The Good, the Bad & the Queen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Good, the Bad & the Queen
The Good, the Bad & the Queen in 2007. From left to right: Simon Tong, Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, Tony Allen.
The Good, the Bad & the Queen in 2007. From left to right: Simon Tong, Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, Tony Allen.
Background information
Years active
  • 2005–2008
  • 2011
  • 2014–2019
Past members

The Good, the Bad & the Queen were an English art rock supergroup composed of singer Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz, bassist Paul Simonon of the Clash, guitarist Simon Tong of the Verve, and Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen. They released their self-titled debut album in 2007. Their second album, Merrie Land, coproduced with Tony Visconti, was released in 2018. They disbanded in 2019, and Allen died in 2020.


Formation and debut album[edit]

The Good, the Bad & the Queen began as a solo project by Damon Albarn with production by Danger Mouse. However, by July 2006, the project had become a band,[5] with bassist Paul Simonon of the Clash, guitarist Simon Tong of the Verve, and Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen. Albarn met Simonon at the wedding of Clash singer Joe Strummer in 1997, and Tong had worked with Albarn on Blur's 2002 Think Tank tour, filling in as guitarist following the departure of Graham Coxon.[6] Allen contacted Albarn after hearing the 2000 Blur single "Music Is My Radar", which references him.[6]

The Good, the Bad & the Queen played their debut gig in a village pub in Devon on 20 October, followed by a performance at the London Roundhouse on 26 October as part of the BBC Electric Proms.[7] They released their first single, "Herculean", on 30 October.[8] On 12 December, the band performed a secret launch gig exclusive to 300 chosen fans for Myspace's new feature The List in Wilton's Music Hall, East London.[9]

The band released their self-titled debut album on 22 January 2007.[10] It was voted by the Observer Music Magazine as the Best Album of 2007.[11] At this point, Albarn said The Good, the Bad & the Queen was only the album title and that the band was "nameless".[7] Simonon said "we didn't properly name the band, because a name is for a marriage".[11]

Albarn said the group had "permanently finished" in 2007; however, they reunited to perform at the 2008 Love Music Hate Racism carnival.[12] Tong and Simonon appeared on Albarn's next project, the Gorillaz album Plastic Beach (2010), and participated in the Plastic Beach tour. In November 2011, the Good, the Bad & the Queen played a show at London's Coronet Theatre for the 40th anniversary of Greenpeace, the first time they had played together in almost three years.[13] Allen and Tong appeared on Albarn's soundtrack for the opera Dr Dee (2012), and Allen and Albarn collaborated on the 2012 album Rocket Juice & the Moon.[14]

Merrie Land and disbandment[edit]

In October 2014, Albarn announced that a new album had been written and was waiting to be recorded.[15] In April 2017, in a new interview with Q, it was reported that an album was still in the making but that recent events had caused the group to start afresh. Albarn told Q that Brexit had "given us a wonderful starting point".[16]

On 17 October 2018, the band announced their second album, Merrie Land, produced by Tony Visconti. It was released on 16 November, as “the right circumstances came about”, under the new label Studio 13 created by Albarn.[17][18] Albarn described the album as "a series of observations and reflections on Britishness in 2018" and "a reluctant goodbye letter" following the Brexit vote.[19]

The band performed the first gig for this album in Tynemouth on 26 November 2018, which was the start of an eight-date warm-up tour in UK. They toured Europe from March to August in 2019.[citation needed] On 16 August 2019, on the last performance of the tour, at Lowlands Festival, Albarn told the crowd: "This is our last gig. After this, poof. Done."[20] Allen died in April 2020.[21]


Studio albums


  1. ^ Ankeny, Jason "Damon Albarn Biography", AllMusic, Macrovision Corporation
  2. ^ "The Good, The Bad & The Queen @ EartH, London | Live Music Reviews". 6 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Albarn's The Good, The Bad, and The Queen". 16 February 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  4. ^ Neil McCormick (5 December 2018). "The Good, The Bad & The Queen, EartH, review: Damon Albarn's Brexit-inspired blast of psychedelia". Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Damon Albarn forms new band". NME. 28 July 2006. Retrieved 28 July 2006.
  6. ^ a b Williams, Murphy (20 January 2007). "Songs of experience". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  7. ^ a b NME (21 October 2006). "Damon Albarn launches new band with tiny pub gig". NME. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  8. ^ Uncut (Nov. 2006, pp. 86–88)
  9. ^ "Damon Albarn's new band announce new single". NME. 28 November 2006.
  10. ^ MacBain, Hamish (12 January 2007). "The Good, The Bad & The Queen: The Good, The Bad & The Queen". NME. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  11. ^ a b "2007: The best 50 albums". The Observer. 9 December 2007. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  12. ^ NME (24 April 2008). "The Good, The Bad And The Queen reforming after secret split". NME. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  13. ^ BlurBalls. "Damon Albarn to revive The Good, The Bad and The Queen for Greenpeace charity gig". BlurBalls - Latest Blur, Gorillaz, Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon news. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  14. ^ Reed, Ryan (28 March 2012). "Rocket Juice and the Moon: Rocket Juice and the Moon". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  15. ^ Minsker, Evan (19 October 2014). "Damon Albarn Prepping New Gorillaz and the Good, the Bad & the Queen Albums". Pitchfork. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  16. ^ Young, Alex (10 April 2017). "Damon Albarn is working on The Good the Bad & the Queen's long-awaited new album". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  17. ^ Young, Alex. "The Good The Bad & The Queen to release new album, Merrie Land, in November". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  18. ^ Webber, Darryl (8 November 2018). "Damon Albarn talks about how Brexit inspired his new album". essexlive. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Damon Albarn's band The Good, The Bad & the Queen announce new Brexit-inspired album and Glasgow date". Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  20. ^ Daly, Rhian (16 August 2019). "Damon Albarn says The Good, The Bad & The Queen have played their "last gig" at Lowlands Festival". NME. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  21. ^ Snapes, Laura; France-Presse, Agence (1 May 2020). "Tony Allen, legendary drummer and Afrobeat co-founder, dies aged 79". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 May 2020.