Gnarls Barkley

  • Soul/Alternative duo, composed of singer/songwriter/vocalist Cee Lo Green (born Thomas Callaway) and producer/songwriter Danger Mouse (born Brian Burton), from Athens Georgia, and formed in 2003.
  • In the 90s, Green was a member of the Atlanta hip hop group Goodie Mob. He left the group in 1999 to start a solo career. After 2 solo albums, he met Danger Mouse at a tour stop at the University of Georgia, where Danger Mouse was a DJ. They started collaborating on recordings by other hip hop artists.
  • They chose the name Gnarls Barkley randomly – it is not in any way a reference to Charles Barkley, the basketball player. They thought the name was eccentric and vague, and during live performances, they continued the eccentricity, sometimes dressing as tennis players, other times dressing as astronauts or chefs or Star Wars characters. During photo shoots, they would dress as characters from films such as Wayne’s World, Back To The Future, or A Clockwork Orange.
  • They were signed to a record label, and their debut album, St. Elsewhere, was released in 2006. Green sang all of the vocals, Danger Mouse produced it, and they hired session musicians for the instrumentation. The first single from the album, Crazy, topped the UK Charts for 9 consecutive weeks, the longest #1 streak for over 10 years. In the U.S., it peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song won a Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative Performance, and Rolling Stone ranked it at #100 of the Greatest Songs of All Time, as well as the #1 song of the decade from 2000 to 2009. The album won Gnarls Barkley a second Grammy award, for Best Alternative Music Album.
  • Their second album was released in 2008 – The Odd Couple. Singles that charted from the album were Run (I’m a Natural Disaster) and Going On. Soon after its release, the duo offered it as a free download – but in reverse. Just like the old days of vinyl, when you could listen to a record by manually turning the player in the opposite direction, you could listen to the entire album with reversed vocals and backward beats in one 38 minute long track.
  • A third album has been in the works for years. In December 2017, Green reported that Gnarls Barkley was halfway through recording their next album. In the meantime, both Green and Danger Mouse have been busy with their own projects.
  • Here’s the video to Crazy – one of the biggest songs of the 00s.

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