White Ladder

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
White Ladder
Studio album by David Gray
Released November 1998
(See release history)
Recorded 1997
Genre Folk rock, electronic
Length 52:37
Label iht
ATO/RCA
EastWest
Producer David Gray, Iestyn Polson, Craig McClune
David Gray chronology
Sell, Sell, Sell
(1996)
White Ladder
(1998)
Lost Songs 95–98
(2001)
Singles from White Ladder
  1. "This Year's Love"
    Released: 8 March 1999
  2. "Babylon"
    Released: 12 July 1999
  3. "Please Forgive Me"
    Released: 22 November 1999
  4. "Babylon"
    Released: 12 June 2000 (re-issue)
  5. "Please Forgive Me"
    Released: 16 October 2000 (re-issue)
  6. "This Year's Love"
    Released: 5 March 2001 (re-issue)
  7. "Sail Away"
    Released: 16 July 2001
  8. "Say Hello Wave Goodbye"
    Released: 17 December 2001
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly (B)[2]
NME (6/10)[3]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[4]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars[5]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[6]
The Observer (Positive)[7]

White Ladder is the multi-platinum selling[8] fourth studio album by British singer-songwriter David Gray, first released in November 1998. Worldwide sales of the album stand at 7 million.

Background[edit]

The self-financed album was recorded in Gray's London apartment.[9] To support the album, Gray toured the United States with the Dave Matthews Band, whose lead singer Dave Matthews released White Ladder in the United States on his label ATO in 2000 as the label's first release.[10] Following the album's success, he toured the US and UK extensively between 2000–01 to promote the album.[11][12]

A hidden track, "I Can't Get Through to Myself," can be found in the pregap of the original 1998 IHT Records release (by rewinding from the start of "Please Forgive Me").[13] The US CD release does not include the secret track, but instead includes the audio bonus track "Babylon II," as well as an enhanced section which includes a mini-documentary with a live performance of "Babylon," a brief biography and web links.[14] The Japanese release includes the bonus track "Over My Head," which also appears as a B-side on the 1999 "Babylon" single.[15]

Commercial reception[edit]

White Ladder was originally released on Gray's own label IHT Records in November 1998.[16] However, it was only after its re-release in 2000 on ATO Records and the hit single "Babylon" that it sold 100,000 copies in Ireland alone, making it number one for six weeks,[17] and it remains the biggest-selling album in Ireland.[18] The album was No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart, two years and five months after its original release,[19] spending a total of 151 weeks on the chart.[20] Aside from "Please Forgive Me," which charted at No. 72 on the UK Singles Chart, all other single releases charted within the Top 20:[20] the re-released "Please Forgive Me" charted at No. 18, and "Say Hello Wave Goodbye" and "Sail Away" peaked at No. 26.

In the United States, the album peaked at No. 35 on the Billboard 200, spending a whole year on the chart.[21] The album earned Gray a nomination in the United States at the 44th Grammy Awards for Best New Artist.[22]

Reflecting on White Ladder's success in 2010, Gray stated: "I still pinch myself when I think about it. That record will be there for ever. It just connected in such a big way with people. [...] It was the period that came after that was difficult. [...] I'm sort of seen as a pop artist. I'm dismissed as slight, I'd say, because of White Ladder."[23]

White Ladder was the fifth best selling UK album of the 2000s.[24] It has sold 2,940,575 units in the UK by 24 July 2011.[25]

Singles[edit]

A total of five singles were released from the album: "This Year's Love" in March 1999 (re-issued in March 2001), "Babylon" in July 1999 (re-issued in June 2000), "Please Forgive Me" in November 1999 (re-issued in October 2000), "Sail Away" in July 2001, and the Soft Cell cover "Say Hello Wave Goodbye" in December 2001.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by David Gray, unless otherwise noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Please Forgive Me"     5:35
2. "Babylon"     4:25
3. "My Oh My"   Gray, McClune 4:37
4. "We're Not Right"   Gray, McClune, Polson 3:03
5. "Nightblindness"     4:23
6. "Silver Lining"     6:00
7. "White Ladder"   Gray, McClune, Polson 4:14
8. "This Years Love"     4:05
9. "Sail Away"     5:15
10. "Say Hello Wave Goodbye"   Almond, Ball 9:03
UK hidden pregap track
No. Title Length
1. "(I Can't Get) Through to Myself"   1:56
US-only bonus track
No. Title Length
11. "Babylon II"   3:38

