Damon's Finest Five (link)
Blur – Parklife (1994)
Britpop's finest hour, the album that launched a thousand magazine trend pieces about Essex lads behaving badly. So, that's mid-90s Britain generalised then, but don't blame the music. "Yes, they're stereotypes," Albarn sang on the first song of next album The Great Escape, "there must be more to life."
Blur – Think Tank (2003)
With more input from William Orbit and Norman Cook than estranged guitarist Graham Coxon, Blur were forcibly removed from their college rock comfort zone, resulting in their most creative album of all. A glorious final gasp before the burial.
Gorillaz – Demon Days (2005)
Before Danger Mouse hit No.1 with Gnarls Barkley, he helped produce Gorillaz' second album which included a trio of classic singles: the kids' choir trip-hop of Dirty Harry, the languid groove and manic laugh of Feel Good Inc, and Shaun Ryder lording it over Dare.
The Good, The Bad & The Queen (2007)
Again with Danger Mouse behind the desk, Albarn with Simon Tong, Paul Simonon and Tony Allen recorded a London-themed album that replaced the peppy energy of Parklife with more doleful, resigned tones.
Monkey: Journey To The West (2008)
The soundtrack to an opera based on a 500 year-old Chinese folk tale: a belated natural follow-up to Girls & Boys, of course. Monkey is daring, moving, sometimes confounding, and truly unique. It's also unrecognisable as a Damon Albarn work, an outlier that demonstrates his remarkable range.