Read My Lips (Sophie Ellis-Bextor album)

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Read My Lips
Studio album by Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Released 27 August 2001 (2001-08-27)
Recorded 2000–01
Genre Dance-pop, pop,[1] nu-disco
Length 50:04
Label Polydor
Producer Gregg Alexander, R. Hall, TommyD Ben Hillier, Alex James, Korpi & Blackcell, Damian LeGassick, Steve Osborne, Marco Rakascan, Matt Rowe, Spiller, Jeremy Wheatley, Gary Wilkinson
Sophie Ellis-Bextor chronology
Read My Lips
(2001)
Shoot from the Hip
(2003)
Singles from Read My Lips
  1. "Take Me Home (A Girl Like Me)"
    Released: 13 August 2001
  2. "Murder on the Dancefloor"
    Released: 3 December 2001
  3. "Get Over You"/"Move This Mountain"
    Released: 10 June 2002
  4. "Music Gets the Best of Me"
    Released: 4 November 2002

Read My Lips is the debut studio album by English pop singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor, released on 27 August 2001 by Polydor Records. After the disbandment of the Britpop group Theaudience, in which Ellis-Bextor served as its vocalist, she was signed to Polydor. Prior to the LP's completion, the singer collaborated with several musicians, including band Blur's bassist Alex James, Moby and New Radicals frontman Gregg Alexander. The record was described as a "collection" of 1980s electronica and 1970s disco music.

Critical response to Read My Lips was polarized, with music critics denouncing its content that was, according to many of whom, of lesser quality than "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)"—the singer's collaboration with Italian DJ Spiller. The album reached number two on the UK Albums Chart, and has since been certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry. It spawned four singles: "Take Me Home", "Murder on the Dancefloor", double A-side single "Get Over You"/"Move This Mountain" and "Music Gets the Best of Me".

Background[edit]

American musician Moby (pictured) sought Ellis-Bextor, so they could work together, due to her "amazing" voice[2]

Following the disbandment of Britpop group Theaudience, Ellis-Bextor provided vocals for the song "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" by Italian DJ Spiller.[3] The song was a commercial success,[4] and Ellis-Bextor signed to Polydor. She was contacted by director Baz Luhrmann, who offered her a role in the 2001 film Moulin Rouge!, but the singer refused in order to focus on her career as a recording artist.[5] The success of "Groovejet" also prompted American musician Moby to notice Ellis-Bextor, and revealed interest in working with her due to her "amazing" voice, as he described it.[2] He instructed his record company to "track" Ellis-Bextor "down" so they could start working as soon as Moby finished his tour.[2] The two ultimately wrote five songs in New York, which didn't make the final cut of Read My Lips.[5][6] Furthermore, she also recorded with band Blur bassist Alex James, former frontman of the New Radicals, while Damian LeGassick was recruited for working with programming and keyboards.[6]

The album title was chosen due to the fact of the singer had used strong lipstick for the video of "Take Me Home" and for the LP artwork.[7] The album photography was shot by Mert Alas.[8]

Composition[edit]

An "eclectic" album, Read My Lips, is a collection of 1980s electronica and 1970s disco.[5] The album opener and first single is a cover version of Cher's 1979 song "Take Me Home", described as a "disco groove".[9] Betty Clarke from The Guardian observed that her voice in the song is reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn's Eliza Doolittle (in the movie My Fair Lady).[10] "Move This Mountain", co-written by Alex James, is a "vibrant" ballad with a trip hop-influenced sound.[9] Following track and second single, "Murder on the Dancefloor", is a dance-pop and disco record, that utilizes bass guitar and piano in its instrumental.[10][11][12] "Sparkle" has "speeding beats and equally speeding keyboards",[10] while "Final Move" contains "tinny beats" and "electro swirls".[10] The latter was deemed a "subdued version" of "Murder on the Dancefloor" with "similar kaleidoscope synth".[1] "I Believe" was described as "funky" and "live-sounding",[10] while "Leave the Others Alone" involves "cold beats" and "big, full-throttle keyboards".[10] "By Chance" was particularly noted for showcasing Ellis-Bextor's accent.[1] Rerelease new song "Get Over You" is a "polite" Euro disco take on "I Will Survive".[13]

Singles and promotion[edit]

