Interpol: Turn On the Bright Lights poll

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Turn on the Bright Lights is the debut album of New York City indie rock band Interpol. It was released on August 19, 2002 on Matador Records to a great deal of critical acclaim and sold exceptionally well for an independent release; it has sold 499,000 copies in the U.S. so far. It was also ranked highly on the yearly lists of many music critics, and has to date sold 86,000 in the United Kingdom despite peaking at number 101.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
2. Obstacle 1 12
11. Leif Erikson 11
1. Untitled 10
4. PDA 8
3. NYC 7
8. Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down 6
7. Obstacle 2 3
6. Hands Away 3
5. Say Hello to the Angels 2
9. Roland 2
10. The New 2


Bee OK, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:02 (seven years ago) Permalink

untitled!!!

you! me! posting! (electricsound), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:03 (seven years ago) Permalink

it must have been quite a while since i heard this.. i don't remember how some of these songs go. i'm like oh, there's actually an obstacle 2???

you! me! posting! (electricsound), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:04 (seven years ago) Permalink

nyc is the best song on that album.

scott seward, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:06 (seven years ago) Permalink

the first 5 songs are pretty much all the interpol anybody ever needs (though i much prefer the version of PDA from the UK EP)

you! me! posting! (electricsound), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

even if it's a bit OTT i've always dug Stella

wilter, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

"NYC" def

geir ham, go (J0rdan S.), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

i also dig "leif erikson"

geir ham, go (J0rdan S.), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:12 (seven years ago) Permalink

i gave this album a rave review! kinda.

http://www.villagevoice.com/2002-10-08/music/romeo-s-tune/1

and then i never listened to it again. but it sounded pretty cool at the time. it reminded me of all the stuff i liked when i was a kid.

scott seward, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:15 (seven years ago) Permalink

"Leif Erikson" is in my top 5 songs of the decade!

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:27 (seven years ago) Permalink

I spent a lot of time over the past year listening to this and Antics. Our Love to Admire, "Pace is the Trick" excepted, is not too good. The new Julian Plenti is better, but still has problems. Check out "Only If You Run" or "Games for Days" for some of the good stuff.

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

Also wrote about "Leif Erikson" for the student magazine at my school. A++.

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

obstacle 1

(*゚ー゚)θ L(。・_・)   °~ヾ(・ε・ *) (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:30 (seven years ago) Permalink

did i make this up, or did the drummer of Saetia and Hot Cross drum on "Obstacle 1" (or he wrote it or something?)

(*゚ー゚)θ L(。・_・)   °~ヾ(・ε・ *) (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:32 (seven years ago) Permalink

(*゚ー゚)θ L(。・_・)   °~ヾ(・ε・ *) (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:35 (seven years ago) Permalink

CARLOS D INTERNET HERPES

(*゚ー゚)θ L(。・_・)   °~ヾ(・ε・ *) (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:36 (seven years ago) Permalink

the latter half of pda

mookieproof, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:48 (seven years ago) Permalink

great album.

obstacle 1 is the standout

Charlie Howard, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 05:24 (seven years ago) Permalink

god i loved this album in high school. it reminds me of falling in love with my girlfriend and starting to drive my own car. they toured the shit out of this album, we went to see them three times before we graduated (in FL no less) and the first time we saw them we were 15 wearing jeans and bright-colored t-shirts and literally everyone there was heroin-chic skinny in all black smoking cigarettes/cloves and looking at us like wtf are you doing here. it was great. indie seemed so cool back then, now i'm jaded and bored... ;_; but i still love my girlfriend :)

idk what i'll vote for, i guess i'll listen to it for the first time in years

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Wednesday, 19 August 2009 07:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

peaking at number 101 in the uk? really??

i still hate the cover. their website at teh time of this album used to be *gorgeous* however.

piscesx, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 07:44 (seven years ago) Permalink

isn't the cover a stanley kubrick photograph or something?

voted obstacle 1. it was the first thing that grabbed me about the album. i listened the fuck out of this when it first came out. don't think i ever need to hear it again though.

circa1916, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 07:52 (seven years ago) Permalink

