Laid (album)
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''Laid'' is the fifth studio album by British
rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) In geology, a rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compound, chemical composition and ...
band
James James is a common English language surname and given name: *James (name), the typically masculine first name James * James (surname), various people with the last name James James or James City may also refer to: People * King James (disambiguati ...
. It was released on 27 September 1993 through
Fontana Records Fontana Records is a record label A record label, or record company, is a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands ...
. The album's sound, which is "stripped-down" as compared to their prior releases, was inspired by their recent experience touring as supporting act to
Neil Young Neil Percival Young (born November 12, 1945) is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter, philanthropist, musician, humanitarian and activist. After embarking on a music career in Winnipeg Winnipeg () is the capital and largest city of t ...

Neil Young
. Enlisting
Brian Eno Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno (; born Brian Peter George Eno; 15 May 1948) is an English musician, record producer, visual artist, and theorist best known for his pioneering work in ambient music and contributions to ...
as producer, James recorded for six weeks at The Windings in
Wrexham Wrexham ( ; cy, Wrecsam; ) is a large market town and the administrative centre of Wrexham County Borough Wrexham County Borough ( cy, Bwrdeistref Sirol Wrecsam) is a Local government in Wales#Principal areas, county borough in the North Ea ...
, Wales, and
Real World Studios Real World Studios is a residential recording studio complex founded by Peter Gabriel and situated in the village of Box, Wiltshire, England, near to the city of Bath, Somerset, Bath. It is closely associated with the Real World Records record l ...

Real World Studios
in
Box, Wiltshire Box is a large village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or ...
. The sessions also resulted in the experimental sixth studio album '' Wah Wah'' (1994). The album's lead single, "Sometimes (Lester Piggott),", was released on 30 August 1993. Bolstered by the song's success, James toured the US as part of the
WOMAD WOMAD ( ; World of Music, Arts and Dance) is an international arts festival An arts festival is a festival that can encompass a wide range of art forms including music, dance, film, fine art, literature, poetry and isn't solely focused on ...
festival. " Laid" was released as the album's second single on 1 November 1993. The band toured the UK the following month, supported
Duran Duran Duran Duran () are an English new wave New Wave may refer to: Music * New wave music, a genre of popular music that originated in the 1970s Albums * ''New Wave'' (Against Me! album) or the title song, 2007 * ''New Wave'' (The Auteurs ...

Duran Duran
in the US, and finally embarked on their own US tour. ''Laid'' has been re-pressed on
vinyl Vinyl may refer to: * Vinyl group In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior an ...
three times; it was reissued on
CD
CD
in 2001, in 2015 as a standalone release, and as part of a box set with ''Wah Wah''. The album received generally positive reviews from music critics, many of whom commented on Eno's production. It peaked at number three in the UK and charted in Australia and the US. It was later certified gold in the UK and the US, as was the eponymous track in the UK. "Sometimes (Lester Piggott)" and "Laid" both charted in the UK top 40 and "Laid" peaked at number 67 on the
Hot 100 The ''Billboard'' Hot 100 is the music industry The music industry consists of the individuals and organizations that earn money by Musical composition, writing songs and musical compositions, creating and selling Sound recording and repr ...
. ''Laid'' appeared on best-of album lists compiled by ''
Les Inrockuptibles ''Les Inrockuptibles'' () is a France, French cultural magazine. Started as a monthly magazine in 1986, it became weekly in 1995. In the beginning, rock and roll, rock music was the magazine's primary focus, though every issue included articles on ...
'', ''
NME ''New Musical Express'' (''NME'') is a British music, film and culture website and brand. Founded as a newspaper in 1952, with the publication being referred to as a 'rock inkie', the NME would become a magazine that ended up as a free publi ...
'' and '' Select,'' while the eponymous song appeared on best-song-of-the-decade lists by ''
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'' and
uDiscoverMusic Universal Music Group B.V. (often abbreviated as UMG) is a global Music industry, music corporation that is majority owned by the French media conglomerate Vivendi, with Chinese tech company Tencent owning a minority stake. UMG's corporate head ...
.