Main article: Read My Lips Tour

Promotion for Read My Lips launched with the release of "Take Me Home", a cover of the song by singer Cher, which was released on 13 August 2001.[14] Although its production and Ellis-Bextor's vocal performance in the song were heavily criticized,[15] the single reached number two on the UK Singles Chart.[16] After the release of the album, "Murder on the Dancefloor" was serviced as its second single on 3 December 2001.[17] It peaked within the top 10 of the charts in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.[18][19] A double A-side single including new re-release song "Get Over You" and original album track "Move This Mountain" was released on 10 June 2002, in a set of two CD singles.[20][21]

Ellis-Bextor, who had previously felt uncomfortable with the idea of touring, confirmed a UK-only tour in January 2001, to go on from April to May.[22] Later, in July 2002, other dates of the tour were revealed for 2003.[23]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[1]
Blue Coupe Positive[9]
Entertainment.ie 3/5 stars[24]
The Guardian Negative[10]
The Independent Mixed[25]
Q 2/5 stars[26]
Yahoo! Music 5/10 stars[27]

Toby Manning from Q cited "Take Me Home" and "Move This Mountain" as the album's highlights, but, overall, he thought that the record failed to live up to the standard set by the previous collaboration with Spiller.[26] He also found that the album's music and the distinctive pronunciation of Ellis-Bextor's vocal delivery did not work to complimentary effect.[26] Betty Clarke from The Guardian described the album as a "sophisticated package" but said "there's little to love and even less fun to be had".[28] Kelvin Hayes from AllMusic dubbed it "a disappointing debut from Ellis-Bextor, fusing Human League synth with beats and cinematic strings", but described "Murder on the Dancefloor" as the "shimmering highlight" from the album.[1] A critic from entertainment.ie said "the material on her debut solo album only rarely does justice to her distinctive upper-crust voice", and said that "most of the songs sound laboured and plod where they should swing".[24]

In contrast to the previous reviews, Andrew Arora from Blue Coupe had a more positive response to the record. Arora said "it lands somewhere between Pet Shop Boys' synth-pop faculty and Blondie's Parallel Lines album", although he claimed that fans of "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" "should not expect much from this album, but it does deliver a dynamic electro disco sound that is sometimes analogous to her breakthrough-hit single".[9]

Commercial performance[edit]

Read My Lips debuted at number four on the UK Albums Chart with first-week sales of 23,023 copies, peaking forty-one weeks later at number two.[29] On 21 June 2002, the album was certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).[30] Read My Lips had sold 833,968 copies as of January 2014.[29]

Track listing[edit]

