Read My Lips (Sophie Ellis-Bextor album)

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Read My Lips
Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Read My Lips.png
Studio album by
Released27 August 2001 (2001-08-27)
Recorded2000–2001
Studio
Genre
Length50:04
LabelPolydor
Producer
Sophie Ellis-Bextor chronology
Read My Lips
(2001)
Shoot from the Hip
(2003)
Singles from Read My Lips
  1. "Take Me Home"
    Released: 13 August 2001
  2. "Murder on the Dancefloor"
    Released: 3 December 2001
  3. "Get Over You"/"Move This Mountain"
    Released: 10 June 2002
  4. "Music Gets the Best of Me"
    Released: 4 November 2002

Read My Lips is the debut studio album by English singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor. It was released on 27 August 2001 by Polydor Records. After the disbandment of the Britpop group Theaudience, in which Ellis-Bextor served as vocalist, she was signed to Polydor. Prior to the LP's completion, the singer collaborated with several musicians, including band Blur's bassist Alex James, Moby and New Radicals frontman Gregg Alexander. The record was described as a collection of 1980s electronica and 1970s disco music.

Critical response to Read My Lips was polarised, with music critics denouncing its content that was, according to many of whom, of lesser quality than "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)"—the singer's collaboration with Italian DJ Spiller. The album reached number two on the UK Albums Chart, and has since been certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). It spawned four singles: "Take Me Home", "Murder on the Dancefloor", double A-side single "Get Over You"/"Move This Mountain" and "Music Gets the Best of Me".

Background[edit]

American musician Moby (pictured) sought Ellis-Bextor, so they could work together, due to her "amazing" voice[1]

Following the disbandment of Britpop group Theaudience, Ellis-Bextor provided vocals for the song "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" by Italian DJ Spiller.[2] The song was a commercial success,[3] and Ellis-Bextor signed to Polydor. She was contacted by director Baz Luhrmann, who offered her a role in the 2001 film Moulin Rouge!, but the singer refused in order to focus on her career as a recording artist.[4] The success of "Groovejet" also prompted American musician Moby to notice Ellis-Bextor, and revealed interest in working with her due to her "amazing" voice, as he described it.[1] He instructed his record company to "track" Ellis-Bextor "down" so they could start working as soon as Moby finished his tour.[1] The two ultimately wrote five songs in New York City, which did not make the final cut of Read My Lips.[4][5] Furthermore, she also recorded with Blur bassist Alex James, as well as former frontman of the New Radicals, Gregg Alexander, while Damian LeGassick was recruited for his programming and keyboard work.[5]

The album's title was chosen due to the strong lipstick Ellis-Bextor used for the album artwork and the "Take Me Home" music video.[6] The album photography was shot by Mert Alas.[7]

Composition[edit]

An "eclectic" album, Read My Lips, is a collection of 1980s electronica and 1970s disco.[4] The album opener and first single is a cover version of Cher's 1979 song "Take Me Home", described as a "disco groove".[8] Betty Clarke from The Guardian observed that her voice in the song is reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn's Eliza Doolittle (in the movie My Fair Lady).[9] "Move This Mountain", co-written by Alex James, is a "vibrant" ballad with a trip hop-influenced sound.[8] Following track and second single, "Murder on the Dancefloor", is a dance-pop and disco record, that utilises bass guitar and piano in its instrumental.[9][10][11] "Sparkle" has "speeding beats and equally speeding keyboards",[9] while "Final Move" contains "tinny beats" and "electro swirls".[9] The latter was deemed a "subdued version" of "Murder on the Dancefloor" with "similar kaleidoscope synth".[12] "I Believe" was described as "funky" and "live-sounding",[9] while "Leave the Others Alone" involves "cold beats" and "big, full-throttle keyboards".[9] "By Chance" was particularly noted for showcasing Ellis-Bextor's accent.[12] Re-release new song "Get Over You" is a "polite" Euro disco take on "I Will Survive".[13]

Singles and promotion[edit]

Promotion for Read My Lips launched with the release of "Take Me Home", a cover of the song by singer Cher, which was released on 13 August 2001.[14] Although its production and Ellis-Bextor's vocal performance in the song were heavily criticised,[15] the single reached number two on the UK Singles Chart.[16] After the release of the album, "Murder on the Dancefloor" was serviced as its second single on 3 December 2001.[17] It peaked in the top 10 of the charts in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.[18][19] A double A-side single including new re-release song "Get Over You" and original album track "Move This Mountain" was released on 10 June 2002, in a set of two CD singles.[20][21]

Ellis-Bextor, who had previously felt uncomfortable with the idea of touring, confirmed a UK-only tour in January 2002, which took place from April to May.[22] Later, in July 2002, other dates of the tour were revealed for 2003.[23]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[12]
Blue CoupePositive[8]
Entertainment.ie3/5 stars[24]
The GuardianNegative[9]
The IndependentMixed[25]
Q2/5 stars[26]
Yahoo! Music5/10 stars[27]

