Turn on the Bright Lights

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Turn on the Bright Lights
Studio album by Interpol
Released August 20, 2002[1]
Recorded November 2001
Tarquin Studios, Bridgeport, Connecticut[2]
Genre Indie rock, post-punk revival
Length 49:02
Label Matador
Producer Peter Katis, Gareth Jones
Interpol chronology
Turn On the Bright Lights
(2002)
Antics
(2004)
Singles from Turn on the Bright Lights
  1. "Obstacle 1"
    Released: November 11, 2002 (2002-11-11)
  2. "NYC"/"Say Hello to the Angels"
    Released: April 14, 2003 (2003-04-14)

Turn on the Bright Lights is the debut studio album by the American rock band Interpol, released in August 2002. The album was recorded in November 2001 at Tarquin Studios in Connecticut, and was co-produced, mixed and engineered by Peter Katis and Gareth Jones. It was released on August 19, 2002 in the United Kingdom and August 20 in the United States, through independent record label Matador Records. Upon release, the record peaked at number 101 on the UK Albums Chart. It reached number 158 on the Billboard 200 in the United States, as well as spending 73 weeks in the Billboard Independent Albums, peaking at number five.

"PDA", "NYC", "Obstacle 1" and "Say Hello to the Angels" were the singles from Turn On the Bright Lights, and a video was shot for each with the exception of "Say Hello to the Angels".

The album was certified Gold by the RIAA on August 29, 2011 for shipments of 500,000 copies.[3]

A remastered version of the album was released in 2012 to commemorate its tenth anniversary. It featured additional material including demo recordings of several tracks, the bonus songs previously available on international releases and a DVD of live performances and music videos.[4]

Promotion and release[edit]

The release of Turn On the Bright Lights was preceded by the marketing of the band's self-titled Interpol EP in June 2002, their first release for Matador. The EP contained three tracks: radio single "PDA", future single "NYC", and "Specialist". All three tracks later appeared on the album, with "Specialist" included as a bonus track in Australian and Japanese editions. Further promotion continued at the beginning of the following year, when the band played the 2003 NME Awards Tour alongside The Datsuns, The Polyphonic Spree and The Thrills.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (81/100) (21 reviews)[6]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[7]
Drowned in Sound (9/10)[8]
Entertainment Weekly A−[9]
NME (8/10)[10]
Pitchfork Media (9.5/10)[4][11]
PopMatters (9/10)[12]
Robert Christgau C+[13]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[14]
Slant Magazine 4.5/5 stars[15]
Stylus Magazine A (Bloch)[16]
B+ (McElligatt)[17]

Upon its release, Turn on the Bright Lights received a score of 81 out of 100 from Metacritic based on 21 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[6] Michael Chamy of The Austin Chronicle gave the album four stars out of five and said, "This is Interpol, and their robe is cut from cloth that matters: melodic Peter Hook-like basslines; the divine shoegazer textures of My Bloody Valentine and Ride; a peppy, Strokes-like bounce; and a singer who's a dead ringer for Ian Curtis."[18] Billboard gave the album a favorable review and said, "Employing layered guitars, probing bass lines, and the occasional synthesizer swoon, Interpol creates an homage to their particular vision of the '80s that stands proudly alongside the best of its idols."[19] Noel Murray of The A.V. Club also gave it a favorable review and said, "Interpol's virtue lies in the way its music unfurls from pinched openings to wide-open codas."[20] Scott Seward of The Village Voice likewise gave it a favorable review and said of Interpol: "If I like them because they remind me of eating bad bathtub mescaline in the woods and listening to Cure singles, well, that'll do. You might like them for completely different reasons."[21] Almost Cool gave it a score of 7.5 out of ten and said, "As a debut full-length, the group is definitely doing some excellent stuff, but like any band that gets swept up by the hype machine, you may be disappointed if you expect too much."[22]

