Tape Deck Heart

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Tape Deck Heart
Tape Deck Heart Album Cover.jpg
Studio album by Frank Turner
Released 22 April 2013
Recorded 2012 in Los Angeles
Genre Folk rock, folk punk, punk rock
Length 50:20
Label Xtra Mile, Polydor, Interscope
Producer Rich Costey
Frank Turner chronology
The Second Three Years
(2011)The Second Three Years2011
Tape Deck Heart
Losing Days
(2013)Losing Days2013
Singles from Tape Deck Heart
  1. "Recovery"
    Released: 4 March 2013
  2. "The Way I Tend to Be"
    Released: 6 June 2013
  3. "Losing Days"
    Released: 1 September 2013
  4. "Oh Brother"
    Released: 9 October 2013
  5. "Polaroid Picture"
    Released: 3 February 2014
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 76/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
The A.V. Club B[3]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[4]
Hellhound Music 8/10 stars[5]
NME 8/10[6]
PopMatters 8/10[7]
Punknews.org 3.5/5 stars[8]
Sputnikmusic 4.6/5 stars[9]
The Telegraph 4/5 stars[10]
This Is Fake DIY 5/10[11]

Tape Deck Heart is the fifth studio album by English singer-songwriter Frank Turner, released on 22 April 2013 on Xtra Mile in the UK, and on Polydor / Interscope worldwide. Produced by Rich Costey, the album was preceded by the single, "Recovery."

Described as a "break-up album," Tape Deck Heart was written and recorded following the collapse of a long-term romantic relationship. Turner stated: "There’s a lot of stuff on this record about loss and failure in relationships, about what happens when something that was supposed to be timeless runs out of time."[12]

Tape Deck Heart has been given a Parental Advisory label due to the profanity heard on tracks "Plain Sailing Weather" and "Good & Gone". The title of the album is taken from a lyric in the song "Tell Tale Signs".

Background and recording[edit]

After extensive touring in support of Turner's fourth studio album, England Keep My Bones (2011) - which included an appearance during the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony and a headline show at Wembley Arena - Turner and his backing band, The Sleeping Souls, flew to Los Angeles, in October 2012, to enter the studio with producer Rich Costey, seeking a "big, warm expansive rock sound."[13] Regarding the band's experience in Los Angeles, Turner stated, "It’s such a cliché – bands reach a certain level of success, go to L.A. to record an album. I was nervous about recording outside the UK because my music sounds English and I like that, but in fact, it didn’t make any difference. We stayed at the Holiday Inn next door and didn’t finish until dark every day, so I scarcely saw the sun shine."[14]

Regarding Costey's production, Turner noted, "I will say that I think the production is a massive step up for me. [...] The man is a fucking genius."[12] Nicknamed, "Sauron, the all seeing eye," by Turner and his bandmates, Costey often made the band perform multiple takes in the studio, with Turner stating: "He brings an almost autistic eye for detail. He made me do 42 vocal takes at one point, with the encouragement ‘I know there’s something in there'."[15]

Writing and composition[edit]

Explaining the album's title, Turner stated, "A 'Tape Deck Heart' is someone who has a love of music above anything else. I don’t miss cassettes, but I am of an age - like many of us - whose music listening life was defined by Walkmen and C90 tapes."[15]

Comparing the album's lyrical and thematic content to his previous album, England Keep My Bones (2011), Turner noted: "This record isn't about England at all — I did that last time round. This album is about self-examination, running through your own faults, about change, and about ending. Something like that."[16]

Regarding the track, "Four Simple Words", Turner stated, "I think that song is something of a nod towards Queen, stylistically. But it’s not something that markedly runs through the record as such, I don’t think."[12] Turner elaborated, "I tell people it's about dancing but it's really a song about punk rock and the pleasantly surprising revelation that, at 31, my ethics and approach to music are the same as when I was 15."[13]


The artwork for the album was done by SWFL tattoo artist Heather Ann Law.


On 25 December 2012, Turner released a free download of "Four Simple Words" on his website, backed with a demo version of the song, "Cowboy Chords". The opening track and first single, "Recovery", premiered on Radio 1, on 4 March 2013 and was released on iTunes the following day.

The deluxe edition of the album contains six additional tracks, with Turner noting, "Track listing an album is a fine art, and usually a pretty agonising process. I’m glad I've had the opportunity to do the extended version for this one – all these songs belong together. That said, I think an album is a piece of art in its own right and can be too long, so it’s worth making the twelve-track definitive version. Choosing what makes it and what doesn’t is agonising, though."[12]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album entered the UK chart at No. 2 on its release, and was certified Silver by the BPI on 15 November 2013.[17] It became his most successful album yet, with 200,000 copies sold.[18]

