Eyes Open

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This article is about the Snow Patrol album. For the song by Taylor Swift, see Eyes Open (song).
Eyes Open
Studio album by Snow Patrol
Released 1 May 2006
Recorded October–December 2005
Studio Grouse Lodge Studios, Ireland, The Garage, Kent, The Garden, London, Angel Studios, London
Genre Alternative rock, power pop
Length 45:05
Label Fiction, Polydor, A&M
Snow Patrol chronology
Final Straw
Eyes Open
A Hundred Million Suns
Singles from Eyes Open
  1. "You're All I Have"
    Released: 24 April 2006
  2. "Chasing Cars"
    Released: 6 June 2006
  3. "Hands Open"
    Released: 16 October 2006
  4. "Set the Fire to the Third Bar"
    Released: 13 November 2006
  5. "Open Your Eyes"
    Released: 12 February 2007
  6. "Shut Your Eyes"
    Released: 22 May 2007

Eyes Open is the fourth studio album by British alternative rock band Snow Patrol. It was released in the UK on 1 May 2006, and 9 May 2006 in the US. It was the band's first album without bassist Mark McClelland and the first to feature bassist Paul Wilson and keyboardist Tom Simpson. Recording for the album took place between October and December 2005 at Grouse Lodge Studios in Ireland, The Garage in Kent, and The Garden and Angel Studios, both in London.

Six singles were released from the album, including top 10 hits "You're All I Have" and "Chasing Cars", the latter of which came to worldwide attention when it was featured during the season 2 finale of the American medical drama Grey's Anatomy. It went on to sell over 5 million copies worldwide and has spent a total of 166 weeks on the UK Singles Chart, more than any other song in history.

Eyes Open was the best-selling album of 2006 in the UK, selling 1.5 million copies and 6 million worldwide. It was also the 15th best-selling album of the 2000s.[1]

Recording and composition[edit]

Some of the writing sessions took place in Dingle, Ireland.

The band's primary aim for a fourth album was to create a better one than the previous, Final Straw.[2] They felt the need to become better players of their respective instruments as they thought they had "barely [gotten] away" with the success of the last album. Subsequently, keyboardist Tom Simpson and drummer Jonny Quinn took classical piano and drum lessons respectively, during the recording of the album.[3]

The band visited Dingle, on Ireland's west coast and started writing new material. They stayed in a small house, described by Simpson as a "little round house overlooking the sea". They then did some recording in a studio. The main recording sessions, though, happened in an old "condemned" studio in Westmeath, located in the central part of the country. Simpson found the place to be "laid-back" and "almost like a holiday home". The location was in a secluded area, quite distant from any civilization, with animals running around. This helped the band concentrate well without much distraction. The band stayed there for six weeks. Simpson felt the reason why producer Jacknife Lee was taking the band to different places was because he did not want them to get too comfortable with the surroundings. The songs were generally not written as a whole, but the band wrote them as they "came". The writing process thus varied for each song; instead of spending excess time on one and overworking themselves, the band chose to work on another, often revisiting the song later.[2][3] The band was also constantly changing song arrangements. Due to this, they found they had gotten a much clearer idea of which songs they would ultimately polish to possibly make the album. Simpson noted that the band had much more time to write and record this time, a luxury they had not enjoyed previously.[2]

Inspiration for writing came from the band's record collections, musical tastes and influences.[2] The band, fans of The Posies, met Ken Stringfellow at a couple of festivals they attended, and asked him if he wanted to get involved. He accepted, and visited the studio for a day, contributing piano.[4][5] The band had been listening to Martha Wainwright's Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole during the sessions and were fans of it. Towards the end of the recording sessions, Lightbody wrote a duet with her in mind, hoping to get her to sing it. She liked the song and agreed to record it. Eugene Kelly and a few members from The Reindeer Section also appear as choir in various songs throughout the album.[4] Simpson credited Lee for being supportive of the band, and at the same time critical, when necessary. Each band member used to come to him for opinion on work they were doing. Morale during the sessions was high, with the band feeling a sense of togetherness seeing the hard work everyone was doing.[2]

The album is the first without founding bassist Mark McClelland and represents a step forward for the band. Simpson feels that the album is more confident that its predecessor, as the band pushed themselves more than ever before during its sessions, and had a better understanding of music. According to him, the album title does not mean anything specific and that it can have its own meaning to different people.[4] Bassist Paul Wilson says that it came from the titles of songs they had written, citing "Open Your Eyes" as an example.[6]

Appearances in other media[edit]

The album's third track, "Chasing Cars", was featured on the second season finale of the ABC prime time hit drama Grey's Anatomy on 15 May 2006. A Grey's Anatomy-themed video of the song can be seen at the ABC website. The seventh track, "Make This Go On Forever", was later used in the third season of Grey's Anatomy, at the end of the episode entitled "Walk on Water".

