Leaders of the Free World

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Leaders of the Free World
LeadersOfTheFreeWorld.jpg
Studio album by
Released12 September 2005
Recorded2004–2005
StudioBlueprint Studios, Salford, Greater Manchester
GenreAlternative rock, art rock
Length49:32
LabelV2
ProducerElbow
Elbow chronology
Cast of Thousands
(2003)
Leaders of the Free World
(2005)
The Seldom Seen Kid
(2008)
Singles from Leaders of the Free World
  1. "Forget Myself"
    Released: 29 August 2005
  2. "Leaders of the Free World"
    Released: 7 November 2005
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic78/100[1]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[2]
The A.V. ClubA−[3]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[4]
The Guardian4/5 stars[5]
The Independent3/5 stars[6]
NME9/10[7]
Pitchfork6.2/10[8]
Q4/5 stars[9]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[10]
SpinA−[11]

Leaders of the Free World is the third studio album by English rock band Elbow, released on 12 September 2005 in the UK and 21 February 2006 in the US on the V2 record label. The Japanese version of the album (released on 7 September 2005) features two bonus tracks, "McGreggor" and "The Good Day", which were both B-sides to the first single "Forget Myself". Leaders of the Free World was entirely produced by the band at Blueprint Studios in Salford, Greater Manchester, a space the band hired for the duration of their recording sessions. The album reached number 12 on the British albums chart.[12]

The band teamed up with video artists The Soup Collective to produce an integrated music and video DVD to accompany the album. In the UK there was a limited edition release of the CD and the DVD in a gatefold sleeve. When released in the US, initial limited copies contained the bonus DVD (with alternatively-colored green artwork).

The song "Mexican Standoff" was also recorded in Spanish. This version appears as a B-side to the "Leaders of the Free World" single.

Album cover[edit]

The album cover is highly reminiscent of the 1976 album A Trick of the Tail by Genesis. However this is completely coincidental, because the cover's designer hadn't seen the Genesis cover art prior to designing it.[13] The album cover depicts five characters from the songs on the album itself:

  1. The ticket conductor from the train in "Station Approach" (or possibly the bus conductor in "Great Expectations").
  2. The bouncer ("the man at the door") from "Forget Myself". During "An Imagined Affair", Garvey sings "I drink until the doorman is a Christmas tree" possibly meaning the same character.
  3. The man "kicking up mischief" and drinking from "Picky Bugger" (or possibly the man who drinks "until the doorman is a Christmas tree" in "An Imagined Affair").
  4. A Mexican, from "Mexican Standoff".
  5. A man needing patching up, with tea and a bicycle pump, as in "Puncture Repair".

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Elbow; all lyrics by Guy Garvey.

No.TitleLength
1."Station Approach"4:22
2."Picky Bugger"3:07
3."Forget Myself"5:22
4."The Stops"5:03
5."Leaders of the Free World"6:11
6."An Imagined Affair"4:43
7."Mexican Standoff"4:01
8."The Everthere"4:13
9."My Very Best"5:33
10."Great Expectations"5:05
11."Puncture Repair"1:48

Japanese version[edit]

All tracks written by Elbow; all lyrics by Guy Garvey.

No.TitleLength
1."Station Approach"4:22
2."Picky Bugger"3:07
3."McGreggor"2:49
4."Forget Myself"5:22
5."The Stops"5:03
6."Leaders of the Free World"6:11
7."An Imagined Affair"4:43
8."Mexican Standoff"4:01
9."The Everthere"4:13
10."The Good Day"3:41
11."My Very Best"5:33
12."Great Expectations"5:05
13."Puncture Repair"1:48

DVD[edit]

Singles[edit]

In the UK, there were two singles released from the album:

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Alexis Smith and Jason Boshoff - additional programming on "Forget Myself", "Leaders of the Free World" and "My Very Best"
  • Jote Osahn and Stella Page - strings on "Forget Myself" and "My Very Best"
  • Dylan Jupp - laughter on "Mexican Standoff"

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Leaders Of The Free World by Elbow". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  2. ^ Wilson, MacKenzie. "Leaders of the Free World – Elbow". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  3. ^ Murray, Noel (21 February 2006). "Elbow: Leaders Of The Free World". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  4. ^ Fiore, Raymond (24 February 2006). "Elbow: Leaders of the Free World". Entertainment Weekly (865): 64.
  5. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (2 September 2005). "Elbow, Leaders of the Free World". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  6. ^ Gill, Andy (2 September 2005). "Album: Elbow". The Independent. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  7. ^ Goodwin, Cat (19 September 2005). "Elbow: Leaders Of The Free World". NME. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ Khong, Rachel (7 September 2005). "Elbow: Leaders of the Free World". Pitchfork. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  9. ^ "Elbow: Leaders of the Free World". Q (230): 112. September 2005.
  10. ^ Walters, Barry (6 February 2006). "Elbow: Leaders of the Free World". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 5 January 2007. Retrieved 21 October 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  11. ^ "Quick Cuts". Spin. 22 (2): 87. February 2006. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  12. ^ Roberts, David (ed.) (2 June 2007). British Hit Singles and Albums (20th (revised) ed.). London: Guinness World Records Ltd. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  13. ^ Thread on Elbow Room forum