Biffy Clyro ¦ Only Revolutions

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Only Revolutions is the fifth studio album by Scottish alternative rock band Biffy Clyro, released 9 November 2009 on 14th Floor Records. As with its predecessor, Puzzle, the album was produced by Garth Richardson. Upon release, Only Revolutions was a critical and commercial success. The album entered at No. 8 on the UK Album Chart and was then certified gold by the BPI shortly afterwards. It was certified platinum by the BPI in June 2010 for shipments of 300,000 copies in the UK, making it the band's largest selling album. In September 2010, the album achieved a new peak position of No. 3. It was the 26th biggest selling album of 2010 in the UK with sales of 377,900. It was nominated for the 2010 Mercury Prize, which is awarded annually for the best album in the UK or Ireland, and Rock Sound declared it third in its list of the 75 best albums of 2009.


In an interview with NME in September 2008, lead singer Simon Neil confirmed that work had begun on a followup to Puzzle, the new material containing some of the band's 'heaviest riffs to date,' while also introducing keyboards, suggesting some experimentation.[1] The first preview of the album came the following November, the band debuting a new song 'God & Satan' while playing an acoustic gig at London's Union Chapel.[2] In a March 2009 Kerrang! magazine article, it was stated that they planned to enter the studio and begin recording in April 2009. The same Kerrang! article revealed a working title for the upcoming album – "Boom, Blast and Ruin". Although this title was eventually scrapped, it was revealed that a song of the same name would appear on the album.

The final title for the album was officially announced as Only Revolutions after Mark Z. Danielewski's 2006 novel. Bassist James Johnston notes:

It's a really interesting book. [...] The nice thing is that it's a story told from two points of view and Simon got married last year and I think it's a love record in that regard, it's about his relationship with his new wife. A lot of it is about trying to take arguments from somebody else point of view and be able to see two sides of the picture. I guess a lot of it is about the revolutions in life and revolutions in relationships and those sort of things, just the stuff everyone goes through at different points in their life.[3]

"That Golden Rule" was confirmed as the second single from the album, after receiving its first play from an ecstatic Zane Lowe during his Radio 1 show on 8 July.[4] The single was released on 23 August 2009.

It was subsequently confirmed that the album would also include the band's 2008 hit single "Mountains," which had not previously been included on any of the band's studio albums (and had at the time of its release been considered a "non-album single").

Kerrang! magazine ran an interview in the 25 August edition informing the album would have 12 tracks and that David Campbell was providing orchestrations to six of those tracks. The article also validated the rumours that Josh Homme would make a guest appearance on the album, contributing a guitar solo to the track "Bubbles". "The Captain" received its first play during Zane Lowe's Radio 1 show on 8 September and it was then confirmed that the single would be released on 26 October.

The band confirmed on 26 November 2009 through their website that "Many of Horror" would be the fourth single and would be released on 18 January 2010.[5] It had been Fearne Cotton's record of the week on her Radio 1 weekday show.

The next single to be released was "Bubbles" on 3 May. The song reached a peak position of No. 34 on the UK Singles Chart, making it the fifth consecutive single to reach the top forty.

On 23 August the same year, the band released "God & Satan" as their next single. Like "Many of Horror", God & Satan received a single mix and further B-sides. On the same day, the band released a compilation album of all B-sides released during Only Revolutions called Lonely Revolutions,[6] much akin to Missing Pieces. Originally, the album was released as a limited pressing of 300 copies on 12' vinyl but later released a limited number of 1000 CDs.

Many of Horror, renamed as 'When We Collide', was chosen as The X Factor finalists song for Matt Cardle, and was released on 13 December with the aim of becoming the UK's Christmas Number 1 record for 2010.


The sleeve's designer Storm Thorgerson said: "In thinking that the music was strong-minded yet lyrical persuaded us to think of material flapping in the wind like flags – the flags of a revolution. Not little flags or small bits of fabric, but enormous flags the size of a modest office block, which we affixed to a scaffold tower on the top of a hill on a windy day. The sound of the undulating material was affecting, let alone the bizarre shapes. The actual cover used red and blue flags to represent the sexes."[7]

The picture is indebted to another of Thorgerson's works: the sleeve and video for Pink Floyd's "High Hopes".

