Mr. Brightside

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"Mr. Brightside"
A purple cameo of a woman on a black background
Single by The Killers
from the album Hot Fuss
B-side "Smile Like You Mean It"
"On Top"
"Who Let You Go?"
"Change Your Mind"
Released September 29, 2003
2004 (re-release)
Format 7" single, CD single
Recorded 2001 (Kill the Messenger Studio, Henderson, Nevada) and 2003 (Cornerstone Studios, Berkeley, California)
Genre Indie rock, post-punk revival, new wave
Length 3:42
Label Island, Lizard King
Writer(s) Brandon Flowers, Dave Keuning
Producer(s) The Killers
The Killers singles chronology
"Mr. Brightside"
(2003)
"Somebody Told Me"
(2004)

"Somebody Told Me"
(2004)

"Mr. Brightside" (Reissue)
(2004)

"All These Things That I've Done"
(2004)
Music sample

"Mr. Brightside" is the debut single by American rock band The Killers. The song is featured on the group's debut studio album Hot Fuss and was written by Brandon Flowers and Dave Keuning. It was originally released on September 29, 2003 and achieved minor success. It became more popular upon its re-release in 2004, peaking at number 10 in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

It was named "Song of the Decade" by UK radio stations Absolute Radio and XFM, and in April 2010 Last.fm revealed that it was the most listened to track since the launch of the online music service, with over 12.2 million plays "scrobbled".[1] In October 2010, it was voted ninth in the Greatest Guitar Riffs of the 21st Century so far by Total Guitar magazine.[2] It is The Killers' best-selling song in the US where it has sold over 3 million copies.[3] In the United Kingdom it is one of the top fifteen most downloaded rock tracks ever.[4]

History[edit]

Lyrically, "Mr. Brightside" depicts the jealousy and paranoia of a man who suspects his significant other is cheating on him. The song is inspired by an unfaithful ex-girlfriend of frontman Brandon Flowers. Guitarist Dave Keuning composed the song's verses before meeting Flowers. Flowers then wrote lyrics and composed the chorus after hearing Keuning's ideas. In November 2001, the group had recorded "Mr. Brightside" along with three other demos including "Desperate", "Replaceable", and "Under the Gun" at Mike Sak's Kill the Messenger Studio in Henderson, Nevada. They handed out a demo of the song for free during their shows in 2002.

"Mr. Brightside" became a popular song within the Las Vegas music scene with one reviewer calling it a "feel-good anthem that ranks as one of the best local tracks in a long time."[5] After signing with UK indie label Lizard King Records, the track was sent to radio as a buzz single and it received frequent spins by influential BBC Radio 1 DJ's Zane Lowe and Steve Lamacq as well as being playlisted by XFM. In a glowing review, NME said the song was filled with "ambition, sex, and noise".[6]

An early demo of the song featured Dave Keuning on bass and Matt Norcross on drums, before Mark Stoermer and Ronnie Vannucci were members of the band. The original demo was officially released on the 2013 compilation album, Direct Hits.

A remix of the song by Stuart Price was featured on The Killers' 2007 B-side and rarities compilation Sawdust. During the tour for Brandon Flowers's solo record, he performed the remix version with Stuart Price during his show at Brixton Academy and has since performed it on his tour as the show closer, again in the remix form. On the Killer's 2012 album, Battle Born, they released "Miss Atomic Bomb", which is considered a companion song to "Mr. Brightside" lyrically.

Music video[edit]

There are two videos for this song: the first version also known as the UK version was filmed in April 2004 on Staten Island, New York; the first video was directed by Brad Palmer and Brian Palmer under their studio surround. Later on in the year the label decided to create a more mainstream video for the US market: the second video also known as the US version was filmed in Los Angeles, California during November 2004. It stars Flowers, Izabella Miko, and Eric Roberts in a love triangle, occurring within the context of a burlesque show. Directed by Sophie Muller, it is reminiscent of the 2001 film Moulin Rouge!.

The American version won an MTV VMA in 2005 for Best New Artist in a Video. The photos that are featured on the inner sleeve of the album Hot Fuss were shot on set during the filming of the UK version music video and were inspired by the black and white look of that video.

Cover versions[edit]

The song has been covered in a swing/jazz style by Paul Anka on his 2007 covers album Classic Songs, My Way. Crossover rock-jazz artist ELEW created a piano version for his 2010 ELEW Rockjazz Vol. 1. English pop-rock band McFly covered the song as a B-side to their 2005 single, "I Wanna Hold You". Texan artist Playradioplay! covered the song on his 2007 EP The Frequency as well. Many other artists have performed live covers of the song, including American rock band Fall Out Boy, Isa Raja on X Factor Indonesia and Scottish singer-songwriter Amy Macdonald.

The song has also been covered by the Vitamin String Quartet, Boyce Avenue and on the UK television show Orange Unsigned Act by contestant Tommy Reilly. Additionally, a cappella versions have been produced by groups including Wheaton College's Gentlemen Callers and Boston-based Overboard. Brandon Flowers performed the song during his solo tour in 2010. Indonesian hardcore band Thirteen also cover this song. The Wanted covered the song as part of a medley of The Killers songs during their summer 2013 live shows.[7]

Soundtrack[edit]

Mr. Brightside appeared on the 2006 movie The Holiday's soundtrack. The song is played by character Amanda Woods, portrayed by Cameron Diaz, on a CD player, while she's yelling the lyrics along, to relieve stress and forget her boyfriend cheated on her.[8] This song was also briefly played in the movie About Time.

