It is stated that the record is, in a sense, a concept album, as its songs are all themed around modern life in London. It was described by Albarn as "a song cycle that's also a mystery play about London" in an interview with Mojo.
Although The Good, The Bad & The Queen was first reported as a solo album by Albarn with Danger Mouse producing, NME revealed in late July 2006 that the solo project had been switched to a new group formed by Albarn. The band, which formed in 2006, released their first single, "Herculean" on 30 October 2006. The single followed the band's appearance at the BBC's Electric Proms season at the redeveloped Roundhouse in Camden on 26 October, during which they performed the entire album. Three warm-up gigs in East Prawle at the Pig's Nose Inn, Ilfracombes Marlboro Club and The Exeter Cavern Club preceded their gig on the BBC's Electric Proms, where the album was performed in order with two other songs inserted, "Intermission Jam" and "Mr. Whippy"; the latter was a B-side for "Herculean". The band performed four tracks from the album at Abbey Road Studios on 13 December 2006, during a recording session for Live from Abbey Road.
The track listing was originally unveiled and commented upon by Damon Albarn and Paul Simonon in an interview in the November 2006 issue of Uncut. The second major gig of the band's career took place on 12 December 2006, at Wilton's Music Hall in East London. It was watched by 300 specially selected fans, as the launch gig of MySpace's The List. The band released their first Top 20 single, "Kingdom of Doom", a week prior to the release of the album. In April, "Green Fields" was released as the third single from the album and debuted at No. 51 in its first week.
On 4 April 2007, The Good, the Bad & the Queen became the first EMI album to be made available for download in the new DRM-free, high quality MP3 format (320 kbit/s).
Albarn has stated in several interviews that the band itself is unnamed, and that The Good, The Bad & The Queen is simply the name of the album only. However, all single releases by the band are clearly credited on the accompanying record or CD sleeves to "The Good, The Bad & The Queen". It should also be noted the band's first single release ("Herculean") was issued months before the album ever came out – at which time, publicity materials identified the band as The Good, The Bad & The Queen and no one claimed that the band was unnamed. "The Good, the Bad & the Queen" is used exclusively as the name of the band by UK chart compilers, and almost universally by record stores, music downloading services, concert promoters, fan sites and other media.
Damon Albarn talked to NME in early March 2007 and discussed the band's future plans, which included a recording session in early September intended to produce a release not long after that: "We're going to do another whole recording session in early September. It will be totally different, more funky. We'll try to get it out in early autumn." The band Damon was referring to in this interview was not this supergroup, but was instead a group named Rocketjuice and The Moon. As of 2013, the band has not released any new material, though Simon Tong and Paul Simonon both made appearances on Damon Albarn's next project, the third Gorillaz album Plastic Beach. In November 2011, the band played a show at London's Coronet Theatre marking the 40th anniversary of Greenpeace – the first time the band had played together in almost three years.