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Drowned in Sound(8/10)[11]
The Fly[12]
The Guardian[14]
Rock Sound(9/10)[18]

Only Revolutions was met with positive reviews; Metacritic reports an aggregated score of 76, based on eight professional reviews.[19]

  • Nick Annan of Clash magazine was favourable in his review and awarded a score of 7/10. He summarised; "QOTSA's Josh Homme contributes a guitar solo on 'Bubbles' and while Top five hit 'Mountains' is still the best example here of the band in full majestic flow, there are plenty of big chorus to be enjoyed elsewhere here. Contrary to the album's title, for Biffy Clyro evolution proves more useful than revolution".[10]
  • Drowned in Sound writer Thom Gibbs praised the bands earnestness, despite describing the sound as more commercially accessible; "Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil is emphatically unbothered about offending the anti-earnest on his band’s fifth album. Only Revolutions is a massive, bold and ambitious record, primed for radio but loaded with the unshakeable seriousness and belief that has run through Biffy’s career". He was less favourable towards the lyrics, particularly in slower songs such as 'God & Satan' and 'Many of Horror', but ultimately awarded a score of 8/10. He added, "Grandeur suits Biffy Clyro, and their overblown songs manage to tug effectively on heartstrings despite their foibles. Their vibrant brand of ridiculousness is infinitely preferable to the mass emotional prescriptions of Snow Patrol or vapid truisms of Coldplay".[11]
  • Matt Glass, journalist for Scottish publication The Fly, gave a positive review with a 4/5 star rating. He did say however, that the album wasn't completely cohesive throughout; "Each track is undoubtedly great, but, as an album, Only Revolutions sometimes struggles to flow through Biffy’s scatterbomb of styles". That was that the only criticism though as he summed up his review with, "With Only Revolutions, Biffy cast a magnifying glass over everything they showcased on Puzzle. The riffs get louder, the screams more pertinent and the orchestral onslaughts darker and more sinister. 'Mon the Biffy..."[12]
  • Chris Reynolds of Gigwise also awarded the album a four star rating. He summarised, "Simply put Only Revolutions maintains predictability and unpredictability in equal measure. It’s a step forward, a step up and a genuinely brilliant rock album, bring on the amphitheatres".[13]
  • The Guardian writer Sarah Boden, complimented the band for "confidently casting their net wider" than predecessor Puzzle. She went on to add that "Biffy Clyro have got this far without paying heed to populist tastes, so they needn't start now. Still, it's a woeful soul who can listen to Only Revolutions without feeling exhilarated and part of the gang".[14]
  • NME gave a very positive review, awarding a score of 8/10. Jamie Fullerton wrote that the album "springs the band instantly level with the greatest rock acts in the world. The only thing that can stop them being recognised as such is the 2010 trend of UK guitar music being treated with contempt by the electro-pop-fixated mainstream".[16]
  • Rock Sound were also highly favourable, scoring the album at 9/10. Tim Newbound wrote that, "Only Revolutions perfectly juxtaposes moods; beautifully serene songs such as 'God & Satan', 'Know Your Quarry' and 'Many of Horror', for example, provide an ebb and flow that balances delicacy with the balls-out aggression of 'Cloud of Stink' and the ace closer that is 'Whorses', a song in which they achieve a dark melodic sensibility that betters anything featured on one of Neil's favourite records, Weezer's Pinkerton".[18]
  • Mark Edwards of The Sunday Times gave the album a four star review. He praised the record for holding a "highly listenable variant". He also wrote that, "On Only Revolutions they move things up a gear with a string of actual and potential hits ('That Golden Rule', 'Mountains' and the stadium-ready 'The Captain' have already charted; the Josh Homme-featuring 'Bubbles' surely will). But the rubbery oddness of 'Born on a Horse' reassures us that the band haven’t lost their quirky imagination".[20]
  • Further positive reviews came from British publications, Kerrang! and Q, who both rated the album at four stars.[15][17] Q magazine also named the album one of the 50 best records of 2009 and the song "Bubbles" as no 2 in its top 50 downloads of November.