Toby Manning from Q cited "Take Me Home" and "Move This Mountain" as the album's highlights, but, overall, he thought that the record failed to live up to the standard set by the previous collaboration with Spiller.[26] He also found that the album's music and the distinctive pronunciation of Ellis-Bextor's vocal delivery did not work to complimentary effect.[26] Betty Clarke from The Guardian described the album as a "sophisticated package" but said "there's little to love and even less fun to be had".[9] Kelvin Hayes from AllMusic dubbed it "a disappointing debut from Ellis-Bextor, fusing Human League synth with beats and cinematic strings", but described "Murder on the Dancefloor" as the "shimmering highlight" from the album.[12] A critic from entertainment.ie said "the material on her debut solo album only rarely does justice to her distinctive upper-crust voice", and said that "most of the songs sound laboured and plod where they should swing".[24]

In contrast to the previous reviews, Andrew Arora from Blue Coupe had a more positive response to the record. Arora said "it lands somewhere between Pet Shop Boys' synth-pop faculty and Blondie's Parallel Lines album", although he claimed that fans of "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" "should not expect much from this album, but it does deliver a dynamic electro disco sound that is sometimes analogous to her breakthrough-hit single".[8]

Commercial performance[edit]

Read My Lips debuted at number four on the UK Albums Chart with first-week sales of 23,023 copies, peaking 41 weeks later at number two.[28] On 21 June 2002, it was certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).[29] The album had sold 833,968 copies as of January 2014.[28]

Track listing[edit]

Original release
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Take Me Home"
4:07
2."Lover"
  • Ellis-Bextor
  • Andy Boyd
  • Ross Newell
  • Gary Wilkinson
  • Marco Rakascan[a]
3:24
3."Move This Mountain"
  • Hillier
  • James
4:45
4."Murder on the Dancefloor"
  • Matt Rowe
  • Alexander
3:50
5."I Believe"
  • James
  • Hillier
  • Wheatley[a]
4:04
6."Leave the Others Alone"
  • Ellis-Bextor
  • Boyd
  • Newell
Rakascan4:09
7."By Chance"
  • Ellis-Bextor
  • Rez
  • Rakascan
  • Wheatley[a]
4:13
8."The Universe Is You"
  • Ellis-Bextor
  • Boyd
  • Newell
Rakascan3:37
9."Is It Any Wonder"
  • Hall
  • Rakascan[a]
4:25
10."Everything Falls Into Place"
  • Ellis-Bextor
  • Boyd
  • Newell
Rakascan3:44

Notes

  • ^a signifies an additional producer

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[59] Platinum 70,000^
France (SNEP)[60] Gold 100,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[61] Platinum 15,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[62] Gold 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[29] 2× Platinum 833,968[28]
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[63] Platinum 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Tour[edit]

Read My Lips Tour
Tour by Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Sophie ellis-bextor TOur.png
Cover of the rare tour programme.
Associated albumRead My Lips
Legs2
No. of shows8 in United Kingdom
30 in Europe
Total: 38
Sophie Ellis-Bextor concert chronology

Read My Lips Tour was the first concert tour by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, in support of her debut studio album. Beginning January 2003, the tour visited the European continent. As of 2013, it is the biggest tour Ellis-Bextor has ever headlined.[9]

Background[edit]

The Read My Lips tour is the biggest tour Ellis-Bextor has ever gone on, having 38 dates and two legs.[64]

Set list[edit]

Shepherd's Bush Empire gig
  1. "Sparkle"
  2. "The Universe Is You"
  3. "Lover"
  4. "A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed"
  5. "By Chance"
  6. "Final Move"
  7. "Is It Any Wonder"
  8. "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)"
  9. "Everything Falls Into Place"
  10. "Murder on the Dancefloor"
  11. "Move This Mountain"

Encore

  1. "Get Over You"
  2. "Take Me Home (A Girl Like Me)"

Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
UK 2002 Leg
23 April 2002 Warrington England Parr Hall
25 April 2002 Ipswich Regent Theatre
26 April 2002 Norwich Norwich U.E.A.
27 April 2002 Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall
29 April 2002 Basingstoke The Anvil
30 April 2002 Leicester Leicester University
1 May 2002 Bristol Colston Hall
3 May 2002 London Shepherd's Bush Empire
4 May 2002
European 2003 Leg
17 January 2003 Preston England Preston Guildhall
19 January 2003 Glasgow Scotland Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
23 January 2003 Newcastle England Newcastle City Hall
24 January 2003 Nottingham Nottingham Royal Centre
25 January 2003 Sheffield Sheffield City Hall
27 January 2003 Liverpool Liverpool Royal Court
28 January 2003 Wolverhampton Wolverhampton Civic Hall
29 January 2003 Cambridge Cambridge Corn Exchange
31 January 2003 Cardiff Wales Cardiff International Arena
1 February 2003 Manchester England Manchester Apollo
2 February 2003 Plymouth Plymouth Pavilions
4 February 2003 Brighton Brighton Centre
5 February 2003 London Hammersmith Apollo
9 February 2003 Amsterdam Netherlands Melkweg
11 February 2003 Stockholm Sweden Stockholm Nalem
12 February 2003 Oslo Norway Rockefeller Music Hall
13 February 2003 Gdynia Poland Ucho Music Club
14 February 2003 Aarhus Denmark Aarhus Train
15 February 2003 Copenhagen Copenhagen Amager Bio
17 February 2003 Brussels Belgium Brussels Ancienne Belgique
18 February 2003 Cologne Germany Cologne Live Music Hall
21 February 2003 Hamburg Hamburg Große Freiheit
22 February 2003 Berlin Berlin Universal Hall
24 February 2003 Darmstadt Darmstadt Central Station
25 February 2003 Munich Munich Elserhalle
26 February 2003 Zürich Switzerland Zurich Volkshaus
28 February 2003 Milan Italy Milan Propaganda
1 March 2003 Marseille France Marseille Theatre du Moulin
2 March 2003 Lyon Lyon Transborder
3 March 2003 Paris Paris Elysée Montmartre

