Echo Park (album)

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Echo Park
Studio album by Feeder
Released 23 April 2001
Recorded 2000
Genre Alternative rock, Post-britpop, Hard rock
Length 45:23
Label Echo
Producer Gil Norton, Feeder
Feeder chronology
Yesterday Went Too Soon
(1999)
Echo Park
(2001)
Comfort in Sound
(2002)
Singles from Echo Park
  1. "Buck Rogers"
    Released: 8 January 2001
  2. "Seven Days in the Sun"
    Released: 9 April 2001
  3. "Turn"
    Released: 2001
  4. "Piece By Piece"
    Released: 2001
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Drowned in Sound (8/10)[2]
Kerrang! 4/5 stars[3]
Q 3/5 stars[4]

Echo Park is the third studio album by the Welsh rock band Feeder. It was their first album since 1999's Yesterday Went Too Soon. The album was recorded at Great Lindford Manor in Milton Keynes during most of 2000, and was produced by Gil Norton.

Following a return to live performances of their own, after performing for most of the year at various festivals and the release of the singles "Buck Rogers" and "Seven Days in the Sun" the album was released on 23 April 2001. Two further singles—"Turn" and "Just a Day"—followed the album's release, in which the latter was not on the album, but as a b-side on "Seven Days in the Sun". The album received mixed reviews from the music press but was received well by the public, reaching number five on the UK Albums Chart. It is the last album to feature drummer Jon Lee before his death the following year.

Background[edit]

Following the minor commercial success of their highly regarded 1999 album, Yesterday Went Too Soon, the band appeared at the Manic Millennium concert at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, South Wales, supporting fellow Welsh band the Manic Street Preachers, before a headline show at the London Astoria the following year. During this time Grant Nicholas, the group's frontman and principal songwriter, began to write new material for a future album, with songs such as "Buck Rogers" and "Seven Days in the Sun" emerging through the course of the year.[5] Versions of the newly composed songs were performed many times during the course of 2000 at various festivals such as V2000 (in which "Oxygen" was performed, and broadcast on MTV UK), the Glastonbury festival and T in the Park, before the band then embarked on a mini-tour playing small venues in December.

Lyrically a lot of the album is inspired by Grant Nicholas ending a long-term relationship around the time of writing the record. Mainly in songs such as Buck Rogers, Piece by Piece, We Can't Rewind, Turn, Tell All Your Friends and Satellite News.

During the summer of the same year, Feeder began to finalise the song demos while on breaks from touring. The band recorded at the Milton Keynes recording studio, Great Lindford Manor, which comprises a family living upstairs and the studio downstairs.

Producer Gil Norton worked alongside the band. In an interview Grant said that there were periods of time in which there was friction between him (Gil) and the band, but said that despite the occasional arguments, they still remained good friends,[6] and continued to work together on the next two studio albums.

Release[edit]

Echo Park was released in the United Kingdom on 23 April 2001. Before the album's release, the single "Seven Days in the Sun" reached #14 in the UK charts, which was the follow-up to "Buck Rogers" which reached #5. The album entered the UK album charts at the same position, before becoming their first gold album; they had been in danger of splitting up if the album didn't sell well. Grant said at the time in a Melody Maker interview, "It's the same with any band. That's just the way the music business is. There is only a certain amount of money a label will put into a band. I'm just being realistic. We've been around for seven or eight years and I am not planning on giving up, but we're putting everything into this record and I'm just hoping that people like it".[7]

In July 2001 Echo released "Turn" as the third UK single to be taken directly from the album. The single reached #27 on the UK Singles Chart. It was the last UK single from the album, but "Just a Day", a b-side from "Seven Days in the Sun", was released in December of that year, and made #12 in the charts.[8] "Piece By Piece" was released in Europe only shortly after "Turn". In August 2003, the album was later certified platinum after the commercial success of Comfort in Sound.

Music[edit]

"Buck Rogers" was the band's first UK top 10 single, and is currently the joint highest peaking single from the band, tied at #5 with "Tumble and Fall", released in 2005.

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Echo Park features a varied mix of musical styles. While most of the tracks are fast, with "We Can't Rewind" showing aggression, and demonstrate the change in direction to a more commercial approach, other songs such as "Piece by Piece", "Satellite News", "Turn" and "Oxygen" reveal a quieter, slower and more melodic temperament. With Echo Park, the band began to incorporate additional instruments into their sound. Many tracks feature the use of Moog synthesizers, which Grant experimented with during the recording of the album. The opening track, "Standing on the Edge", is seen by Grant as the most experimental track on the album, as it is mostly synthesized. The closing track "Bug", was recorded live in the studio and uses more dirty-sounding riffs than most of the tracks on the record.

The voice heard at the beginning of the track "Standing on the Edge" is that of Matt Sime who is a friend of the band. He played keyboards on tour from 2000 to 2001, and also at their festival appearances of 2002. He continued to work with the band in the studio, engineering their recordings, until retiring permanently from the music business in 2011.

Content[edit]

The lyrical themes explored on Echo Park range from those of relationships on "Buck Rogers", to the idea of turning the clock back and wanting to change the past on "Turn". The two songs both feature dark moods in the lyrics, with "Oxygen" and "Satellite News" also employing a similar approach.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2001) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart 5
Irish Albums Chart 54
UK Albums Chart
Week 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09
Position
5
18
24
34
40
51
(RE)62
65
(RE)70

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Grant Nicholas

No. Title Length
1. "Standing on the Edge"   3:13
2. "Buck Rogers"   3:13
3. "Piece By Piece"   3:49
4. "Seven Days in the Sun"   3:39
5. "We Can't Rewind"   3:52
6. "Turn"   4:30
7. "Choke"   3:20
8. "Oxygen"   4:20
9. "Tell All Your Friends"   2:55
10. "Under the Weather"   3:33
11. "Satellite News" (omitted from most non UK pressings) 5:25
12. "Bug"   3:44

Personnel[edit]

  • Grant Nicholas – guitar, keyboards, vocals, additional production on "Piece by Piece"
  • Taka Hirose – bass
  • Jon Henry Lee – drums, percussion
  • Gil Norton - producer
  • Feeder - producer on "Standing on the Edge and "Choke"
  • Matt Sime - engineering additional engineering, additional production on "Standing on the Edge" "Piece by Piece" and "Choke" mixing on "Bug"
  • Dante Supple - engineering on "Buck Rogers"
  • Mark Pythian - programming
  • Jack Joseph Puig - Mixing
  • Richard Ash - second engineer
  • Joe Zook - second engineer, pro tools operator
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Blue Source - art direction
  • Roy Wilkinson - illustration

Accolade[edit]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Kerrang! United Kingdom Top 100 British Rock Albums of All Time[9] 2005 #25

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Drowned in Sound review
  3. ^ Kerrang! review
  4. ^ Q review
  5. ^ June 2000 Feeder Central fanzine
  6. ^ "Turn" CD2 single, The Making of Echo Park documentary
  7. ^ ""Straight Down The Line"". Feeder Scrapbook fansite. Melody Maker. 25 July 2000. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  8. ^ "UK top 40 singles and albums searchable database". everyhit.com. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  9. ^ Kerrang! Top 100 British Rock Albums Of All-Time- February 2005