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First studio album

Lights is Ellie Goulding's first studio album and was released on the 26th of February, 2010

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Lights is Ellie Goulding's first studio album, released in February 2010 on Polydor Records. It received mostly positive reviews from critics while some criticized the album for being to generic. Four singles were released from the album, which were "Under the Sheets", "Starry Eyed", "Guns and Horses", and "The Writer" as well as the promotional single "Wish I Stayed". Goulding mainly collaborated with Starsmith to produce this record.

Background Edit

Ellie Goulding dropped out of a degree programme at the University of Kent after two years in order to pursue her musical career. She explained to BBC News Wales, "I'd entered a university talent contest and was spotted by some people in the audience".[1] She signed to Polydor Records in July 2009[2]. She released her first single "Under the Sheets" in November, but decided to release it on independent label Neon Gold Records so she would not feel under pressure.[1] She released her first EP An Introduction to Ellie Goulding on Polydor on the 20th December 2009, and the same day released the promotional single "Wish I Stayed".[3]

Writing and recordingEdit

She met chief producer Starsmith after moving to Bromley, London from her home in Hereford. In an interview, she explained, "Meeting Starsmith was a godsend. We're like brother and sister. We fight a lot but you can't get anywhere without creative tension."[1] Goulding worked with Starsmith, Frankmusik, Fraser T Smith, Richard Stannard and Ash Howes on the album. The majority of the album was recorded in Starsmith's bedroom in Bromley, London.[4] She told the Daily Star, "Though I write on guitar, I hear the entire sound of songs in my head. And Fin [Starsmith] is someone who understands."[5] I think the song is about being lights go lighter. Everything will be through years.


Goulding explained that the album "is made up of songs that all started on a guitar over a period of about two years. A number of the songs vent romantic victories and failures." The opening track on the album is "Guns and Horses" written by Ellie and John Fortis. She said that she "wrote "Guns And Horses" about a romance that began online hence the lyric 'you found me, at a screen you sit at permanently'. I wanted the guy to feel more than he did for me but through no fault of his own he couldn't. It's a song about frustration essentially. My producer Starsmith made me laugh at the end, I can't repeat what he called me though.[6]

The second song on the album is "Starry Eyed", and it was written by Ellie and Jonny Lattimer. When asked what the song was about, she said "It's about letting go. As opposed to all the sad and depressing things I write about, I decided to write something about the joining together of people in some kind of euphoric state—be it at a festival, at a show or in a club. I wanted a song that would reach out to people of every background and every enjoyment, whether you enjoy a natural high, taking drugs, drinking or whatever. Because I'm essentially a pop artist I wanted to write a song that everyone can relate to".[7]

"Under the Sheets" is the fourth song on the album, written by Ellie and Starsmith. She said that "["Under the Sheets"] was probably the easiest song I've written, but actually when I listen back to the lyrics they are actually quite meaningful. They are about a girl and a guy who are in a relationship but it's a very dark relationship in that it's only based on being physical. It's not like a sexual song, it's more like shows that some relationships are based on nothing that is real, they are not based on something good. I've had that experience in my life, because you're trying to cling on to something that you know you're in denial. That's what the song is about in that you know the world won't bring us down, you can be as happy as Larry inside your house with your boyfriend or lover, but as soon as you step outside you're in the real world and you have to deal with it".[8]

"The Writer" is the fifth song on the album, and Ellie said it is "the most personal and emotional song I've written yet", adding, "It's about how you'd do anything and change absolutely everything about yourself if necessary, just to be noticed by this one person."[9] She said that "Wish I Stayed" was the first song she ever wrote, and it appears as the seventh track on the album.[10]


Lights was released on the the 26th February 2010. It debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, selling 36,854 copies in its first week.[11] The following week, the album dropped to number sixteen on sales of 19,398 copies[12]—the third biggest fall from number one ever in the UK, after Christina Aguilera's Bionic (2010), which fell to number twenty-nine, and George Harrison's All Things Must Pass (1971), which fell to number eighteen (although the latter had already spent eight weeks at the summit and was partially affected by a postal strike).[13] The album remained on the chart until late October.[14]


Goulding toured in support of Lights and supported Passion Pit in March 2010 and John Mayall during his British tour in May 2010.[15] During the summer she performed at a number of festivals. On 29 May she performed at the Dot to Dot Festival in Bristol.[16] She performed a set on 25 June at the Glastonbury Festival 2010 on the John Peel Stage.[17] Her third EP was a live recording of part of her set at the iTunes Festival 2010.[18] The whole set was ultimately included as bonus content on the iTunes version of Bright Lights.[19] She made her T in the Park debut on 11 July.[20] She played on the Nissan Juke Arena at the 2010 V Festival in late August.[21] In September she was part of the line-up at Bestival 2010 on the Isle of Wight.[22] In support of the album in Europe she performed on the first day of Pukkelpop in Belgium, at the Open'er Festival in Poland and at Benicàssim in Spain.[23] She began a tour of the United States and Canada in February 2011 to coincide with the release of the American edition of Lights.[24]


In popular cultureEdit

  • "Every Time You Go", was featured in the Vampire Diaries episode "Founder's Day".
  • "Your Biggest Mistake" appeared in an episode of The Inbetweeners.[25]