Background and writing

James' fourth studio album ''
Seven 7 is a number, numeral, and glyph. 7 or seven may also refer to: * AD 7, the seventh year of the AD era * 7 BC, the seventh year before the AD era * The month of July Music Artists * Seven (Swiss singer) (born 1978), a Swiss recording artist * Se ...
'', which was released in February 1992, sold a million copies worldwide. It peaked at number two in the UK with three of its four singles – "
Sound In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regular ...
", " Born of Frustration", and "Ring the Bells" – reaching the top 40 of the
UK singles chart The UK Singles Chart (currently titled Official Singles Chart, with the upper section more commonly known as the Official UK Top 40) is compiled by the Official Charts Company The Official Charts Company (previously known as the Chart Inf ...
. "Born of Frustration" was successful on the United States ''
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''
Alternative Airplay Alternative Airplay (formerly known as Alternative Songs and Modern Rock Tracks) is a music chart A record chart, in the music industry, also called a music chart, is a ranking of Sound recording and reproduction, recorded music according ...
chart, where it reached number five. The band headlined their only United Kingdom show of 1992 to a crowd of 30,000 at the
Alton Towers Alton Towers Resort ( ), often referred to as Alton Towers, is a theme park and resort complex in Staffordshire, England, near the village of Alton, Staffordshire, Alton. The park is operated by Merlin Entertainments Group and incorporates a th ...

Alton Towers
leisure park. Following this, trumpeter
Andy Diagram Andy Diagram (born 1959 in London London is the Capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a ...
, who wanted to have other opportunities and missed his girlfriend, left the band, which continued as a six-piece outfit. James supported
Neil Young Neil Percival Young (born November 12, 1945) is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter, philanthropist, musician, humanitarian and activist. After embarking on a music career in Winnipeg Winnipeg () is the capital and largest city of t ...

Neil Young
on nine of his US west-coast shows with an acoustic set. They continued touring the US, playing acoustic instead of electric shows as they had intended. Their record company was angered by this decision and threatened to withdraw funding for the tour, but changed their mind after a staff member attended a show. After returning to the UK, James started writing material for their next album.


Production

James wanted to work with producer
Brian Eno Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno (; born Brian Peter George Eno; 15 May 1948) is an English musician, record producer, visual artist, and theorist best known for his pioneering work in ambient music and contributions to ...
since their debut studio album ''
Stutter Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words, or phrases as well as involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which ...
'' (1986). Vocalist
Tim Booth Timothy John Booth (born 4 February 1960) is an English singer-songwriter, actor and dancer. He is the lead singer and co-founder of the indie rock Indie rock is a genre of rock music Rock music is a broad genre of popular music Popula ...
said Eno was "a bit busy and he'd call back in a couple of years." The band sent Eno a letter and six hours' worth of rehearsal tapes. Eno listened to the tapes while on holiday after his wife said she was a fan of James. He became interested in the band after hearing a rough version of "Sometimes (Lester Piggott)". In August 1992, Eno telephoned the band, saying he liked their music and went to the UK to work with them. In early 1993, Eno and engineer Benedict Fenner visited the band at their practice space,
Beehive Mill Beehive Mill is a Grade II* A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England in England, Historic Environment Scotland in Scotland, in Wales and the North ...
in
Manchester Manchester () is the most-populous city and metropolitan borough A metropolitan borough is a type of local government district The districts of England (also known as local authority districts or local government districts to distinguis ...

Manchester
, to witness their productivity over three-to-four days. Eno made recordings of the rehearsals to assess the quality of the songwriting. Recording for ''Laid'' began in February 1993, initially for one week at drummer David Baynton-Power's studio The Windings in
Wrexham Wrexham ( ; cy, Wrecsam; ) is a large market town and the administrative centre of Wrexham County Borough Wrexham County Borough ( cy, Bwrdeistref Sirol Wrecsam) is a Local government in Wales#Principal areas, county borough in the North Ea ...
, then five more weeks at
Real World Studios Real World Studios is a residential recording studio complex founded by Peter Gabriel and situated in the village of Box, Wiltshire, England, near to the city of Bath, Somerset, Bath. It is closely associated with the Real World Records record l ...

