Sam's Town

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Sam's Town
The Killers - Sam's Town.png
Studio album by The Killers
Released October 2, 2006 (2006-10-02)
Recorded February–June 2006
Studio
Genre
Length 44:14
Label Island
Producer
The Killers chronology
Hot Fuss
(2004)Hot Fuss2004
Sam's Town
(2006)
Sawdust
(2007)Sawdust2007
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

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".[2] Sam's Town has sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide.

On October 7, 2016, Sam's Town was reissued as a remastered double vinyl by Bong Load Records, celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the album. The reissue is limited to 5,016 copies and includes two bonus tracks—the previously unreleased demo "Peace of Mind" and a "Pet Shop Boys Stars Are Blazing Mix" of "Read My Mind".[3][4]

Background[edit]

The album takes its name from Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, a hotel and casino in Las Vegas, the band's hometown. 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."[5] 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.[6]

Production[edit]

The album is said to be influenced by the works of U2, Duran Duran, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Electric Light Orchestra, and Dire Straits, among others.[7][8] 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",[9] 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."[10] At one point Flowers was told that Brian Eno had passed over the chance to produce the album, a rejection that affected Brandon greatly. However when working with Eno for Wonderful Wonderful, Eno told him that he was never offered the project in the first place.[11]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 64/100[12]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[13]
The A.V. Club B−[14]
Blender 4/5 stars[15]
Entertainment Weekly C[16]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[17]
NME 8/10[18]
Pitchfork 5.9/10[19]
Q 4/5 stars[20]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[21]
Spin 3/5 stars[22]

Sam's Town debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200, selling 315,000 copies in its first week.[23] It became the band's second number-one album on the UK Albums Chart, selling 268,946 copies in its first week.[24] The album has been certified Platinum or multi-Platinum in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and Ireland. Sam's Town also produced multiple charting singles including the platinum chart-topping single "When You Were Young". As of April 2011, Sam's Town had sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide.[25]

Upon release, the album was panned by most professional critics, with many mocking the band for their musical choices. In recent years, however, the album has gained a large cult following and has been critically lauded as one of the best rock albums of the 2000s. Rolling Stone with a two-star rating, in December 2009 Sam's Town was voted by the magazine's readers as the most underrated album of the decade.[26] Q magazine ranked it as the 11th best album of the decade.[27] Writing for MTV James Montgomery would theorize that the initial backlash to the album caused the band to change direction with their follow up album, Day & Age, calling the latter "the most un-Sam's Town album imaginable."[28]

Tour[edit]

Christian Hoard, with Rolling Stone magazine, gave The Killers' seminal concert at Madison Square Garden 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."[29]

Track listing[edit]

All songs produced by Flood, Alan Moulder and The Killers.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Sam's Town" Brandon Flowers 4:05
2. "Enterlude" Flowers 0:49
3. "When You Were Young" 3:39
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
3:46
9. "My List" Flowers 4:08
10. "This River Is Wild"
  • Flowers
  • Stoermer
4:38
11. "Why Do I Keep Counting?" Flowers 4:23
12. "Exitlude" Flowers 2:24

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[73] Gold 20,000^
Australia (ARIA)[74] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Belgium (BEA)[75] Gold  
Canada (Music Canada)[76] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Germany (BVMI)[77] Gold 100,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[78] 4× Platinum 60,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[79] 2× Platinum 30,000^
Russia (NFPF)[80] Gold 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[81] 5× Platinum 1,528,003[82]
United States (RIAA)[83] Platinum 1,300,000[84]
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[85] Platinum 1,000,000*

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

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[86] UK Q Artists and Albums of the 21st Century 2010 11
Rolling Stone[26] US Most Underrated Album of the Decade: Readers' Poll 2010 1

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog no.
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

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