|Studio album by Snow Patrol|
|Released||1 May 2006|
|Studio||Grouse Lodge Studios, Ireland, The Garage, Kent, The Garden, London, Angel Studios, London|
|Genre||Alternative rock, power pop|
|Label||Fiction, Polydor, A&M|
|Snow Patrol chronology|
|Singles from Eyes Open|
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. The first European single, "You're All I Have", was released on 24 April 2006; the first U.S. single was "Hands Open" and the first Australian single was "Chasing Cars". Eyes Open was the 15th best-selling album of the 2000s in the UK. It was the band's first album without bassist Mark McClelland and the first to feature bassist Paul Wilson and keyboardist Tom Simpson.
Recording and composition
The band's primary aim for a fourth album was to create a better one than the previous, Final Straw. 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.
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. 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.
Inspiration for writing came from the band's record collections, musical tastes and influences. 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. 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. 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.
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. Bassist Paul Wilson says that it came from the titles of songs they had written, citing "Open Your Eyes" as an example.
Appearances in other media
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.
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.
|1.||"You're All I Have"||4:33|
|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|
|13.||"In My Arms"||4:36|
|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.
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.
The album hit #1 in its 11th week on the New Zealand chart and reached 2× Platinum therefore shipping over 30,000 units. In the UK the album sold over 2,000,000 copies being certified 6× Platinum by the BPI. 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, 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. In total, the album has sold over 5 million copies worldwide.
Charts and certifications
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- Allmusic review
- Blender review
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- Pitchfork Media review
- "Eyes Open : Review". Rolling Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2006-06-12.
- "Dixie Chicks make nice music; Snow Patrol has 'Eyes Open' - USATODAY.com". usatoday.com.
- "Top sellers by year - Albums: Best-selling Albums 06". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 2009-11-21. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- 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.
- "Snow Patrol - Eyes Open". aCharts. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
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- "Album Jahrescharts 2007". Archived from the original on 2008-06-10. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
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- "IFPI Austria - Verband der Ã–sterreichischen Musikwirtschaft" (in German). Ifpi.at. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- "Goud en platina - Albums - 2008". Ultratop. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
- "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): Gold & Platinum - January 2005". Cria.ca. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- Universal Netherlands newsletter. Published: 24 July 2009
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- NZ certification
- Steffen Hung. "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community". Swisscharts.com. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- "UK Album Chart Analysis: Buble outsells JLS by just 569 units". Music Week. Intent Media. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
- "Chart Log UK". zobbel.de.
- "Brits Rock". Billboard. Retrieved 7 July 2009.[dead link]
- "Gold & Platinum - Search Results". RIAA. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
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