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Bright Eyes

From Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Year Formed 1995
Members Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, Nate Walcott
Genre Indie rock / folk
Bright Eyes

Bright Eyes

Bright Eyes

Bright Eyes

Band Bio   Conor Oberst left Commander Venus, who eventually disbanded in 1997, to focus on a new project. This is how Bright Eyes begun, the name rumored to come from a Shirley Temple film that Conor watched on Turner Classic Movies.

In 1998, he released his first 20 song album titled, "A Collection of Songs Written and Recorded 1995-1997". Critical reviews didn't go down well, due to the range of different styles in the album. Conor experimented with drum machines, keyboards and other instruments, including techno-style synthesizers. One review stated, ""the songs disintegrate as his vocals are reduced to the unintelligible babbling of a child. Any balance the music maintained up to that point, however fragile, is lost and so, more than likely, is the listener."

In 2000, after limited success of the last album, "Letting Off the Happiness", Bright eyes released Fevers and Mirrors. The album demonstrated a vast improvement in the production quality. It also demonstrated a darker side to Bright Eyes. Oberst commented on one of the singles,"An Attempt to Tip the Scales", after making a mock interview on the radio, "It was a way to make fun of ourselves because the record is such a downer. I mean, that's one part of who I am but I also like laughing."

In 2002, Bright Eyes really took off. The release of, "Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground", gave them mainstream success, as they were celebrated as one of years best "new" artists. With national attention in, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Time magazine, Rolling Stone, Blender, and Spin. With lots of attention focused on Conor Oberst. The album sold 250,000 copies, completely out selling all previous albums. The start of mainstream recognition.

During the 2004 elections, Bright Eyes went on the tour "Vote for change" with the band R.E.M and Bruce Springsteen. This pushed the band more into the public eye, with the two singles "Lua" and "Take It Easy (Love Nothing)", reaching the two top spots on the Billboard Hot 100 Single Sales.

In January 2005, Bright Eyes released two albums, "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning" and the more electronic sounding "Digital Ash in a Digital Urn". They also had to split the tour, one half supporting each album due to it being a "logistical nightmare" in terms of equipment used and the staff needed to perform songs from both albums at the same time.

Bright Eyes won "Artist of the Year" and "Song of the Year" for "When the President Talks to God" at the 2006 PLUG Independent Music Awards. These were the first official awards for the band. Time also listed "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning" as one of the top ten albums of 2005.

Bright eyes released the studio album Cassadaga in April 2007. It sold about 58,000 copies in its first week. In June 2009, Conor Oberst annouced there would be one more album and then he would "retire, the album is planned for release in 2010

Why in 100 Best?
Bright Eyes have an original, distinct sound. An amazing live act, full of energy, they really get the crowd involved. Songs such as "No one would riot for less" on their own should validate a place for them on this list.

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