This is a single from Dr Dee, an opera created by theatre director Rufus Norris and British musician Damon Albarn, whose resume includes fronting the groups Blur and Gorillaz. The work is based on the life of Dr. John Dee (1527-1608), an Elizabethan courtier who was also a mathematician, alchemist, astrologer, spiritualist, philosopher and spy. According to Albarn he was, "a man who walked a very fine line between the dark arts and acceptable practice."
The opera's debut performance was at the Palace Theatre, Manchester in July 2011, as part of the 2011 Manchester International Festival. The soundtrack was released on May 8, 2012 by Virgin.
Such was Dee's influence on Queen Elizabeth, that she is said to have been crowned Queen on a day chosen as favorable by him, after he consulted his astrological charts.
The song was conceived during the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. "I was sitting here with my daughter and her friends watching the wedding when I heard the growl of the (flypast) bombers coming over from Wembley," explained Albarn to The Sun. We rushed over and opened the windows and saw them fly over Trellick Tower flats. Then we saw the planes on the telly at the same time. It was a very very modern experience, almost like Twitter. I wrote a song immediately but it had a place within Dr Dee."