Love Is Hell (Ryan Adams album)

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Love Is Hell
Love Is Hell.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 4, 2004
RecordedNew York, September 2 to September 6, 2002; and New Orleans, February 2003
LabelLost Highway Records
ProducerRyan Adams, John Porter
Ryan Adams chronology
Rock n Roll
Love Is Hell
Cold Roses
Singles from Love Is Hell
  1. "Wonderwall"
    Released: June 28, 2004
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[5]

Love Is Hell is the fifth studio album by alternative country artist Ryan Adams, released on May 4, 2004. The album was originally released as two EPs, Love Is Hell pt. 1 and Love Is Hell pt. 2, at the insistence of Lost Highway, who deemed that the album was not commercially viable.[6][7] A full-length version of the album was released when the EPs proved to be more of a commercial success than anticipated.

The Oasis cover, "Wonderwall", was released as a single in the UK on June 28, 2004. A shorter version of "Anybody Wanna Take Me Home" originally appeared on Rock N Roll. However, the 'longer' version of the song on Love Is Hell does not fade-out/back-in as it does on Rock N Roll. Love Is Hell was released in Japan on June 27, 2007 with a bonus disc of tracks recorded during the same sessions as the album.

Adams describes the album as sounding "a lot like Heartbreaker, but better and more severe. It's complex and it's damaged,"[7] and states that it "was the record [he] needed to make."[8] In a 2007 interview, Adams notes that he loves to play songs from the album live, and that the songs are "usually tunes that The Cardinals and myself get really excited about when they come up in the set."[9] Love Is Hell features guest contributions from Marianne Faithfull (backing vocals on "English Girls Approximately") and Greg Leisz (guitar throughout), and the bonus tracks feature Fabrizio Moretti (drums on "Halloween") and Leona Naess (vocals on "Caterwaul").

Ryan Adams' version of "Wonderwall" can be downloaded for the video game Guitar Hero World Tour. The track "The Shadowlands" was written backstage in Belfast on 26th November 2002, with Adams performing it as his opening song.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Ryan Adams, unless otherwise stated.

1."Political Scientist" 4:33
2."Afraid Not Scared" 4:13
3."This House Is Not for Sale" 3:53
4."Anybody Wanna Take Me Home" 5:31
5."Love Is Hell" 3:19
6."Wonderwall"Noel Gallagher4:09
7."The Shadowlands" 5:18
8."World War 24" 4:17
9."Avalanche" 5:09
10."My Blue Manhattan" 2:23
11."Please Do Not Let Me Go" 3:37
12."City Rain, City Streets" 3:49
13."I See Monsters" 3:57
14."English Girls Approximately" 5:42
15."Thank You Louise" 2:52
16."Hotel Chelsea Nights" 5:10
Japanese version bonus disc
3."Fuck the Universe"7:29
4."Twice as Bad as Love"4:14
5."Father's Son"3:36
6."Gimme Sunshine"3:5
7."Black Clouds"4:48
French version
1."Political Scientist" 4:33
2."Afraid Not Scared" 4:13
3."This House Is Not for Sale" 3:53
4."Love Is Hell" 3:19
5."Wonderwall"Noel Gallagher4:09
6."The Shadowlands" 5:18
7."World War 24" 4:17
8."Avalanche" 5:09
9."Caterwaul" 5:41
10."Halloween" 3:52
11."My Blue Manhattan" 2:23
12."Please Do Not Let Me Go" 3:37
13."City Rain, City Streets" 3:49
14."I See Monsters" 3:57
15."English Girls Approximately" 5:42
16."Thank You Louise" 2:52
17."Hotel Chelsea Nights" 5:10
18."Fuck the Universe" 7:29
19."Twice as Bad as Love" 4:14

Chart positions[edit]


Country Peak
Belgium (Flanders)[10] 87
UK[11] 62


Year Single Chart Peak
2004 "Wonderwall" UK Singles Chart[11] 27


  • Ryan Adams – vocals, guitars, piano, and other instruments

New York Band on tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12, 14

New Orleans Band on tracks 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16

  • Greg Leisz – lead guitar, pedal steel
  • Ricky Fataar – drums on all except 10, 11, 13, 15
  • James "Hutch" Hutchinson – bass on all except 10, 13, 15
  • Ian McLagan – B3 organ, Wurlitzer electric piano on all except 11, 13, 15, 16
  • Jon Cleary - piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, rhythm guitar on all except 10, 11, 13
  • Ruth Gottlieb - violin on all except 11, 16
  • Sarah Wilson - cello on all except 11, 16


  1. ^ Crandall, Bill (December 10, 2003). "Love Is Hell Part 1". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 7, 2018."...his label balked as [sic] his new songs, telling him they were 'too alternative rock'..."
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Love Is Hell – Ryan Adams". AllMusic. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  3. ^ Robinson, John. "Adams, Ryan : Love Is Hell Pts 1&2". NME. Archived from the original on January 18, 2004. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  4. ^ Goldstein, Hartley (January 7, 2004). "Ryan Adams: Love Is Hell, Pts. 1 & 2". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  5. ^ Crandall, Bill (December 10, 2003). "Ryan Adams: Love Is Hell Pt. 1 / Love Is Hell Pt. 2". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  6. ^ Spitz, Marc (2003-11-24). "Who The F**k Is Ryan Adams?". Spin. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  7. ^ a b Simmons, Sylvie (2003-11-21). "I've been jumping off bridges". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  8. ^ Uhelszki, Jaan (January 2004). "Ryan Adams: Saved By R'n'R". HARP Magazine. Archived from the original on 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  9. ^ Klein, Joshua (2007-07-23). "Interview: Ryan Adams". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  10. ^ "Belgian Love Is Hell position". Retrieved 2009-11-22.
  11. ^ a b "UK Chart Log". Retrieved 2008-11-22.