Real World Studios
in
Box, Wiltshire Box is a large village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or ...
.Maconie 2000, p. 199 In comparison to ''Seven'', which took several months to record, the six-week recording schedule was intended to provoke spontaneity and capitalized on Eno's limited availability of four days a week. Eno arrived at the studio two hours earlier than everyone else so he could listen to the rehearsal tapes. From the hours of recordings, Eno picked out potential ideas he wanted expanded into fully-produced songs. Booth said some of the ideas lasted as little as 20 seconds, and that "Skindiving" and "Dream Thrum" grew from these ideas. Booth said Eno felt the band "completely neglected" the songs "Dream Thrum", "Laid", and "Five-O". Fenner handled most of the recording; he and Eno were assisted by engineer Ben 'Jude' Findlay. "P.S." was recorded by Steve 'Doc' Williams with assistance from Mike Jones and additional recording by Fenner. One day, when Eno was not in the studio, guitarist Larry Gott took on his role and the band recorded "One of the Three", which Eno did not like. During the sessions, Eno had a second studio set up so the band could experiment during downtime. The results of this were later released as the album '' Wah Wah'' (1994). Gott said Eno had tapes continuously recording during the process in case they came up with an idea they liked. Bassist Jim Glennie said Eno often encouraged them to experiment, making them "realise that this imperfection was a good thing". Fenner mixed most of the recordings except for "Everybody Knows" and "Low Low Low", both of which were mixed by
Markus Dravs Markus Dravs is a British music producer, songwriter, programmer, engineer and mixer. His credits include Arcade Fire Arcade Fire is a Canadian indie rock Indie rock is a genre of rock music Rock music is a broad genre of popular ...
.


Composition and lyrics

The
folk Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk rock ** Folk religion * Folk taxonomy Arts, entertainment, and media * Folk Plus or Folk ...

folk
and
pop rock Pop rock (also typeset as pop/rock) is rock music Rock music is a broad genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles ...
sound of ''Laid'' recalls the band's earlier material and has a dreamier atmosphere with sparse arrangements. Booth said the band's acoustic touring with Young influenced the album; "You're naked, you're vulnerable, but it's exhilarating ... It's not an acoustic record, but it's a stripped down sound". Eno contributed additional bass and keyboards to the recordings; he and Martine McDonagh, the band's manager and Booth's former partner, sang additional vocals on "Sometimes (Lester Piggott)", "Dream Thrum", and "Five-O". "Out to Get You" was originally recorded as the B-side to "Lose Control" (1990), which James forgot about until reviving it for the tour with Young. When they were working on the song in the studio, the band attempted to add overdubs. Booth said this changed the feeling of the track so they reverted to the first take of the song.Maconie 2000, p. 206 "Out to Get You" sets the tone for the rest of album with Glennie's
octave In music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elements such as (which governs and ), (and its associated co ...

octave
notes, Gott's
blues Blues is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from ''musical form'' and musical style, although in ...

blues
-lite guitar parts, and minimal percussion from Baynton-Power. The song's first-person narrator rues a love over which he is paranoid.Maconie 2000, p. 207 "Sometimes (Lester Piggott)" is the most rock-centric track on the album with its fast-paced acoustic strumming. The "Lester Piggott" part is inspired by the jockey of the same name, which Booth said was "because it has a racing beat". During recording, Eno "went white and sat down" as Booth sang, later stating he had "just experienced one of the highlights of my musical life". Booth had difficulty writing lyrics he liked for "Dream Thrum". He eventually settled on talking about the effect of culture on individual personality and life choices. It is the only song on album on which keyboardist Mark Hunter played another instrument (a
melodica The melodica is a free-reed instrument similar to the pump organ The pump organ is a type of free-reed organ Organ may refer to: Biology * Organ (anatomy) An organ is a group of Tissue (biology), tissues with similar functions. Plant l ...

melodica
) as well as keyboards. "One of the Three" is inspired by the experiences of
John McCarthyJohn McCarthy may refer to: Government * John George MacCarthy (1829–1892), Member of Parliament for Mallow constituency, 1874–1880 * John McCarthy (Irish politician) (1862–1893), Member of Parliament for the Mid Tipperary constituency, 189 ...
, Brian Keenan, and
Terry Waite Terence Hardy Waite (born 31 May 1939) is an English humanitarian and author. Waite was the Assistant for Anglican Communion Affairs for the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, in the 1980s. As an envoy for the Church of England, he ...

