Kings of Leon – Only by the night (Epic 2017 #149)

The Epic 2017 Project #149: 170529

Kings of Leon – Only by the night (2008)

Fourth studio album from this American alternative rock outfit, released worldwide in September 2008. Writing for the band’s fourth album commenced just days after the release of their third, Because of the Times. The album was recorded by producers Angelo Petraglia and Jacquire King through February 2008 in Nashville’s Blackbird Studios.

Only by the Night experienced commercial success, peaking inside the top 10 of over 10 different countries. The album was certified the best-selling album in Australia, certified nine times platinum. It also went on to be the highest selling album of 2008 in Australia, the third best selling album of 2008 in the UK, winning two Brit Awards, and the 18th best-selling album of the 2000s in the UK. Two singles from the album have also found high chartings, “Sex on Fire” coming in at number one in Ireland, the UK, Australia, and on the United States’ Hot Modern Rock Tracks, and at number two in New Zealand. The album’s second single “Use Somebody” also charted at number two in the UK, and at number two in Australia, along with being the band’s first top 10 hit in the U.S. The album was nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2009 Grammy Award with the song “Sex on Fire” receiving two nominations itself.

Kasabian (Epic 2017 #138)

The Epic 2017 Project #138: 170518

Kasabian (2004)

Kasabian’s self-titled debut, released on 6 September 2004 spawned four singles; ‘Club Foot’, ‘Processed Beats’, ‘Reason is Treason’, and ‘Cutt Off’. The highest chart position on the UK Album Chart was number 4.

Different geographical regions had different colours for their album cover. The British version is black and white, the European import is black and red, and the American version is black and blue. The Japanese “Ultimate Version” is silver and white. The UK limited edition version is a double-sided DualDisc and has a glow-in-the-dark cover. The DVD element contains a making-of documentary and several music videos.

JJ72 (Epic 2017 #134)

The Epic 2017 Project #134: 170514

JJ72 (2000)

JJ72 were an alternative rock band from Dublin, Ireland. After forming in 1996, they signed to Lakota Records in 1999, releasing two hit albums before splitting in 2006.

The band was formed by lead singer and songwriter Mark Greaney and drummer Fergal Matthews, while studying at Belvedere College. Greaney grew up in Dublin, where for a time he lived next door to Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy). Matthews originated from County Meath. The name ‘JJ72’ derives from a window at Belvedere College made from 72 jam jars.

After auditioning several bassists they recruited their schoolmate Garvin Smith on bass in 1996. After a few early gigs, Smith left so following recruiting problems for a replacement, Greaney and Matthews entered the studio as a duo in early 1997 to record their first demo. They sent it to local record companies and media but with little response. In 1998 they started university courses, but shortly after starting they decided to concentrate on the band; They played a concert at Behan’s pub in Dublin, backed by a string quartet, and were asked to appear on local television. They then recruited Hilary Woods who, despite having only picked up bass recently, joined as the band’s bassist in January 1999. They recorded a second demo, and targeted the UK, playing several gigs there and getting a write-up in Select magazine This led to interest from the Dublin-based Sony sub-label Lakota Records, who signed JJ72 in mid-1999.

The début single “October Swimmer” was released in November that year, and was named ‘Single of the Week’ by BBC Radio 1 DJ Mark Radcliffe. They were given support slots with The Dandy Warhols and My Vitriol. The band’s first hit though came with “Long Way South” in May 2000, which peaked at number 68 in the UK, and they played at festivals including Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds later that year.

The band released their eponymously titled debut album in Summer 2000. A great critical and commercial success alike, the album has sold in excess of 500,000 copies in their native Ireland and in the United Kingdom, where it reached number 16 on the UK Albums Chart. The album spawned the singles “Snow”, “October Swimmer”, “Long Way South”, and “Oxygen”, and saw the band perform promotional tours in Europe and the US. “Oxygen” gave the band their first top 30 single in the UK giving them a Top of the Pops performance slot.

Following this and, after touring with Coldplay and Embrace, they set out on their own headline tour.They supported Muse on a tour of Europe, headlined the NME Brats tour, and played a few gigs in Japan. But several performances had been cancelled after Greaney lost his voice, and there were further cancellations in 2001 after Matthews was knocked off his motorbike, with Kylie Minogue’s drummer Bob Knight standing in for a few gigs. Matthews recovered in time for the festival season and support slots with U2. The band received an Irish Music Award for ‘Best New Band’ later that year.

Elbow – Asleep in the back (Epic 2017 #062)

The Epic 2017 Project #062: 170303

Elbow – Asleep in the back (2001)

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This was Elbow’s  debut studio album, first released in May 2001. The title track, “Asleep in the Back”, was only included as a bonus track on later editions of the album after it had been released as a single and became the band’s first Top 20 hit. The album release came in four different versions: the 12-track version, two 11-track versions only featuring either “Asleep in the Back” (later editions) or “Can’t Stop” (UK version) and a 10-track version including neither of them. The record was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize in 2001.

Though Asleep in the Back was the first Elbow album to be released, it was not the first to be recorded. An album’s worth of recorded material had been scrapped by the band several years earlier after they were dropped by their first major label, Island Records.

The Epic 2017 Project features several Elbow albums, some of which included some of that earlier scrapped material.

Dire Straits (Epic 2017 #056)

The Epic 2017 Project #056: 170225

Dire Straits (1978)

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Down to the Waterline” is a 1978 song written by Mark Knopfler and released by Dire Straits as the first song on their debut album, Dire Straits. It was also included on the demo tape that the band sent to Charlie Gillett, which led to their first recording contract. It was subsequently released as the B-side of the “Water of Love” single.

The lyrics of “Down to the Waterline” tell of a brief sexual tryst.According to Mark Knopfler’s brother and fellow Dire Straits member David, the song’s imagery is based on Mark’s memories of walking along the River Tyne in Newcastle at night under the lights with his girlfriend when he was a teenager.