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Sleeping with Ghosts

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Sleeping with Ghosts

Sleeping with Ghosts
Studio album by Placebo
Released 24 March 2003
Recorded Late 2002 – early 2003
Studio The Town House and Sarm West in London
Genre Alternative rock[1]
Length 46:32
Producer Jim Abbiss
Placebo chronology
Black Market Music
Sleeping with Ghosts
Singles from Sleeping with Ghosts
  1. "The Bitter End"
    Released: 10 March 2003
  2. "This Picture"
    Released: 16 June 2003
  3. "Special Needs"
    Released: 15 September 2003
  4. "English Summer Rain"
    Released: 23 February 2004

Sleeping with Ghosts is the fourth studio album by English alternative rock band Placebo. It was recorded from late 2002 to early 2003 and released on 1 April 2003 by record labels Virgin and Hut.


  • Background 1
  • Release 2
  • Reception 3
  • Track listing 4
  • Charts and certifications 5
  • Personnel 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Frontman Brian Molko, who is known to be a fan of the band Sonic Youth,[2] references lyrics from their album Sister on "Plasticine" ("Beauty lies inside the eye of another youthful dream" directly references "Beauty lies in the eyes of another's dream" from Sonic Youth's "Beauty Lies in the Eye").

The album has several songs based on a theme of relationships, such as relationships that end badly ("The Bitter End"), power struggles in relationships ("Special Needs") or the idea that some are meant to be eternal soulmates (the title track). Brian Molko told Kerrang! magazine: "I'm looking back to what's happened in my past emotional decade, trying to understand it. Trying to exorcise the ghosts and the demons of relationships past. It's the old cliché of it being therapeutic but it does work for me in that way."[3]

Another interview has Molko explaining:

The album title's about carrying the ghosts of your relationships with you, to the point where sometimes a smell or a situation or an item of clothing they bought brings a person back. For me it's about the relationship that you have with your memories. They inhabit your dreams sometimes. There can be a lot in the future that's gonna remind you of the ghost of relationships past. So I see the album as a collection of short stories about a handful of relationships. Most of them mine. In a way writing the songs helps me to get a lot of the nasty feelings off my chest and put them in a box, and therefore have a bit more of an objective discourse with those emotions because you've done something positive with them, you've rid yourself of them.[4]


Sleeping with Ghosts was released on 1 April 2003. The CD came with the Copy Control protection system in some regions.

A Special Edition version of the album was released on 22 September 2003 worldwide, featuring a diverse selection of cover versions that the band had recorded in previous years. This was re-released as a download-only album in 2007 under the name Covers.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 64[5]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic [1]
The A.V. Club favourable[6]
Blender [7]
Filter 85%[8]
Mojo [9]
Pitchfork 6.4/10[10]
PopMatters mixed[11]
Q [12]
Rolling Stone [5]
Uncut 4/10[13]

Sleeping with Ghosts received a moderately favourable reception from critics, and currently holds an approval rating of 64/100 on review aggregator website Metacritic.[5]

Michael Idov of [10] Mojo wrote "There's some terrific and accessible stuff here [...] but the result is still an album that retreads old Placebo themes."[9] Q magazine called it "spikily brilliant".[12]

Track listing

No. Title Length
1. "Bulletproof Cupid"   2:22
2. "English Summer Rain"   4:01
3. "This Picture"   3:34
4. "Sleeping with Ghosts"   4:38
5. "The Bitter End"   3:10
6. "Something Rotten"   5:28
7. "Plasticine"   3:26
8. "Special Needs"   5:15
9. "I'll Be Yours"   3:32
10. "Second Sight"   2:49
11. "Protect Me from What I Want"   3:15
12. "Centrefolds"   5:02

Charts and certifications

Country Certification
Europe (IFPI) Platinum[33]
France (SNEP) 2× Platinum[34]
Germany (BVMI) Platinum[35]
Greece (IFPI Greece) Gold[23]
United Kingdom (BPI) Gold[36]


  • Brian Molko – vocals, guitar, keyboard, saxophone on "Something Rotten", drums on "English Summer Rain"
  • Steve Hewitt – drums, percussion
  • Stefan Olsdal – bass guitar, guitar, keyboards, piano, backing vocals
Additional personnel
  • Simon Breed – harmonica on "Protect Me from What I Want"
Technical personnel
  • Jim Abbissproduction
  • Jean Baptiste Mondino – sleeve art direction and photography
  • Jim Barny – mixing at Mayfair Studios, recording at Townhouse Studios and Sarm West Studios
  • Andy Davies – engineering assistance at Sarm West Studios
  • Bill Lloyd – additional recording, engineering
  • Sean Magee – mastering at Abbey Road Studios
  • Fergus Peterkin – engineering assistance at Mayfair Studios
  • Danny Porter – engineering assistance at Townhouse Studios
  • See Studio – sleeve design and art direction
  • Tom Stanley – engineering assistance at Townhouse Studios


  1. ^ a b MacKenzie, Wilson. – Placebo | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic"Sleeping with Ghosts".  
  2. ^ "The Boy Can't Help It".  
  3. ^ "Natural Born Chillers".  
  4. ^ "Rage"Placebo – Guest Program . 9 August 2003. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c – Metacritic"Sleeping with Ghosts"Critic Reviews for .  
  6. ^ Murray, Noel (15 April 2003). "The A.V. Club | Music | MusicalWork Review | Sleeping with Ghosts".  
  7. ^  
  8. ^  
  9. ^ a b  
  10. ^ a b Idov, Michael (20 April 2003). | Album Reviews |"Sleeping with Ghosts"Placebo: .  
  11. ^ Antrobus, David (14 May 2003). | PopMatters"Sleeping with Ghosts"Placebo: .  
  12. ^ a b  
  13. ^  
  14. ^ "Sleeping with Ghosts" – Placebo – . Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  15. ^ –"Sleeping with Ghosts"Placebo – . Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  16. ^ "Sleeping with Ghosts" – Placebo – . Ultratop. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "Sleeping with Ghosts" – Placebo – . Ultratop. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  18. ^ "Sleeping with Ghosts" – Placebo – . Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  19. ^ "Sleeping with Ghosts" – Placebo – . Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "Sleeping with Ghosts" – Placebo – . Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  21. ^ "Sleeping with Ghosts" – Placebo – . Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  22. ^ " - Album - Placebo, Sleeping With Ghosts" (in German).  
  23. ^ a b "Ελληνικό Chart".  
  24. ^ "GFK Chart-Track". Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  25. ^ Steffen Hung. "Placebo - Sleeping with Ghosts". Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  26. ^ Steffen Hung. "Placebo - Sleeping with Ghosts". Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  27. ^ Steffen Hung. "Placebo - Sleeping with Ghosts". Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  28. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLIS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLIS. 2003-03-30. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  29. ^ Steffen Hung. "Placebo - Sleeping with Ghosts". Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  30. ^ "Sleeping with Ghosts" – Placebo – . Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  31. ^ –"Sleeping with Ghosts"Placebo – . (in Swedish). Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  32. ^ "Placebo | Artist | Official Charts".  
  33. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2004".  
  34. ^ ", le site du Snep". (in French). Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  35. ^ "Bundesverband Musikindustrie: Gold-/Platin-datenbank".  
  36. ^ "Certified Awards".  

External links

  • Sleeping with Ghosts at Discogs (list of releases)
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