Gold on the Ceiling

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"Gold on the Ceiling"
Single by The Black Keys
from the album El Camino
Released February 25, 2012
Recorded 2011 at Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville, Tennessee
Length 3:44
Label Nonesuch
The Black Keys singles chronology
"Lonely Boy"
"Gold on the Ceiling"
"Little Black Submarines"

"Lonely Boy"
"Gold on the Ceiling"
"Little Black Submarines"
Music video
"Gold on the Ceiling" on YouTube

"Gold on the Ceiling" is the third track from El Camino, the seventh studio album by American rock band The Black Keys. It was released as the record's second single on February 25, 2012. The song was certified platinum in Australia and Canada.[3]

Music videos[edit]

Two videos were shot for the song. The first, directed by Reid Long, features footage from the band's concerts, as well as candid shots of them on tour.

A second music video, directed by Harmony Korine, was shot prior to the single release, but was not released until May 2012. The video features the band members wearing Baby Björns and being carried by giant doppelgängers of theirs, played by two Belmont Bruins men's basketball players.[4]


Will Hermes of Rolling Stone called the song's keyboards "a serrated organ growl backed up with a SWAT team of hand claps" and cited it as an example of Danger Mouse's prowess as a producer and co-writer. Summarizing the song, Hermes wrote, "It's Sixties bubblegum garage pop writ large, with T. Rex swagger and a guitar freakout that perfectly mirrors the lyrics, a paranoid rant that makes you shiver while you shimmy."[1] John Soeder of The Plain Dealer labeled it one of the album's finest and said that it sounded like a hybrid of Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky" and Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2".[5]

Harley Brown of Consequence of Sound called the song "bombastic, slightly sleazy" and said that it "best sums up The Black Keys' almost unbelievably consistent musicianship and success".[6] Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly said that the song, "with its swarm-of-bees organs and acid-trip gospel harmonies, could be a lost Nuggets gem".[7] Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times, writing about the song's retro stylings, said that it "sounds as if it's existed forever".[8] Sam Richards of NME said that the song's "brilliantly demented cowboy glam holler... is boosted by the band's new trio of female backing singers wailing for all they're worth".[2]

Use in popular media[edit]


Sweet (with guitarist Andy Scott as the only original member) covered this song on their 2012 album New York Connection.

Single cover[edit]

The cover art for the single features a picture of an abandoned, dilapidated building. It is actually the dilapidated south entrance to the former Kaufmann's/Macy's in Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, Ohio.


Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hermes, Will (December 22, 2011). "The Keys Turn Their Blues-Rock Beater into a Sleek, Shiny Muscle Car". Rolling Stone (1146/1147): 85–86. Retrieved February 3, 2006. 
  2. ^ a b Richards, Sam (December 2, 2011). "Album Review: The Black Keys - 'El Camino'". NME. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Record Certifications Around the World - The Black Keys Official Blog". Archived from the original on November 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ Phillips, Amy (May 31, 2012). "Watch: New Black Keys Video for "Gold on the Ceiling" Directed by Harmony Korine". Pitchfork Media. Pitchfork. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ Soeder, John (December 10, 2011). "Black Keys take their 'El Camino' for a spin in the pursuit of pop: Review". Cleveland Live LLC. Retrieved March 1, 2012. 
  6. ^ Brown, Harley (December 6, 2011). "Album Review: The Black Keys – El Camino". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved March 1, 2012. 
  7. ^ Maerz, Melissa (December 9, 2011). "El Camino (2011): The Black Keys". Entertainment Weekly (1184): 72. Retrieved December 8, 2011. 
  8. ^ Roberts, Randall (December 5, 2011). "Album review: The Black Keys' 'El Camino'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Turner, CBS: 'Brackets Everywhere'". National Collegiate Athletic Association. Turner Sports Interactive. February 29, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2012. 
  10. ^ Paul (March 5, 2006). "Cobra Beer – The Train". TV Ad Music. Retrieved August 23, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Johnny Depp plays guitar with The Black Keys at MTV Movie Awards". June 4, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2012. 
  12. ^ "From Gary Glitter to The Black Keys, a goal song evolution". July 14, 2014. 
  13. ^ " – The Black Keys – Gold on the Ceiling". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  14. ^ " – The Black Keys – Gold on the Ceiling" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  15. ^ " – The Black Keys – Gold on the Ceiling" (in French). Ultratip.
  16. ^ a b c d e "Gold on the Ceiling - The Black Keys". Billboard. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Canadian Active Rock & Alt Rock Chart Archive: Active Rock - April 17, 2012". America's Music Charts. Retrieved April 17, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Canadian Active Rock & Alt Rock Chart Archive: Alternative Rock - March 13, 2006". America's Music Charts. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Chart Track: Week 13, 2012". Irish Singles Chart.
  20. ^ "Artists: Black Keys". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  21. ^ "The Black Keys – Chart history: Adult Alternative Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 4, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Best of 2012 - Alternative Songs 1-10". Billboard. Retrieved January 16, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Best of 2012 - Rock Songs 1-10". Billboard. Retrieved January 16, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Italian single certifications – The Black Keys" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana.