On 7th June 2004, The Killers released their debut album, “Hot Fuss” in the UK; Brandon Flowers, Dave Keuning, Ronnie Vanucci Jr and Mark Stoermer already showed tremendous potential and promise, largely due to indie-dancefloor favourite, “Mr Brightside”. Drawing inspiration from New Order, David Bowie and The Cure and dreaming of being as big as U2, this fresh-faced four piece introduced us to a dark world of jealousy and lust where wronged boyfriends killed their cheating girlfriends and where harbouring homoerotic notions for the high school hunk was the norm.

“Hot Fuss” came at a time when the UK needed it most; Brit Pop was long over, The Libertines were on an inevitable downward spiral and The Strokes had failed to deliver. Brandon Flowers sashayed into our lives, seducing us with his torrid tales of lust, guilt, revenge and murder, setting indie dancefloors alight in the most unexpected way. 10 years on, The Killers have graduated beyond the synth-pop confines of their deliciously dark debut and rose through the ranks to become of the most important bands of our generation, having sold over 25 million albums to date and slaying millions of “victims” along the way. A sold-out stadium slot at Wembley was inevitable, of course.

We celebrate 10 years of The Killers with 10 Facts About “Hot Fuss” . . .

1. Signature song, “Mr Brightside” was penned by frontman, Brandon Flowers about a real-life girlfriend who cheated on him, and is the first Killers song ever written. The 2004 video for the song was inspired by the movie, “Moulin Rouge”.

2. The majority of “Hot Fuss” was recorded in Los Angeles, however progress was plagued by natural disasters; Drummer, Ronnie Vannucci Jr was injured when thrown from his stool during an earthquake while recording, “Believe Me Natalie”.

3. “Hot Fuss” was nominated for “Best Rock Album at The Grammy Awards in 2005, but the band lost out to Green Day, who picked up the gong for “American Idiot”. They lost out on “Best Rock Track” with “Somebody Told Me” to U2’s “Vertigo” the same year.

4. Opening track, “Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine” and “Midnight Show” are the second and third tracks of a Murder Trilogy. Fans had to wait until 2007 compilation album, “Sawdust” for the first instalment”Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf”. The Killers unveiled plans to release a mini-movie to accompany the tracks, but we are still waiting . . .

5.  The original video for “All These Things That I’ve Done” was filmed in Brick Lane, London in July 2004 and featured shots of a Killers gig at The London Astoria the same month. A later version, directed by Dutch photographer, Anton Corbijn (who shot U2’s “The Joshua Tree” album sleeve) was filmed in 2005 and featured the band dressed as cowboys.

6. The chinese symbols featured on the buildings of the cover of “Hot Fuss” translate as  “constructive”, “material”, “open” and “distribute”.

7. “Andy, You’re A Star” was written about a ‘jock’ and Homecoming King who Brandon Flowers went to Chaparall High School with in Paradise, Nevada. The song fuelled media speculation that Flowers was gay . . . until he married long-term girlfriend, Tana Mundkowsky in August 2005.

8.  The band had little luck with American Record Labels in the beginning; most major labels rejected them, including Warner Bros who told Flowers he had “no sex appeal” after a showcase in Chicago. The Killers were eventually signed to UK indie label, Lizard King Records in July 2003.

9. Frontman Flowers and guitarist, Dave Keuning performed their first ever gig at an Open Mic night at Cafe Espresso Roma in Las Vegas, where they performed a cover of Scottish band Travis’ hit, “Side”.

10. “Hot Fuss” has shifted over 7 million copies worldwide since its release in 2004; it spent 179 weeks (3 and a half years) on the UK Album Chart, just shy of Pink Floyd’s record of 211 weeks with “Dark Side Of The Moon”. The album was voted “Best Debut Album Of All Time” by Gigwise last year.

Related posts: