Glasvegas (album)

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Glasvegas
Studio album by Glasvegas
Released 8 September 2008 (2008-09-08)
(See release history)
Recorded Brooklyn Recording Studios, New York, United States;
Glasgow, Scotland
Genre Indie rock[1]
Length 41:47
Label Columbia
Producer James Allan, Rich Costey
Glasvegas chronology
Glasvegas
(2008)
A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like a Kiss)
(2008)
Singles from Glasvegas
  1. "Geraldine"
    Released: 23 June 2008
  2. "Daddy's Gone"
    Released: 25 August 2008
  3. "Flowers & Football Tops"
    Released: 23 February 2009

Glasvegas is the debut studio album by the Scottish Indie rock[1] band Glasvegas, first released in the UK on 8 September 2008 by Columbia Records (see release history). The album was produced by lead singer James Allan and Rich Costey (Muse, Franz Ferdinand). The album sold 56,000 copies in its first week of release and reached number 2 on the UK Albums Chart.[2] The album was nominated for Best International Album at the 2008 Swedish Rockbjörnen awards, Best Album at the 2009 NME Awards and the 2009 Mercury Prize.[3][4][5] On 25 September 2009 the album was certified Platinum by the BPI, and it has sold over 300,000 copies in the UK.[6]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 74/100[7]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[8]
Drowned in Sound (7/10)[9]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[10]
NME (9/10)[11]
The Observer 5/5 stars[12]
Pitchfork Media (6.0/10)[13]
Q 4/5 stars[7]
Robert Christgau (A)[14]
The Times 4/5 stars[15]
Uncut 3/5 stars[16]

The album was released to generally favourable reviews garnering an average score of 74/100 at aggregator website Metacritic.[7] Observer Music Monthly says that "these hard-nosed softies are unique and this, make no mistake, is their Definitely Maybe, the quintessential noise-pop set of the modern age."[17] Dot Music gave the album a glowing review, calling it "a gut punch of a debut, and one that makes you believe Glasvegas are one of those rare, rare bands who might just have that perfect record in them."[18] Likewise, the NME exclaimed, "So believe it: this is the real thing, no-one's crying wolf, not even Alan McGee."[19] Rolling Stone found that on the album "Glasvegas create wall-of-distortion melodrama that draws on The Jesus and Mary Chain, Sixties girl groups and The Velvet Underground's rain-dance pulse. It makes for a compelling blend of grays--lit by singer James Allan's high, bright hurrahs."[20] Spin proclaimed: "Glasgow quartet Glasvegas are a product of this world--frontman James Allan is even a former professional footballer--and their remarkable debut gives voice to its fears, frustrations, and heartaches without succumbing to its clichés."[21] Music critic Robert Christgau gave the album an A grade in his February 2009 MSN Consumer Guide column, describing the band as "too good to be true."[22]

In a mixed review, The New York Times remarked that "Glasvegas is determinedly provincial, insisting there is grandeur in everyday lives. But what sounds rousing in Britain can sound sodden and overwrought to American ears."[23] The Guardian concluded that "there are definitely failings and shortcomings on display here, but they're substantially outweighed by moments when Glasvegas hit their target with a force that makes you believe they might well survive the more outrageous claims being made on their behalf."[24]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by James Allan except where noted. ("Flowers & Football Tops" contains elements from the song "You Are My Sunshine" by Mitchell/Davis, and "Stabbed" uses the music of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata as a backdrop to spoken word)

  1. "Flowers & Football Tops" – 6:57
  2. "Geraldine" – 3:45
  3. "It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry" – 4:25
  4. "Lonesome Swan" – 2:43
  5. "Go Square Go" – 3:27
  6. "Polmont on My Mind" – 3:52
  7. "Daddy's Gone" – 4:24
  8. "Stabbed" – 2:22
  9. "S.A.D. Light" – 4:01
  10. "Ice Cream Van" – 5:56
US bonus tracks
  1. "The Prettiest Thing on Saltcoats Beach" – 6:24
  2. "Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime" (The Korgis) – 4:53
Japan bonus tracks
  1. "The Prettiest Thing on Saltcoats Beach" – 6:24
  2. "A Little Thing Called 'Fear'" – 3:43

Limited edition[edit]

The album was also released in the UK as a limited edition CD/DVD set. The DVD features the band performing live at The ABC in Glasgow on 20 June 2008, as well as a solo acoustic performance of "Flowers & Football Tops," two music videos, and a hidden interview.[25]

