyfish is so very elementary that it has garnered the attention of many fans that there is a hidden meaning laced between the lines.
Many assumptions lead towards a turn to a use of alternative food sources. For instance, throughout the song, there is a denial in the song said by Gruff Rhys which denotes that the meat in this fictional breakfast is chicken. This could be interpreted in a sense that he has been fooled to think that what he's eating is indeed chicken when it is in fact jellyfish.
Another interpretation is that the song is a social critique of a fast food industry that reaps lucrative financial rewards dangling mysterious carrots in front of a gullible, slothful public easily lured by marketing gimmicks (i.e. pretty packages, frosting, toys).
In addition, it is interesting to note that 2-D mumbles his way through the chorus. Without the aid of a pack of lyrics, it can be hard to decipher the words he sings here. This could also further reinforce the previous claim, what with the guest rappers speaking rather clearly (the voice of consumers), and 2D representing the voice of the producers of Superfast Jellyfish. The fact that 2D mumbles could be interpreted as the producer's voice as being fuzzy when introducing a product without telling the public what's in it unless they read the nutrition facts (lyrics).
There are other ideals that say the song has a hidden meaning which lays the metaphor of "jellyfish" as a sort of drug, similar to the rumours behind "Clint Eastwood".
Though they do not give a source, ChaCha.com has yet another interpretation: "The song is a very sarcastic play on the music industry. It comments on how everything deep and worthwhile is cheapened and watered down because it is quick and easy to keep up with our fast-paced world that way."
It's also unavoidable to think about a certain fast food chicken biscuit that is marketed for breakfast, gritty crunch and all.
Rumours of the song referencing the popular children's T.V. show, Spongebob Squarepants are abounded as well, as the show prominently features fast food, jellyfish, and even King Neptune makes occasional appearances.
- Main Article: Superfast Jellyfish (Video)
With the release of Plastic Beach album, the official music video was made available for download to users that purchased the Deluxe Edition of the album. It was also made available for purchase and download on iTunes. The music video opens with a black and white scene depicting a dishevelled man crawling out of bed. The man then realized that it was time for breakfast and pulls out a box of Superfast Jellyfish before stuffing it into the microwave. After several seconds of waiting, a technicolour animated jellyfish pops out of the box to greet the man who was anxiously waiting for breakfast. The jellyfish then floats out of the microwave and engages in an elaborate psychedelic dance sequence with the man; accompanied by an entire school of jellyfish. The video ends with a black and white closeup of the man devouring the colourful jellyfish and slurping its tentacles into his mouth.
Appearances in Various Media
The titular Jellyfish has made several appearances in the other music videos as well as in games. In the "Stylo" music video, the police car went crashing right through a billboard containing an advertisement for Superfast Jellyfish. In the "On Melancholy Hill" music video, the fleet of submarines encountered a swarm of Superfast Jellyfish on their way to Plastic Beach, shredding a few in the process. In the Escape to Plastic Beach Game, the jellyfish can be seen underwater as Murdoc swims to save 2-D and Cyborg Noodle. In addition, in one of the two screensavers available in the Plastic Beach Experience edition of the album, several Superfast Jellyfish are seen swimming across the screen.
The Remixes CD tracklisting
- Superfast Jellyfish (Unicorn Kid Remix)
- Superfast Jellyfish (Evil Nine Remix)
- Superfast Jellyfish (Mighty Mouse Remix)
- ↑ "Plastic Beach [Japanese experience edition]", TOCP-66950, booklet pp.15-16