Schoolyard Ghosts

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Schoolyard Ghosts
Studio album by No-Man
Released May 12, 2008
Recorded August–September 2007,
January–March 2008
Genre Post-rock, art rock
Length 53:00
Label Kscope
Producer Tim Bowness, Steven Wilson
No-Man chronology
Together We're Stranger
Schoolyard Ghosts

Schoolyard Ghosts is the name of the sixth studio album by British art rock band No-Man.

Recorded in the UK, France, Sweden and the USA[1] and released on May 12, 2008, the album features contributions from Bruce Kaphan (American Music Club, Red House Painters), drummers Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson) and Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson), saxophonist/flautist Theo Travis, and the London Session Orchestra arranged by Dave Stewart (Hatfield and the North, Egg, Stewart and Gaskin etc.). In his online diary Tim Bowness mentions that, despite following a difficult year and being typically melancholy in places, the tone of the album is more optimistic than anything the band have done before. He also says "All Sweet Things" and "Truenorth" are perhaps the pinnacle of the band's achievements.[2] A promotional Schoolyard Ghosts microsite was created by the band's label, K-Scope. It first featured a music video for "Truenorth - Part Two" which was thereafter replaced for a video of the song "Wherever There Is Light". No-Man fan site "A Confession" has also created a dedicated Schoolyard Ghosts microsite featuring the video for "Truenorth - Part Two" and album lyrics. The No-Man MySpace page also includes extracts from the album.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[3]
Blogcritics (positive)[4]
Classic rock (9/10)[5]
Goldmine 5/5 stars[6]
Rock Sound (7/10)[7]

Reviews for the album have generally been very favourable, with positive reviews and interviews featured in Classic Rock (UK), Rock Sound (UK), Goldmine (USA), Record Collector (UK), Eclipsed (Germany), Metal Hammer (Germany), Metal Hammer (Poland), Free! (Finland),[8] Rolling Stone (Mexico), Jam (Italy), and Allmusic.[3]

In June 2008, the album was #1 in Prog Archives' Member's Albums of the Year chart [9] and #474 in Rate Your Music's reader's albums of 2008.[10] In October 2008, the album was #5 in the Eclipsed magazine's reader's charts. In January 2009, the album was rated #23 in the Eclipsed critic's end of year lists.


The album is available in a CD/DVD-A audiophile edition and comes in a digipack format with booklet and also features a 5.1 mix of the album, a photo gallery and videos for 3 songs. The first 2000 copies of the album obtained from the No-Man online store came with an exclusive 6 track, 20 minute, bonus disc of alternates and edits. It sold out within 2 weeks of the pre-release announcement.

Steven Wilson in the studio during the Schoolyard Ghosts sessions.


To promote the album, the band played its first performances for fifteen years in London, Düsseldorf and Zoetermeer.[11] The London Bush Hall performance was recorded for the first No-Man's DVD, Mixtaped.[12]

Track listing/Line-up[edit]

Music by No-Man, except "Beautiful Songs You Should Know" (Bowness / Erra) and "Song of the Surf" (No-Man / Murphy). All lyrics by Bowness.

  1. "All Sweet Things" - 6:47
  2. "Beautiful Songs You Should Know" - 4:26
  3. "Pigeon Drummer" - 6:18
  4. "Truenorth" - 12:48
  5. "Wherever There is Light" - 4:21
  6. "Song of the Surf" - 6:12
  7. "Streaming" - 3:32
  8. "Mixtaped" - 8:36

"Beautiful Songs You Should Know" was written by Bowness with Giancarlo Erra of the Italian band Nosound and the two recorded an alternative version of the song for the album called "Warm Winter" which they released under the moniker Memories of Machines. The song "Mixtaped" is a reworked version of a Tim Bowness solo demo called "Schoolyard Ghosts". A proper recording of this version was later also included on "Warm Winter".

Bonus material[edit]

The original No-Man Store edition featured an exclusive 6 track, 20 minute, bonus disc of alternates and edits.

  1. "Truenorth" Part 1 - strings - 1:50
  2. "Truenorth" Part 2 - alternate - 3:51
  3. "Beautiful Songs You Should Know" - alternate - 4:06
  4. "Pigeon Beater" - 3:04
  5. "Song of the Surf" - alternate - 3:49
  6. "Truenorth" Part 2 - video edit - 4:19


External links[edit]