  1. "Flowers & Football Tops" (live in Glasgow) – 5:55
  2. "It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry" (live in Glasgow) – 4:11
  3. "Geraldine" (live in Glasgow) – 3:24
  4. "Go Square Go" (live in Glasgow) – 3:17
  5. "Daddy's Gone" (live in Glasgow) – 4:27
  6. "Flowers & Football Tops" (live acoustic) – 3:51
  7. "Geraldine" (video) – 4:06
  8. "Daddy's Gone" (video) – 4:25
  9. (Hidden interview with James and Caroline) – 6:38

Song use in other media[edit]

The song "Daddy's Gone" featured in the episode "Chuck Versus the Dream Job" from the television show Chuck. The instrumental version of "Geraldine" has been used extensively worldwide (and predominately) for sports programmes. In 2008 the instrumental of "Geraldine" was also used in the UK trailer for The Damned United which was a fictionalised version of Brian Clough's tenure as manager of Leeds United and the full song featured in the documentary One Night In Turin which chronicled England's run in the 1990 FIFA World Cup. "It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry" is heard at the end of "Emily and Katie", an episode in the third series of Skins.

Accolades[edit]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank[26]
The Guardian UK Best Albums of the Year 2008 #8
Q UK Best Albums of the Year 2008 #5
The Observer Music Monthly UK Best Albums of the Year 2008 #4
NME UK Best Albums of the Year 2008 #3
MOJO UK Best Albums of the Year 2008 #7
The Fly UK Best Albums of the Year 2008 #9

Artwork[edit]

Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night inspired the artwork for the album cover.

The album's cover artwork was illustrated by Village Green based on ideas and concepts conceived by James Allan. The design is inspired by Vincent van Gogh's 1889 painting The Starry Night. James Allan favoured the comparison between the painting and the band's sound, for their "tranquility, but fury as well."[27]

Chart position[edit]

Country Peak
position
Certification Sales
United Kingdom 2 Platinum 300,000
Ireland 2
Sweden 5 Gold[28] 20,000
Norway 23
Denmark 25
Austria 50
Switzerland 52
Belgium 62
France 106
United States[29] 126 50,000

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalogue #
United Kingdom 8 September 2008 Columbia CD, download 886973273920 (GOWOW010)
Limited edition CD/DVD 886973738924 (GOWOW011)
LP 886973273913 (GOWOW012)
Japan 12 November 2008 Sony Music CD SICP-2070
United States 6 January 2009 Columbia CD 886974356523

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Glasvegas Singer Missing". Clash. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Glasvegas: 'We bet on Metallica to get to Number One'". NME.COM. 15 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  3. ^ "Swedish Awards Nominations". Glasvegas.net. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2008. 
  4. ^ "Rösta på Rockbjörnen här!" (in Swedish). Rockbjörnen. Retrieved 12 December 2008.  NB: Select "Jag vill rösta på:" in "11: Årets utländska album".
  5. ^ Swash, Rosie (21 July 2009). "Mercury Prize 2009 Nominations Announced". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  6. ^ Eamonn Forde (9 July 2014). "From Robin Thicke to Mariah and Mick: five blockbuster albums that bombed". The Guardian. 
  7. ^ a b c Glasvegas Metacritic
  8. ^ Allmusic review
  9. ^ Drowned in Sound review
  10. ^ The Guardian review
  11. ^ NME review
  12. ^ The Observer review
  13. ^ Pitchfork Media review
  14. ^ Robert Christgau review
  15. ^ The Times review
  16. ^ Uncut review
  17. ^ Mardles, Paul (10 August 2008), "Rock review: Glasvegas, Glasvegas". The Observer. (access 2009-01-06)
  18. ^ Gill, Jaime (12 September 2008), "Yahoo! Music Album Review". Yahoo! Music. (accessed 2008-01-07)[dead link]
  19. ^ Mackay, Emily (5 September 2008) "NME Reviews". New Musical Express.
  20. ^ Fricke, David (22 January 2009), "Glasvegas". The Rolling Stone. (access 2009-01-07)
  21. ^ Peisner, David (2008-12-30), "Glasvegas, 'Glasvegas'". Spin.(accessed 2008-01-07)
  22. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide". MSN. Retrieved on 9 February 2009.
  23. ^ Ratcliff, Ben (5 January 2009), Critics’ Choice New CDs. The New York Times. C1. (accessed 2008-01-07)
  24. ^ Petridis, Alexis (5 September 2008), "Pop review: Glasvegas, Glasvegas".The Guardian (accessed 2009-01-07)
  25. ^ Album DVD - Hidden Interview - Glasvegas Fan Forum
  26. ^ "Album Of The Year?". Glasvegas.net. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 16 December 2008. 
  27. ^ Artwork section taken from Q Magazine, January 2009 issue, pg. 87
  28. ^ Swedish IFPI certifications of 2009
  29. ^ Glasvegas charts, Billboard.com