Track listings[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

"Mr. Brightside" entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #40 on February 12, 2005,[9] and peaked at #10 on June 11,[10] thus making it a sleeper hit. It has sold more than 820,000 copies in the United Kingdom as of July 5, 2014, making it the UK's No. 12 most downloaded rock track of all time.[11]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Accolades[edit]

  • BPI Pop Gem Hall of Fame Inductee (2014)[11]
Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Absolute Radio United Kingdom 100 Best Songs Of The Decade[34] 2009
1
Channel 4 United Kingdom Greatest Songs of The Noughties 2009
2
Complex United States The 100 Best Songs of the Complex Decade[35] 2012
74
KROQ United States Top Songs of 2005[36] 2005
3
NME United Kingdom Best Tracks of 2004[37] 2004
5
NME United Kingdom 150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years[38] 2011
5
NME United Kingdom 100 Greatest Songs of NME's Lifetime 1952-2012 2012
83
Total Guitar United Kingdom Greatest Guitar Riffs of the 21st Century[2] 2010
9
Triple J Australia Hottest 100 of 2004 2004
13
Rolling Stone United States 100 Greatest Songs Of The Decade[39] 2009
48
Pitchfork Media United States The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s 2009
72
VH1 United States 100 Greatest Songs of the '00s[40] 2011
55
XFM United Kingdom Top 100 Songs of the Decade[41] 2009
1
XFM United Kingdom The Top 1,000 Songs Of All Time[42] 2010
1
NME United Kingdom The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time[43] 2014
116
Triple J Australia Triple J Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years, 2013 2013
7

Awards[edit]

The song was nominated for a Grammy in 2006 for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, but it lost to a live version of "This Love" by Maroon 5.

Year Ceremony Award Result
2005 Billboard Music Awards Digital Song of the Year Nominated
2005 MTV Video Music Awards Best Rock Video Nominated
Best Group Video Nominated
Best New Artist in a Video Won
Best Art Direction Nominated
2005 MuchMusic Video Awards People's Choice: Favorite International Group Nominated
Best International Video - Group Won
2005 TEC Awards Outstanding Record Production Single or Track Nominated
2006 Grammy Awards Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Nominated
2006 International Dance Music Awards Best Alternative/Rock Dance Track Nominated
2014 Official Charts Company Pop Gem Hall of Fame Inducted[44]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b "Celebrity News, Gossip and Photo Galleries - HuffPost Celebrity UK". Spinnermusic.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  3. ^ a b Paul Grein (January 9, 2013). "Week Ending Jan. 6, 2013: The First Top 10 Hit of 2013". Chart Watch (Yahoo Music). Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.gigwise.com/news/90725/sex-on-fire-revealed-as-the-uks-most-downloaded-rock-song-of-all-time
  5. ^ http://www.thekillersfansite.com/earlypics/article.jpg
  6. ^ "NME Track Reviews - The Killers : Mr Brightside". Nme.Com. 2003-10-08. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  7. ^ "The Killers medley - The Wanted in Scarborough". 
  8. ^ "The Holiday's Soundtrack on IMDb". Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  9. ^ "The Billboard Hot 100 - Mr. Brightside". Billboard. 2005-02-19. Retrieved 2008-10-18. [dead link]
  10. ^ "The Billboard Hot 100 - Mr. Brightside". Billboard. 2005-06-11. Retrieved 2008-10-18. [dead link]
  11. ^ a b "Official Charts Pop Gem #63: The Killers – Mr Brightside". officialcharts.com. 
  12. ^ "Australian-charts.com – The Killers – Mr. Brightside". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  13. ^ "Austriancharts.at – The Killers – Mr. Brightside" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  14. ^ "Officialcharts.de – The Killers – Mr. Brightside". GfK Entertainment.
  15. ^ "Chart Track: Week 36, 2012". Irish Singles Chart.
  16. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Killers – Mr. Brightside" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  17. ^ "Charts.org.nz – The Killers – Mr. Brightside". Top 40 Singles.
  18. ^ "{{{artist}}}: Artist Chart History" UK Singles Chart.
  19. ^ "Top 40 Indie Singles (06/06/2004)". BBC. Archived from the original on June 12, 2004. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  20. ^ "The Killers Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for The Killers.
  21. ^ "The Killers Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for The Killers.
  22. ^ "The Killers Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Alternative Songs for The Killers.
  23. ^ "The Killers Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs for The Killers.
  24. ^ "The Killers Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for The Killers.
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  30. ^ "Associaчуo Brasileira de Produtores de Disco". ABPD. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  31. ^ New Zealand RIANZ Gold Certification
  32. ^ [2]
  33. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  34. ^ "Mr Brightside by The Killers". Song of the Decade. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  35. ^ "The Killers "Mr. Brightside" (2004) - The 100 Best Songs of The Complex Decade - Complex". Complex. 18 April 2012. 
  36. ^ http://www.radiohitlist.com/KROQ/KROQ-2005.htm
  37. ^ "Rocklist.net...NME End Of Year Lists 2008". Rocklistmusic.co.uk. 1992-05-09. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  38. ^ "150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years". Nme.Com. 1997-04-30. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  39. ^ "Search Articles, Artists, Reviews, Videos, Music and Movies". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2010-09-06. [dead link]
  40. ^ Anderson, Kyle (September 29, 2011). "U2, Rihanna, Amy Winehouse, Foo Fighters fill out VH1's '100 Greatest Songs of the '00s'". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved October 11, 2011. 
  41. ^ "Presents The Top 1,000 Songs Of All Time... The Book". Xfm. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  42. ^ "artists | xlists | Photo". Xfm. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  43. ^ "Pictures of The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time - 200-101 - NME.COM". NME.COM. 
  44. ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/features/official-charts-pop-gem-63-the-killers-mr-brightside-3144/

External links[edit]