'The Poison Tree' (2018)
By The Good, the Bad & the Queen in 2018Updated May 2021
The Good, the Bad & the Queen was a 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…
The Good, the Bad & the Queen was a 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.
Formation and debut album
Albarn first met Simonon at the wedding of Clash singer Joe Strummer in 1997, where Simonon. Allen contacted Albarn after hearing the 2000 Blur single "Music Is My Radar", which contains a reference to Allen. In 2002, following the departure of guitarist Graham Coxon, Tong joined Blur on their Think Tank tour.
The Good, the Bad & the Queen began as a solo project by Albarn with production by Danger Mouse. However, by July 2006, the project had become a band. They 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. They released their first single "Herculean" on 30 October. 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.
On 12 January 2007, the band released the second single "Kingdom of Doom", which became their first Top 20 single. On 2 April 2007, the third single "Green Fields", which was at No. 51 in the first week after its debut.
The band released their self-titled debut album The Good, The Bad & The Queen on 22 January 2007. This album was voted by the Observer Music Magazine as the Best Album of 2007. At this point, Albarn said that The Good The Band And The Queen was the album title and not the band name, saying that the band was "nameless". Simonon said "we didn't properly name the band, because a name is for a marriage".
Albarn said the group had "permanently finished" in 2007; however, they reunited to perform at the 2008 Love Music Hate Racism carnival. Tong and Simonon appeared on Albarn's next project, the third Gorillaz album Plastic Beach (2010), and Allen collaborated with Albarn again on the 2012 album Rocket Juice & the Moon. 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. Tong and Simonon appeared on Albarn's next project, the third Gorillaz album Plastic Beach, and participated in the tour in support of the album. Allen and Tong appeared on Albarn's soundtrack for the opera Dr Dee (2012).