The Shepherd's Bush Empire gig was recorded, later being released in Ellis-Bextor's first video album, Watch My Lips.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Tracks 1 and 2
  2. ^ Track 2
  3. ^ Tracks 3, 4 and 10
  4. ^ Track 6

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "MOBY SEEKS AUDIENCE WITH SOPHIE". NME. 22 November 2000. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)". NME. 26 September 2000. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Strictly Come Dancing - Sophie Ellis-Bextor". BBC One. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "READ HER LIPS - SOPHIE'S A SINGER!". NME. 6 June 2001. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  5. ^ a b "SOPHIE SO GOOD..." NME. 20 March 2001. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  6. ^ Cronin, Wayne (29 April 2002). "Sophie talks to ShowBiz Ireland..." ShowBiz.ie. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Read My Lips - Sophie Ellis-Bextor | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d Arora, Andrew (May 2002). "Review: Read My Lips - Sophie Ellis Bextor". Blue Coupe. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Clarke, Betty (31 August 2001). "Chill of the ice maiden". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
  10. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor "Murder on the Dancefloor" Sheet Music". MusicNotes.com. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  11. ^ Read My Lips (Media notes). Sophie Ellis-Bextor. England: Polydor Records. 2001.CS1 maint: others (link)
  12. ^ a b c d Hayes, Kelvin. "Read My Lips – Sophie Ellis-Bextor". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  13. ^ Robinson, John (7 June 2002). "Ellis-Bextor, Sophie : Get Over You". NME. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  14. ^ "Take Me Home". Amazon.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  15. ^ Carlson, Dean. "Take Me Home [US CD] – Sophie Ellis-Bextor". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  16. ^ "Five Earns Another No. 1 In The U.K." Billboard. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  17. ^ "Murder On The Dancefloor". Amazon.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  18. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Murder on the Dancefloor". Australian-Charts. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  19. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  20. ^ "Get Over You [CD 1]". Amazon.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  21. ^ "Get Over You [CD 2]". Amazon.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  22. ^ "Bextor Takes to the Dancefloors". NME. 11 January 2002. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  23. ^ "Read My Lips Live!". NME. 26 July 2002. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  24. ^ a b "Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Read My Lips". entertainment.ie. 3 September 2001. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  25. ^ Price, Simon (2 September 2001). "Review: Album: Sophie Ellis Bexter (sic)". The Independent. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
  26. ^ a b c Manning, Toby. "Review: Sophie Ellis Bextor - Read My Lips". Q. No. Q181, September 2001. p. 109.
  27. ^ Crossing, Gary (3 September 2001). "Sophie Ellis-Bextor – 'Read My Lips'". Yahoo! Music. Archived from the original on 6 January 2006. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
  28. ^ a b c Jones, Alan (27 January 2014). "Official Charts Analysis: Goulding reclaims No.1 album spot with 21,000 sales". Music Week. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  29. ^ a b "British album certifications – Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Read My Lips". British Phonographic Industry. 21 June 2002. Retrieved 4 September 2010. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Read My Lips in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  30. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Read My Lips". Discogs. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  31. ^ "Read My Lips". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  32. ^ [1]
  33. ^ "Read My Lips [Extra tracks]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
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  44. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 5, 2002". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  45. ^ "Charts.nz – Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Read My Lips". Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  46. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Read My Lips". Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 July 2009.
  47. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  48. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Read My Lips". Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 June 2007.
  49. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Read My Lips". Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 June 2007.
  50. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
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  52. ^ "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 100 Albums 2002". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  53. ^ "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Dance Albums 2002". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  54. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 2002". dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  55. ^ "Year in Review – European Top 100 Albums 2002" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 21 no. 2/3. 11 January 2003. p. 15. OCLC 29800226. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via American Radio History.
  56. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts – 2002" (in German). Offizielle Deutsche Charts. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  57. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 2002". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  58. ^ "End of Year Album Chart Top 100 – 2002". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  59. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2002 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 16 June 2007.
  60. ^ "French album certifications – Sophie Ellis Bextor – Read My Lips" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 9 April 2003. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  61. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Read My Lips". Recorded Music NZ. 27 October 2002. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  62. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Sophie Ellis-Bextor; 'Read My Lips')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  63. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2002". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 4 September 2010.
  64. ^ Read My Lips Tour. Archived 4 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine Sophie Online. Retrieved 15-08-2013.

External links[edit]