Turn on the Bright Lights

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Turn on the Bright Lights
Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights.jpg
Studio album by Interpol
Released August 20, 2002
Recorded November 2001
Studio
Genre
Length 49:02
Label Matador
Producer
Interpol chronology
Interpol
(2002)Interpol2002
Turn on the Bright Lights
(2002)
The Black EP
(2003)The Black EP2003
Singles from Turn on the Bright Lights
  1. "PDA"
    Released: August 2002 (promotional)
  2. "Obstacle 1"
    Released: November 11, 2002
  3. "Say Hello to the Angels" / "NYC"
    Released: April 14, 2003

Turn on the Bright Lights is the debut studio album by the American rock band Interpol, released on August 20, 2002.[1] The album was recorded in November 2001 at Tarquin Studios in Connecticut, and was co-produced, mixed and engineered by Peter Katis and Gareth Jones. It was released on August 19, 2002 in the United Kingdom and August 20 in the United States, through independent record label Matador Records. Upon release, the record peaked at number 101 on the UK Albums Chart. It reached number 158 on the Billboard 200 in the United States, as well as spending 73 weeks on the Billboard Independent Albums chart, peaking at number five. "PDA", "NYC", "Obstacle 1" and "Say Hello to the Angels" were released as singles from Turn on the Bright Lights, and music videos were shot for all but the latter.

A remastered version of the album was released in 2012 to commemorate its tenth anniversary. It featured additional material including demo recordings of several tracks, the bonus songs previously available on international releases and a DVD of live performances and music videos.[2] Interpol are to embark on a tour in 2017 celebrating the album's 15th anniversary, playing the album front to back.[3]

Promotion and release[edit]

The release of Turn on the Bright Lights was preceded by the marketing of the band's self-titled Interpol EP in June 2002, their first release for Matador. The EP contained three tracks: radio single "PDA", future single "NYC", and "Specialist". All three tracks later appeared on the album, with "Specialist" included as a bonus track in Australian and Japanese editions. Further promotion continued at the beginning of the following year, when the band played the 2003 NME Awards Tour alongside The Datsuns, The Polyphonic Spree and The Thrills.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 81/100[5]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[6]
Entertainment Weekly A−[7]
Houston Chronicle 4.5/5 stars[8]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[9]
NME 8/10[10]
Pitchfork 9.5/10[11]
Record Collector 4/5 stars[12]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[13]
Slant Magazine 4.5/5 stars[14]
The Village Voice C+[15]

Turn on the Bright Lights was released to highly positive reviews from music critics. The album holds a score of 81 out of 100 from the aggregate site Metacritic based on 21 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[5] Contemporary reviews of the album often noted Interpol's influences and drew comparisons to several other acts.[2] Michael Chamy of The Austin Chronicle cited "melodic Peter Hook-like basslines; the divine shoegazer textures of My Bloody Valentine and Ride; a peppy, Strokes-like bounce; and a singer who's a dead ringer for Ian Curtis."[16] "It's almost as if Ian Curtis never hanged himself," began Blender's review, with critic Jonah Weiner adding that Paul Banks' vocals channeled Curtis' "gloomy moan."[17] NME's Victoria Segal called Joy Division comparisons "obvious and unmistakable, airbourne in the ashen atmospherics," while praising Interpol's take on the "grey-skinned British past".[10] Billboard wrote that Interpol had created an "homage to their particular vision of the '80s that stands proudly alongside the best of its idols."[18] Scott Seward, writing in The Village Voice, remarked: "If I like them because they remind me of eating bad bathtub mescaline in the woods and listening to Cure singles, well, that'll do. You might like them for completely different reasons."[19]

Noel Murray of The A.V. Club opined that Interpol's virtue "lies in the way its music unfurls from pinched openings to wide-open codas",[20] while Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone wrote that their "sleek, melancholy sound is a thing of glacial beauty".[13] Eric Carr of Pitchfork argued that the band had forged their own distinct sound, "a grander, more theatrical atmosphere with lush production that counters their frustrated bombast", praising Turn on the Bright Lights as "one of the most strikingly passionate records I've heard this year."[11] However, The Village Voice's Robert Christgau, naming it "Dud of the Month" in his Consumer Guide column, felt that Interpol "exemplify and counsel disengagement, self-seeking, a luxurious cynicism," downplaying Joy Division comparisons as "too kind".[15] Q's lukewarm assessment of the album described it as "predictably claustrophobic listening".[21]

