Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: The insane longevity of The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside”

Mr. Brightside” was the first-ever single from The Killers. It first appeared on September 29, 2003, and was followed by a re-recoded version in 2004. Since then, it has sold 3.5 million copies in the US and more than 3.6 million copies in the UK. In fact, it’s the longest-charting song in the history of His Majesty’s Kingdom, appearing on the charts for over seven years.

It’s earned the band millions. Not bad for a song that was recorded in guitarist Dave Keuning’s closet that he was using as a sound booth. And there’s another human aspect to the song, too.

Brandon Flowers, who had been working as a bellhop in a Las Vegas hotel, wrote the song after he walked in on his then-girlfriend cheating with someone else. We hear in the song Brandon’s reaction to discovering what was happening. No one knows her name, but I wonder how she feels about being the subject of a hit that’s sold over 10 million copies worldwide?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38556 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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