Terry Waite
, who were taken as hostages in Lebanon, and by a scene in ''
Waiting for Godot ''Waiting for Godot'' ( ) is a play by Samuel Beckett in which two characters, Vladimir (Waiting for Godot), Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo), engage in a variety of discussions and encounters while awaiting the titular Godot, who never arrive ...
'' (1953) in which three characters are on . The band subdued the sound of the
pop Pop or POP may refer to: Places * Gregorio Luperón International Airport (IATA code POP), Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic * Pop, a tributary of the river Jijia in eastern Romania * Poppleton railway station (station code), York, England People ...
-leaning "Say Something" because they felt it would be distasteful to put too much emotion behind it. The song, which was written by Booth after an argument, discusses first love and is indebted to the work of . The folk influenced track "Five-O" is about a belief in the narrator's partner in a long-term relationship. "P.S.", which is about a failing relationship, is a demo recording the band felt they could not improve upon; the full version ran for eight minutes before it was reduced. "Everybody Knows" is about helping a depressed person; Glennie said it was planned to appear on ''Wah Wah'' but was moved to ''Laid'' because the band wanted crossover between releases.Savidge 2015, p. 27 "Knuckle Too Far" evolved from a jam session the band had with Bruce Mitchell of
the Durutti Column The Durutti Column are an English post-punk Post-punk (originally called new musick) is a broad genre Genre () is any form or type of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to t ...
. Originally known as "Bruce Jam," Glennie said this version was "very sparse with nothing going on". The band forgot about the song for nine months. As the band struggled to reinvent it in the studio, they thought about putting that version on the album. Finally, Booth and Gott, unable to hear each other through their monitors, ran through the song again and ended up with a satisfactory version through what Gott described as "this curious kind of miscommunication". Booth said "Low Low Low" was influenced by the idea only one gene separates humans from apes; he said, "I swing from seeing human beings as apes to seeing them as divine depending on what day you catch me". The song's chorus includes catering staff of Real World – dubbed the Kitchenettes – singing in unison. " Laid" features Gott on
slide guitar Slide guitar is a technique for playing the guitar The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that typically has six string instrument, strings. It is held flat against the player's body and played by strumming or Plucked string instrument ...

slide guitar
for the first time since "Really Heard" from ''Stutter''. The song, which comments on sexuality, was inspired by Booth witnessing several relationships that were happening around him. The band initially discarded the song for sounding too much like pop until Eno encouraged the band to continue working on it. Booth's rushed vocals are the result of attempting to encapsulate "that feeling of an intense relationship
hat is A hat is a head covering which is worn for various reasons, including protection against weather conditions, ceremonial reasons such as university graduation, religious reasons, safety, or as a fashion accessory Burberry-brand handbag A f ...
out of control". The version that appeared on the album is an early demo that was recorded at The Windings. "Lullaby", which was originally called "Just Human", tackles the effects of
child abuse Child abuse or child maltreatment is physical Physical may refer to: *Physical examination, a regular overall check-up with a doctor *Physical (album), ''Physical'' (album), a 1981 album by Olivia Newton-John **Physical (Olivia Newton-John so ...

child abuse
suffered by a friend of Booth's.Maconie 2000, p. 209 The album closes with "Skindiving", an
ambient Ambient or Ambiance or Ambience may refer to: Music and sound * Ambience (sound recording), also known as atmospheres or backgrounds * Ambient music, a genre of music that puts an emphasis on tone and atmosphere * Ambient (album), ''Ambient'' (albu ...
track that is about a person delving deeply into a certain frame of mind.


