Late Registration - Kanye West
Late Registration

The second studio album from Kanye West, Late Registration is noted for its continued exploration of the social themes introduced in The College Dropout as well as the orchestral production influenced by album co-producer Jon Brion. The album spawned Kanye classics such as “Touch the Sky,” “Hey Mama,” “Diamonds from Sierra Leone,” and his best-selling song to date, “Gold Digger.” Late Registration debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 and has sold 3.1 million in the US. Kanye’s new found success after his breakout album The College Dropout allowed him to expand his ambitions from a single violinist he used in the The College Dropout (see “The New Workout Plan”) to an entire string orchestra in the song “Late” with ten violins, four violas, and four cellos. Lyrically, the album features a mix of more socially charged songs such as “Crack Music” and “Diamonds from Sierra Leone” to more personal cuts like “Hey Mama” and “Roses.” Production-wise, ‘Ye was inspired by British trip hop band Portishead. He was particularly influenced by their 1998 live album Roseland NYC Live, which featured the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He strove to establish a new type of sampling sound, one that relied heavily on string arrangements. He achieved this sound by working with producer and composer Jon Brion, who also produced Fiona Apple’s monumental second album, When The Pawn…. Brion describe Late Registration as “definitely not just a hip-hop album.” Since the album’s release it has been critically acclaimed: listed as number 118 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, holding a score of 85 on Metacritic, and brandishing a 9.5 rating on Pitchfork.
Distribution of songs on Late Registration by producer