Writer(s): Brandon Flowers, Dave Keuning, Mark Stoermer, Ronnie Vannucci Jr. (see lyrics here)
First Charted: 6/26/2004
Peak: 10 US, 3 MR, 10 UK, 29 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales *: 3.0 US, 1.72 UK, 4.72 world (includes US + UK)
Radio Airplay *: 0.5
Video Airplay *: 310.18
Streaming *: 200.0
* in millions
The Killers “crawled out of Vegas armed with glitzy beats and faux Bowie accents.” RS’09 “Merging Duran Duran makeup, New Order hi-hats, and Bruce Springsteen-ian grandiosity, they gave rock fans a non-geriatric arena-ready alternative to the world’s Nickelbacks this decade.” PF
The group might have just been another of the pack of the new millennium’s wave of new dance-rock, but “‘Mr. Brightside’ made them famous.” RS’09 “Preening and posturing and fusing high drama, power pop, and rock gravitas into one perfectly transcendent song.” LR “In a stroke of genius they never quite equaled, these Las Vegas rockers married the infectious grooves of the then-trendy dance-rock scene to a surging melody straight out of the U2/ Coldplay handbook.” MX They brought along “a story line that sums up the first two seasons of Gossip Girl.” RS’09
The Killers’ lead singer Brandon Flowers had a girlfriend who cheated on him and the band’s guitarist, Dave Keuning, extracted revenge with this song about her. Flowers told Q magazine about discovering her unfaithfulness. “I was asleep and I knew something was wrong. I have these instincts. I went to the Crown and Anchor [a Vegas pub] and my girlfriend was there with another guy.” PF
However, Flowers’ anguish proved to have a “bright side.” The song didn’t just give The Killers their biggest hit, but one thoroughly embraced by fans. UK radio station XFM wrapped the decade with a listener poll to determine the top 1000 songs of all time and “Mr. Brightside” topped the list. While such a lofty position showed the weaknesses of turning an “all time” poll over to voters, it still showed just how much fans cherished the song.
Resources and Related Links:
Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.