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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.
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". She signed to Polydor Records in July 2009. 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. 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".
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." 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. 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."
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.
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".
"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".
"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." She said that "Wish I Stayed" was the first song she ever wrote, and it appears as the seventh track on the album.
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. The following week, the album dropped to number sixteen on sales of 19,398 copies—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). The album remained on the chart until late October.
Goulding toured in support of Lights and supported Passion Pit in March 2010 and John Mayall during his British tour in May 2010. During the summer she performed at a number of festivals. On 29 May she performed at the Dot to Dot Festival in Bristol. She performed a set on 25 June at the Glastonbury Festival 2010 on the John Peel Stage. Her third EP was a live recording of part of her set at the iTunes Festival 2010. The whole set was ultimately included as bonus content on the iTunes version of Bright Lights. She made her T in the Park debut on 11 July. She played on the Nissan Juke Arena at the 2010 V Festival in late August. In September she was part of the line-up at Bestival 2010 on the Isle of Wight. 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. She began a tour of the United States and Canada in February 2011 to coincide with the release of the American edition of Lights.
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.
|1.||"Guns and Horses"||03:35|
|3.||"This Love (Will Be Your Downfall)"||03:53|
|4.||"Under the Sheets"||03:44|
|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|
- US version
|Ireland||26 February 2010||Polydor Records||Standard|
|Sweden||1 March 2010|
|United Kingdom||Polydor Records|
|Canada||2 March 2010||Universal Music|
|Poland||26 March 2010|
|Italy||9 April 2010|
|Australia||16 April 2010|
|Germany||14 May 2010|
|Canada||8 March 2011||North American edition|
|United States||Cherrytree Records, Interscope Records|