Release

Partway through the recording process, James played a one-off show in
Bath, Somerset Bath is the largest city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: R ...
, where they debuted many of the album's tracks. James supported Young at
Finsbury Park Finsbury Park is a public park in the London neighbourhood of Harringay. It is in the area formerly covered by the historic parish of Hornsey Hornsey is a district of north London London is the capital Capital most common ...

Finsbury Park
, London, on 8 July 1993. The band then performed at the
WOMAD WOMAD ( ; World of Music, Arts and Dance) is an international arts festival An arts festival is a festival that can encompass a wide range of art forms including music, dance, film, fine art, literature, poetry and isn't solely focused on ...
festival on 28 August 1993 and travelled across the US with the festival. "Sometimes (Lester Piggott)" was released as a single on 30 August 1993 with "America" and "Building a Charge" as extra tracks. The music video for "Sometimes (Lester Piggott)" was directed by
Tim Pope Timothy Michael Pope (born 12 February 1956) is a film director most known for his music videos, for having directed film, feature films, and for a brief pop music, pop career. Early life and career Pope grew up in the north London suburb of Mu ...
. It expanded on the song's water theme and depicts the band miming the lyrics in a water tank at
Pinewood Studios Pinewood Studios is a British film studio, film and television studio located in the village of Iver Heath, England. It is approximately west of central London. The studio has been the base for many productions over the years from large-scal ...

Pinewood Studios
. McDonagh starred in the video, standing in as an extra guitarist. ''Laid'' was released in the UK on 27 September 1993 through
Fontana Records Fontana Records is a record label A record label, or record company, is a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands ...
. The album's cover artwork depicts the band members wearing dresses and eating bananas in front of the
Marseille Cathedral Marseille Cathedral (French: ''Cathédrale Sainte-Marie-Majeure de Marseille'' or ''Cathédrale de la Major'') is a Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 ...

Marseille Cathedral
in
Marseille Marseille ( , , ; also spelled in English as Marseilles; oc, Marselha ) is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European langua ...

Marseille
, France. James were on a three-day photograph session when Booth suggested they put on dresses for a few pictures. They snacked on bananas as they awaited their manager's return with food. Despite having already-completed cover art, they decided to use the images from Marseille once they saw them. Glennie joked the audience "could read into it as a subtext about prostituting ourselves by selling what we do". Booth and Eno wanted the outtake "The Lake" on ''Laid'' but were outvoted by the rest of the band. The song, as well as "America", was included on the Japanese edition of the album. "Laid" was released as a single with "Wah Wah Kits", "The Lake", and "Seconds Away" on 1 November 1993. The following week, a second version of the single, including live versions of "Laid", "Five-O", "Say Something", and "Sometimes (Lester Piggott)," was released. Zanna directed the music video for "Laid", in which Booth is handcuffed in a laundromat as the other band members enter and leave. In December 1993, the band went on their first tour of the UK in two years. In January 1994, the band supported
Duran Duran Duran Duran () are an English new wave New Wave may refer to: Music * New wave music, a genre of popular music that originated in the 1970s Albums * ''New Wave'' (Against Me! album) or the title song, 2007 * ''New Wave'' (The Auteurs ...

Duran Duran
on a tour of the US, before embarking on their own headlining tour in February and March 1994. "Sometimes (Lester Piggott)", "Say Something", and "Laid" were included on the band's first and fourth compilation albums, '' The Best Of'' (1998) and ''Fresh as a Daisy – The Singles'' (2007). "Out to Get You", "Five-O", and "Laid" were included on the band's third compilation album ''The Collection'' (2004). The music videos for "Sometimes (Lester Piggott)", "Say Something" (two versions), and "Laid" were included on the career-spanning box set ''The Gathering Sound'' (2012). ''Laid'' was reissued on in 2001, with the addition of live versions of "Laid", "Sometimes", and "Five-O", and a remix of "Say Something". ''Laid'' was re-pressed on
vinyl Vinyl may refer to: * Vinyl group In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior an ...
in 1999, 2015, and 2020. It was released in 2015 in a deluxe box set (with ''Wah Wah'') alongside numerous alternative takes, demos, and radio sessions. The same year, ''Laid'' was reissued on its own with a disc of highlights from the box set.


