Deadwing is the eighth studio album by British progressive rock band Porcupine Tree, released in Japan on 24 March 2005, in Europe on 28 March, and in the US on April 26. It quickly became the band's best selling album, although it was later surpassed by Fear of a Blank Planet. The album is based on a screenplay written by Steven Wilson and Mike Bennion, and is a ghost story. Wilson has stated that the songs "Deadwing", "Lazarus", "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here", "Open Car", and "Mellotron Scratch" were originally intended for the film soundtrack, but when the project failed to find funding they were instead recorded for the next Porcupine Tree album. The album versions of "Lazarus" and "Open Car" essentially remain Wilson solo tracks onto which Gavin Harrison overdubbed drums.
Cover art by Carl Glover
|Studio album by|
|Released||24 March 2005|
|Recorded||Various English cities|
|Length||59:35 (Europe/Original edition)|
64:34 (US edition)
79:07 (DVD-A edition)
|Producer||Steven Wilson, Gavin Harrison, Richard Barbieri|
|Porcupine Tree chronology|
|Singles from Deadwing|
The album produced two singles: "Shallow" and "Lazarus". "Shallow" also appeared in the movie Four Brothers. It can be heard as background music in a bar. The album also produced music videos for "Lazarus", "Start of Something Beautiful", and "Glass Arm Shattering".
The album includes collaborations with King Crimson's Adrian Belew, who plays guitar solos on the title track "Deadwing" and "Halo", and Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt, who adds vocal harmonies on "Deadwing", "Lazarus", and "Arriving Somewhere but Not Here". He also plays the second guitar solo on "Arriving Somewhere but Not Here".
Wilson described the album as a surreal "ghost story," and said that "the idea is ultimately that this album will form a kind of companion with the feature film." He stated that David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick were major influences for the script.
On 1 September 2006, Steven Wilson announced in his blog that Mike Bennion (co-writer of the Deadwing screenplay) had released the first fifteen pages of the story. The film script thus far has made several connections to the album, including a reference to the line in Mellotron Scratch 'A tiny flame inside my hand', the man mentioned in Lazarus 'My David don't you worry', and to the artwork in the album's cover insert.
On 3 January 2019 Steven Wilson posted on Facebook that he and Bennion had recently 'reactivated and rewritten [the script] with a view to trying again [to make the film]', but that the name of the script had changed. Wilson also revealed that the 'David' from the song 'Lazarus' is the main character in the Deadwing script.
While introducing the song Lazarus during the Shepherds Bush Empire concert in December 2005, Steven Wilson explained that this song was about a mother communicating with her young son - 'from the grave'.
Note on loudness warEdit
In a comment on the loudness war, Steven Wilson mentioned how he considered placing a message on record sleeves that reads as follows: "Please note that this record may not be mastered as loudly as some of the other records in your collection. This is in order to retain the dynamic range and subtlety of the music. Please, use your volume knob." Conversely, the CD version of the album has been proven to contain clipping and dynamic range compression, whereas the 5.1 surround mix on the DVD-A version does not. However, subsequent releases Fear of a Blank Planet and Nil Recurring are mastered at lower levels, preserving more of their original dynamic range.
The band stated that 15 songs were recorded during the Deadwing sessions. The initial release, for Europe, contained only 9 tracks. All versions contain those initial 9 tracks in the same order. For the later U.S. release, an additional track was added on, the 2004 re-recorded version of "Shesmovedon", which was originally released on their 2000 Lightbulb Sun, bringing the total to 10.
The album was also released as a DVD-Audio disc on 10 May 2005 by DTS Entertainment. The disc contains 5.1-channel surround versions of all the tracks from the US CD ("Shesmovedon (2004)" was included as an unlisted extra track.) plus three bonus tracks: "Revenant," "Mother and Child Divided" and "Half-Light", bringing the total to 13 songs.
One more song, "So Called Friend", was released on the "Lazarus" single, bringing it up to 14 songs. There is another song titled "Christenings": while it was never released as a Porcupine Tree song, it was eventually released on Steven Wilson's side project, Blackfield's 2007 album Blackfield II. An instrumental demo made in 2003 during writing sessions for Deadwing, but never recorded by the band is called "Collecting Space". A proper version of this piece was released on the limited edition of Wilson's first solo album, Insurgentes, while its demo appears as an extra track on the Insurgentes movie DVD. Another possible song from this time is "Godfearing", which was later released on the web and that Wilson doesn't recall its exact recording period, but it was either during Deadwing or In Absentia.
|Original European edition|
|5.||"Arriving Somewhere but Not Here"||Wilson||12:02|
|8.||"Start of Something Beautiful"||Harrison/Wilson||7:39|
|9.||"Glass Arm Shattering"||Barbieri/Edwin/Harrison/Wilson||6:17|
|11.||"Mother & Child Divided"||Harrison/Wilson||6:20|
|13.||"Shesmovedon (2004)" (unlisted easter egg track)||Wilson||4:59|
|10.||"So Called Friend"||Barbieri/Edwin/Harrison/Wilson||4:49|
Deadwing won the "Best Made-For-Surround Title" award for the 2005 Surround Music Awards,  and was voted number 2 album of 2005 in Sound & Vision, which is the most widely distributed US magazine in the field of home electronics and entertainment. In addition to this, the album won the "Album of the Year" award for the 2005 Classic Rock magazine awards. The album was named as one of Classic Rock‘s 10 essential progressive rock albums of the decade.
|Top Internet Albums||6|
|"Shallow"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||26|
- Steven Wilson - vocals, guitars, piano, keyboards, hammered dulcimer, bass guitar on 1,3,5 (middle section), 7
- Richard Barbieri - keyboards and synthesizers
- Colin Edwin - bass guitar
- Gavin Harrison - drums and percussion
- Guest musicians
- Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth) - Backing vocals on tracks 1, 3, 5 & 10; Second guitar solo on 5
- Adrian Belew (King Crimson) - Solo guitar on 1,4
- Produced By Steven Wilson, Richard Barbieri & Gavin Harrison
- Recorded & Engineered By Paul Northfield & George Schilling
- Mixed By Steven Wilson
- Mastered By Andy VanDette
- 5.1 Producer: Jeff Levison
- 5.1 Mixed By: Elliot Scheiner
- 5.1 Mastered By Darsy Proper at Sony Studios
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