El Mañana (song)

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"El Mañana"
Single by Gorillaz
from the album Demon Days
Released 10 April 2006 (single) 11 March 2006 (video)
Format 7", CD, DVD
Recorded 2004
Genre Alternative rock, trip hop[1]
Length 3:47
Label Parlophone
Songwriter(s) Stuart Pot, Damon Albarn
Producer(s) Jamie Hewlett, Passion Pictures
Gorillaz singles chronology
"Dirty Harry"
"El Mañana"
Alternate covers
Double A-side cover
Double A-side cover
Music video
"El Mañana" on YouTube

"El Mañana" (Spanish for "The Future", direct translation being "The Tomorrow") is a song by British Alternative Rock Band Gorillaz. It was released on 10 April 2006 in the United Kingdom as a double A-side, and the fourth and final singles from their album Demon Days. "El Mañana", along with its other A-side "Kids with Guns", reached number 27 upon its release in the UK, a significantly lower position than its predecessors.

Music video[edit]

"El Mañana" was a full-budget video from Passion Pictures, directed by Jamie and Noodle, first revealed to the public on 11 March 2006. The video script depicts Noodle floating along peacefully in the sunshine on her floating island. Suddenly two helicopters (resembling the RAH-66 Comanche) catch up to the island and begin to fire upon Noodle with machine guns. As Noodle flees into the windmill, the helicopters smash into the sails and destroy them. When Noodle comes out of the windmill, the windmill is now in flames from the onslaught of the attacking helicopters, and the ground, once lush, green and full of life, was now barren and empty. The helicopter pilots see her and start to attack again, and she is forced back inside the windmill. The stricken island then starts to lose altitude and falls down into a canyon. Then one of the two helicopters drops a bomb and they fly off. Noodle is seen parachuting to safety during the crash sequence at 3:27 of the video.

For a few weeks before the video release, a series of events had been taking place. First, at Kong Studios on the Gorillaz website, boxes and other packing materials were seen in the lobby on 16 February 2006. A few weeks later, they were moved into Noodle's room. Subsequently, Noodle apparently began to pack the contents of her room into those boxes, and the windmill from the "Feel Good Inc." video was seen tethered to the balcony. After 7 March, as an intro before entering Kong Studios, a movie would play depicting the windmill flying away. At Gorillaz website, Noodle's room is largely barren, although the links associated with her belongings are still accessible and Shaun Ryder's head, introduced in the music video for "DARE", is still hooked up behind the partition. As of 13 March, her room started to crack around the corners on the walls. Additionally, the "Armageddon clock" on the wall had appeared to have slowed down and had an additional fourth hand. The clock has fallen off the wall and a part of the ceiling has collapsed, revealing a corridor from both Noodle's room and the Map. It was theorized that the events of the video are not merely staged because the helicopters change in appearance. In "Feel Good Inc." they are lighter, and seem to more closely resemble Bell 47Gs. In "El Mañana", they appear heavier and more armoured, seemingly modeled more like the Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. This would seem to indicate that Noodle was pursued in the "Feel Good Inc." video, stayed at Kong Studios, packed up, departed, and was then pursued by two different helicopters in the "El Mañana" video. According to the fictional history of Noodle's character, she found out that she was some type of test subject in a secret government super soldier project. The limited edition of Demon Days includes a DVD full of bonus features, including the "Feel Good Inc." video with audio commentary by the band members (Gorillaz), confirming that "Feel Good Inc." was indeed staged.

Noodle and Jamie, as a result of the video, both won the 2006 Designer of the Year Award. Shortly after the video was released, Gorillaz also performed on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, with Noodle present. In the Gorillaz autobiography Rise of the Ogre Murdoc states outright that "El Mañana" was staged specifically to get rid of an enemy of the band: Little Jimmy Manson, an uncasted psychotic hippie who supposedly was set on sabotaging Gorillaz. The story is that Jimmy auditioned for Gorillaz but was turned down after Noodle got the job and has held a grudge with Gorillaz ever since. Murdoc saw Jimmy's plan and decided to get rid of Jimmy before it was too late. Murdoc told Jimmy that he had a plan to "help him" kill off one of the band members so that firstly, Gorillaz would end with a bang and secondly, Jimmy could start a new band with Murdoc. Noodle was to do the "El Mañana" video with Manson stowed away on the island and then, while the windmill was crashing around them, Jimmy would shoot the guitarist whilst taking the parachute for himself. However, Murdoc turned the tables on Jimmy by not only "forgetting" to leave the weapon aboard the island but by also locking him in the windmill, causing Jimmy to die within the crash and Noodle to parachute to safety.

Murdoc and Noodle have stated that their characters had been planning to split up again after Demon Days. As stated in Rise of the Ogre, Noodle is in the Maldives "chilling out". After the video, Noodle began to play a new character known as "Cyborg" scripted as being built by Murdoc using DNA found at the windmill wreckage. Murdoc himself has also revealed that the helicopters that shot the windmill down were pirates and mercenaries that his character had been selling bad weapons to in Mexico and that he was still on the run from them.

Later, in the music video for their 2012 single "DoYaThing",the remains of the island are seen anchored to the side of the set house.

Track listing[edit]

UK CD single
  1. "Kids with Guns" – 3:47
  2. "El Mañana" – 3:50
  3. "Stop the Dams" – 5:39
UK DVD single
  1. "El Mañana" (video) – 3:54
  2. "Kids with Guns" (video) – 3:47
  3. "Don't Get Lost in Heaven" (demo version) – 2:29
  4. "El Mañana" (Anamatic) – 3:54
UK 7-inch single
  1. "Kids with Guns" – 3:47
  2. "El Mañana" – 3:50
European CD single
  1. "Kids with Guns" – 3:47
  2. "El Mañana" – 3:50
  3. "Stop the Dams" – 5:39
  4. "El Mañana" (video) – 3:54
Japanese CD single
  1. "El Mañana" – 3:50
  2. "Kids with Guns" – 3:47
  3. "Stop the Dams" – 5:39
  4. "Don't Get Lost in Heaven" (demo version) – 2:29
  5. "El Mañana" (video) – 3:54
UK Digital single[2]
  1. "Kids with Guns" (Hot Chip remix) – 7:07
US digital single
  1. "El Mañana" – 3:50
  2. "Hong Kong" (live in Manchester) – 6:38
US digital EP
  1. "El Mañana" – 3:50
  2. "Stop the Dams" – 5:39
  3. "Hong Kong" (live in Manchester) – 6:38
  4. "Kids with Guns" (Video) – 3:47
  5. "El Mañana" (Live In Harlem - Video) – 3:55

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2006) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 31
German Singles Chart 94
Italian Singles Chart 33
Irish Singles Chart 39
UK Singles Chart 27


External links[edit]