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Frontman Caleb Followill wrote this song about longing for somebody to have a cuddle with while feeling lonely on the road. He said on his band's website: "It's about being far from home."
Caleb told Uncut magazine October 2008 the story of the song: "The meat of song was written on tour. When I came up with 'I could use somebody,' I didn't know if I was talking about a person or home or God. I felt immediately that it was a big song, and it scared me away. Then, when we were writing the record, Matthew kept sayin', 'What's that song, man?', and I acted like I didn't know what he was talking about. Then, finally, I went, 'All right, we'll do it,' and as soon as we started playin' it, the producers looked up and said, 'Whoa, that's a good song.' I was like, 'OK.'"
Aided by an performance of this song on the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, Kings of Leon jumped from #52 to #19 on the June 20, 2009 Hot 100 chart, giving the rock quartet their first top 40 hit.
English singer-songwriter Pixie Lott charted in the 2009 UK singles chart with her cover of this song, due to it being a b-side to her #1 single "Mama Do
This topped the Pop Songs/Mainstream Top 40, Alternative Songs Triple A and Adult Top 40 charts. It was the first song to top all four airplay tallies since Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams
" in 2004-05.
Caleb's model girlfriend Lily Aldridge makes a cameo appearance in the song's music video.
This song won three awards at the 2010 Grammies: Record of the Year, Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals.
Only By The Night was the first ever album to sell a quarter of a million digital copies in the UK.
Caleb wrote this song as an apology to his bandmates after a drunken fight. He came up with the tune by speeding up Joe Cocker's Oscar-winning theme song to 1983 movie An Officer and a Gentleman
during a soundcheck in Scotland. He said about this song (quoted in Q
magazine): "It's got the exact same chords as Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes' 'Up Where We Belong
.' It was so immediate that I thought it was terrible. I thought it was a pop song."
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