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Album: El CaminoReleased: 2011
The Black Keys duo of Dan Auerbach and Pat Carney recorded this with producer Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton in a number of different ways before settling on the version that can be heard on the El Camino album. "'Little Black Submarines' began as a demo that Brian and Dan made," Carney recalled to American Songwriter magazine, "but we completely changed the song around. We cut it four or five different ways, then we cut a really stripped-down version with acoustic guitar. We had a louder version, too, but it wasn't completely working, so we decided to combine the two by going into the studio and punching in a new ending. That whole ending is the first take we played, just figuring out what we're doing and riffing on that idea. That's why that part of the album feels the loosest. It's how Dan and I play. It's live in the studio, just guitar and drums, with the instruments bleeding into reach other."
The Danny Clinch-shot video shows the Black Keys performing at Nashville's Springwater Supper Club bar. The clip came about after the original story-based idea fell through. Auerbach told Rolling Stone: "We all just sort of kind of mutually agreed that it should probably just be the performance and not any of the other extra stuff. Luckily we had live footage so we turned it into a live video. We just sort of said 'You know, it was fun kind of performing here at a small club with the fans. Why don't we just have it be that?"
The Springwater Supper Club venue is a former speakeasy. "It's a really cool building," Auerbach said to Rolling Stone: "It's been there forever. It's got a lot of history. It's one of three or four different little small dive bars in town. It's special because it's so old."