Only by the Night

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Only by the Night
Studio album by Kings of Leon
Released September 19, 2008
Recorded February–June 2008
Genre Alternative rock, Southern rock
Length 42:55
Label The Control Group, RCA
Producer Angelo Petraglia and Jacquire King
Kings of Leon chronology
Because of the Times
(2007)
Only by the Night
(2008)
Come Around Sundown
(2010)
Alternative cover
Alternate album cover
Singles from Only by the Night
  1. "Sex on Fire"
    Released: September 15, 2008
  2. "Use Somebody"
    Released: December 8, 2008
  3. "Revelry"
    Released: March 2, 2009
  4. "Notion"
    Released: June 29, 2009
  5. "Crawl"
    Released: October 27, 2009
  6. "Frontier City"
    Released: January 1, 2010/April 12, 2011 (re-release)
Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody" from Only by the Night

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Only by the Night is the fourth studio album by American rock band Kings of Leon, released worldwide in September 2008. Writing for the band's fourth album commenced just days after the release of their third, Because of the Times. The album was recorded by producers Angelo Petraglia and Jacquire King through February 2008 in Nashville's Blackbird Studios.

Only by the Night experienced commercial success, peaking inside the top 10 of over 10 different countries. The album was certified the best-selling album in Australia, certified nine times platinum. It also went on to be the highest selling album of 2008 in Australia, the third best selling album of 2008 in the UK, winning two Brit Awards, and the 18th best-selling album of the 2000s in the UK.[1][2] Furthermore, two singles from the album have found high chartings, "Sex on Fire" coming in at number one in Ireland, the UK, Australia, and on the United States' Hot Modern Rock Tracks, and at number two in New Zealand. The album's second single "Use Somebody" also charted at number two in the UK, and at number two in Australia, along with being the band's first top 10 hit in the U.S. The album was nominated for Best Rock Album at the 51st Grammy Awards with the song "Sex on Fire" receiving two nominations itself.[3]

"Sex on Fire" came in at number one on the Triple J Hottest 100, 2008, with "Use Somebody" number three, "Closer" number 24 and "Crawl" number 70.

Production and recording history[edit]

In September 2007, lead singer Caleb Followill confirmed to NME that tracks were already being worked on for a fourth album,[4] only a few days after the release of the band's third album, Because of the Times. Recording began in February 2008 in Nashville's Blackbird Studios with assistant engineer, Lowell Reynolds. On June 23, 2008, the release date of September 22, 2008 was set, and also the new title was announced.

Release[edit]

"Crawl" was released via the band's website as a free download for a short time, although it was not the first proper single. The first single "Sex on Fire", was released on September 15, 2008. The same day, music website Last.fm was the first to make the entire album available for streaming.[5] The music video for "Sex on Fire" was later made available to stream on their website and YouTube channel. The song "Use Somebody" was announced as the second single, which was released in December 2008. The song was a massive hit in the United States, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was a hit in the UK, Australia and several other countries. The third single released from the album was "Revelry", released on March 2, 2009.

"Notion" is the fourth single from the album. The video was released on June 1 and the song appear on radios on June 29.[6] The song has been another success from the group, peaking at #1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs.

In Australia, the song "Manhattan" was released to radio as the fourth single. The song spent four weeks on the singles chart and peaked at number 38[7] and reached number two on the National Airplay Chart.[8] The song has also had heavy rotation on UK radio station's such as Xfm. Another big hit was the album's opening track "Closer", which features a very melodic three note riff by bass player Jared Followill that utilises a Boss ME50 multi-effects pedal to add a distinctive octave sweep reminiscent of the Digitech Whammy.[9]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.0/5 stars[10]
Billboard (favorable)[11]
The Guardian 5/5 stars[12]
NME 7/10 stars[13]
Pitchfork Media (3.8/10)[14]
PopMatters 2/10 stars[15]
Q 4/5 stars[16]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[17]
Spin 4/5 stars[18]
Uncut 4/5 stars[19]

Critics[edit]

The album was met with mixed reviews. Metacritic's average rating settled on a 63/100,[16] counting a drastic range of ratings between North America and UK press. The U.S. online publications Pitchfork Media, PopMatters and JustPressPlay gave the album a 3.8/10, 2/10 and 4/10 respectively, while the album received ratings of 5/5 and 4.5/5 from the UK's The Observer and Virgin Media. Record sales showed it chasing Coldplay's Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends for the fastest selling album of the year in Ireland and the UK.[20]

Awards and accolades[edit]

Only by the Night received a nomination for Best Rock Album at the 51st Grammy Awards with the single "Sex on Fire" receiving two nominations for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Rock Song.[3] "Sex on Fire" was awarded with the Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals on February 8.

At the 52nd Grammy Awards the song "Use Somebody" won the Record of the Year, Best Rock Song and the Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

The album was also awarded "2008 Album of the Year" by the UK's Q Magazine,[21] as well as Rolling Stone voting it as the 20th best album out of their top 50 Best Albums of 2008.[22] The album was also awarded Best International Album at the BRIT Awards, the Meteors and the Juno Awards.