Track listEdit

No. Title Length
1. "Guns and Horses" 03:35
2. "Starry Eyed" 02:56
3. "This Love (Will Be Your Downfall)" 03:53
4. "Under the Sheets" 03:44
5. "The Writer" 04:11
6. "Every Time You Go" 03:25
7 "Wish I Stayed" 03:40
8 "Your Biggest Mistake" 03:25
9 "I'll Hold My Breath" 03:45
10 "Salt Skin" 04:17

Digital BookletEdit

US version

Credits Edit

  • Ellie Goulding – vocals (all tracks); acoustic guitar (1, 3–10); piano (8)
  • Seye Adelekan – acoustic guitar, backing vocals (2); electric guitar (3, 6)
  • Beatriz Artola – engineering (8)
  • Stevie Blacke – live strings (5)
  • Alan Clarke – photography
  • Joe Clegg – drums (5, 6)
  • Frankmusik – backing vocals, engineering, keyboards, production, programming (7)
  • Matt Hill – drum engineering (6)
  • Julian Kindred – drum engineering (5)
  • Charlie Morton – additional acoustic guitar, backing vocals (4)
  • Naweed – mastering
  • Fraser T Smith – keyboards, production (8)
  • Starsmith – drum programming, keyboards, production (1–6, 9, 10); bass (1–5, 9, 10); saxophone (9)
  • Mark "Spike" Stent – mixing (2–6, 8–10)
  • Traffic – design


Release historyEdit

Region Date Label Edition
Ireland[26] 26 February 2010 Polydor Records Standard
Netherlands[27] Universal Music
Sweden[28] 1 March 2010
United Kingdom[29] Polydor Records
Canada[30] 2 March 2010 Universal Music
Poland[31] 26 March 2010
Italy[32] 9 April 2010
Australia[33] 16 April 2010
Germany[34] 14 May 2010
Canada[35] 8 March 2011 North American edition
United States[36] Cherrytree Records, Interscope Records


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Ellie Goulding's spiritual home". BBC News Wales. BBC News Online. 17 November 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  2. "Herefordshire singer, Ellie Goulding, signs recording deal with Polydor". Hereford Times. Newsquest. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  3. "Wish I Stayed – Single by Ellie Goulding". iTunes Store UK. Apple. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  4. Cochrane, Greg (16 February 2010). "Singer Ellie Goulding prepares 'emotional' debut album". Newsbeat. BBC News Online. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  5. "Ellie Goulding to release debut album in March". Daily Star. Northern & Shell Media Publications]. 7 January 2010. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  6. "Ellie Goulding – In Her Own Words". Sky Songs. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  7. Levine, Nick (30 December 2009). "Ones To Watch: Ellie Goulding". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  8. "Under The Sheets by Ellie Goulding". Songfacts. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
  9. "Ellie Goulding – In Her Own Words". Sky Songs. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  10. "Ellie Goulding reveals debut album details – exclusive". NME. IPC Media. 6 January 2010. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  11. Jones, Alan (8 March 2010). "Tinie Tempah and Ellie Goulding debut atop the charts". Music Week. Intent Media. Archived from the original on 10 March 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  12. Jones, Alan (15 March 2010). "Boyzone and Tinie Tempah top charts". Music Week. Intent Media. Archived from the original on 10 March 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  13. Jones, Alan (21 June 2010). "Oasis and Shout For England top charts". Music Week. Intent Media. Archived from the original on 10 March 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  14. "Ellie Goulding – Lights". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
  15. Youngs, Ian (7 January 2010). "BBC Sound of 2010: Ellie Goulding". BBC News. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  16. Sabbagh, Dan (29 May 2010). "Dot to Dot Festival, Bristol (29/05/10)". SouthSonic. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  17. "BBC – Glastonbury Festival – Ellie Goulding". BBC. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  18. "iTunes Festival: London 2010 – EP by Ellie Goulding". iTunes Store UK. Apple. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  19. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named bright-lights-itunes
  20. "BBC – T in the Park Festival – Ellie Goulding". BBC Music. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  21. "Ellie Goulding at V Festival". 4Music. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  22. Bestival – News Template:WebCite
  23. "More Ellie Goulding festival dates". Facebook. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  24. "Ellie Announces US Tour". 3 February 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  25. "Goulding records a track for the inbetweeners". 5 October 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  26. "Goulding,ellie – Lights". Tower Records Ireland.,ellie___Lights/474865. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  27. "Lights, Ellie Goulding" (in Dutch). Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  28. "Ellie Goulding – Lights" (in Swedish). Universal Music Sweden. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  29. "Ellie Goulding: Lights". HMV. Archived from the original on 19 September 2012.;1;-1;-1;-1&sku=294168. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
  30. "LIGHTS by ELLIE GOULDING". HMV Canada. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  31. "Ellie Goulding – Dyskografia" (in Polish). Universal Music Poland. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
  32. "Ellie Goulding – Lights" (in Italian). Internet Bookshop Italia. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  33. "Ellie Goulding Store – Lights". Getmusic. Universal Music Australia. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  34. "ELLIE GOULDING | Lights" (in German). Universal Music Germany. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  35. "LIGHTS/ REISSUE by ELLIE GOULDING". HMV Canada. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  36. "Ellie Goulding : Releases: Lights". Interscope Records. Archived from the original on 19 June 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2011.