…where we eschew impossible decade compiling lists and have the wonderful members of our community think back to some of their favourite albums from this past decade and say as many (or few) words about it as they like. This time, 7371joe remembers Asleep In The Back by Elbow…
Happy New Year everyone! Have a wonderful day, a wonderful evening, and a wonderful beginning of a brand spanking new year!!! Take it away joe!
Elbow – Asleep in the Back (2001)
Various facts and trivia about my favourite album made in the last ten years:
1) Last year’s The Seldom Seen Kid was Elbow’s fourth album. It’s majestic, and it beats albums two and three. But it has nothing on Asleep in the Back.
2) There’s a cliché that you have your whole life to write your debut album and 2 years to follow it up. Elbow were together for 11 years before V2 finally agreed to release it. Several songs on it had been around for at least 4 to 5 years beforehand.
3) This contains neither George Lassoes the Moon nor About Time, early EP tracks almost impossible to find (at the time), and as standalone songs the best things they’ve ever done. Of course, the Internet is a thing now, so they’re relatively easy to find.
4) This is a proper British album. Not a Kinks/Big Star British album, not a Boy in Da Corner/Original Pirate Material British album, but thoroughly grounded in its birthplace of Greater Manchester. Lyrically, I guess a fair comparison might be to Arcade Fire’s ‘Funeral’ – the themes are love, family and death, and every emotion caught up in between. (NB: Elbow will go on cover greater extremes of emotion – sadness in Switching Off and Some Riot, elation in Grace Under Pressure. This album works better as an album because it restrains those extremes, as best it can).
5) I’ve now typed Alseep around a dozen times.
I cannot write about the music on this album. I’ve been trying to avoid this fact since I started. The five points above probably show that. There’s a pretty great article about the lyrics and some of the more unusual sounds here.
But the music is something else. Powder Blue, Scattered Black and Whites, Newborn… I can’t do it. They speak for themselves.
Hopefully this would only be your starting point for Elbow, as they’ve never released a disappointing record, but this one is without equal.
1. “Any Day Now”
3. “Little Beast”
4. “Powder Blue”
5. “Bitten by the Tailfly”
6. “Asleep in the Back”
8. “Don’t Mix Your Drinks”
9. “Presuming Ed (Rest Easy)”
10. “Coming Second”
11. “Can’t Stop”
12. “Scattered Black and Whites”
Thanks Joe!!! You think we are done? HA! Not even close!!! More to come!!!
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