Chart performance and sales[edit]

Only by the Night was a massive success in the United Kingdom. At the end of September 2008, the album entered the UK Albums Chart at number one, with first week sales of over 220,000 copies.[23] In February 2009, it was announced that Only by the Night is currently the biggest selling digital album of all-time in the UK, surpassing Amy Winehouse's Back to Black. Sales for 2008, in which Only by the Night was the third biggest selling album of the year, were 1,181,640 and a similar level of 1,078,555 for 2009, when it became the fifth biggest selling album of the year. It sold a further 340,000 units in 2010 and was placed at number 31 on the year-end chart. As of March 27, 2011, Only by the Night has spent 131 consecutive weeks inside the Top 75.

In the U.S., the album debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, but fell to 20 the following week. It then dropped as low as 78, but then gradually moved back up the chart. After 48 weeks on the chart, the album managed to outpeak its debut position, climbing to number four. It has also managed to achieve a 2× Platinum certification for shipping two million copies.[24] In Canada, the album debuted at number four on the Canadian Albums Chart,[25] eventually peaking at number two.[26]

In Australia, the album has been certified 9× Platinum, selling over 630,000 copies.[27] It re-entered the Australia charts at 43 in September 2010.[28] The album was the highest selling album of 2008 in Australia.[29] The album has also been a hit in New Zealand, spending over thirty consecutive weeks in the top ten, including nine non-consecutive weeks at number one. It finished 2008 as the second highest selling album and has been certified 5× Platinum by RIANZ.[30]

In Germany, Only by the Night has spent 104 weeks on the country's Albums Chart making it the 50th album to spend two years or longer on that chart.[31]

Worldwide sales of the album exceed 6.2 million copies, according to a press release by the band.[32]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Kings of Leon

No. Title Length
1. "Closer"   3:57
2. "Crawl"   4:06
3. "Sex on Fire"   3:23
4. "Use Somebody"   3:50
5. "Manhattan"   3:24
6. "Revelry"   3:21
7. "17"   3:05
8. "Notion"   3:00
9. "I Want You"   5:07
10. "Be Somebody"   3:47
11. "Cold Desert"   5:34
Total length:
42:55

Personnel[edit]

Kings of Leon
Additional personnel
  • Angelo Petraglia – production, keyboards on "Revelry"
  • Jacquire King – production, keyboards on "Use Somebody"
  • Alex Fraser – triangle
  • Lowell Reynolds – second engineer
  • Ken Levitan & Andy Mendelsohn for Vector – management

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[27] 9× Platinum 630,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[76] Platinum 20,000x
Belgium (BEA)[77] 2× Platinum 60,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[78] 4× Platinum 320,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[79] Platinum 30,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[80] Gold 12,344[80]
Germany (BVMI)[81] 2× Platinum 400,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[82] 5× Platinum 75,000x
New Zealand (RMNZ)[30] 5× Platinum 75,000^
Poland (ZPAV)[83] Platinum 20,000*
Sweden (GLF)[84] Gold 20,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[85] Gold 15,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[86] 9× Platinum 2,700,000^
United States (RIAA)[24] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^
Summaries
GCC (IFPI Middle East)[87] Platinum 6,000*
Europe (IFPI)[88] 3× Platinum 3,000,000*
South Africa (RISA)[89] Platinum 40,000x

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2009 Best International Album Brit Awards Won
Best Rock Album Grammy Awards Nominated
Best International Album Meteor Awards Won
Best Album NME Awards Won
Choice Music: Album (Group) Teen Choice Awards Nominated
2010 Best International Album Juno Awards Won

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalogue #
Australia / Republic of Ireland September 19, 2008 Sony / Sony BMG CD, download 88697327122
United Kingdom September 22, 2008 Columbia / RCA CD, download 88697351992
RCA Victor Europe LP 732712
United States September 23, 2008 RCA CD, download 88697-32712-2
Control 2xLP 40243
Brazil October 24, 2008 Sony BMG CD, download 886973271223

References[edit]

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Preceded by
Death Magnetic by Metallica
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album (first run)
September 29, 2008 – October 26, 2008
Succeeded by
Black Ice by AC/DC
Preceded by
Death Magnetic by Metallica
New Zealand RIANZ Albums Chart number-one album (first run)
September 29, 2008 – October 27, 2008
Succeeded by
Black Ice by AC/DC
Preceded by
Death Magnetic by Metallica
UK Albums Chart number-one album (first run)
September 29, 2008 – October 5, 2008 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
Dig Out Your Soul by Oasis
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Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album (second run)
January 4, 2009 – February 14, 2009
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It's Not Me, It's You by Lily Allen
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The Circus by Take That
UK Albums Chart number-one album (second run)
January 11, 2009
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The Script by The Script
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Belgian (Flanders) Albums Chart number-one album (first run)
January 24, 2009 (1 week)
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New Zealand RIANZ Albums Chart number-one album (second run)
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New Zealand RIANZ Albums Chart number-one album (third run)
30 March 2009 – 20 April 2009
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Preceded by
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UK Albums Chart number-one album (third run)
February 22, 2009 – March 1, 2009
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