Asleep in the Back

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Asleep in the Back
Studio album by Elbow
Released 7 May 2001 (UK)
22 January 2002 (US)
(See release history)
Recorded 1997–2001
Genre Alternative rock, art rock
Length 61:41
Label V2
Producer Steve Osborne, Ben Hillier, Danny Evans, Elbow
Elbow chronology
Asleep in the Back
(2001)
Cast of Thousands
(2003)
Singles from Asleep in the Back
  1. "Red"
    Released: 23 April 2001 (2001-04-23)
  2. "Powder Blue"
    Released: 9 July 2001 (2001-07-09)
  3. "Newborn"
    Released: 8 October 2001 (2001-10-08)
  4. "Asleep in the Back"/"Coming Second"
    Released: 4 February 2002 (2002-02-04)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars [1]
The A.V. Club (not rated) [2]
BBC Music (highly favourable) [3]
MusicOMH (highly favourable) [4]
NME 9/10 stars [5]
Pitchfork Media (7.4/10) [6]
Pitchfork Media (Deluxe Edition) (8.4/10) [7]
Stylus Magazine A− [8]

Asleep in the Back is the debut album by British alternative rock band Elbow, first released in May 2001. The title track, "Asleep in the Back", was only included as a bonus track on later editions of the album after it had been released as a single and became the band's first Top 20 hit.[9] The album release came in four different versions: the 12-track version, two 11-track versions only featuring either "Asleep in the Back" (later editions) or "Can't Stop" (UK version) and a 10-track version including neither of them. The record was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize in 2001.

Though Asleep in the Back was the first Elbow album to be released, it was not the first to be recorded. An album's worth of recorded material had been scrapped by the band several years earlier after they were dropped by their first major label, Island Records.

A 2CD/1DVD deluxe edition of the album was released in the UK on 2 November 2009. The release included almost all tracks of the near impossible to find The Noisebox EP: a live version of "George Lassoes the Moon" was included instead of the studio version.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Elbow; all lyrics by Guy Garvey

Asleep in the Back album
No. Title Length
1. "Any Day Now"   6:17
2. "Red"   5:11
3. "Little Beast"   4:15
4. "Powder Blue"   4:31
5. "Bitten by the Tailfly"   6:16
6. "Asleep in the Back" (non-initial pressings only) 3:47
7. "Newborn"   7:36
8. "Don't Mix Your Drinks"   3:16
9. "Presuming Ed (Rest Easy)"   5:26
10. "Coming Second"   4:56
11. "Can't Stop" (all UK and most recent editions) 4:36
12. "Scattered Black and Whites"   5:30
Japanese Bonus Track
No. Title Length
13. "Vum Garda"   7:55
Double 12" vinyl album

2009 Deluxe Edition[edit]

Disc one
Same as 12-track version.
Disc two (bonus disc)
Disc three (DVD)

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalogue #
United Kingdom 7 May 2001 V2 CD (10 tracks) VVR1015888
CD (11 tracks) VVR1015882
Double 12" vinyl (one bonus track) VVR1015881
11 February 2002 CD (12 tracks) VVR1019012
United States 22 January 2002 63881-27116-2
Japan 2 May 2001 V2 Japan CD (one bonus track) V2CI99
United Kingdom 2 November 2009 Polydor 2CD/1DVD Deluxe Edition 5321322

Singles[edit]

In the UK, there were four singles released from the album:

Also, three EPs preceded the album's release, all of which included versions of songs that later appeared on Asleep in the Back:

Personnel[edit]

Elbow[edit]

  • Guy Garvey – Lead vocals, backing vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, percussion, analogue synth, wine glasses, harmonica, wybercron
  • Mark Potter – Electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
  • Craig Potter – Piano, organ, backing vocals, analogue synth, percussion, wine glasses, keyboards
  • Pete Turner – Bass guitar, analogue synth, backing vocals, wine glasses
  • Richard Jupp – Drums, percussion, backing vocals

Additional musicians[edit]

  • The Elbow Choir – Vocals (9,10)
  • Danny Evans – Percussion Loops (1)
  • Ben Hillier – Percussion (2), Backing Vocals (10)
  • Ian Burdge – Cello (2), Musical Director (6)
  • Francoise Lemoignan – Saxophone (4)
  • Bob Sastri – Brass (5), French Horn (6)
  • Nick Coen – Brass (5)
  • Martin Field – Bassoon (6)
  • Stuart King – Clarinet (6), Bass Clarinet (6)
  • Matthew Gunner – French Horn (6)
  • Jonathan Snowden – Flute (6), Alto Flute (6)
  • Dominic Kelly – Cor Anglais (6)

Credits[edit]

  • Production
  • Woodwind Arrangement on Track 6 - Ian Burdge and Elbow
  • Recording
    • Danny Evans (1)
    • Ben Hillier (2,3,4,5,6,9,10,12)
    • Andrea Wright (2,3,4,5,6,9,10,12)
    • Elbow (3,8,9,12)
    • Steve Lloyd (4)
    • Ed Chadwick (6)
    • Danton Supple (7,11)
  • Mixing
    • Danny Evans (1,8)
    • Ben Hillier (2,4,5,6,7,9,10,12)
    • Andrea Wright (2,4,5,6,7,9,10,12)
    • Ed Chadwick (6)
    • Steve Osborne (11)
    • Clare Lewis (11)
    • Bruno Ellington (11)

Critical reception[edit]

Q listed Asleep in the Back as one of the best 50 albums of 2001.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kellman, Andy. Asleep in the Back at AllMusic. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  2. ^ Thompson, Stephen (19 April 2002). "Review: Asleep in the Back". Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Diver, Mike (3 November 2009). "Review: Asleep in the Back: Deluxe Edition". Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Odd, Damon. "Review: Asleep in the Back". Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  5. ^ Kessler, Ted (12 September 2005). "Review: Asleep in the Back". Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Tangari, Joe (5 February 2002). "Review: Asleep in the Back". Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Cohen, Ian (7 December 2009). "Review: Asleep in the Back: Deluxe Edition". Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  8. ^ Monks, Jon (1 September 2003). "Review: Asleep in the Back". Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  9. ^ Roberts, Dave (2 June 2006). British Hit Singles and Albums (19th ed.). Guinness World Records Limited. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  10. ^ "The Best 50 Albums of 2001". Q. December 2001. pp. 60–65.