Rock SoundUKTop Seventy Five Albums of the Year20093[21]
QUKTop Fifty Albums of the Year200930[22]
KerrangUKK Critics Albums of 200920093[23]

Track listing

All tracks are written by Simon Neil[24]

1."The Captain"3:43
2."That Golden Rule"3:49
4."God & Satan"3:09
5."Born on a Horse"2:49
7."Shock Shock"3:03
8."Many of Horror"4:18
9."Booooom, Blast & Ruin"3:16
10."Cloud of Stink"2:55
11."Know Your Quarry"3:29
Japanese bonus tracks
13."Prey Hey"3:13
14."Eye Lids"3:32
15."Sky Demon"3:26
French bonus tracks
13."Prey Hey"3:12
14."Eye Lids"3:30
15."Mountains – Acoustic"3:45
16."Bonus DVD : Voice and Electrical Noises (Behind-the-scenes video)"45:05
Streaming Services bonus track(Spotify iTunes)
13."Sky Demon"3:26
Special Edition DVD
1."Voice and Electrical Noises (Behind-the-scenes video)"45:05

Unreleased track

  • "I'm Probably in Your Pocket" was originally set to be on "Only Revolutions" but it was cut from the album. Simon Neil disclosed in an interview with Ultimate Guitar that the band thought the song "wouldn’t have fitted on the record".[25] The song was later put in the band's next studio album, Opposites, now titled "Pocket".


  • A Standard CD
  • A Limited Edition CD/DVD which includes an hour long DVD entitled 'Voice & Electrical Noises'. The DVD features exclusive footage of the band during their stay in LA whilst they were recording the album at Ocean Way Studios.
  • A Special Box Set was released exclusively through the official website. There were only 2000 made and it includes the CD/DVD edition of the album, Heavyweight 12" vinyl, "Somebody Help Me Play" – Play Along CD, Guitar Tab Poster, Pin Badges, Plectrum, A full orchestral score, Sticker Sheet, 12" art print signed by the legendary Storm Thorgerson & A piece of one of the actual flags from the album cover art.
  • iTunes LP special edition reissue. Featuring all music videos, behind the scenes videos, 'Voice & Electrical Noises' documentary, lyrics and photographs.


The following people contributed to Only Revolutions:[26]

Charts and certifications

Release history

Only Revolutions was released in various countries in 2009.

CountryRelease dateRecord labelFormatCatalogue number
United Kingdom9 November 200914th FloorCD5051865621522
Japan23 December 2009Hostess EntertainmentCDB002UGMFHS


  1. ^ "Biffy Clyro begin work on 'horny stallion' album". NME. Retrieved 13 September 2008.
  2. ^ "Biffy Clyro premiere 'Satanic' new song at chapel gig". NME. Retrieved 13 November 2008.
  3. ^ Ashman, Neil. "Talkin' 'bout Revolutions – DiS meets Biffy Clyro". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 20 October 2009.
  4. ^ Lowe, Zane. "Hottest Record – Biffy Clyro – That Golden Rule". BBC. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
  5. ^ "MANY OF HORROR TO BE NEXT SINGLE FROM ONLY REVOLUTIONS". BiffyClyro. Retrieved 26 November 2009.
  6. ^ "News – Lonely Revolutions To Be Released on Cd". Biffy Clyro. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  7. ^ Classic Rock 2010 calendar
  8. ^ "Critic Reviews for Only Revolutions at Metacritic". Metacritic.
  9. ^ "Only Revolutions – Biffy Clyro | Songs, Reviews, Credits". Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  10. ^ a b Annan, Nick. "Biffy Clyro – Only Revolutions "...evolution proves more useful than revolution"". Clash. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  11. ^ a b Gibbs, Thom. "Review: Only Revolutions". Drowned in Sound. Archived from the original on 10 November 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  12. ^ a b Glass, Matt. "Biffy Clyro 'Only Revolutions' (14th Floor)". The Fly. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009. Retrieved 26 October 2009.
  13. ^ a b Reynolds, Chris. "Biffy Clyro 'Only Revolutions' (14th Floor) Released 09/11/09". Gigwise. Archived from the original on 12 November 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  14. ^ a b Boden, Sarah (4 October 2009). "Rock review: Biffy Clyro, Only Revolutions". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 October 2009.
  15. ^ a b "Biffy Clyro: Only Revolutions (14th Floor) KKKK", Kerrang!, no. 1285, p. 52, 28 October 2009
  16. ^ a b Fullerton, Jamie. "Album review: Biffy Clyro – 'Only Revolutions' (14th Floor)". NME. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  17. ^ a b "Biffy Clyro: Only Revolutions (14th Floor) 4 stars", Q magazine, no. 281, p. 70, October 2009
  18. ^ a b Newbound, Tim. "Reviews > Biffy Clyro – Only Revolutions". Rock Sound. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  19. ^ "Only Revolutions by Biffy Clyro". Metacritic. Retrieved 24 November 2009.
  20. ^ Edwards, Mark (8 November 2009). "Biffy Clyro: Only Revolutions". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  21. ^ "Top 75 Albums of 2009", Rock Sound, no. 130, p. 28, December 2009
  22. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2009", Q, no. 153, p. 101, December 2009
  23. ^ "K Critics Album of the Year", Kerrang, no. 1290, p. 73, 19 December 2009
  24. ^ ASCAP Entry
  25. ^ "Biffy Clyro: 'For Us It's About The Thrill of Making Music' - Music News @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com".
  26. ^ Only Revolutions (CD). Biffy Clyro. 14th Floor Records. 2009.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  27. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week {{{week}}}, {{{year}}}". Chart-Track. IRMA.
  28. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  29. ^ " – Biffy Clyro – Only Revolutions". Hung Medien.
  30. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  31. ^ "UK Year-End Charts 2009" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  32. ^ "End of Year Album Chart Top 100 – 2010". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  33. ^ "End Of Year Chart 2011" (PDF). Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  34. ^ Jones, Alan (15 July 2016). "Official Charts Analysis: Biffy Clyro in at No. 1 with Ellipsis". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  35. ^ "British certifications". British Phonographic Industry.