Original release
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Take Me Home"   Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Bob Esty, Michele Aller Damian LeGassick 4:07
2. "Lover"   Ellis-Bextor, Andy Boyd, Ross Newell Gary Wilkinson, Marco Rakascan[a] 3:24
3. "Move This Mountain"   Ellis-Bextor, Ben Hillier, Alex James Hillier, James 4:45
4. "Murder on the Dancefloor"   Ellis-Bextor, Gregg Alexander Matt Rowe, Alexander, Jeremy Wheatley[a] 3:50
5. "I Believe"   Ellis-Bextor, Tommy Danvers, Jony Rockstar James, Hillier, Wheatley[a] 4:04
6. "Leave the Others Alone"   Ellis-Bextor, Boyd, Newell Rakascan 4:09
7. "By Chance"   Ellis-Bextor, Reza Safinia Rakascan, Wheatley[a] 4:13
8. "The Universe Is You"   Ellis-Bextor, Boyd, Newell Rakascan 3:37
9. "Is It Any Wonder"   Ellis-Bextor, R. Hall Hall, Rakascan[a] 4:25
10. "Everything Falls Into Place"   Ellis-Bextor, Boyd, Newell Rakascan 3:44
German reissue bonus tracks[31]
No. Title Length
11. "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" (radio edit)  
12. "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" (original version)  
13. "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" (Bmr's Club Cut)  
14. "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" (Spiller's Extended Vocal Mix)  
15. "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" (Todd Terry's In House Remix)  
16. "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" (Ray Roc's Track Work S Remix Part 2)  
UK edition
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Take Me Home"   Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Bob Esty, Michele Aller Damian LeGassick 4:07
2. "Lover"   Ellis-Bextor, Andy Boyd, Ross Newell Gary Wilkinson, Marco Rakascan[a] 3:24
3. "Move This Mountain"   Ellis-Bextor, Ben Hillier, Alex James Hillier, James 4:45
4. "Murder on the Dancefloor"   Ellis-Bextor, Gregg Alexander Matt Rowe, Alexander, Jeremy Wheatley[a] 3:50
5. "Sparkle"   Ellis-Bextor, Boyd, Newell Rakascan, Wheatley[a] 4:31
6. "Final Move"   Ellis-Bextor, Boyd, Newell Rakascan 4:44
7. "I Believe"   Ellis-Bextor, Tommy Danvers, Jony Rockstar James, Hillier, Wheatley[a] 4:04
8. "Leave the Others Alone"   Ellis-Bextor, Boyd, Newell Rakascan 4:09
9. "By Chance"   Ellis-Bextor, Reza Safinia Rakascan, Wheatley[a] 4:13
10. "The Universe Is You"   Ellis-Bextor, Boyd, Newell Rakascan 3:37
11. "Is It Any Wonder"   Ellis-Bextor, R. Hall Hall, Rakascan[a] 4:25
12. "Everything Falls Into Place"   Ellis-Bextor, Boyd, Newell Rakascan 3:44
UK special edition bonus tracks[32]
No. Title Length
13. "Never Let Me Down" (B-side to "Murder on the Dancefloor") 3:46
14. "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)"   3:48
15. "Murder on the Dancefloor" (Jewels & Stone Club Mix) 6:57
16. "Take Me Home" (Mutiny Main Mix) 4:32
17. "Murder on the Dancefloor" (extended mix) 5:30
18. "Take Me Home" (Mix) (hidden track) 5:10
2002 reissue
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Murder on the Dancefloor"   Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Gregg Alexander Matt Rowe, Alexander, Jeremy Wheatley[a] 3:50
2. "Take Me Home (A Girl Like Me)"   Ellis-Bextor, Bob Esty, Michele Aller Damian LeGassick 4:07
3. "Lover"   Ellis-Bextor, Andy Boyd, Ross Newell Gary Wilkinson, Marco Rakascan[a] 3:24
4. "Move This Mountain"   Ellis-Bextor, Ben Hillier, Alex James Hillier, James 4:45
5. "Music Gets the Best of Me"   Ellis-Bextor, Rowe, Alexander Rowe, Alexander, Steve Osborne, Wheatley[a] 3:39
6. "The Universe Is You"   Ellis-Bextor, Boyd, Newell Rakascan 3:37
7. "I Believe"   Ellis-Bextor, Tommy Danvers, Jony Rockstar James, Hillier, Wheatley[a] 4:04
8. "Get Over You"   Ellis-Bextor, Rob Davies, Henrik Korpi, Mathias Johansson, Nina Woodford Korpi & Blackcell 3:15
9. "By Chance"   Ellis-Bextor, Reza Safinia Rakascan, Wheatley[a] 4:13
10. "Is It Any Wonder"   Ellis-Bextor, R. Hall Hall, Rakascan[a] 4:25
11. "Leave the Others Alone"   Ellis-Bextor, Boyd, Newell Rakascan 4:09
12. "Everything Falls Into Place"   Ellis-Bextor, Boyd, Newell Rakascan 3:44
13. "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" (live) Spiller, Ellis-Bextor, Rob Davis, Vincent Montana, Jr., Ronnie Walker Spiller, Wheatley[a] 4:00
Brazilian edition bonus track[33]
No. Title Length
14. "Murder on the Dancefloor" (Jewels & Stone Mix)  
UK reissue[34]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Murder on the Dancefloor"   Ellis-Bextor, Gregg Alexander Matt Rowe, Alexander, Jeremy Wheatley[a] 3:50
2. "Take Me Home"   Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Bob Esty, Michele Aller Damian LeGassick 4:07
3. "Lover"   Ellis-Bextor, Andy Boyd, Ross Newell Gary Wilkinson, Marco Rakascan[a] 3:24
4. "Move This Mountain"   Ellis-Bextor, Ben Hillier, Alex James Hillier, James 4:45
5. "Music Gets the Best of Me"   Ellis-Bextor, Rowe, Alexander Rowe, Alexander, Steve Osborne, Wheatley[a] 3:39
6. "Sparkle"   Ellis-Bextor, Boyd, Newell Rakascan, Wheatley[a] 4:31
7. "The Universe Is You"   Ellis-Bextor, Boyd, Newell Rakascan 3:37
8. "I Believe"   Ellis-Bextor, Tommy Danvers, Jony Rockstar James, Hillier, Wheatley[a] 4:04
9. "Get Over You"   Ellis-Bextor, Rob Davies, Henrik Korpi, Mathias Johansson, Nina Woodford Korpi & Blackcell 3:15
10. "By Chance"   Ellis-Bextor, Reza Safinia Rakascan, Wheatley[a] 4:13
11. "Is It Any Wonder"   Ellis-Bextor, R. Hall Hall, Rakascan[a] 4:25
12. "Leave the Others Alone"   Ellis-Bextor, Boyd, Newell Rakascan 4:09
13. "Final Move"   Ellis-Bextor, Boyd, Newell Rakascan 4:44
14. "Everything Falls Into Place"   Ellis-Bextor, Boyd, Newell Rakascan 3:44
15. "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" (live) Spiller, Ellis-Bextor, Rob Davis, Vincent Montana, Jr., Ronnie Walker Spiller, Wheatley[a] 4:00
Notes