Reception

''Laid'' was met with generally favourable reviews from music critics.
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AllMusic
reviewer Ned Raggett wrote that the album's quieter sound "turned out not merely to be a nice way to undercut expectations, but a creative benchmark for the group, arguably its artistic peak". '' Q'' writer Paul Davies called it as "striking, provocative and sharply melodic as its predecessor", aided by Eno's "lean, stripped down sound". '' Select'' Andrew Harrison said the album's "real joy" is its "supernatural musical landscape," adding the band that were "hated when they knocked their corners off for the arenas is nowhere to be heard". Ian Gittins of ''
Melody Maker ''Melody Maker'' was a British weekly music magazine A music magazine A list of music magazines, music magazine is a magazine dedicated to music and culture in music cognition, music culture. Such magazines typically include music news, interv ...
'' said the album features "reflective, introspective musings with a heartening assurance, and mixes yearning and intelligence with a naked honesty which at times is genuinely stunning." He considered it a "remarkable rebirth" and said the band had "regained all the artistic ground they lost" with their previous album while managing to make "their strongest work" since their third studio album, ''
Gold Mother ''Gold Mother'' is the third studio album by English rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, ...
'' (1990). ''
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'' writer Josef Woodard said the " irky numbers blend with dream interludes and droll carnality in this juicy alternative to the Alternative Parade."
BBC Music BBC Music is responsible for the music played across the BBC. The current director of music is Bob Shennan, who is also the controller of BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 6 Music, and the BBC Asian Network. Officially it is a part of the BBC's BBC Radio ...
reviewer Ian Wade wrote the album is full of "solid songwriting, showcasing James at their finest, relaxing into their own skins." ''
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The Washington Post
'' Mark Jenkins liked Eno's attempt to "recapture some of the delicacy of the band's initial work", offering up an album that is "not quite so bombastic as its immediate predecessors." ''
The San Diego Union-Tribune ''The San Diego Union-Tribune'' is an American metropolitan daily newspaper, published in San Diego, California. Its name derives from a 1992 merger between the two major daily newspapers at the time, ''The San Diego Union'' and the ''San Die ...

The San Diego Union-Tribune
'' contributor James Herbert noted while Booth's "acerbic observations and wounded-troubadour vocals wend through all 13 tracks", they are mainly "set to more brooding tunes that burble with atmosphere", and that Eno "indulge in too much atmospheric dabbling." Johnny Dee of ''
NME ''New Musical Express'' (''NME'') is a British music, film and culture website and brand. Founded as a newspaper in 1952, with the publication being referred to as a 'rock inkie', the NME would become a magazine that ended up as a free publi ...
'' disliked Eno's production for "strip
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ing
the songs of personality, and zip, inadvertently creating un-songs", and said these "sleep-inducing meanderings lull the listener into such a smoky kind of boredom." ''Laid'' charted at number three in the UK, number 72 in the US, and number 86 in Australia. It was certified gold in the UK by the
British Phonographic Industry The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) Ltd is the British recorded music industry's trade association A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association, sector association or industry body, is an organization ...
and in the US by the
Recording Industry Association of America The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade organization A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association, sector association or industry body, is an organization founded and funded by busin ...
. By 2001, ''Laid'' had sold 539,000 copies in the US. "Sometimes (Lester Piggott)" charted at number 18 in the UK and number 119 in Australia. "Laid" charted at number 25 in the UK and number 40 in Australia. In the US, "Laid" peaked at number three on the ''
Billboard A billboard (also called a hoarding in the UK and many other parts of the world) is a large outdoor advertising Out-of-home (OOH) advertising, also called outdoor advertising, outdoor media, and out-of-home media, is advertising experienced ...
''
Alternative Airplay Alternative Airplay (formerly known as Alternative Songs and Modern Rock Tracks) is a music chart A record chart, in the music industry, also called a music chart, is a ranking of Sound recording and reproduction, recorded music according ...
chart, at number 57 on the Radio Songs chart, and number 61 on the
Hot 100 The ''Billboard'' Hot 100 is the music industry The music industry consists of the individuals and organizations that earn money by Musical composition, writing songs and musical compositions, creating and selling Sound recording and repr ...
. "Laid" was certified gold by the BPI in 2019, and was included on lists of the decade's best songs compiled by ''
PopMatters ''PopMatters'' is an international online magazine An online magazine is a magazine published on the Internet, through bulletin board systems and other forms of public computer networks. One of the first magazines to convert from a print maga ...
'' and ''
uDiscoverMusic Universal Music Group B.V. (often abbreviated as UMG) is a global Music industry, music corporation that is majority owned by the French media conglomerate Vivendi, with Chinese tech company Tencent owning a minority stake. UMG's corporate head ...
''.


Accolades


Track listing

All songs written by
Tim Booth Timothy John Booth (born 4 February 1960) is an English singer-songwriter, actor and dancer. He is the lead singer and co-founder of the indie rock Indie rock is a genre of rock music Rock music is a broad genre of popular music Popula ...
, Larry Gott, and Jim Glennie.Savidge 2015, p. 56 All recordings produced by
Brian Eno Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno (; born Brian Peter George Eno; 15 May 1948) is an English musician, record producer, visual artist, and theorist best known for his pioneering work in ambient music and contributions to ...
. #"Out to Get You" – 4:26 #"Sometimes (Lester Piggott)" – 5:10 #"Dream Thrum" – 4:47 #"One of the Three" – 4:08 #"Say Something" – 3:26 #"Five-O" – 5:25 #"P.S." – 5:04 #"Everybody Knows" – 3:28 #"Knuckle Too Far" – 4:39 #"Low Low Low" – 2:51 #" Laid" – 2:36 #"Lullaby" – 3:49 #"Skindiving" – 5:41


Personnel

Personnel per booklet. James *
Tim Booth Timothy John Booth (born 4 February 1960) is an English singer-songwriter, actor and dancer. He is the lead singer and co-founder of the indie rock Indie rock is a genre of rock music Rock music is a broad genre of popular music Popula ...
vocals * Larry Gottguitar, additional vocals (track 1) * Mark Hunterkeys * Jim Glenniebass *
Saul Davies Saul Davies (born 28 June 1965 in Liverpool) is a British musician best known as a member of the rock band James James is a common English language surname and given name: *James (name), the typically masculine first name James * James (surna ...
violin, guitar * David Baynton-Powerdrums Additional musicians *
Brian Eno Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno (; born Brian Peter George Eno; 15 May 1948) is an English musician, record producer, visual artist, and theorist best known for his pioneering work in ambient music and contributions to ...
additional bass, keyboards, additional vocals (tracks 2, 3 and 6) * Martine McDonaghadditional vocals (tracks 2, 3 and 6) * The Kitchenettesadditional vocals (track 10) Production * Brian Enoproducer * Benedict Fennerrecording (all except track 7), mixing (all except tracks 8 and 10), additional recording (track 7) *
Markus Dravs Markus Dravs is a British music producer, songwriter, programmer, engineer and mixer. His credits include Arcade Fire Arcade Fire is a Canadian indie rock Indie rock is a genre of rock music Rock music is a broad genre of popular ...
mixing (tracks 8 and 10) * Steve 'Doc' Williamsrecording (track 7) * Mike Jonesassistant * Ben 'Jude' Findlayassistant engineer Design * Jane Gottoriginal art * Nigel Schermulyphotography * Kevin Westenbergcover photography * Jamescover typography * Stylorougedesign


Charts and certifications


Weekly charts


Certifications


References

Citations Sources * *


External links


''Laid''
at
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(streamed copy where licensed) {{Authority control 1993 albums James (band) albums Albums produced by Brian Eno Fontana Records albums