Listened to this for the first time in years yesterday, coincidentally. Some really strong songs but it does dip in the second half and the lyrics are still a major, uh, obstacle. From the banal "Her stories are boring and stuff, she's always calling my bluff" to the ridiculous "
I feel like love is in the kitchen with a culinary eye" to the LOL moment of "Oh look it's stopped snowing!"

ledge, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 08:48 (seven years ago) Permalink

secret answer: hands away

Simon H., Wednesday, 19 August 2009 11:02 (seven years ago) Permalink

This is about Stella vs. Leif for me. And I think the latter will prevail eventually. Such a great album.

young depardieu looming out of void in hour of profound triumph (Le Bateau Ivre), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 11:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

it reminds me of falling in love with my girlfriend and starting to drive my own car. they toured the shit out of this album, we went to see them three times before we graduated (in FL no less) and the first time we saw them we were 15 wearing jeans and bright-colored t-shirts and literally everyone there was heroin-chic skinny in all black smoking cigarettes/cloves and looking at us like wtf are you doing here. it was great. indie seemed so cool back then, now i'm jaded and bored... ;_; but i still love my girlfriend :

The album is this lifestyle condensed in musical form. Thankfully I was 29 when I first heard the album.

"Obstacle 1."

post-contrarian meta-challop 2009 (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 12:21 (seven years ago) Permalink

Voted Obstacle 1. I haven't listened to this album in years, but watching the Obstacle 1 clip I realized I had forgotten how wicked a drummer Sam Fogarino is.

righteousmaelstrom, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:14 (seven years ago) Permalink

i like stella a lot, because it's so memorable.

i also like untitled a lot.

I love rainbow cookies (surm), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:16 (seven years ago) Permalink

"PDA" all the way!

jaymc, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:17 (seven years ago) Permalink

lots of good choices but i will probably go obstacle 1 or nyc cause they really are the best.

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

We have 200 couches! Where you can sleep toniiiiight!

jaymc, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

I voted "Obstacle 1" but "The New" is also really great. It's probably for the best that I can't say how it goes, lyrically.

afternoon "delight" (Euler), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

untitled

teabaggers, birthers, flat-earthers (will), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

god it seems like ages ago when i listened to the shit out of this album. it's great but i kind of associate it with a really shitty period when i was in college. i haven't really listened to it since then.

first glance at the track list and i'd say either track 1 or 2

mark cl, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:21 (seven years ago) Permalink

NYC sounds too boring, doesn't really do much for me

I love rainbow cookies (surm), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:24 (seven years ago) Permalink

The New is HEART

BREAKING

I love rainbow cookies (surm), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:25 (seven years ago) Permalink

c'mon--"i know you've supported me for a long time / somehow i'm not impressed" !!!

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

eh. maybe it'll grow on me.

might vote for Obstacle 1, it really gets the adrenaline going.

I love rainbow cookies (surm), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:27 (seven years ago) Permalink

Stella was a diver!

a being that goes on two legs and is ungrateful (dyao), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

also, what kind of filter is this guy singing through?

a being that goes on two legs and is ungrateful (dyao), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:30 (seven years ago) Permalink

The end of "Leif Erikson" is one of the greatest endings to ANY indie rock song of the 2000s. Seriously, I cannot think of many moments I love more than the part when Banks sings, "You come here to me, we'll collect those lonely parts and set them down, you come here to me," and then the controlled "solo" comes in right before he finishes those lines and Banks just keeps singing.

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:31 (seven years ago) Permalink

We have 200 couches! Where you can sleep toniiiiight!

― jaymc, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 16:18 (21 minutes ago) Bookmark

Samuel (a hoy hoy), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:40 (seven years ago) Permalink

my best friend's from poland and um he has a beard

mark cl, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

i don't know how many plays i'll ever give this album again tho. the lyrics are really terrible.

mark cl, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:44 (seven years ago) Permalink

her love's a pony

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 20:39 (seven years ago) Permalink

Wakeboarding legend Steve Shasta OTM.

Fetchboy, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 20:43 (seven years ago) Permalink

the lyrics are really terrible.

