Last Night on Earth (album)

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This article is about Noah and the Whale album. For Lee Ranaldo and the Dust album, see Last Night on Earth (Lee Ranaldo album).
Last Night on Earth
Last Night on Earth.jpg
Studio album by Noah and the Whale
Released 4 March 2011
Recorded 2010
Sunset Sound Recorders, Sound City Studios, Doghouse Studios
(Hollywood, California)
The Garden
(San Francisco, California)
Ruby Red Productions
(Santa Monica, California)
The Strongroom, The Empire Studio, Hangman Palace Studios
(London, England)
Genre Indie pop
Length 33:29
Label Mercury
Producer Jason Lader and Charlie Fink
Noah and the Whale chronology
The First Days of Spring
Last Night on Earth
Heart of Nowhere
Singles from Last Night on Earth
  1. "L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N."
    Released: 23 January 2011
  2. "Tonight's the Kind of Night"
    Released: 15 May 2011
  3. "Life Is Life"
    Released: 8 August 2011
  4. "Waiting For My Chance to Come"
    Released: 12 September 2011 (music video) [1]
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 67/100[2]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[3]
NME 8/10 stars[4]
Pitchfork Media (5.0/10)[5]
Spin 7/10 stars[6]

Last Night on Earth is the third studio album by the English indie folk band Noah and the Whale. It was released on 7 March 2011 on Mercury Records. It peaked to number 8 on the UK Albums Chart. The first single from the album was "L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.", and the song "Wild Thing" is available to download for free from their website.[7]


Following The First Days of Spring (2009), the band's original drummer, Doug Fink, left to complete his medical training.[8] The group's new addition, Michael Petulla, was found via online classified Gumtree. Bassist Matt Owens and guitarist Fred Abbott auditioned upwards of 100 drummers and eventually narrowed it down to 10, from which point the band rehearsed with each to see which was the best fit. Petulla, the last auditionee of the day, was picked.[8] The band first began recording Last Night on Earth in 2010 at Bethnal Green Great Synagogue in London, but the band eventually needed a change in scenery and moved to Los Angeles to work with producer Jason Lader. The band started at the synagogue due its spacious sound, but ended up working was Lader based off his work with Jay-Z and Julian Casablancas.[9]

Vocalist/guitarist Charlie Fink wrote of adolescence and, in his words, "that excitement of being young and being in the night."[8] The ambition was unapologetically fuelled by the music of Bruce Springsteen. In addition, Last Night on Earth is influenced by several different sources, including Tom Waits's 1992 album Bone Machine, the poetry of Frank O'Hara, the art of Edward Hopper, and the work of John Cale, Arthur Russell and Lou Reed.[8] Reed's Berlin (1973) was particularly influential on Fink's desire to step outside his comfort zone, lyrically. "Once you've opened up the third-person narrative it means you have to rely less on your own life and it's more fantasy and fiction," said Fink, whose songwriting expanded to a "strikingly visual style," inspired by cinema.[8] The process, Fink felt, exerted a tangible influence on the way he approached lyrics on Last Night on Earth.[8] The album, in contrast to the band's prior two efforts, is a move away from autobiography, and tells short stories in song.[10] For example, "Wild Thing" began as a 10-minute, richly detailed epic in the style of Street Hassle, before Fink boiled it down to its five-minute essence. The track, another instance of Fink's cinema-inspired songwriting, was designed to have a "Twin Peaks feel."[8]

Following the commercial success of Last Night on Earth, the band toured extensively, including three separate treks to the United States. "There was a week where we did Japan, Australia, Canada and Chicago in eight days. And I hate flying," remarked Fink.[10]


  • "L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N." was released on 23 January 2011 as the first single from their album. Having debuted at number 37, the single spent a total of 8 weeks in the top 40 before reaching a peak of number 14; marking the band's second most successful single behind "5 Years Time" - which peaked at number 9. The single also saw success in Ireland, where it reached a peak of number 30.
  • "Tonight's the Kind of Night" was released on 16 May 2011 as the second single from their album.
  • Opening track "Life Is Life" was released 8 August 2011. A video for the song had already been released earlier.
  • "Waiting For My Chance To Come" was released on 12 September 2011, with an inspired video shot aboard a lightship in the Pool of London.

Track listing[edit]

  • All songs by Charlie Fink
No. Title Length
1. "Life Is Life"   3:37
2. "Tonight's the Kind of Night"   3:10
3. "L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N."   3:52
4. "Wild Thing"   4:50
5. "Give It All Back"   2:56
6. "Just Me Before We Met"   3:38
7. "Paradise Stars"   1:30
8. "Waiting For My Chance to Come"   2:57
9. "The Line"   3:30
10. "Old Joy"   3:29


Chart performance[edit]

In 2011, Last Night on Earth sold 261,000 copies in the UK.[11]

Chart (2011) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[12] 86
Belgium (Flanders) Albums Chart[13] 74
Dutch Albums Chart[14] 89
Irish Albums Chart 17
UK Albums Chart[15] 8
US Billboard 200[16] 135
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[17] 35
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[18] 20
US Top Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[19] 4

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom 4 March 2011 Digital download[20] Mercury Records
7 March 2011 CD[21]
15 April 2011 Vinyl[22]


  1. ^ "Noah And The Whale - Waiting For My Chance To Come (music video)". Noah and the Whale. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  2. ^ "Last Night on Earth by Noah and the Whale". Metacritic. Retrieved October 6, 2016. Bandleader Charles Fink and the rest of the London five-piece release a new album of indie pop with an eccentric, melodic folk flair. 
  3. ^ "Allmusic Review". 
  4. ^ "NME Review". 
  5. ^ "Pitchfork Review". 
  6. ^ "SPIN Review". 
  7. ^ "Noah and the Whale". Noah and the Whale. Retrieved 2011-10-07. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Laura Barton (24 February 2011). "Noah and the Whale: I never thought of myself as a singer'". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  9. ^ Melody Lau (21 March 2011). "Noah and the Whale Welcome a New 'Whistle-Free' Sound on Last Night on Earth". Spinner. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Michael Hann (4 May 2013). "Charlie Fink: 'I've accepted who I am'". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "The Top 20 rock singles and albums of 2011 revealed". The Official Charts Company. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Chartifacts - Week Commencing: 18th April 2011". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 19 April 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  13. ^ "Noah & The Whale - Last Night On Earth". Retrieved 2011-10-07. 
  14. ^ "Noah & The Whale - Last Night On Earth". Retrieved 2011-10-07. 
  15. ^ "Archive Chart". 2011-03-19. Retrieved 2011-10-07. 
  16. ^ "Noah and The Whale – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Noah and The Whale.
  17. ^ "Noah and The Whale – Chart history" Billboard Top Rock Albums for Noah and The Whale.
  18. ^ "Noah and The Whale – Chart history" Billboard Top Alternative Albums for Noah and The Whale.
  19. ^ "Noah and The Whale – Chart history" Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums for Noah and The Whale.
  20. ^ "Last Night On Earth". iTunes. 
  21. ^ "Last Night On Earth". 
  22. ^ "Last Night On Earth".