In a nation that produced U2, the Corrs, and Clannad, White Ladder remains the best-selling album of all time. Half of its 10 songs were released as singles, so White Ladder clearly worked as a collection of episodes that could be experienced discretely and repeatedly. The frontloading of its biggest, most unabashedly optimistic hits lends White Ladder a narrative thread: As I always imagined it, here was a skeptical romantic hitting the bars with a precarious hope of finding connection; slowly sulking into the corner while his friends laughed and flirted; bitterly going home to commiserate with his favorite records. Gray himself suggested that he had paved the way for folk-pop idols like Ed Sheeran and James Blunt. Suddenly, it's everywhere! And then an album like White Ladder comes along to sell millions of copies and offer the hope that living the exact same way can be the best revenge. Buy: Rough Trade. Pitchfork may earn a commission from purchases made through affiliate links on our site. Skip to content Search query All Results. Pitchfork is the most trusted voice in music.
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David Gray born 13 June is a British singer-songwriter. He released his first album in and received worldwide attention after the release of White Ladder six years later. It was the first of three UK chart-toppers in six years for Gray, of which the latter two also made the Top 17 in the United States. White Ladder became the fifth best-selling album of the s in the UK. Gray was born in in Sale , Cheshire , and lived in Altrincham near Manchester before moving with his family at the age of nine to Solva , Pembrokeshire , where his parents took over a gift shop and started a clothing business. My imagination could run wild It was that which gave me the kind of insane self-belief I have, and had even then, that I could do something as unlikely as play music for a living. Gray's first two albums, A Century Ends and Flesh , were issued in and respectively and led to Gray becoming popular in folk-rock circles, but both failed in terms of commercial sales. Despite critical acclaim, [ citation needed ] the album did not chart, but the song " Late Night Radio " received some airplay on alternative UK radio stations. On the Mary Black album Shine , Gray contributed five songs.
I was a struggling folky singer-songwriter during the 90s Britpop and dance boom. By the time I got to my third album, it was a Spinal Tap-style disaster. I jettisoned my manager, label, everything, to work out what I wanted. Phil Hartnoll from Orbital gave me a small mixing desk and recommended the Roland Groovebox drum machine. I secreted myself away with the Groovebox during a dinner party and the chords and lyrics for Please Forgive Me fell out of the sky. The hairs on my neck stood on end. That song was the starting pistol. Clune [drummer Craig McClune] and I had been gigging as a two-piece and had a joyous musical understanding. He brought rhythmic ideas and [producer] Iestyn Polson was perfect: he was street, naughty, a bit wild, but had this bat-like ear for detail and was super-creative. Once we had four or five tracks, we were on a roll.
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