Sam's Town

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This article is about the album by The Killers. For the casinos, see Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall (disambiguation).
Sam's Town
Studio album by The Killers
Released October 2, 2006 / July 25, 2008
Recorded February - May 2006, at Studio at the Palms, Paradise, Nevada; June 2006, at Criterion Studios, London, England.
Genre Alternative rock, indie rock,[1] heartland rock, post-punk revival, new wave
Length 44:14
Label Island, Vertigo
Producer Flood, Alan Moulder, The Killers
The Killers chronology
Hot Fuss
(2004)
Sam's Town
(2006)
Sawdust
(2007)
Singles from Sam's Town
  1. "When You Were Young"
    Released: September 18, 2006
  2. "Bones"
    Released: November 27, 2006
  3. "Read My Mind"
    Released: February 13, 2007
  4. "For Reasons Unknown"
    Released: June 25, 2007
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (64/100)[2]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[3]
Entertainment Weekly (C)[4]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[5]
Melodic 3.5/5 stars[6]
New York Times (unfavorable)[7]
NME (8/10)[8]
The Observer 5/5 stars[9]
Pitchfork Media (5.9/10)[10]
PopMatters 1.5/5 stars[11]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[12]
The Times 2/5 stars[13]
Q Magazine 4/5 stars[14]

Sam's Town is the second studio album by American rock band The Killers, released on October 2, 2006 in the United Kingdom and the following day in the United States. Regarding the album, vocalist and primary lyricist Brandon Flowers noted that he "wanted to create an album that captured, chronologically, everything important that got me to where I am today".[15] Sam's Town is estimated to have sold over 5 million copies worldwide to date.[16]

Background[edit]

The album takes its name from Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, a hotel-casino in Las Vegas, the hometown of the band. It is also a local nickname for Las Vegas. Sam's Town was also a huge sign that was visible by band member Mark Stoermer through his room window when he was young.

Artwork[edit]

According to photographer Anton Corbijn, the band initially wanted a "chic, gypsy look," for the album, and that "out of those discussions [for the sleeve] came these elements of faded glory."[17] The album's co-producer, Flood, is dressed as a Native American in the CD booklet. The artwork inside the album booklet is taken from a Downtown Las Vegas mural painted by Suzanne Hackett-Morgan, a local painter. The cover artwork of 'Sam's Town' features model and singer Felice LaZae. Sam's Town, and each of the singles from Sam's Town, use a script typeface for the titles, Archive Roundhand Script from Archive Type, or Gigofonts' Gf Script No 2.

Production[edit]

The album is said to be influenced by the works of U2, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Electric Light Orchestra & Dire Straits among others.[18][19] Sam's Town strongly divided opinion, with some praising the album and others mocking it.[12][20]

In the October 2006 issue of Giant magazine, Flowers was quoted as saying that Sam's Town would be "one of the best albums in the past twenty years" and in Entertainment Weekly he remarked that it would be "the album that keeps rock & roll afloat."

Flowers later said of production techniques used on the record, "We didn't use too many vocal effects. On the first album, we used auto-tune, and I didn't even realize what was going on with these machines and the computer. I was adamant about not using it this time. You really hear what my voice sounds like, for the first time."[21]

The Killers dropped a controversial song about murdered schoolgirl Jodi Jones from the album. Flowers wrote "Where Is She?" after watching a TV news report about the 14-year old's murder when on tour in Scotland."[22]

The album debuted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling about 315,000 copies in its first week. It became the band's second number 1 album on the UK Albums Chart, selling about 260,000 copies in its first week. It has been certified Platinum or multi-Platinum in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Argentina, and Ireland. Sam's Town also produced multiple charting singles including the Platinum chart topping single "When You Were Young". It was the second album by The Killers to receive Grammy nominations.

In December 2009, Sam's Town was voted by Rolling Stone's readers as the most underrated album of the decade.[23]

Q magazine ranked it as the 11th best album of the decade.[24]

Sam's Town tour[edit]

Main article: Sam's Town Tour

Christian Hoard, with Rolling Stone magazine, gave The Killers' seminal concert at Madison Square Gardens three-and-a-half stars, saying "The Vegas quartet's maligned new album, Sam's Town, might pack more unfortunate big-rock bombast than its new wave debut, Hot Fuss, but it shares a generous hook quotient and a Vegas-y talent for crowd-pleasing. Before a frothy crowd, the Killers proved they've become a tight live band."[25]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks produced by Flood, Alan Moulder and The Killers

Sam's Town
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Sam's Town"   Flowers 4:06
2. "Enterlude"   Flowers 0:49
3. "When You Were Young"   Flowers, Keuning, Stoermer, Vannucci 3:40
4. "Bling (Confession of a King)"   Flowers, Stoermer 4:08
5. "For Reasons Unknown"   Flowers 3:32
6. "Read My Mind"   Flowers, Keuning, Stoermer 4:06
7. "Uncle Jonny"   Flowers, Keuning, Stoermer 4:25
8. "Bones"   Flowers, Stoermer, Vannucci 3:47
9. "My List"   Flowers 4:08
10. "This River Is Wild"   Flowers, Stoermer 4:38
11. "Why Do I Keep Counting?"   Flowers 4:24
12. "Exitlude"   Flowers 2:20
Bonus tracks
No. Title Length
13. "Where the White Boys Dance" (UK/Australian/Japanese editions) 3:26
14. "All the Pretty Faces" (Japanese/US Best Buy editions) 4:45
15. "Daddy's Eyes" (US Best Buy edition) 4:13
16. "When You Were Young" (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke radio edit) (French edition) 4:19
Bonus DVD
No. Title Length
17. "When You Were Young" (Video (Jump Version))  
18. "When You Were Young" (Video (No Jump Version))  
19. "Making Of 'When You Were Young'"    

Personnel[edit]

Band[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Adrina Hanson – strings
  • Maryam Haddad – strings
  • Tristan Moyer – strings
  • Tommy Marth – saxophone
  • Neeraj Khajanchi – trombone
  • Corlene Byrd – background vocals
  • Louis XIV – background vocals
  • Ted Sablay – additional musician on tour playing keyboards and guitar

Production[edit]

  • Max Dingel – engineer
  • Flood – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Mark Gray – engineer
  • Alan Moulder – Producer, engineer, mixing
  • Paul Resta – marketing
  • Robert Reynolds – management
  • Andy Savours – mixing
  • Howie Weinberg – mastering

Design[edit]

  • Andy West – art direction, design
  • Suzanne Hackett Morgan – painting
  • Anton Corbijn – photography
  • Doug Joswick – package production

Charts and certifications[edit]

Decade-end charts[edit]

Chart (2000–2009) Position
UK Albums Chart 70

Awards[edit]

Year Ceremony Award Result
2007 BRIT Awards Best International Album Won
MTV Australia Awards Album of the Year Nominated
Shockwaves NME Awards Best Album Nominated
Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Q[73] UK Q Artists and Albums of the 21st Century 2010 11
Rolling Stone[23] US Most Underrated Album of the Decade: Readers' Poll 2010 1

Release details[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalog
Japan September 27. 2006 Universal CD UICL-9037
Australia September 30, 2006 Universal Music Australia CD 1706722
United Kingdom October 2, 2006 Lizard King Records CD
United States October 3, 2006 Island Records picture disc LP B0007221-01
CD B0007221-02

References[edit]

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  3. ^ Allmusic review
  4. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  5. ^ The Guardian review
  6. ^ Melodic review
  7. ^ New York Times review
  8. ^ NME review
  9. ^ The Observer review
  10. ^ Pitchfork Media review
  11. ^ PopMatters review
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External links[edit]