Yeah, but in a camp sort of way.

jaymc, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 20:44 (seven years ago) Permalink

NYC

second the opinion that for the most part the lyrics are really terrible

go Nick go! Scrub that paint! Scrub it!! Yeah!! (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 20:46 (seven years ago) Permalink

would you care about the lyrics if they weren't delivered so ponderously?

mookieproof, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 21:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

I love NYC because interpol are kinda that band that you've decided you've basically already heard after you see the press shots, but NYC was lusher and more beautiful than that. And yeah, um, stately. It wasn't really Joy Division with better haircuts, it makes me think a little of hearing an INXS covering the Shangri Las, this mossed over nostalgia, wind-tunnel 80's ambience. It basically portrayed a world-weary metropolitanism I was sure I would cultivate when I finally got out of this two bit town, and a quick glance at my CD collection around that time was like a dash snow photo shoot, all these glamorously (I thought) vacant run down pretty boys with hollow eyes, so yeah this song is a bit of a monument to that time for me.

❊❁❄❆❇❃✴❈plaxico❈✴❃❇❆❄❁❊ (I know, right?), Wednesday, 19 August 2009 21:22 (seven years ago) Permalink

^up there with "the snot has caked against my pants" as one of the most overrated lyrics ever IMO

you! me! posting! (electricsound), Thursday, 20 August 2009 02:38 (seven years ago) Permalink

the pavements really are a mess, tho

mookieproof, Thursday, 20 August 2009 02:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

i dunno if its overrated, but it's memorable anyway. i still remember it! and i haven't listened to the album since it came out.

scott seward, Thursday, 20 August 2009 02:46 (seven years ago) Permalink

^willing to bet you're not alone in your experience

you! me! posting! (electricsound), Thursday, 20 August 2009 02:49 (seven years ago) Permalink

i walk around the house sometimes singing "i got a broken hip, uh huh, uh huh" and i haven't heard that song in over a decade. which is why i don't remember that it's actually broken face and not broken hip. i like lou reed!

scott seward, Thursday, 20 August 2009 02:50 (seven years ago) Permalink

Antics is such a different record, and just as good. With the exception of "Length of Love," there are no bad songs on it.

It's lighter, which isn't saying much, and the songs are more . . . muscular?

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Thursday, 20 August 2009 04:21 (seven years ago) Permalink

i actually have been playing this album a lot for the past 2-3 weeks... i originally just wanted to listen to "Stella" but i dig the entire album. that being said, "Stella" is still my favorite and "Leif" is number 2.

t0dd swiss, Thursday, 20 August 2009 04:35 (seven years ago) Permalink

actually I think "friends don't waste wine when there's words to sell" is a solid line.

Simon H., Thursday, 20 August 2009 04:39 (seven years ago) Permalink

This is a good record. They're kind of a fun band to tool on, but they'll have a killer greatest hits record by the time they're done.

Obstacle 1

kornrulez6969, Thursday, 20 August 2009 04:43 (seven years ago) Permalink

2nd album still much, much better than this one

wait, what. was just gonna say "Evil" craps over everything here, shame about the rest of the album.

ledge, Thursday, 20 August 2009 18:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

would you care about the lyrics if they weren't delivered so ponderously?

"I know you've supported me for a long time, somehow I'm not impressed" would be a classic Malkmus line.

ledge, Thursday, 20 August 2009 18:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

it's a good line.

I love rainbow cookies (surm), Thursday, 20 August 2009 18:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

I don't know if it's right but I suspected from the start that Banks wrote the lyrics really quickly as placeholders and then the producer was like "fuck it, 9/11" and they just put it out as is.

afternoon "delight" (Euler), Thursday, 20 August 2009 18:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

2nd album still much, much better than this one

Antics is such a different record, and just as good.

j0hn D and kshighway tag teamin the challops

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Thursday, 20 August 2009 18:52 (seven years ago) Permalink

i really like the cover, and I read a thing with peter saville once where he said he liked it and it reminded him of something he would do and that he liked that it was sortof gallery catalogue literate and jokey in that way even as it was kinda pretentious, all of which I agree with. Also a pretty good representation of the album's sound somehow.