At the end of the year, Turn on the Bright Lights featured on several publications' lists of the best albums of 2002, including those of Pitchfork, who named it the year's best album,[22] NME, who ranked it at number ten,[23] and Stylus Magazine, who ranked it at number five.[24] The album placed at number 15 on The Village Voice's year-end Pazz & Jop critics' poll.[25]

Legacy[edit]

Hailed as a seminal album of the 2000s,[26][27][28][29][30] Turn on the Bright Lights has been cited as an influence on many indie rock bands, including The Killers,[31] Editors,[32][33] The xx,[34] The Organ,[35] She Wants Revenge,[36] and others to the extent that many of these bands have been disparagingly referred to as "Interpol clones".[37] Closely associated with 9/11 era New York City,[38] the album has been seen as helping define 2000s indie rock, and Interpol have been cited as helping usher in the New York-born post-punk revival scene, along with contemporaries such as The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and TV on the Radio.[39] Summing up the album's impact in a review of its 2012 re-issue, Matt LeMay of Pitchfork wrote: "Suggesting that this album is simply a product of its time and place is no less naive than suggesting that anyone who has ever been in love could easily write, arrange and record an amazing love song. There were a lot of good bands in New York in 2002, but only one band made this record."[2] In 2017, the band embarked on a worldwide tour to celebrate its 15th anniversary.[40] At the end of the decade, the album has been featured on numerous lists:

Publication Accolade Rank
Pitchfork 'Top 100 albums 2000-2004' #3[41]
Pitchfork 'Top 200 albums of the 2000s' #20[42]
Stylus 'Top 50 Albums 2000-2005' #6[43]
Stylus 'Top 100 Albums of the 2000s' #20[44]
NME '100 Greatest Albums of the Decade' #8[45]
NME '500 Greatest Albums of All Time' #130[46]
Rolling Stone '100 Best Albums of the Decade' #59[47]
Under the Radar 'Top 200 Albums of the Decade' #3[48]
Beats Per Minute 'Top 100 Albums of the Decade' #7[49]
eMusic '100 Best Albums of the Decade' #9
Lost At Sea '2000-2009: Albums of the Decade' #13[50]
The Irish Times 'Top 20 Albums of the Decade' #10[51]
Consequence of Sound 'Top 100 Albums of the Decade' #35[52]
musicOMH '21 Best Albums of the 2000s' #12

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Interpol.

No. Title Length
1. "Untitled" 3:56
2. "Obstacle 1" 4:11
3. "NYC" 4:20
4. "PDA" 4:59
5. "Say Hello to the Angels" 4:28
6. "Hands Away" 3:05
7. "Obstacle 2" 3:47
8. "Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down" 6:28
9. "Roland" 3:35
10. "The New" 6:07
11. "Leif Erikson" 4:00
Total length: 49:02

Bonus tracks on Australian edition[edit]

  • "Specialist" – 6:39

Bonus tracks on Japanese edition[edit]

Two different versions exist. One version has the following bonus tracks:

  • "Interlude" – 1:02
  • "Specialist" – 6:39

The other version has the following bonus tracks:

  • "Hands Away" (Peel session)
  • "Obstacle 2" (Peel session)
  • "PDA" (video)
  • "NYC" (video)
  • "Obstacle 1" (video)

Bonus tracks on Mexican edition[edit]

  • "Interlude" – 1:02
  • "Specialist" – 6:39
  • "PDA" (video)
  • "NYC" (video)
  • "Obstacle 1" (video)

Personnel[edit]

Interpol

Charts[edit]

Chart (2002–03) Peak
position
French Albums (SNEP)[53] 62
UK Albums (OCC)[54] 101
US Billboard 200[55] 158
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[56] 5

