You Oughta Know: Biffy Clyro, ONLY REVOLUTIONS
10 years ago this week, the Scottish band Biffy Clyro released their fifth album, an LP which became a top-5 hit in the UK and the biggest success of the band’s career up that point. That said, they’d only find bigger success with their follow-up, so if you don’t know the band or this album… Well, you oughta know! If you’re American, though, then the odds are that you probably don’t, so you’ll need to pay extra attention…
Produced by Garth “GGGarth” Richardson at Ocean Way Recording in Hollywood, ONLY REVOLUTIONS arrived two years after Biffy Clyro’s previous studio album, PUZZLE, but between those two LPs, the band had released a single collection (SINGLES 2001-2005) and a B-sides collection (MISSING PIECES), so their profile had remained relatively high in the interim. In a 2008 NME interview, Simon Neil said that the new material they were working on contained some of the band’s “heaviest riffs to date,” and that claim seemed back up by a March 2009 Kerrang! article which suggested that the album’s tentative title was BOOM, BLAST AND RUIN. In the end, the album didn’t take that title, but it did contain a song by that name, albeit with a few extra O’s added to the “BOOM.”
Upon its release, the critics went wild, with both Kerrang! and Q doling out four stars for ONLY REVOLUTIONS, after which both publications placed it on their lists of the best records of the year, with Q putting it at #30 and Kerrang! placing it at #3. The latter ranking is also where Rock Sound placed the album, which is only appropriate, since it does, in fact, rock. Not entirely surprisingly, the album completely failed to chart in America, but these things happen. Fortunately, UK listeners sent it to #3, Scottish listeners sent it #2, and even Ireland put it into their top 20, with the LP topping out at #16. More importantly, it went double platinum in the UK, cementing Biffy Clyro’s popularity across the pond to such a degree that their next album, 2013’s OPPOSITES, went all the way to #1.
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