Other reviews are pretty average: Q gave the album three stars out of five and called it "Predictably claustrophobic listening.... When they come up for air, Interpol have the tunes to match all the mannered gloom."[6] Later in 2010, the same magazine gave the album all five stars.[23] Likewise, Simon Williams of Playlouder gave the album three stars out of five and said, "Interpol prove themselves to be men on a mission to take us back to a time when long faces and even longer overcoats were de rigueur for alpha males the musical world over."[24] Blender also gave the album three stars out of five and said it "isn't a trudging soundtrack to depression; it's laced with upbeat, albeit bittersweet, songwriting."[6]

Interpol's debut album gained so much critical success that not only was it hailed as one of best debuts of 2002, but is considered by some to be one of the best records of the decade. Turn On the Bright Lights made several critics' Top 10 lists of 2002.

  • Thee-O – #1
  • Michael Azerrad – #1
  • Chris Baldwin – #10
  • Greg Beets – #2
  • Eric Broome – #8
  • Dana Buoniconti – #5
  • Nick Catucci – #6
  • Paul Clements – #4
  • Dave Clifford – #4
  • Ethan Covey – #8
  • Corey du Browa – #8
  • Cyndi Elliott – #7
  • Norm Elrod – #3
  • John Elsasser – #7

The rest of the list is located at The Village Voice.

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Rank
Pitchfork Media 'Top 50 Albums of 2002' #1[25]
Pitchfork Media 'Top 100 albums 2000-2004' #3[26]
Pitchfork Media 'Top 200 albums of the 2000s' #20[27]
Stylus 'Top 20 Favourite Albums of 2002' #5[28]
Stylus 'Top 50 Albums 2000-2005' #6[29]
Stylus 'Top 100 Albums of the 2000s' #20[30]
NME 'Best Albums of 2002' #10[31]
NME '100 Greatest Albums of the Decade' #8[32]
NME '500 Greatest Albums of All Time' #130[33]
Rolling Stone '100 Best Albums of the Decade' #59[34]
Under the Radar 'Top 200 Albums of the Decade' #3[35]
Beats Per Minute 'Top 100 Albums of the Decade' #7[36]
eMusic '100 Best Albums of the Decade' #9
Lost At Sea '2000-2009: Albums of the Decade' #13[37]
The Irish Times 'Top 20 Albums of the Decade' #10[38]
Consequence of Sound 'Top 100 Albums of the Decade' #35[39]
musicOMH '21 Best Albums of the 2000s' #12[40]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Interpol.

  1. "Untitled" – 3:56
  2. "Obstacle 1" – 4:11
  3. "NYC" – 4:20
  4. "PDA" – 4:59
  5. "Say Hello to the Angels" – 4:28
  6. "Hands Away" – 3:05
  7. "Obstacle 2" – 3:47
  8. "Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down" – 6:28
  9. "Roland" – 3:35
  10. "The New" – 6:07
  11. "Leif Erikson" – 4:00

Tenth Anniversary Edition Bonus Disc[edit]

  1. "Interlude" – 1:01
  2. "Specialist" – 6:40
  3. "PDA" (First Demo) – 4:44
  4. "Roland" (First Demo) – 3:44
  5. "Get The Girls/Song 5" (First Demo) – 3:47
  6. "Precipitate" (Second Demo) – 5:33
  7. "Song Seven" (Second Demo) – 4:43
  8. "A Time To Be So Small" (Second Demo) – 5:47
  9. "Untitled" (Third Demo) – 4:13
  10. "Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down" (Third Demo) – 6:40
  11. "NYC" (Third Demo) – 4:27
  12. "Leif Erikson" (Third Demo) – 4:27
  13. "Gavilan/Cubed" (Third Demo) – 6:49
  14. "Obstacle 2" (Peel Session) – 3:54
  15. "Hands Away" (Peel Session) – 3:10
  16. "The New" (Peel Session) – 5:59
  17. "NYC" (Peel Session) – 4:17

Bonus tracks on Australian edition[edit]

  • "Specialist" – 6:39

Bonus tracks on Japanese edition[edit]

Two different versions exist. One version has the following bonus tracks:

  • "Interlude" – 1:02
  • "Specialist" – 6:39

The other version has the following bonus tracks:

