Island was bought out by Universal several months later, though, and Elbow found themselves dropped from the label as a result. After a partnership with EMI also dissolved, the guys linked up with local independent label Uglyman and released two EPs, Newborn and Any Day Now. The acclaimed EPs gained the band a contract with V2, which released 2001's equally tipped Asleep in the Back. The record was short-listed as a nominee for 2001's Mercury Prize and was issued in the States in early 2002.
Cast of Thousands, which appeared in 2004, proved to be a strong, critically acclaimed follow-up. Leaders of the Free World, inspired by political events and behavior in the media, was released in fall 2005, with The Seldom Seen Kid following in 2008. Although all three of Elbow's past albums had enjoyed significant popularity in the U.K., The Seldom Seen Kid was the band's first album to go multi-platinum, eventually selling over one million copies and winning the 2008 Mercury Prize. Writing sessions for a new album began in 2010, and Build a Rocket Boys! was released one year later, followed in 2012 by Dead in the Boot, a collection of B-sides and non-album cuts.
That summer, not only did Elbow's ambitious, especially written track "First Steps" serve as the theme to the BBC's coverage of the London Olympics, but the band also played two songs at the closing ceremony of the games, which helped to further bolster sales of their back catalog. Recording sessions for a sixth studio album -- eventually titled The Take Off and Landing of Everything -- took place at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios in Wiltshire in late 2012 and were completed in their own Salford studio the following year. Following the January release of the single "New York Morning," the album appeared to strong reviews in March 2014 and became their first album to debut at the top of the U.K. charts. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi