Pull the Pin

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Pull the Pin
Stereophonics-Pull-The-Pin.jpg
Studio album by Stereophonics
Released 10 October 2007
Recorded

2006–2007 at

Genre
Length 46:25
Label V2
Vox Populi Records
RMG Chart (Ireland)
Sony Music (France)
Rough Trade (Germany)
Producer Kelly Jones, Jim Lowe
Stereophonics chronology
Language. Sex. Violence. Other?
(2005)
Pull the Pin
(2007)
Keep Calm and Carry On
(2009)
Singles from Pull the Pin
  1. "It Means Nothing"
    Released: 24 September 2007
  2. "My Friends"
    Released: 3 December 2007

Pull the Pin is the sixth studio album by Welsh rock band Stereophonics, released by V2 in the UK on 12 October 2007. A Stereophonics newsletter released the Pull the Pin album artwork to subscribers. The cover was also shown to Myspace users that had added the band in a bulletin.

The taster track "Bank Holiday Monday" had its world premier on Radio 1's Chris Moyles Show on Tuesday 1 May 2007 and was made available for digital download on Monday 28 May 2007 from online retailers. The album became a critical and commercial low-point for Stereophonics; receiving negative reviews and – at the time – having the lowest sales figures of their career. Despite this Pull the Pin still managed to reach number 1 on the UK Albums Chart, however it was their last until Keep the Village Alive almost 8 years later in 2015.

Writing[edit]

Lead singer Kelly Jones had to take ten months off before commencing to write songs for the album due to an illness in his family.[2] About two years prior to the release of Pull the Pin, he had written the lyrics for "It Means Nothing" and "Daisy Lane" in a hotel in Germany—the latter was written for Language. Sex. Violence. Other? (2005) but it wasn't completed during that time.[3]

"It Means Nothing" was written based on the 7/7 London attacks, it is about the feeling of unease in the city and people realising what was important in their lives.[4] "Daisy Lane" is about a young boy who was stabbed to death on the street where Jones lives. He told The Sun: "It was something I saw looking out of my very own window. I saw a row of seven policeman searching an area of my street. Then I read in the paper that they'd been searching for a knife as this kid had been stabbed."[5] The song "Stone" contains lyrics which were also featured in their earlier single "Moviestar", namely: "You're in my soul / You're in my mind".[3][6] It was considered for the album's lead single but the band and record company decided for "It Means Nothing" instead.[3]

Release[edit]

"Bank Holiday Monday" was made available to download on 28 May 2007 to those who purchased tickets for the band's tour in November 2007.[7] Pull The Pin was released on 12 October 2007[8] on three formats, including CD, digital and LP.[9]

Packing and title[edit]

The artwork of the two lips was designed by Miles Aldridge while Graham Rounthwaite and Stereophonics handled the art direction.[3] The band photographs inside the CD booklet were taken by Hans Peter van Velthoven.[3] The title and cover art of Pull the Pin was negatively received. When reviewing the album, Ian Cohen from Pitchfork called them "awful"[1] while Drowned in Sound contributor Cpt Howling Mad Murdock called the cover art "some of the worst artwork of the year."[10] Sonja D'Cruze at the BBC also disliked the artwork, commenting, "And that's not to mention the distasteful artwork of two sets of psychedelic glossed-up lips pulling a grenade pin."[11]

Singles[edit]

The band's newsletter on 24 July 2007 confirmed details and artwork of the first single to be released from the album. "It Means Nothing" was released as the first single from the album in digital form on 24 September 2007[12] and later on 1 October three major versions were released, including one CD single and two vinyl singles.[13] It charted at number twelve in the UK Singles chart,[14] making it the first lead single to miss out on the top five since "Local Boy in the Photograph".[15] "My Friends" was released as the second single on 10 December 2007 on three formats, CD, 7" vinyl and USB,[16] and charted at number thirty-two on the UK charts.[17]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 46/100[18]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars [19]
BBC (unfavourable)[11]
Drowned in Sound (4/10)[10]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[20]
Hot Press 1.5/5 stars[21]
The Independent 2/5 stars[22]
NME (7/10) [23]
The Observer (unfavourable)[24]
Pitchfork Media (3.4/10) [1]
The Skinny 2/5 stars[25]

Pull the Pin received generally mixed to negative reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 46, based on 12 reviews.[18] Contrasting with the negative reviews however, NME - who have been critical of the band's past albums - contributor Paul McNamee praised the album, stating it lives up as a successor album to Language. Sex. Violence. Other? and summarised it as "an unapologetic rock’n’roll record by a band who are hard to like but impossible to ignore."[23]

In the negative, Sonja D'Cruze from the BBC summarised the album as having "no real depth, imagination or anything to connect with."[11] Dorian Lynskey of The Guardian criticised the album, saying "the only things worse than Kelly Jones's aggrieved bellow and flatpack songwriting are his lyrics" and compared them to someone "performing brain surgery in boxing gloves: the patient always dies."[20] Pitchfork contributor Ian Cohen also criticised Jones' lyrical content and said the rock genre of the album was different by having "no sex, no spark."[1] Cpt H.M. 'Howling Mad' Murdock from Drowned in Sound was negative toward Jones' vocals by calling them "least-sincere" and compared them to "as if a diseased cat’s being garrotted in his throat." He summarised the album as: "... absolutely without spark and wholly forgettable."[10]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album reached number one in the UK,[26] becoming the band's fifth consecutive studio album to do so.[27] Despite this, record sales were at an all-time low for the band, receiving only a gold certification[a] for sales over 200,000 copies.[2][28] The album didn't fare well outside of the UK either. In Ireland the record reached number fifteen, breaking the band's three number-one albums streak.[29]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Kelly Jones; "I Could Lose Ya" co-written by Richard Jones and Javier Weyler[3].

No. Title Length
1. "Soldiers Make Good Targets" 4:37
2. "Pass the Buck" 3:24
3. "It Means Nothing" 3:48
4. "Bank Holiday Monday" 3:14
5. "Daisy Lane" 3:37
6. "Stone" 4:17
7. "My Friends" 3:35
8. "I Could Lose Ya" 3:17
9. "Bright Red Star" 3:39
10. "Ladyluck" 3:45
11. "Crush" 3:56
12. "Drowning" 5:08
Total length: 46:25

Personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ All the band's previous studio albums have been certified at least platinum.
Footnotes
  1. ^ a b c d e Cohen, Ian (7 October 2008). "Stereophonics: Pull The Pin". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Album by Album: Kelly Jones on the Stereophonics' back catalogue". Drowned in Sound. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Pull The Pin (CD booklet). Stereophonics. V2 Records. 2007. 
  4. ^ Barnett, Laura (28 October 2008). "Portrait of the artist: Kelly Jones, musician". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Swift, Jacqui (18 October 2007). "One step ahead of the pack". The Sun. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  6. ^ You Gotta Go There To Come Back (CD booklet). Stereophonics. V2 Records. 2003. 
  7. ^ "Bank Holiday Monday". The Stereophonics Ltd. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Pull The Pin". The Stereophonics Ltd. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "Pull The Pin releases". Allmusic. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c Cpt. Murdock, Howling Mad (24 October 2007). "Stereophonics - Pull The Pin". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c D'Cruze, Sonja (2007). "Stereophonics Pull The Pin Review". BBC. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "'It Means Nothing' released digitally today!". The Stereophonics Ltd. 24 September 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "It Means Nothing - Out todday!". The Stereophonics Ltd. 1 October 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  14. ^ "2007 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive". BPI. 13 October 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  15. ^ "Search Results -- Singles". everyHit. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  16. ^ "My Friends release details". The Stereophonics Ltd. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "2007 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive". BPI. 22 December 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "Stereophonics:Pull the Pin (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  19. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Stereophonics - Pull the Pin". Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  20. ^ a b Lynskey, Dorian (12 October 2007). "Stereophonics, Pull the Pin". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  21. ^ Wasser, Chris (15 October 1997). "PULL THE PIN". Hot Press. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  22. ^ Gill, Andy (12 October 2007). "Album: Stereophonics". The Independent. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  23. ^ a b McNamee, Paul (12 October 2007). "Stereophonics: 'Pull The Pin'". NME. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  24. ^ "Other CDs". The Observer. The Guardian. 14 October 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  25. ^ "The Stereophonics - Pull The Pin". The Skinny. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  26. ^ a b "All The Number One Albums 2007". BPI. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  27. ^ "STEREOPHONICS". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  28. ^ a b "Search by parameters". BPI. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013.  Note: Pull the Pin must be searched manually.
  29. ^ "Discography Stereophonics". Irishcharts.com. 2013. Archived from the original on 29 May 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  30. ^ "Stereophonics - Pull The Pin". Ultratop. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  31. ^ "Stereophonics - Pull The Pin". Ultratop. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  32. ^ "Stereophonics - Pull the Pin (album)". Dutchchart.nl. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  33. ^ "Stereophonics - Pull the Pin (album)". Lescharts.com. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  34. ^ "Top 75 Artist Album, Week Ending 18 October 2007". GfK. 18 October 2007. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  35. ^ "Stereophonics - Pull The Pin worldwide chart positions and trajectories". αCharts.us. Retrieved 23 October 2007. 
  36. ^ "Stereophonics - Pull The Pin (album)". Charts.org.nz. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  37. ^ "Stereophonics - Pull The Pin". Hitparade.ch. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  38. ^ "Certified Awards". IRMA. The Irish Charts. 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Change by Sugababes
UK Albums Chart Number-one album
21 October 2007
Succeeded by
The Trick to Life by The Hoosiers