Personnel[edit]

  • David Gray – vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards
Additional musicians
  • Craig McClune – drums, keyboards, vocals, bass
  • Tim Bradshaw – keyboards on tracks 2, 3, 6, 8 and 10
  • Simon Edwards – bass on tracks 3, 6 and 10
  • Colm Mac Con Iomaire – violin on track 6
  • Terry Edwards – string arrangements on track 11
Technical personnel
  • Iestyn Polson – producer, engineer, programmer
  • Marius de Vries – additional production and programming on "Sail Away"
  • Steve Sidelnyk – additional programming on "Sail Away"
  • Dave Turner – mastering
  • Donal Dineen – photography
  • Phil Knott – photography
  • Quotations at the end of "Say Hello Wave Goodbye" are taken from "Into the Mystic" and "Madam George," written by Van Morrison.

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalogue #
United Kingdom November 1998 IHT Records CD IHT CD001
1 May 2000 IHT/EastWest CD (re-issue) 8573-82983-2
United States 21 March 2000 RCA/ATO CD (11 tracks/enhanced) 07863 69351-2
Japan 11 October 2000 EastWest/WEA CD (11 tracks) AMCE-7198

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ikeda, Jaime. "Review: White Ladder". Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved 8 December 2009. 
  2. ^ Browne, David (15 January 2001). "Review: White Ladder (1999)". Time Inc. Retrieved 8 December 2009. 
  3. ^ "Review: White Ladder". IPC Media. 14 July 2000. Retrieved 8 December 2009. 
  4. ^ Walters, Barry (12 October 2000). "Review: White Ladder". Jann Wenner. Retrieved 8 December 2009. 
  5. ^ Med57 (14 January 2005). "Review: David Gray White Ladder". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 8 December 2009. 
  6. ^ Sweeting, Adam. "Review: David Gray White Ladder (IHT Records)". The Guardian Review (Guardian Media Group) (14 April 2000): 19. 
  7. ^ Agar, Gordon. "Review: DAVID GRAY White Ladder (IHTCD001)". The Observer Review (Guardian Media Group) (23 April 2000): 9. 
  8. ^ David Gray MTV bio
  9. ^ "David Gray | Download music, tour dates & video". eMusic. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "David Gray | Music Videos, News, Photos, Tour Dates, Ringtones, and Lyrics". MTV. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  11. ^ "DavidGray.com". DavidGray.com. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "DavidGray.com". DavidGray.com. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  13. ^ eeggs.com. "White Ladder (David Gray) Easter Egg – Hidden Track with a Twist". Eeggs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  14. ^ "David Gray – White Ladder (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  15. ^ "David Gray White Ladder Japan Promo CD ALBUM (222673)". Eil.com. 29 August 2002. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  16. ^ "NME Album Reviews – White Ladder". Nme.Com. 14 July 2000. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  17. ^ Perrone, Pierre (16 April 2000). "The infinite shades of Gray". The Independent (London). Retrieved 3 August 2010. 
  18. ^ "Top 20: The best-selling albums in Irish history". The Daily Edge. Retrieved 01 April 2014. 
  19. ^ Gray Climbs 'Ladder' To No. 1 In The U.K. | Billboard
  20. ^ a b "David Gray". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  21. ^ "David Gray News – Yahoo! Music". New.music.yahoo.com. 17 August 2001. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  22. ^ "What's On". Roundhouse. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  23. ^ Day, Elizabeth (15 August 2010). "David Gray: 'I'm trained to wash up'". The Guardian (London). 
  24. ^ James Blunt records the biggest selling album of decade
  25. ^ Alan Jones (2011). "Adele still on top but UK album sales fall to 13-year low". Music Week. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
Preceded by
Survivor by Destiny's Child
Right Now by Atomic Kitten
UK number one album
11 August 2001 – 17 August 2001
25 August 2001 – 31 August 2001
Succeeded by
Right Now by Atomic Kitten
Break the Cycle by Staind