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[55] Platinum 70,000^
France (SNEP)[56] Gold 78,400[57]
Mexico (AMPROFON)[58] Gold 75,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[59] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[30] 2× Platinum 833,968[29]
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[60] Platinum 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Hayes, Kelvin. "Read My Lips – Sophie Ellis-Bextor". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "MOBY SEEKS AUDIENCE WITH SOPHIE". NME. IPC Media. 22 November 2000. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)". NME. IPC Media. 26 September 2000. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Strictly Come Dancing - Sophie Ellis-Bextor". BBC One. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "READ HER LIPS - SOPHIE'S A SINGER!". NME. IPC Media. 6 June 2001. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "SOPHIE SO GOOD...". NME. IPC Media. 20 March 2001. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Cronin, Wayne (29 April 2002). "Sophie talks to ShowBiz Ireland...". ShowBiz.ie. Retrieved 27 June 2009. 
  8. ^ "Read My Lips - Sophie Ellis-Bextor | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c d Arora, Andrew (May 2002). "Review: Read My Lips - Sophie Ellis Bextor". Blue Coupe. Retrieved 27 June 2009. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Clarke, Betty (31 August 2001). "Chill of the ice maiden". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2009. 
  11. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor "Murder on the Dancefloor" Sheet Music". MusicNotes.com Universal Music Publishing Group. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  12. ^ Read My Lips (Media notes). Sophie Ellis-Bextor. England: Polydor Records. 2001. 
  13. ^ Robinson, John (7 June 2002). "Ellis-Bextor, Sophie : Get Over You". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "Take Me Home". Amazon.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  15. ^ Carlson, Dean. "Take Me Home [US CD] – Sophie Ellis-Bextor". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  16. ^ "Five Earns Another No. 1 In The U.K.". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  17. ^ "Murder On The Dancefloor". Amazon.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  18. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Murder on the Dancefloor". Australian-Charts. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  19. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  20. ^ "Get Over You [CD 1]". Amazon.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  21. ^ "Get Over You [CD 2]". Amazon.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "BEXTOR TAKES TO THE DANCEFLOORS". NME. IPC Media. 11 January 2002. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "READ MY LIPS LIVE!". NME. IPC Media. 26 July 2002. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
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  25. ^ Price, Simon (2 September 2001). "Review: Album: Sophie Ellis Bexter (sic)". The Independent. Retrieved 27 June 2009. 
  26. ^ a b c Manning, Toby. "Review: Sophie Ellis Bextor - Read My Lips". Q (Q181, September 2001): 109. 
  27. ^ Crossing, Gary (3 September 2001). "Sophie Ellis-Bextor – 'Read My Lips'". Yahoo! Music. Archived from the original on 6 January 2006. Retrieved 27 June 2009. 
  28. ^ Clarke, Betty. (31 August 2001). CD of the week: Sophie Ellis Bextor. The Guardian. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  29. ^ a b c Jones, Alan (27 January 2014). "Official Charts Analysis: Goulding reclaims No.1 album spot with 21,000 sales". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 28 January 2014.  (subscription required)
  30. ^ a b "Certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. 21 June 2002. Retrieved 4 September 2010.  Enter Read My Lips in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
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  32. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Sophie-Ellis-Bextor-Read-My-Lips/release/4110586
  33. ^ [2]
  34. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Sophie-Ellis-Bextor-Read-My-Lips/release/170886
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  51. ^ "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 100 Albums 2002". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
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  60. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2002". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 4 September 2010. 

External links[edit]