The album's tenth track, entitled "Open Your Eyes," was used in the season 4 finale of CBS's Cold Case and in the season 12 finale of ER, also appeared in an episode of The Black Donnellys and also in the second episode of the third season of Grey's Anatomy.

The sixth track, "You Could Be Happy", was used at the beginning the episode "Promise" of Smallville's sixth season, as well as in advertisements for Australian soap Neighbours. The single was also used in Doctor Who: Top 5 Christmas Moments and the Season 2 finale of BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey.

The first track, "You're All I Have", appears on the soundtrack of the teen film The Invisible.

In 2007, "Open Your Eyes" was used as the "Best Bits" song for Celebrity Big Brother 5 during the final watched by over 7 million viewers, the year of the race row.

In 2013, "Open Your Eyes" was heard in the penultimate episode of the hit NBC comedy The Office 9th season and the series. In it, Jim Halpert asks the documentary crew to make a video to prove his love for his wife, Pam Halpert, consisting of footage of their relationship throughout the entire series, during which the song plays,


Eyes Open was made available in two formats:

  • Standard CD – with two UK bonus tracks
  • Special edition – in a deluxe box, with the full album plus a DVD featuring footage shot over the past months, including the band's tour with U2, special gigs and the making of the new record. Additionally contained exclusive photos and other content.[7]

The artwork for the album and the first single "You're All I Have" was designed by Mat Maitland of Big Active.[8] It was revealed by Hot Press magazine on 16 March 2006, which called it "arty".[9]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Gary Lightbody, all music composed by Gary Lightbody, Nathan Connolly, Tom Simpson, Paul Wilson and Jonny Quinn except where noted.

Standard edition
No. Title Length
1. "You're All I Have"   4:33
2. "Hands Open"   3:17
3. "Chasing Cars" (Gary Lightbody) 4:28
4. "Shut Your Eyes"   3:17
5. "It's Beginning to Get to Me"   4:35
6. "You Could Be Happy"   3:04
7. "Make This Go On Forever"   5:47
8. "Set the Fire to the Third Bar" (featuring Martha Wainwright) 3:23
9. "Headlights on Dark Roads"   3:30
10. "Open Your Eyes"   5:41
11. "The Finish Line"   3:28
Bonus tracks
No. Title Length
12. "-"   3:55
13. "In My Arms"   4:36
14. "Warmer Climate"   4:08
15. "The Only Noise"   2:53
16. "Perfect Little Secret"   4:40
  • The untitled twelfth track is a recording of background noise and one of Jacknife Lee's young children talking.
  • "Perfect Little Secret" is a solo recording from Gary Lightbody.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 67/100[10]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[11]
Blender 3/5 stars[12]
Entertainment.ie 2/5 stars[13]
PopMatters 4/10 stars[14]
Pitchfork Media (6.6/10)[15]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[16]
USA Today 3.5/4 stars[17]

The album hit number one in its 11th week on the New Zealand chart and reached 2× Platinum therefore shipping over 30,000 units. It also reached #1 in the ARIA Albums Chart, and was certified 3× Platinum on 8 January 2007 (for 210,000+ units shipped). On 26 November 2006, it became the UK's best-selling album of 2006,[18] selling over 1.5 million copies at the end of the year, with a cumulative total of 1.8 million. Furthermore, it peaked at #1 in the Irish Albums Chart, where it went 7× Platinum.[19] In total, the album has sold over 6 million copies worldwide.

