Elbow Songs Ranked

Elbow is an English rock band formed in Bury, Greater Manchester, in 1997. The band consists of Guy Garvey (lead vocals, guitar), Craig Potter (keyboard, piano, backing vocals), Mark Potter (guitar, backing vocals), and Pete Turner (bass guitar, backing vocals). They have played together since 1990, adopting the name Elbow in 1997. Drummer Alex Reeves replaced Richard Jupp first as a session performer in 2016, which he continues to be. The band has released eight studio albums: Asleep in the Back (2001), Cast of Thousands (2003), Leaders of the Free World (2005), The Seldom Seen Kid (2008), Build a Rocket Boys! (2011), The Take-Off and Landing of Everything (2014), Little Fictions (2017), and Giants of All Sizes (2019). Their studio albums, as well as their B-sides compilation Dead in the Boot (2012), all reached the top 15 of the British album chart. Seven of their singles placed in the top 40 of the British singles chart. Their most recent album, Giants of All Sizes, was released on 11 October 2019. In 2008, Elbow won the Mercury Music Prize for their album The Seldom Seen Kid, and in 2009 they won the Brit Award for Best British Group. In 2012, they released “First Steps”, the BBC theme for the 2012 London Olympics. Here are all of Elbow’s songs ranked.

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15. Weightless (Giants of All Sizes, 2019)

Weightless is another calming track with somewhat vague lyrics I still don’t really understand however, it is a nice wrap up to this very strange, yet unexpectedly beautiful new Elbow Album. (Edit: this track is about Guy’s father who died recently, making this a fairly bittersweet ending end to the album, but still very beautiful.)”

14. The Bones of You (The Seldom Seen Kid, 2008)

“This song somehow perfectly captures that slightly sorrowful feeling of looking back at a relationship long gone. Combine that with lyrics rich with vivid imagery and a heartfelt vocal performance from Garvey and you have yourself one hell of a track.”

13. Magnificent (She Says) (Little Fictions, 2017)

“Magnificent (She Says)” benefits from the lively, erratic twists and turns on the drums. The string arrangements of the Hallé Orchestra from Manchester and the rearing chorus also make this number appear as if made for a “James Bond” soundtrack. A brilliant start, as we know it from the British.”

Elbow: Little Fictions Album Review | Pitchfork

12. Gentle Storm (Little Fictions, 2017)

“Gentle Storm” even exudes a repetitive ethnic vibe. The subtle electronic piano and the warm vocals of Guy Garvey hardly take the song off the ground. The following tracks, on the other hand, require a little patience in order to take them to your heart. The sound is no longer as lush and voluminous as on previous albums. The melancholy piano, in particular, plays a more dominant role in the overall picture than it did before.”

See more: Elbow Albums Ranked

11. On Deronda Road (Giants of All Sizes, 2019)

On Deronda Road starts out with Spanish-sounding guitars and then shifts into an electronic-like bass and drums, the Spanish guitars then start over the drums and bass with a repeating chorus and some strange vocals thrown in when the Spanish guitars start up every now and then. A very interesting track, not something I expected to hear from Elbow.”

10. Mirrorball (The Seldom Seen Kid, 2008)

“Frontman Guy Garvey told the Manchester Evening News that this song, “is very simply about the morning after meeting somebody and falling in love.” He added: “It’s what’s going through my mind while I’m on the streets of Manchester. It starts kissing her on the cheek as you leave her flat in the morning: ‘I plant the kind of kiss that wouldn’t wake a baby on the self same face that wouldn’t let me sleep.’ It’s about not wanting to wake her up and going out into the world and noticing that everything is different. It’s a very traditional love theme.”

The Seldom Seen Kid - Album by Elbow | Spotify

9. Trust The Sun (Little Fictions, 2017)

“Trust The Sun” brings to mind the later output of Talk Talk. Elbow still keep their unmistakable, melody-loving signature on this rhythmic number. The second single “All Disco” alternates between indulgent Britpop and classic Beatles ballad à la “Yesterday”. The choir chants focus on opulence, while the catchy chorus just barely falls below the threshold of radio pop. Fortunately, this track is an exception on the otherwise well thought-out record.”

8. New York Morning (The Take Off and Landing of Everything, 2014)

“Massive piano notes, Pink Floyd style vocals, synthesized bases, poetry that is really trying to make something clear … etc. Elbow is looking big for the new album. This single is clearly superior to the previously released “Fly Boy Blue”, but it still leaves some doubts. I still think that they might get to release one of the albums of the year now that they are diving deeper.”

7. Little Fictions (Little Fictions, 2017)

“The title song with a dramatic piano introduction and bumpy drums soars within eight and a half minutes into spheres that can hardly be described as earthly. With this melody, which reaches its overwhelming climax at the end, you want to embrace the world for a brief moment.”

Album Review: Elbow - The Take Off and Landing of Everything / Releases /  Releases // Drowned In Sound

6. Lippy Kids (Build a Rocket Boys!, 2011)

“It sounds so vulnerable and naked you can hear everything that’s going on, nothing is drowning out or being drowned by any other sound or instrument. And then his voice just drifting over the top but again still not overpowering any other sounds. It sounds really daft but I get this mental picture of his voice “crowd surfing” the music”

5. Grounds for Divorce (The Seldom Seen Kid, 2008)

“Pretty boring indie-rock release. The song is melodic and enjoyable no doubt, but it simply just comes up as too boring/predictable to me. I can’t seem to get a grip of the song, even though I have listened to it multiple times.”

4. My Trouble (Giants of All Sizes, 2019)

“My Trouble is another beautiful Elbow Love song about a man who seems to miss a partner he calls his ‘Trouble’. This hints at maybe some past difficulties between the two. Definitely a high on this album”

Asleep In The Back Turns 20: A Reflection with Elbow's Guy Garvey

3. Leaders of the Free World (Leaders of the Free World, 2005)

“Overseen protest song that should have brought a generation together that infected by mass consumption, invented wars and false politics, but too little care, too many consume or just suppress and get high.
Great sing-along song with poignant lyrics.”

2. Fugitive Motel (Cast of Thousands, 2003)

“The song is pretty much ok, nice “Life has put us so far away” love song, too bad it turns out to be too much repetitive, and even more when you hear the remix version, which is basically the same. The other sketch, “more home grown miniatures” might as well not be there.”

1. One Day Like This (The Seldom Seen Kid, 2008)

“I discovered Elbow, thanks to the London Olympics. The closing ceremony was, in a very different way, as impressive as the very impressive opening ceremony. It remains to be seen whether the memory of the music will live as long as the games it heralded.”