Elbow Leaders of the Free World (Deluxe Edition) (2012)

Elbow Leaders of the Free World (Deluxe Edition)
Origin: Ramsbottom, Bury, England
Album released: 12 September 2005 (UK) / 21 February 2006 (US)
Deluxe Edition released: March 13, 2012
Recorded: 2004–2005 at Blueprint Studios, Salford, Manchester
Record Label: Polydor/All Media/Commercial Marketing
Runtime:    90:40
01.  Station Approach     4:21  
02.  Picky Bugger     3:08  
03.  Forget Myself
Arranged By – Marius de Vries
Arranged By [Strings] – Elbow
Strings – Jote Osahn*, Stella Page     5:22  
04.  The Stops     5:03  
05.  Leaders Of The Free World     6:11  
06.  An Imagined Affair     4:43  
07.  Mexican Standoff
Engineer – Danny Evans
Voice [Hysterical Laughter] – Dylan Jupp     4:01  
08.  The Everthere     4:14  
09.  My Very Best
Arranged By – Marius de Vries
Arranged By [Strings] – Elbow     5:34  
10.  Great Expectations
Engineer – Danny Evans     5:05 
11.  Puncture Repair      1:48

01.  Strangeways to Holcombe Hill in Four Minutes And Twenty Seconds (Intro) Station Approach 4.20 (Intro) (Live in Manchester, 2008)   (1:24)
02.  Station Approach (Live in Manchester, 2008)   (4:42)
03.  Picky Bugger (BBC Radio 1 Session, 2008)   (2:48)
04.  Forget Myself (BBC Radio 2 Session, 2005)   (3:55)
05.  The Stops (BBC Radio 2 Session, 2005)   (4:13)
06.  Leaders of the Free World (Live in Manchester, 2008)   (5:54)
07.  McGreggor (Live in London, 2006)   (3:28)
08.  Great Expectations (Live in London, 2011)   (4:58)
09.  Mexican Standoff (Live in London, 2006)   (4:06)
10.  The Good Day (Live in London, 2006)   (3:50)
11.  Puncture Repair (Live in London, 2011)   (1:52)
¶  All songs written and composed by Elbow; all lyrics by Guy Garvey.
Additional musicians:
¶  Alexis Smith and Jason Boshoff - additional programming on "Forget Myself", "Leaders of the Free World" and "My Very Best"
¶  Jote Osahn and Stella Page - strings on "Forget Myself" and "My Very Best"
¶  Strings arranged by Elbow, additional arrangement by Marius de Vries
¶  Dylan Jupp - laughter on "Mexican Standoff"
¶  Design – Craig Johnston (2)
¶  Engineer [Additional], Edited By [Additional] – Mike Tarantino
¶  Film Producer [Dvd Produced By], Film Director [Directed By] – Soup Collective (tracks: DVD-1 to DVD-10)
¶  Illustration – Michael O'Shaugnessy
¶  Lyrics By – Guy Garvey
¶  Mixed By – Andy Bradfield (tracks: CD1-3, CD1-5, CD1-9), Elbow, Tom Rothrock (tracks: CD1-1, CD1-2, CD1-4, CD1-6 to CD1-10)
¶  Mixed By [Assisted By] – Dave Emery* (tracks: CD1-3, CD1-5, CD1-9), Jason Mott (tracks: CD1-1, CD1-2, CD1-4, CD1-6 to CD-8, CD-10)
¶  Music By, Producer – Elbow
¶  Producer [Additional] – Marius de Vries (tracks: CD1-3, CD1-5, CD1-9), Tom Rothrock (tracks: CD1-1 to CD1-9)
¶  Programmed By – Alexis Smith (tracks: CD1-3, CD1-5, CD1-9), Jason Boshoff (tracks: CD1-3, CD1-5, CD1-9)