External links


Veröffentlichungen von Biffy Clyro die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

OST Balance, Not Symmetry ¦ A Celebration Of Endings ¦ Errors In The History Of God ¦ The Myth Of The Happily Ever After ¦ Ellipsis ¦ Only Revolutions

Biffy Clyro auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

Biffy Clyro ist eine schottische Band aus Ayrshire, die 1995 gegründet wurde.


Simon Neil (2007)
James Johnston (2013)

Zur Entstehung des Namens gibt es verschiedene Gerüchte. Simon Neil erklärte einmal, dass er in der Schule einen Kugelschreiber („biro-pen“) gehabt habe, auf dem Cliff Richard abgebildet gewesen sei. Scherzhaft nannten sie ihn den „Cliffy-Biro“. Durch Vertauschen der Anfangslaute seien sie dann auf ihren Bandnamen gekommen.[1] Eine andere Erklärung ist, dass der Bandname ein Akronym von Big Imagination For Feeling Young ’Cos Life Yearns Real Optimism sei.[1]

Nach den Alben Blackened Sky, The Vertigo of Bliss und Infinity Land, die alle von Chris Sheldon produziert wurden, betreute ihr Majordebüt Puzzle Garth 'GGGarth' Richardson, der auch schon Rage Against the Machine, Skunk Anansie und Chevelle produziert hatte. Im April 2009 begab sich das Trio nach Los Angeles, um dort sein fünftes Album Only Revolutions aufzunehmen.[2] Am 28. Januar 2013 ist ihr sechstes Album Opposites[3], erschienen. Am 8. Juli 2016 erschien ihr siebtes Album Ellipsis[4]; es landete, wie zuvor bereits Opposites, auf dem ersten Platz der britischen Albumcharts.[5] Am 25. Mai 2018 erschien das Livealbum MTV Unplugged: Live at Roundhouse, London. Am 14. August 2020 erschien ihr achtes Album Celebration of Endings.[6]

Biffy Clyro ist eng mit der ebenfalls aus Glasgow kommenden Band Aereogramme befreundet.[7] Simon Neil und der Aereogramme-Drummer Martin Scott kennen sich bereits seit der Grundschule. Mit JP Reid von Sucioperro startete Simon Neil das Rockprojekt Marmaduke Duke.

Seit der Festivaltour 2010 wird Biffy Clyro live von Mike Vennart (ehemaliger Sänger und Gitarrist von Oceansize) an der zweiten Gitarre unterstützt. Seit der Tour zum letzten Album spielt live zudem Gambler (ebenfalls ehemaliger Gitarrist von Oceansize) Keyboard.


