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Up To Now - Best Of Snow Patrol
- Artist(s): Snow Patrol
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At the heart of the band is Gary Lightbody, Snow Patrol’s frontman and songwriter-in-chief. Over five studio albums, the 33 year-old has sketched heart-bruised laments and arm-around-your-best-mate festival anthems; radio hits and moments of painful introspection. All of these have been gathered together for Up To Now - a double album of 30 singles, cover versions and album tracks.
“It’s a bit like photo album,” says Lightbody. “It’s a documentation of how the band got to where it is now. We’ve been working hard for 15 years – it wasn’t something that happened overnight. We wanted to give people as honest an account of us as a band over the last five albums, warts and all. Yeah, we’re being selectively honest and we might be covering over some of the cracks, but this collection really feels like an honest portrait of us as a band.
“At first we got it down to 40 songs but knew it had to be leaner than that and had a little trouble cutting some things we really liked out. But we got it down to 30 in the end. There’s a wide range of stuff here – early material and singles, a few new songs and some covers, including our version of Crazy In Love.”
Most significantly, Up To Now is the sound of a band growing in public. Having formed in 1994 - early names included Shrug and Polar Bear - Snow Patrol scored their first record deal with Electric Honey and released the Starfighter Pilot EP. With renewed listening, the title track’s barbed guitars and rough-around-the-edges lyrical worldview provides a charming glimpse of a band finding their feet.
“When I look at some of the old stuff, I think, ‘Yeah some of it’s childish and a little naïve but that’s where I was at the time,’” says Lightbody. “I’ve got much better at communicating - I love writing more now than ever because I feel like I have more weapons in my armoury. I know more about myself now and I see things more clearly.”
Starfighter Pilot was trailed with two albums on the underground label Jeepster (Songs for Polar Bears in 1998 and 2001’s When It’s All Over We Still Have To Clear Up) before the band signed to Polydor offshoot Fiction and released their breakthrough album Final Straw in 2003, recorded with studio producer, Jacknife Lee, which sold nearly two million copies. “It was a record that put us on a lot of people’s radars,” says Lightbody.
These were small steps when compared with what came next. Their follow up recording, Eyes Open (Fiction, 2006) presented Snow Patrol with global recognition. Featuring a settled band line-up that included bassist Paul Wilson (original bassist Mark McClelland parted ways with the band in 2004), guitarist Nathan Connolly, Jonny Quinn on drums and keyboardist Tom Simpson, its blend of love-crushed guitar riffs of weary laments seemed destined for pop ubiquity. In the song Chasing Cars they also created a world-wide smash.
“Chasing Cars was the global turning point for us really,” says Lightbody. “When I think of the success of that song it really blows me away – 2.2 million people downloaded it in America alone, and god knows how many people didn’t actually pay for it. I guess it’s the A student in the class.” Chasing Cars lasted an incredible 91 weeks in the UK Top 75 (bettered only by Frank Sinatra’s My Way) on its release in 2006 and became the band’s first US top five single following its appearance in hospital drama, Grey’s Anatomy. It’s withstood the test of time, too. By anyone’s standards, this is a hefty resume.
There’s plenty of other stuff to enjoy on Up To Now, however. The pop rush of Chocolate, th
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Listen to tracks
2. Chasing Cars
3. Crack The Shutters
4. Set The Fire To The Third Bar - Snow Patrol, Martha Wainwright
5. Crazy In Love
6. Just Say Yes
7. Batten Down The Hatch
8. You're All I Have
9. Hands Open
10. Cartwheels - The Reindeer Section
11. The Planets Bend Between Us
12. Ask Me How I Am
14. Making Enemies
1. Take Back The City
2. Shut Your Eyes
3. An Olive Grove Facing The Sea
5. Give Me Strength
6. Signal Fire
7. Spitting Games
8. Open Your Eyes
9. Dark Roman Wine
10. Fifteen Minutes Old
11. You Are My Joy - The Reindeer Section
12. The Golden Floor
13. Starfighter Pilot
15. Chasing Cars
Where's Head Lights on a Dark Road? Another factor I was quite surprised when I saw they had a "Up till Now" album coming out was that they only have, what? 5 albums out? I may be mistaken. Don't get me wrong, I have all their cds and I love their music. But this really isn't an essential. Their new song is great though.
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