The album sold 36,191 units in its debut week throughout the U.S., substantially improving from their first week sales of Final Straw. U.S. sales have totaled over 700,000 as of February 2007. In the UK, the album has sold over 2,333,000 copies, being certified 7× Platinum by the BPI.[20]


Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ "Radio 1 to reveal best-selling singles and albums of the Noughties". Press Office. British Broadcasting Corporation. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Anthony, Paul. "Interview with Snow Patrol". Kevchino. Archived from the original on 2009-11-23. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Paulsen, John (2 June 2006). "Interview with Tom Simpson of Snow Patrol". Bullz-Eye. Archived from the original on 2009-11-01. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Interview: Tom Simpson from Snow Patrol". PlugInMusic.com. 7 July 2006. Archived from the original on 2009-11-01. Retrieved 10 June 2010.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  5. ^ "Eyes Open (Deluxe Limited Edition CD/DVD) - Snow Patrol". Macrovision. AllMusic. Retrieved 1 November 2009. 
  6. ^ Smith, Sean (20 March 2007). "San Diego Music - The band Snow Patrol!". San Diego.com. Archived from the original on 2009-11-02. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  7. ^ "Release formats". Jeepster. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  8. ^ "Snow Patrol". Big Active. Retrieved 18 July 2009.  Note: Needs to be manually searched.
  9. ^ "Snow Patrol artwork revealed!". Hot Press. 16 March 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-11-16. Retrieved 13 June 2014.  (subscription required)
  10. ^ "Reviews for Eyes Open by Snow Patrol - Metacritic". Metacritic. 
  11. ^ AllMusic review
  12. ^ Blender review
  13. ^ "Music Review - Snow Patrol - Eyes Open - entertainment.ie". entertainment.ie. 
  14. ^ "Snow Patrol". PopMatters. 
  15. ^ Pitchfork Media review
  16. ^ "Eyes Open : Review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2006-06-12. 
  17. ^ "Dixie Chicks make nice music; Snow Patrol has 'Eyes Open' - USATODAY.com". usatoday.com. 
  18. ^ "Top sellers by year - Albums: Best-selling Albums 06". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 2009-11-21. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  19. ^ a b Jaclyn Ward - Fireball Media Ltd. - http://www.fireballmedia.ie (1962-10-01). "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  20. ^ a b "UK Album Chart Analysis: Buble outsells JLS by just 569 units". Music Week. Intent Media. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Snow Patrol - Eyes Open". aCharts. Retrieved 27 June 2009. 
  22. ^ a b c "Snow Patrol - Eyes Open (Album)" (in Dutch). Swiss Charts. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  23. ^ "Snow Patrol – Eyes Open" (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien.
  24. ^ Steffen Hung. "Dutch charts portal". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  25. ^ "European Top 100 Albums - Eyes Open". Billboard. Retrieved 8 July 2009. [dead link]
  26. ^ "2006-05-07 Top 40 UK Albums Archive". Official Charts Company.
  27. ^ "Snow Patrol Opens Eyes". Pollstar. 
  28. ^ "Album Jahrescharts 2007". Archived from the original on 2008-06-10. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  29. ^ "Discos de Oro y Platino - Snow Patrol - Eyes Open". Cámara Argentina de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 31 May 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  30. ^ "ARIA Charts-Accreditations-2007 Albums". ARIA. 2007-12-31. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  31. ^ "IFPI Austria - Verband der Österreichischen Musikwirtschaft" (in German). Ifpi.at. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  32. ^ "Goud en platina - Albums - 2008". Ultratop. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  33. ^ "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): Gold & Platinum - January 2005". Cria.ca. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  34. ^ Universal Netherlands newsletter. Published: 24 July 2009
  35. ^ "European Top 100 Albums - Eyes Open". Billboard. Retrieved 8 July 2009. [dead link]
  36. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards - Q1 2009". Ifpi.org. 2005-09-01. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  37. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('Eyes+Open')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  38. ^ NZ certification
  39. ^ Steffen Hung. "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community". Swisscharts.com. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  40. ^ "Chart Log UK". zobbel.de. 
  41. ^ "Gold & Platinum - Search Results". RIAA. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  42. ^ "Brits Rock". Billboard. Retrieved 7 July 2009. [dead link]
Preceded by
St. Elsewhere by Gnarls Barkley
Back to Basics by Christina Aguilera
Empire by Kasabian
UK number one album
7 May 2006 – 13 May 2006
27 August 2006 – 2 September 2006
10 September 2006 – 16 September 2006
Succeeded by
Stadium Arcadium by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Empire by Kasabian
FutureSex/LoveSounds by Justin Timberlake
Preceded by
The Winner's Journey by Damien Leith
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
22 January 2007 – 25 February 2007
Succeeded by
Extreme Behavior by Hinder