Auf ihrem ersten Album Blackened Sky spielte Biffy Clyro einen Alternative-Rock, der stark von Bands wie Far beeinflusst war, und der auch schon früh mit US-amerikanischen Bands wie Jimmy Eat World verglichen wurde. Carsten Agthe vom Progressive-Rock-Magazin Eclipsed wählte für den Stil den Begriff „Popcore“ und fühlte sich an Fugazi und Jimmy Eat World erinnert.[8] Mit ihrem zweiten Album The Vertigo of Bliss begann sie eine Veränderung ihres Stils in Richtung Progressive Rock. Agthe fand es „durchdachter und harmonischer“ als das Debüt. Er erkannte darin „Emo-, Art-, Post- und Alternativerock voller stilistischer Wendungen, überraschender Breaks und mehrstimmiger Gesangsharmonien“. Ab und zu klinge es punkig, dafür aber auch mal episch. Für ihn ergab sich dadurch „die perfekte Schnittstelle zwischen Mogwai und Pearl Jam“.[9] Da dieses Album eher schwer zugänglich ist, ist es bei vielen Fans so verehrt wie umstritten. Ihr drittes Album, Infinity Land, führte die Entwicklung in Richtung Prog-Rock fort, hatte dabei aber nun wieder mehr Pop-Anklänge. Von Agthe wurde es als Emo-Rock klassifiziert. Er meinte, man wisse beim Anhören nicht unbedingt, was als nächstes komme, denn auf „Technogeblubber“ folge eine „orgiastische Hard-Core-Attacke“, auf Reggae-Rhythmen von „irrwitzigen Breaks“ durchsetzter Alternative-Rock und so weiter.[10]



JahrTitelHöchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen[11]
(Jahr, Titel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
2002Blackened SkyUK78

(1 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 10. März 2002
2003The Vertigo of BlissUK48

(1 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 16. Juni 2003
2004Infinity LandUK47

(1 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 4. Oktober 2004
(1 Wo.)DE

(23 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 4. Juni 2007
2009Only RevolutionsDE65
(1 Wo.)DE
(2 Wo.)CH

(101 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 9. November 2009

(12 Wo.)DE
(3 Wo.)AT
(16 Wo.)CH

(41 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 28. Januar 2013
(9 Wo.)DE
(4 Wo.)AT
(11 Wo.)CH

(29 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 8. Juli 2016
2020A Celebration of EndingsDE4
(5 Wo.)DE
(2 Wo.)AT
(9 Wo.)CH

(7 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 14. August 2020
2021The Myth of the Happily Ever AfterDE11
(2 Wo.)DE
(1 Wo.)AT
(3 Wo.)CH
(2 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 22. Oktober 2021


Commons: Biffy Clyro – Sammlung von Bildern, Videos und Audiodateien


  1. a b Biographie auf (englisch)
  2. Family Affairs: Interview mit Ben Johnston auf (Memento vom 16. August 2009 im Internet Archive)
  3. [1] Review auf (deutsch)
  4. Biffy Clyro - Ellipsis - New Album Out Now. In: Biffy Clyro. Abgerufen am 14. November 2016.
  5. Biffy Clyro score second Number 1 album with Ellipsis. ( [abgerufen am 14. November 2016]).
  7. Biffy Clyro (Memento vom 27. Juli 2009 im Internet Archive) auf (englisch)
  8. C[arsten] A[gthe]: Biffy Clyro. „Blackened Sky“. In: Eclipsed. For real good Rock Music. Nr. 41, April 2002, Platten Reviews, S. 42.
  9. C[arsten] A[gthe]: Biffy Clyro. „The Vertigo of Bliss“. In: Eclipsed. Rock Magazin. 54, Juli/August, Juli 2003, CD-Reviews, S. 38.
  10. C[arsten] A[gthe]: Biffy Clyro. „Infinity Land“. In: Eclipsed. Rock Magazin. Nr. 69, Februar 2005, CD-Reviews, S. 48.
  11. Chartquellen: DE AT CH UK

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Biffy Clyro ¦ Only Revolutions
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