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[57] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Matador Records - Store". Matador Records official website. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c LeMay, Matt (December 4, 2012). "Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights: The Tenth Anniversary Edition". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ Pearce, Sheldon. "Interpol Announce Turn On the Bright Lights Anniversary Tour". Pitchfork. Retrieved 23 January 2017. 
  4. ^ Kershaw, Richard (14 February 2003). "Review / Interpol @ Astoria, 9/02/03". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "Reviews for Turn On The Bright Lights by Interpol". Metacritic. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  6. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Turn on the Bright Lights – Interpol". AllMusic. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  7. ^ Serpick, Evan (August 23, 2002). "Turn on the Bright Lights". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  8. ^ Martinez, Rebekah (March 13, 2003). "Interpol – Turn On the Bright Lights". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  9. ^ Bronson, Kevin (September 8, 2002). "Solo Rambles in Different Directions". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 30, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Segal, Victoria (August 17, 2002). "Interpol: Turn On The Bright Lights". NME: 34. ISSN 0028-6362. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Carr, Eric (August 18, 2002). "Interpol: Turn On the Bright Lights". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  12. ^ Pearlman, Mischa (December 25, 2012). "Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights". Record Collector (409). Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob (August 14, 2002). "Turn On The Bright Lights". Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  14. ^ Liedel, Kevin (December 19, 2012). "Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights: Tenth Anniversary Edition". Slant Magazine. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (April 1, 2003). "Consumer Guide: As Long As I Still Can". The Village Voice. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  16. ^ Chamy, Michael (September 6, 2002). "Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights (Matador)". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  17. ^ Weiner, Jonah (September 2002). "Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights". Blender (9): 148. Archived from the original on October 25, 2004. Retrieved January 11, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights". Billboard. September 14, 2002. Archived from the original on September 11, 2002. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  19. ^ Seward, Scott (October 8, 2002). "Romeo's Tune". The Village Voice. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  20. ^ Murray, Noel (September 9, 2002). "Interpol: Turn On The Bright Lights". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights". Q (194): 107. September 2002. 
  22. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2002". Pitchfork Media. January 1, 2003. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Albums And Tracks Of The Year: 2002". NME. Retrieved April 18, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Stylus' 20 Favorite Albums of 2002". Stylus Magazine. December 30, 2002. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  25. ^ "The 2002 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. February 18, 2003. Archived from the original on March 2, 2003. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  26. ^ http://pitchfork.com/features/article/8995-interpol/
  27. ^ http://consequenceofsound.net/2017/01/interpol-announce-turn-on-the-bright-lights-15th-anniversary-tour/
  28. ^ http://diffuser.fm/13-years-ago-interpol-release-their-debut-turn-on-the-bright-lights/
  29. ^ http://www.avclub.com/article/interpols-iturn-on-the-bright-lightsi-brought-sexy-88925
  30. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/music/turn-on-the-bright-lights/interpol
  31. ^ http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/9-things-you-didnt-know-about-interpol-turn-on-the-bright-lights-1956496
  32. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-chattman/editors-frontman-on-the-n_b_418938.html
  33. ^ http://www.contactmusic.com/interpol/news/interpol-we-feel-sorry-for-editors_1039015
  34. ^ http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/13400-xx/
  35. ^ http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/6083-grab-that-gun/
  36. ^ http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/7843-she-wants-revenge/
  37. ^ https://books.google.ca/books?id=YW6zAAAAQBAJ&pg=PT33&lpg=PT33&dq=interpol+clones&source=bl&ots=3WhTbBSosJ&sig=afr6VfdS70VKCqvuKG80eOw-5hc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjV0vTtu4fTAhVm04MKHeq1AUUQ6AEIHDAA#v
  38. ^ http://www.stereogum.com/1129252/turn-on-the-bright-lights-turns-10/franchises/the-anniversary/
  39. ^ http://www.nme.com/news/music/interpol-21-1237357
  40. ^ http://www.spin.com/2017/01/interpol-turn-on-the-bright-lights-tour/
  41. ^ "Top 100 Albums of 2000–2004". 
  42. ^ "Top 200 Albums of 2000s". 
  43. ^ "Top 50 Albums 2000–2005". 
  44. ^ "Top 100 Albums of 2000s". 
  45. ^ "Top Albums of the 00s". 
  46. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". 
  47. ^ "100 Best Albums of the Decade". 
  48. ^ "Top 200 Albums of the Decade". 
  49. ^ "Top 100 Albums of the 2000s". 
  50. ^ "2000-2009: Albums of the Decade". 
  51. ^ "Top 20 Albums of the Decade". 
  52. ^ "Top 100 Albums of the Decade". 
  53. ^ "Lescharts.com – Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  54. ^ Rogers, Simon (November 19, 2009). "NME's top 50 albums of the decade: how high did they get in the charts?". The Guardian. Retrieved December 13, 2009. 
  55. ^ "Interpol – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Interpol. Retrieved December 13, 2009.
  56. ^ "Interpol – Chart history" Billboard Independent Albums for Interpol. Retrieved December 13, 2009.
  57. ^ "American album certifications – Turn on the Bright Lights – Interpol". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 21, 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]