❊❁❄❆❇❃✴❈plaxico❈✴❃❇❆❄❁❊ (I know, right?), Thursday, 20 August 2009 18:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

Undecided between Untitled and PDA after listening to it again. Does remind me a lot of just moving to London and a girl I was seeing back then, but mainly in a good way. Love the bass-playing on this record.

j.o.n.a, Thursday, 20 August 2009 19:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

finally had a chance to re-listen to this today. it really starts off strong but then it slows down. it ends with a few great moments. i really wanted to hate this today but couldn't.

voting for "The New" because a girl i was seeing at the time sent me the lyrics to that song when we were starting to have some problems. so i'm sure that will be the only vote for that song but it was real personal at the time. i forgot all about that incident until just an hour ago...

Bee OK, Friday, 21 August 2009 23:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

2nd album still much, much better than this one

Antics is such a different record, and just as good.

j0hn D and kshighway tag teamin the challops

― karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Thursday, August 20, 2009 1:52 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark

It's seems like no one ever talks about Antics, and it's seriously just as good as Turn on the Bright Lights.

I remember being esp. blown away by "Next Exit" because it was so fucking upbeat. And there's much more organ/weird guitar stuff going on there.

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Saturday, 22 August 2009 00:50 (seven years ago) Permalink

Of course, the record doesn't stay upbeat. "Public Pervert," "Take You on a Cruise," even fucking "A Time To Be So Small" are pretty dark. But dark in different way than the songs from their first record.

It's difficult to describe.

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Saturday, 22 August 2009 00:52 (seven years ago) Permalink

And I really hope Interpol is better live than watching YouTube videos has led me to believe. Talk about a dropoff in quality from record to video. Yikes, it's bad.

This, for example, is awful:

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Saturday, 22 August 2009 00:53 (seven years ago) Permalink

at the time that i saw them they were known for playing flawlessly. perfect mood, perfect atmosphere. i can see how some may have thought it was boring, but i loved it. the first show was by far the best for me, though. i just didn't dig Antics, they just sort of lost the vibe that i loved about Turn On the Bright Lights. i wanted to love Antics, i listened to it a lot at the time, but i knew immediately when i heard it that they weren't going in a direction i wasn't into.

i'm still undecided on this poll, its a toss up between untitled and hands away

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Saturday, 22 August 2009 01:48 (seven years ago) Permalink

that they *were* going in a direction i wasn't into

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Saturday, 22 August 2009 01:49 (seven years ago) Permalink

I kinda hate these guys while still acknowledging the odd excellent track ("Evil," "Obstacle 1"). My Stylus review of the third album still gets me hate mail.

post-contrarian meta-challop 2009 (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 22 August 2009 02:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Saturday, 22 August 2009 23:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

let's see about this ham

piscesx, Sunday, 23 August 2009 13:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

I blame NYC for making me initially overrate this band. It made me think Paul Banks was being deliberately mysterious and opaque, until subsequent albums confirmed that he's just a shitty lyricist. The one track I like off Antics, Next Exit, has a similar effect - that night-drive-through-the-city feel.

Dorian (Dorianlynskey), Sunday, 23 August 2009 14:31 (seven years ago) Permalink

I like the line "her stories are boring and stuff." I'm probably the only one.

billstevejim, Sunday, 23 August 2009 16:00 (seven years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

12
11
10
8
7
6

Cool!

Paul in Santa Cruz, Monday, 24 August 2009 01:03 (seven years ago) Permalink

clearly i need to relisted to leif erickson

internetkonnektivität (electricsound), Monday, 24 August 2009 01:10 (seven years ago) Permalink

relisten probably

internetkonnektivität (electricsound), Monday, 24 August 2009 01:10 (seven years ago) Permalink

this is one of those albums that always makes me really sad. maybe b/c it was such a college album, and it puts me right back on campus. maybe because of his voice. maybe both.

