Up the Bracket

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Up the Bracket
Studio album by The Libertines
Released 14 October 2002
Recorded August 2002, RAK, London
Genre Garage rock revival, indie rock
Length 39:28
Label Rough Trade
Producer Mick Jones
The Libertines chronology
Up The Bracket
The Libertines
Singles from Up the Bracket
  1. "Up the Bracket"
    Released: 30 September 2002
  2. "Time for Heroes"
    Released: 13 January 2003

Up the Bracket is the debut album by British indie rock band The Libertines, released in October 2002. It reached #35 in the UK Albums Chart. The album was part of a resurgence for the British indie/alternative scene[citation needed] and received widespread praise from critics and has quickly become considered one of the greatest albums of the 2000s.[1]


The title "Up the Bracket" alludes to the phrase used by British comedian Tony Hancock in Hancock's Half Hour, a slang term meaning a punch in the throat. Hancock is also referenced in the opening track, "Vertigo" - "lead pipes, your fortune's made", being a line from the Half Hour episode "The Poetry Society". Pete Doherty is known to be a lifelong fan of Hancock and a member of the Tony Hancock Appreciation Society, as well as featuring on a BBC documentary about him.[2] The line "Up the Bracket" is also a slang term for snorting cocaine.[3]


It is based on an image of rioting during the Argentine economic crisis (1999–2002).


The album was re-released on 8 September 2003 with an additional track, "What a Waster" and DVD featuring the promotional videos for the singles: "Up the Bracket", "Time for Heroes" and "I Get Along".


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[4]
Blender 5/5 stars[5]
Pitchfork Media 8.5/10[6]
PopMatters (favourable)[7]
Robert Christgau A[8]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[9]
Spin 4.5/5 stars[10]
Sputnikmusic 5.0/5[11]

Upon release, Up The Bracket received universal acclaim and praise. Online music magazine Pitchfork Media placed Up the Bracket at number 138 on their list of top 200 albums of the 2000s,[12] and it was placed 44 on a similar list by Uncut.[13] NME placed the album tenth in a list of the greatest British albums ever,[14] as well as calling it the second greatest album of the decade.[15] Rolling Stone placed the album number 61 on its list of the 100 Greatest Debut Albums of All Time and number 94 on its list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 2000s.

In April 2008, BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe chose the album as one of his Masterpieces, playing the album in full with interviews from the band members, fans and fellow musicians who were influenced by the album.[16]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Pete Doherty and Carl Barât.

  1. "Vertigo" – 2:37
  2. "Death on the Stairs" – 3:24
  3. "Horrorshow" – 2:34
  4. "Time for Heroes" – 2:40
  5. "Boys in the Band" – 3:42
  6. "Radio America" – 3:44
  7. "Up the Bracket" – 2:40
  8. "Tell the King" – 3:22
  9. "The Boy Looked at Johnny" – 2:38
  10. "Begging" – 3:20
  11. "The Good Old Days" – 2:59
  12. "I Get Along" – 2:51
Bonus tracks
  • "What a Waster" is listed as track 113 on US, Canadian, Spanish, Japanese and UK reissue editions

Chart performance[edit]

Charts (2002) Peak
UK Albums Chart 35
French Albums Chart 120
Japan Albums Chart 49
Swedish Albums Chart 59
US Top Heatseekers 13