To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their 2001 debut album, Asleep In The Back, elbow have announced the release to streaming services of a collection of rare tracks on May 7. In addition to this and as previously announced, as part of Record Store Day 2021, exclusive coloured vinyl 10” editions of ‘The Newborn EP’ and ‘The Any Day Now EP’ will be released as part of the twentieth anniversary celebrations.
Alongside the original studio album and a number of B-sides, the collection includes tracks taken from their debut ‘Noisebox’ EP, featuring the original recording of “Powder Blue”, and their two releases for Manchester independent Uglyman Records, the ‘Newborn’ EP and the ‘Any Day Now’ EP.
Fans will also be able to hear six tracks from the band’s headline show at London Astoria on October 24 during the album tour, three tracks recorded for Steve Lamacq’s Evening Session on Radio One, transmitted in April 2001, and remixes of album tracks including fellow Mancunian Andy Votel’s take on “Powder Blue”.
On its release, Asleep In The Back announced elbow as one of the brightest hopes for UK music as shown by their nomination in the 2001 BRIT Awards for Best New British Band. The album was nominated for the 2001 Mercury Prize, narrowly missing out to PJ Harvey and secured the first of the band’s 9/10 album reviews from NME who said of it, “Radiohead finally have a competitor worthy of healthy comparison”. The same title would describe lead track, “Newborn”, as “A single of such magnificent flight and depth it darkens the skies above most other British guitar groups”, and make the ‘Any Day Now’ EP their single of the week.
Elbow would go on to make history as the only UK group to ever secure four consecutive 9/10 album reviews from the magazine.
Asleep In The Back won fans across the board, with The Guardian praising Garvey as ‘a master of the arresting image’, in the first of many tributes to his lyrical prowess, and The Daily Telegraph heralding ‘a wondrous and ambitious album’. Following its release, elbow would go on to become a constant presence in the UK album charts, a mainstay ‘must watch’ at UK festivals and, ultimately, achieve multi-platinum status, UK Number One albums, BRIT Awards, Mercury Prize and Ivor Novello wins and universal acclaim.
On the release of the ‘Newborn’ EP, singer Guy Garvey was quoted as saying: “Honesty is a word that surfaces over and over when we are writing which is why I think the romance in our music is always balanced with realism. We are each other’s biggest influences. Basically, this is where we have been for all our adult lives.”
Twenty years later, Asleep In The Back, and the recordings made around its release, re-emphasise that bond at the core of the group and remind us of the beginnings of that incredible journey. An audio guide to the starting point of one of the most unique and compelling stories in modern British music history.
Asleep In The Back:
“Any Day Now”
“Bitten By The Tailfly”
“Asleep In The Back”
“Don’t Mix Your Drinks”
“Presuming Ed (Rest Easy)”
“Scattered Black And Whites”
EPs and B Sides:
“Powder Blue” (The Noisebox EP Version)
“Red” (The Noisebox EP Version)
“Theme From Munroe Kelly” (The Noisebox EP Version)
“Can’t Stop” (The Noisebox EP Version)
“Kisses” (The Newborn EP Version)
“none one” (The Newborn EP Version)
“Wurzel” (The Any Day Now EP Version)
“George Lassoes The Moon” (The Any Day Now EP Version)
“Lucky With Disease”
“One Thing That Was Bothering Me”
Sessions, Remixes and Acoustic Tracks:
“Newborn” – BBC Radio 1 Lamacq Session
“Don’t Mix Your Drinks” – BBC Radio 1 Lamacq Session
“Red” – BBC Radio 1 Lamacq Session
“Powder Blue” (Andy Votel Mix)
“Press Your Lips” (Newborn) (El Presidente Remix)
“Coming Second” (Fink Remix)
“Coming Second” (Misery:Lab Remix)
“Newborn Bitten By The Black Dog”
“About Time” (Acoustic Version)
“The Crow” (Acoustic Version)
“Newborn” (Acoustic Version)
Asleep In The Back Live At The Astoria 24th October 2001
“Bitten By The Tailfly” – Live At The Astoria
“Coming Second” – Live At The Astoria
“Don’t Mix Your Drinks” – Live At The Astoria
“Can’t Stop” – Live At The Astoria
“Scattered Black And Whites” – Live At The Astoria
“George Lassoes The Moon” – Live At The Astoria