I love rainbow cookies (surm), Monday, 24 August 2009 01:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

poll distribution actually more or less reflects my feelings abt this album.

call all destroyer, Monday, 24 August 2009 01:32 (seven years ago) Permalink

i didn't vote but i would have voted for The New or Lief E

jed_, Monday, 24 August 2009 01:34 (seven years ago) Permalink

i still listen to this album a fair bit

jed_, Monday, 24 August 2009 01:35 (seven years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

http://twitter.com/zizekspeaks/status/5484005532

kshighway1, Wednesday, 11 November 2009 23:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

seven years pass...

a hero over at the Interpol reddit has leaked a bunch of outtakes & alternate mixes from the TOTBL sessions, including new unheard versions of "Gavilan"/"Cubed" and "Precipitate" (!!). he also put up a rough mix of the album that has a totally different sequence and doesn't have "Untitled." CHECK IT OUT https://www.reddit.com/user/G_Dub22/submitted/

flappy bird, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 16:31 (one month ago) Permalink

the rough mix of the album is really cool- guitars on "PDA" have much more bite. not nearly as much reverb as on the finished LP

flappy bird, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 16:34 (one month ago) Permalink

This is great.

Handsome Bookor, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 19:31 (one month ago) Permalink

wow fuck..

piscesx, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 21:17 (one month ago) Permalink

the last 30 seconds of this alt Obstacle 1 are way better than the finished mix. those tracked vocals! wonder why they changed it.

piscesx, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 21:23 (one month ago) Permalink

i wonder why they left off the completed versions of Precipitate and Gavilan off the reissue. they even put a shitty Gavilan demo on there.

flappy bird, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 22:03 (one month ago) Permalink

just for posterity's sake, this what TOTBL almost looked like:

1. Say Hello to the Angels
2. NYC
3. Obstacle 1
4. Precipitate
5. Obstacle 2
6. Hands Away
7. PDA
8. Specialist
9. Leif Erikson
10. Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down
11. The New
12. Gavilan
13. Interlude
14. Roland

flappy bird, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 22:07 (one month ago) Permalink

flappy thank you so much! check the post that says "Shared the Whole Folder".

i used to listen to this album all the time back in the day. it was perfect for rainy days spent bopping around town going to thrift stores and eating at Indian restaurants.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Thursday, 30 March 2017 14:50 (one month ago) Permalink

that poster shared a story about hanging out with the band circa 2005, this bit is so funny to me:

Paul had this vintage leather jacket on. The inner lining of the jacket had this paisley pattern which could obviously only have been seen if you could see the inside of his jacket. But he liked this pattern so much that he had cut a huge portion out of the section below the back of his neck, safety pinned it and folded it over, just so everyone could see the pattern on the inside of the jacket. This was the very first time that I was not impressed by his fashion sensibilities.
Later on, Paul attempted to tune an acoustic guitar to Carlos playing notes on a piano. Carlos would tell him what string he was trying to tune and play the note on the piano for him. Paul was having a hard time with this. Carlos kept telling him "You're making my ears bleed!" and generally made fun of him for not being able to tune a guitar to a piano, and it never got resolved. I was hoping for a magical music moment but it never happened.

flappy bird, Thursday, 30 March 2017 17:35 (one month ago) Permalink

haha.

i still really like this first album, as stupid and terrible as all the lyrics are. they were kind of on to something. I wish they'd gotten better at that.

akm, Thursday, 30 March 2017 18:23 (one month ago) Permalink

Thanks Flappy!

I saw them in Amsterdam during their very first tour abroad. They just played TOTBL, start to finish. It was fantastic. Still one of the best concerts I've seen tbh.

Le Bateau Ivre, Thursday, 30 March 2017 18:52 (one month ago) Permalink

one month passes...

quite nice

piscesx, Thursday, 18 May 2017 02:30 (six days ago) Permalink

Hey, my best friend's a butcher, he has sixteen knives
He carries them all over the town at least he tries—oh look, it stopped snowing
My best friend's from Poland and, oh, he has a beard
But they caught him with his case in a public place, that is what we had feared

Karl Malone, Thursday, 18 May 2017 02:49 (six days ago) Permalink


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