Dead in the Boot

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Dead in the Boot
Compilation album by Elbow
Released 27 August 2012
Recorded 1997—2012
Genre Alternative rock, indie rock
Length 51:33
Label Fiction, Polydor
Producer Ben Hillier, Craig Potter, Elbow
Elbow chronology
Build a Rocket Boys!
Dead in the Boot
The Take Off and Landing of Everything

Dead in the Boot is a B-sides compilation album by English rock band Elbow, released in the UK on 27 August 2012. The title is a reference to the band's debut album Asleep in the Back and was suggested by singer Guy Garvey's sister Beckie.[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
BBC Music favourable[3]
The Daily Telegraph 4/5 stars[4]
The Independent 4/5 stars[5]
Mojo 4/5 stars[6]
NME 7/10[7]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[8]

The reviews for the album were mostly positive, with many reviewers commenting on the overall downbeat nature of the songs. NME noted that "there is a strain of nocturnal lethargy that seems to run through Elbow's flipsides... it's odd that its somnolent air actually renders it slightly one-note... But there's nothing wrong with a gentle head massage after a hard night."[7] The Daily Telegraph described the tracks as "mostly steady, lo-fi grooves, propelled by blue-collar bluesy riffs, detached electronic bleeps and mournful pianos", and stated that "in the best possible sense, these songs are come-downs, reflective descents from the band's often soaring, more melody-driven A-sides. They may have been left in the band's boot for a while, but there's nothing dead about them."[4] Mojo called it "an accomplished compilation" and proclaimed that "Dead in the Boot is less throwaway than its name suggests."[6]

BBC Music said "This is more than just a stopgap between the albums, and while not exactly standing alongside their best in terms of outright quality, shows that even Elbow's 'hidden' past is worthy of deeper exploration."[3] The Independent had some criticisms, saying that the album was "far from exhaustive, with tracks cherry-picked for quality and sequenced non-chronologically. Indeed, if anything, there's a touch too many of the tender piano ostinatos", but overall opining that "most B-sides compilations seem to have been thrown together to fulfil contracts but Dead in the Boot has a form and substance beyond that".[5]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Guy Garvey; all music composed by Elbow.

No. Title Track information Length
1. "Whisper Grass" from "Fallen Angel" CD single, 2003 4:30
2. "Lucky with Disease" from "Newborn" CD single, 2001 3:44
3. "Lay Down Your Cross" from "Not a Job" CD single, 2004 4:41
4. "The Long War Shuffle" from "Leaders of the Free World" CD single, 2005 4:14
5. "Every Bit the Little Girl" from "One Day Like This" 7" vinyl single, 2008 4:25
6. "Love Blown Down" from "Fugitive Motel" CD single, 2003 4:30
7. "None One" from The Newborn EP, 2000 3:44
8. "Lullaby" from "One Day Like This" CD single, 2008 3:15
9. "McGreggor" from "Forget Myself" 7" vinyl single, 2005 2:40
10. "Buffalo Ghosts" from "Open Arms" 10" vinyl single, 2011 3:37
11. "Waving from Windows" from "Grace Under Pressure"/"Switching Off" CD single, 2004 4:14
12. "Snowball" from Help!: A Day in the Life album, 2005 5:01
13. "Gentle As" from "Leaders of the Free World" 7" vinyl single, 2005 2:58
Total length: 51:33