In the United States, the album debuted at No. 52 on Billboard 200,[19] and No. 15 on Top Rock Albums,[20] selling 7,000 copies in its first week. It has sold 44,000 copies in the United States as of July 2015.[21]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Frank Turner, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "Recovery" 3:28
2. "Losing Days" 3:32
3. "The Way I Tend to Be" 3:41
4. "Plain Sailing Weather" (Frank Turner, Matt Nasir) 4:01
5. "Good & Gone" 3:50
6. "Tell Tale Signs" 4:12
7. "Four Simple Words" 4:56
8. "Polaroid Picture" 3:43
9. "The Fisher King Blues" 5:00
10. "Anymore" 3:09
11. "Oh Brother" (Turner, Nasir) 4:18
12. "Broken Piano" 5:30



  • Standard CD
  • Deluxe CD
  • 12" Vinyl available in green or black
  • iTunes LP
  • Cassette Tape


"Four Simple Words" was released as a free download, along with a demo version of "Cowboy Chords" through Xtra Miles website on Christmas Day 2012. The first single from the album was "Recovery", which was released on 5 March 2013 and the music video was released the same day. "The Way I Tend To Be" was later released on 17 June and peaked at number 33 in the UK singles chart. "Losing Days" was the third single to be released.


Chart (2013) Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[23] 34
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[24] 138
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[25] 21
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[26] 79
UK Albums (OCC)[27] 2
US Billboard 200[28] 52
US Folk Albums (Billboard)[29] 4
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[30] 15
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[31] 13


Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls[edit]

  • Frank Turner – lead vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, backing vocals
  • Ben Lloyd – electric guitar, backing vocals, noise (12), drums (12)
  • Tarrant Anderson – bass guitar, backing vocals, drums (12)
  • Matt Nasir – piano, accordion, organ, Mellotron, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, mandolin, xylophone, backing vocals, drums (12)
  • Nigel Powell – drums, percussion, recorder, backing vocals

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Rich Costey - electric guitar (1 and 9), backing vocals (7)
  • Elle King - banjo (3)
  • Fergus Coulbeck - jew’s harp ("her velvet tones")
  • John Hill - soundscapes (3)
  • Chris Trovero - backing vocals (7)
  • Scott Keys - backing vocals (7)
  • Deena Keys - backing vocals (7)
  • Samantha Keys - backing vocals (7)
  • Chris Kasych - backing vocals (7)
  • Ben Hallett - backing vocals (7)

Recording personnel[edit]

  • Rich Costey - producer, recording, mixing
  • Chris Kasych - engineer, additional mixing (9 and 12)
  • Dave Schiffman - additional engineering
  • Eric Isip - recording assistant
  • Howie Weinberg - mastering
  • Nick Moorbath - producer, mixing (15 and 18)


  • Heather Law Tattooer - cover design
  • Matt Hunt - portraits
  • Ben Morse - band photographs
  • Thomas Lacey - album artwork and layout


  1. ^ "Tape Deck Heart Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Christopher Monger, James. "Tape Deck Heart - Frank Turner". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Zaleski, Annie (23 April 2013). "Frank Turner: Tape Deck Heart". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Simpson, Dave (18 April 2013). "Frank Turner: Tape Deck Heart – review". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Crane, Matt (17 April 2013). "Album Review: Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart". Hellhound Music. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Cooper, Leonie (19 April 2013). "Frank Turner - 'Tape Deck Heart'". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Horowitz, Steven (22 April 2013). "Frank Turner: Tape Deck Heart". Popmatters. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Frank Turner - Tape Deck Heart". Punknews.org. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Freeman, Channing (23 April 2013). "Frank Turner Review". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  10. ^ McCormick, Neil (19 April 2013). "Album Review". The Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  11. ^ Doyle, Tomas (22 April 2013). "Frank Turner - Tape Deck Heart". This Is Fake DIY. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c d Rodger, James Daniel (22 January 2013). "Frank Turner - Interview". Dance Yrself Clean. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Paine, Andre (20 April 2013). "It's a punk-folk thing: Frank Turner Interview". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "Frank Turner Reveals His Tape Deck Heart". May the Rock Be With You. 12 April 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Kyle, Steve (12 March 2013). "Interview: Frank Turner on Albatrosses, Relief, Springsteen and C90 Cassettes". Something Gold Something New. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  16. ^ Thaine, Marcus (16 March 2013). "Frank Turner interview". AsiaLIFE Guide. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "British album certifications – Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Tape Deck Heart in the search field and then press Enter.
  18. ^ "Frank Turner". Red dreams. 
  19. ^ "Billboard 200: May 11, 2013". Billboard. 
  20. ^ "Top Rock Albums: May 11, 2013". Billboard. 
  21. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on 16 July 2015. 
  22. ^ Turner, Frank. "'TAPE DECK HEART' – NEW ALBUM + TICKET PRE-SALE". frank-turner.com. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  23. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart" (in German). Hung Medien.
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  25. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Top 100 Longplay". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  26. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart". Hung Medien.
  27. ^ "Frank Turner | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart.
  28. ^ "Frank Turner Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  29. ^ "Frank Turner Chart History (Top Americana/Folk Albums)". Billboard.
  30. ^ "Frank Turner Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard.
  31. ^ "Frank Turner Chart History (Top Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard.