Ten Years of Love Ire & Song
- 01/06/2018 -
Xtra Mile Recordings is celebrating ten years of Frank Turner's Love Ire & Song with a special edition of the album, out 2 June 2018, including several limited edition colour vinyl presses with extra demo tracks and radio sessions never before released. Scroll below for more information including links and where to buy each version, tracklisting and images of the colour variations.
But before that, take in some of the reminiscing of late nights and lost evenings, what the album means to us all, see some exclusive images from the Love Ire & Song set at Lost Evenings II on 12 May 2018, and listen to the hour-long conversation about the album between Frank and guitarist / producer Ben Lloyd recorded at Lost Evenings II on 13 May 2018.
If you just want to get buying that lovely double vinyl though, click here and choose the colour(s) you like.
Frank Turner's second solo album Love Ire & Song was a more determined and confident statement. One louder, one better, a second try at opening it up to the floor, and managing to fill it. Ten years on, Frank is riding high from a second sold out Lost Evenings festival at Camden's legendary Roundhouse, with plans for a third underway. His seventh album Be More Kind is out and selling well. His world tour is currently taking up large chunks of his time.
But nothing was guaranteed in 2008. Sleep Is For the Week had done modestly. Frank’s second album acted both as a breakthrough record and a transitional work. By the time it was released on 31 March 2008, Frank had played over 400 shows since September 2005. He’d supported Biffy Clyro and headlined the Softcore Tour, with three other acoustic songwriters who had once been in heavier bands: Jonah Matranga, Jacob Golden and Joshua English. His home was the road and these songs were penned and developed along the way. But while future Sleeping Souls guitarist Ben Lloyd co-produced and played on the album, along with long-term drummer Nigel Powell, Love Ire & Song was very much a restatement of the individual intent Frank had displayed on Sleep is for the Week. There was a greater confidence throughout that, for those that were listening then, was a siren of bigger and better things to come. No longer the slightly scrappy, hungover, folk-inspired troubadour from 2006, Frank had added more layers to his identity and greater musicianship to his cause.
From the impassioned reiteration of his values opening the album on ‘I Knew Prufrock Before He Was Famous’ to the world-weary emotional crash of ‘Jet Lag’ – a slightly woozy late night piano take – Frank opened up his musical and emotional lungs. The title track risked a quick gasp of political energy, ‘Substitute’ sighed upon the resigned former lover seduced by the guitar and the road, and ‘Photosynthesis’ boasted a bellowing singalong larger than just one man. But even the initial release of this second collection didn't set the world alight. When Sara Cox on Radio One decided to play third single 'Long Live the Queen' (after 'Photosynthesis' and 'Reasons Not to Be An Idiot'), the song was sifted into regular rotation on the UK’s biggest radio station at a time when that was still wildly important. This was where more people sat up and took notice. From Frank’s most heartfelt song to date came a following who had found someone on the airwaves willing to sing uncomfortable truths and celebrate life’s difficulties as much as the bright spots. The song was released as a charity single with proceeds going to a breast cancer charity in honour of Lex, Frank’s good friend who passed away from the disease and whom the song is about. That song, a potent slug of grief and carpe diem to leave one hitching, is still a live staple and likely will remain a gateway for a number of new listeners – its emotional potency lingers heavily in the albums half-life. But that's not to disregard the strength and longevity of several other songs lodging in its runtime.
'I Knew Prufrock Before He Was Famous' and the title track had already both garnered the kind of warmth from a crowd that you could start a movement upon and to this day both are especially fond live tracks. 'Photosynthesis' seems destined never to be moved from the latter end of a set – and will forever be linked to my personal sight of Reading Festival punters leaping up from their seated positions on Frank's command, so why the fuck should it?
Whenever you go back to the record, the standouts are the ones probably often exiled from top 20 tracklists and arena concerts, and Lost Evenings II saw all of these played, including the underrated 'Better Half' for the first time with the Sleeping Souls all together. You can watch that special performance below. 'A Love Worth Keeping' is a sleeping belter that builds to a primal roar emerging from some previous version of Frank. 'Present Tense' is a violent burst of semi-self-loathing, while the sweetest moments land on 'To Take You Home' (especially years away from the breakup) and 'St Christopher Is Coming Home'. The album ends on the rawest performance committed to tape at this point (and possibly until the deeply-discomfiting 'Anymore' from Tape Deck Heart), with 'Jet Lag'. Frank sat at a piano, a few drinks down, with Ben Lloyd – who helped produce, and play on, the album – stashed in the kitchen with the mixing desk waiting for the perfect take. After a few attempts, this astonishing live solo one-take was captured. It has rarely been replicated, though Frank opened his LI&S set at Lost Evenings II with this, bathed in spotlight. If anything, this might be the biggest indication of where he's come – from recording late-night slightly boozy piano takes in a rundown house in the countryside to a room of 3,000 people singing 'Jet Lag' back to him while striking an impressive figure on the Roundhouse stage.
The album was later bundled with Frank’s first compilation of non-album tracks, The First Three Years, and went on to sell over 60,000 copies and was certified silver in 2015. All of this is to say that ten years of this album seem to have gone nowhere. Frank's was not an overnight success, but it's a wonder that a decade has marinated these songs in thousands of people's personal history. It's no doubt a humbling experience, realising that 12 of your songs have moved so many people and continue to be discovered by others. We always think we've reached a new limit we've set ourselves, yet music is one of those few artforms where they filter into airwaves and people's real lifestreams and catch new people unawares. It could be in a bar, it could be a YouTube cover that autoplays, or a busker by a tube station. Perhaps it's a present from someone important, or just heard over the outside PA of a gas station just outside of the LA city limits through the mountains (true story, actually).
As well as playing the entire album in its entirety, albeit in an order that made sense for a fully up-for-it sold out crowd, Frank sat down with Sleeping Souls guitarist and Love Ire & Song producer Ben Lloyd at Lost Evenings II to discuss the album ten years on with good friend of XMR HUB and Frank's, journalist, editor, SEO expert, craftsman, and overal fantastic man, Rob Sandall. You can listen to the hour-long conversation below.
Vinyl Tenth Anniversary Reissue
In celebration of a decade since its release, Xtra Mile Recordings is proud to present the 10 year anniversary edition of Frank Turner’s Love Ire & Song. This reissue will be available on double gatefold vinyl with reworked artwork and various colour pressings. All information on pressings are below with links to buy them. The second disc includes demos and radio sessions of album tracks, plus an early demo version of ‘Old Flames’, a studio version of which was finally released in 2015.
The second disc of this ten year anniversary release includes never-before released album demos and a Zane Lowe BBC Radio One session from 2008. All physical copies will come with a download of a live show at Nottingham’s The Social on 12 April 2008, recorded for posterity by Nigel Powell himself.
Disc 1: Love Ire & Song
1. I Knew Prufrock Before He Was Famous
2. Reasons Not To Be An Idiot
5. Better Half
6. Love Ire & Song
7. Imperfect Tense
8. To Take You Home
9. Long Live the Queen
10. A Love Worth Keeping
11. St Christopher Is Coming Home
12. Jet Lag
Disc 2: Demos and Radio Sessions
1. I Knew Prufrock Before He Was Famous (demo)
2. Imperfect Tense (demo)
3. Mr. Richards’s Retirement Party (demo)
4. Old Flames (demo)
5. Reasons Not To Be An Idiot (demo)
6. St Christopher Is Coming Home (demo)
7. Front Crawl (demo)
8. Reasons Not To Be An Idiot (BBC session)
9. Imperfect Tense (BBC session)
10. Substitute (BBC session)
11. Long Live the Queen (BBC session)
Love Ire & Song Tenth Anniversary Edition - Pressing information
• Double 180g vinyl
• Mirror-board gatefold sleeve in outer slipcase, featuring new artwork
• Includes download code with additional full live set from Nottingham in 2008
• Red Vinyl (Lost Evenings Exclusive) /500 - SOLD OUT at the XMR shop
• Transparent Vinyl (Xtra Mile Exclusive) /500 - Buy it at the XMR shop
• Gold Vinyl (Banquet Records Exclusive) /500 - Buy it at Banquet Records
• White Vinyl (German Indie Exclusive) /500 - Buy it at Coretex
• Black Vinyl (Legacy edition - unlimited) - Buy it via Amazon or your local record shop