  • "Hands Away" (Peel session)
  • "Obstacle 2" (Peel session)
  • "PDA" (video)
  • "NYC" (video)
  • "Obstacle 1" (video)

Bonus tracks on Mexican edition[edit]

  • "Interlude" – 1:02
  • "Specialist" – 6:39
  • "PDA" (video)
  • "NYC" (video)
  • "Obstacle 1" (video)

Personnel[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2002) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[41] 101
U.S. Billboard 200[42] 158
Chart (2003) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Independent Albums[42] 5

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Shipments
United States (RIAA) Gold[3] 500,000

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Matador Records - Store". Matador Records official website. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Matador Records - Interpol Biography". Matador Records official website. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Gold & Platinum Program". RIAA.com. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  4. ^ a b LeMay, Matt (4 December 2012). "Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights: The Tenth Anniversary Edition". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Kershaw, Richard (14 February 2003). "Review / Interpol @ Astoria, 9/02/03". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Critic Reviews for Turn On The Bright Lights". Metacritic. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Turn on the Bright Lights - Interpol". Allmusic. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  8. ^ Frankowski, Andy (16 August 2002). "Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  9. ^ Serpick, Evan (23 August 2002). "Turn on the Bright Lights Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  10. ^ Segal, Victoria (17 August 2002). "Album Reviews - Interpol: Turn On The Bright Lights". NME (IPC Media): 34. ISSN 0028-6362. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  11. ^ Carr, Eric (18 August 2002). "Interpol: Turn On the Bright Lights". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  12. ^ Powers, Devon (30 August 2002). "Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights". PopMatters. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG: Interpol". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  14. ^ Sheffield, Rob (14 August 2002). "Turn On The Bright Lights". Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  15. ^ Liedel, Kevin (19 December 2012). "Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights: Tenth Anniversary Edition". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  16. ^ Bloch, Sam (1 September 2003). "Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights - Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  17. ^ McElligatt, Colin (1 September 2003). "Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights - Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  18. ^ Chamy, Michael (6 September 2002). "Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights (Matador)". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  19. ^ "Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights". Billboard. 14 September 2002. Archived from the original on 11 September 2002. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  20. ^ Murray, Noel (9 September 2002). "Interpol: Turn On The Bright Lights". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  21. ^ Seward, Scott (8 October 2002). "Romeo's Tune". The Village Voice. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  22. ^ "Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights". Almost Cool. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  23. ^ Q: p. 137. August 2010. "5 Stars - Classic - '...No one does icy existential detachment better in modern rock...'" 
  24. ^ Williams, Simon (12 August 2002). "Turn On The Bright Lights by Interpol". Playlouder. Archived from the original on 22 August 2002. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  25. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2002". 
  26. ^ "Top 100 Albums of 2000–2004". 
  27. ^ "Top 200 Albums of 2000s". 
  28. ^ "Top 20 Albums of 2002". 
  29. ^ "Top 50 Albums 2000–2005". 
  30. ^ "Top 100 Albums of 2000s". 
  31. ^ "Albums of 2002". 
  32. ^ "Top Albums of the 00s". 
  33. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". 
  34. ^ "100 Best Albums of the Decade". 
  35. ^ "Top 200 Albums of the Decade". 
  36. ^ [beatsperminute.com/features/the-top-100-albums-of-the-2000s/ "Top 100 Albums of the 2000s"] Check |url= scheme (help). 
  37. ^ "2000-2009: Albums of the Decade". 
  38. ^ "Top 20 Albums of the Decade". 
  39. ^ [consequenceofsound.net/2009/11/cos-top-of-the-decade-the-albums/ "Top 100 Albums of the Decade"] Check |url= scheme (help). 
  40. ^ › Lists "21 Best Albums of the 2000s". 
  41. ^ Rogers, Simon (19 November 2009). "NME's top 50 albums of the decade: how high did they get in the charts?". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  42. ^ a b "Turn On the Bright Lights - Interpol". Billboard. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 

External links[edit]