Website: http://www.elbow.co.uk/
¶  The band teamed up with video artists The Soup Collective to produce an integrated music and video DVD to accompany the album. In the UK, there was a limited edition release of the CD and the DVD in a gatefold sleeve. When released in the US, initial limited copies contained the bonus DVD (with alternatively-colored green artwork).
¶  The song "Mexican Standoff" was also recorded in Spanish. This version appears as a B-side to the "Leaders of the Free World" single.
¶  The album was certified gold (sales of 100,000) in the UK by the BPI on 24 April 2009.
Album cover:
¶  The album cover is highly reminiscent of the 1976 album A Trick of the Tail by Genesis. This is, however, completely coincidental, as the cover's designer has never even seen the Genesis cover art. The album cover depicts five characters from the songs on the album itself:

1. The ticket conductor from the train in "Station Approach" (or possibly the bus conductor in "Great Expectations").
2. The bouncer ("the man at the door") from "Forget Myself." During "An Imagined Affair," Garvey sings "I drink until the doorman is a Christmas tree" possibly meaning the same character.
3. The man "kicking up mischief" and drinking from "Picky Bugger" (or possibly the man who drinks "until the doorman is a Christmas tree" in "An Imagined Affair").
4. A Mexican, from "Mexican Standoff."
5. A man needing patching up, with tea and a bike pump, as in "Puncture Repair."

¶  In 2008 they won the Mercury Music Prize for their album The Seldom Seen Kid and in November 2011 it was announced that they will be composing the BBC's 2012 Olympic coverage theme tune.
¶  Awards won by the band include the Brit Award, the Ivor Novello award, the Mercury Music Prize the South Bank Show Pop award, the NME award, and the Mojo Magazine Song of the Year 2009.
Musical style and influences:
¶  Elbow have cited a number of influences on their music, including Genesis (in particular the Peter Gabriel era), Talk Talk and Radiohead. Guy Garvey has said: "I grew up listening to every Genesis record. I learned to write harmonies by listening to Peter Gabriel." He has also claimed: "There would be no Elbow without Radiohead." He credits the band's sense of dynamics to the influence of Talk Talk and has said: "Volume dynamics are an essential part of classical music, but a lost art with guitar music. I think it's incredibly boring and shortsighted if a band sticks with just one sound song for song. An album should take people on a journey." In a recent interview for ShortList about the British Music scene, Guy Garvey said: "We now live in a time where music is coming direct from the bedroom, written for a worldwide audience without being messed with or filtered."
Review by MacKenzie Wilson

¶  When Doves headed to the studio for the recording of their third album, 2005's Some Cities, they returned home to Manchester. With that kind of scenic inspiration and emotional attachment, Some Cities resulted in Doves' best of their career at that moment. It is mere coincidence that their musical mates, Elbow, have done the same for their third album, Leaders of the Free World. Such a coincidence is a bit comforting in the respect that Elbow do not stray from what they have previously done. Despite being cast as a gloomy bunch on their first two albums -- 2001's Asleep in the Back and 2004's Cast of Thousands -- Elbow trudge on as an emotional band. Singer/songwriter Guy Garvey doesn't wallow in failed relationships as much as he enjoys being cynical and playful about the world around him. Sure, Elbow's more melodic, pensive moments such as "The Stops" and "The Everthere" are classic heartbreakers, with piano-driven melodies lush in melancholic acoustic guitars and Garvey's somber disposition. Leaders of the Free World really comes to life when Elbow give in, allowing these songs to grow into something glorious. Album opener "Station Approach" and "Forget Myself" are brilliant examples of this. "Forget Myself" metaphorically points fingers at a media-obsessed culture that is equally blasé about its own issues. Garvey throws his hands in the air, sighing to himself to "look for a plot where I can bury my broken heart." The album's title track also criticizes a very questionable political system, demanding, "I need to see the Commander in Chief and remind what was passed on to me" as a storm of electric guitars mirrors an anxious, waxing delivery by the band itself -- "Passing the gun from father to feckless son, we're climbing a landslide where only the good die young." Elbow are a great band regardless of what it takes for them to find their footing. Leaders of the Free World is a bit more rock & roll than not, with guts and heart, because Elbow have finally embraced their powerful, surrounding space this time out. [The U.S. version includes a limited-edition DVD of videos for each song on Leaders of the Free World.]


 Also: By Rachel Khong; September 7, 2005 // 6.2

23 September 2006, 19:22:21

Elbow Leaders of the Free World (Deluxe Edition) (2012)