Velociraptor! is Kasabian's fourth studio album. It was released on 19 September 2011 and peaked at #1 in the UK charts.
After demoing new songs in May 2010, when the band had a month off before playing a series of summer festivals, Serge started recording the album in October, a few weeks after the West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum Tour finished, in his home studio in Leicester. They recorded the strings with the London Metropolitan Orchestra at British Grove Studios, London in November and then travelled to San Francisco in the new year to record the vocals and mix the album with Dan the Automator in his own studio. Overall the recording process took around six months and Velociraptor! was finished in March 2011.
The album has been described as a "jukebox record" many times, with Serge explaining, "I've got an old jukebox at home. One night at six in the morning I turned it on and it was throwing out tune after tune. You'd get Elvis, then you'd get a Chemical Brothers tune, then it would spit out Babe Ruth or some shit. I thought, Imagine if our next record is just classic tunes?"
The idea for the title came from Tom, who has an affinity for Latin names as well as dinosaurs and reportedly came up with "The Velociraptors" as a good name for a band years ago. The explanation most commonly given in interviews is that the title "just sounds good" and that velociraptors were the only dinosaur who could defeat the T. Rex - in Kasabian's case representing the music industry - because they hunted in packs, making them the rock 'n' roll band of the dinosaurs. They also had feathers, "just like Marc Bolan." The exclamation mark was suggested by designer Aitor Throup because the title "has to be shouted."
All artwork for Velociraptor! was created by designer Aitor Throup. The album cover shows all four members of the band covered in feathers. The single releases each have a different feather on the cover. The album sleeve contains drawings of abstract figures bearing some resemblance to the band members, and, for the first time, all the lyrics. Serge predicted that the whole concept would "make people care about [record sleeves] again." A new logo was created as well, depicting four "humanoid raptors" in a circle, which appears on the CD discs, the vinyl record, most of the merchandise and on the bass drum during most of 2011, until it was replaced with a feather at the end of the year.
In June 2011 Kasabian debuted Velociraptor! and Switchblade Smiles as the first songs off the album at a series of small UK gigs ahead of the festival season. From 7 June 2011 on, Switchblade Smiles was made available for streaming and as a free download together with the pre-order of the album.
Velociraptor! leaked on 9 September 2011. It was first released on 16 September 2011 in Germany, Ireland, Australia and Belgium, on 19 September 2011 in the UK, France and New Zealand, and a day later in Spain. It was released on 27 September 2011 in the USA. On 12 August 2011 Days Are Forgotten was released as the first official single, followed by Re-Wired on 20 November 2011, as well as Goodbye Kiss on 20 February 2012 and Man Of Simple Pleasures on 7 May 2012.
Velociraptor! became Kasabian's third consecutive #1 album. In 2011 the album sold 279,000 copies and in July 2013 it was awarded platinum status in the UK. It was nominated for a Virgin Media Music Award in 2012.
- Let's Roll Just Like We Used To
- Days Are Forgotten
- Goodbye Kiss
- La Fee Verte
- Acid Turkish Bath (Shelter From The Storm)
- I Hear Voices
- Man Of Simple Pleasures
- Switchblade Smiles
- Neon Noon
- Tom Meighan (Vocals)
- Sergio Pizzorno (Guitars, vocals, bass, synths, production)
- Chris Edwards (Bass)
- Ian Matthews (Drums, percussion)
- Jason Mehler (Additional guitar)
- Ben Kealey (Additional Keyboards)
- Tim Carter (Additional guitar and percussion)
- Dan Ralph Martin (Additional guitar and percussion on tracks 4 and 9)
- Gary Alesbrook (Trumpet)
- Mat Coleman (Trombone)
- Andrew Kinsman (Saxophone)
- London Metropolitan Orchestra (Strings)
- Jessica Dannheisser (Orchestration)
- Andy Brown (Conductor)
- Dan the Automator (Production)
- Tim Carter (Engineering)
- Marc Senesac (Mix engineering)
- Howie Weinberg (Mastering)
- Stephen McLaughlin (Production - Strings)
- Joe Kearns (Engineering - Strings)
- Aitor Throup (Design, art direction)
- Neil Bedford (Photography)
- Main article: Awards and Nominations
Velociraptor! was nominated at the Virgin Media Music Awards 2012. Its TV ad won a UK Music Video Award in the category Best Music Ad. The album artwork came in 5th place at the Best Art Vinyl Awards 2011.
- Main article: Velociraptor! Tour
The Velociraptor! tour started on 4 June 2011 in Sheffield, England and finished on 24 November 2012 in Brussels, Belgium, covering 28 countries in between.
- "With this album, I wanted to make something different. The last one was the concept of these characters and a whole world of the West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum and the tunes were experimental and out there, but I've done that now. Everyone needs one of those albums, a Satanic Majesty's Request or a Sgt. Peppers or Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake. I've done that. I wouldn't ever want to do anything like that again. Certainly not the next record. So I approached it on a new and different record. I've made a jukebox record. I have a jukebox at home that plays on random. Any tune that comes out is incredible and a proper tune. I wanted to make an album where every track was a proper tune, like real classic albums where everything kicks in. It's more direct than West Ryder. It has grasped the essence of what we are."
- — Serge (Daily Record, 3 June 2011)
- "Listening to the songs on the record it makes you feel great. Get your fucking jacket on, whack your fucking shoes on. It makes you believe things are going to happen. You wake up and think, Today's gonna be alright. There's not much of that about at the moment."
- — Serge (Q Magazine, June 2011)
- "A lot of the songs are about how you almost forget that what makes you the most happy are the most simple things: friendship, love, painting, fishing. I don't fish but for me it represents a simple pleasure."
- — Serge (Telegraph, 19 September 2011)
- "I think the songs on Velociraptor are more direct, you know? They're basic. Well, they aren't really, but they sound more basic, don't they? West Ryder really surprised everyone. I don't know how it got so big, really. We had a concept for that record when we made it. Velociraptor, we had to go the other way, really. We went for the old verse chorus bridge a bit more on this one. It's a bit of a simpler record for us, really - a NICE record."
- — Tom (Lithium Magazine, 6 January 2012)
- Velociraptor! CD Album (PARADISE69)
- Velociraptor! CD/DVD Album (PARADISE70)
- Velociraptor! CD Slipcase (PARADISE71)
- Velociraptor! 2x10" Vinyl Album (PARADISE72)
- Velociraptor! Super Deluxe Box (PARADISE76)
- Velociraptor! iTunes LP
- Velociraptor! Album Promo CD-R
- Velociraptor! Album Sampler
- Velociraptor! Black Album Promo CD
- Velociraptor! White Album Promo CD
- Velociraptor! CD Album (Japan)
- Velociraptor! CD/DVD Album (Japan)
- Velociraptor! Special Limited Edition (Japan)
- Velociraptor! Instrumentals
- West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum / Velociraptor!
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Q Magazine, June 2011
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Kasabian on Velociraptor!
- ↑ Kasabian explain why Liverpool is their favourite gig ahead of Velociraptor tour
- ↑ Later... with Jools Holland, Series 39 Episode 2
- ↑ Kasabian named album after rock 'n' roll dinosaur
- ↑ Interview | Kasabian – Tom & Serge – 2011
- ↑ The Top 20 rock singles and albums of 2011 revealed
- ↑ British Phonographic Industry: Certified Awards
- ↑ Best Art Vinyl 2011 Winners and Nominees