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Album: Hot FussReleased: 2004Charted:
Killers guitarist Dave Keuning wrote this about lead singer Brandon Flowers' ex-girlfriend who cheated on him. Flowers recalled to Q
magazine March 2009 how he discovered her with another man at the Crown and Anchor pub in his hometown of Las Vegas: "I was asleep and I knew something was wrong. I have these instincts. I went to the Crown and Anchor and my girlfriend was there with another guy." Flowers added that the song was "born" at the Crown and Anchor.
In the video, actress Izabella Miko (of Coyote Ugly
) plays the girlfriend. Eric Roberts (Julia's brother) also stars in the video as the bad guy. This wasn't his first star turn in a major video: he also appeared in Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together
The clip was directed by Sophie Muller, who has done over 100 videos, including several for Gwen Stefani.
In England, fans of Manchester United and Everton football teams have their own rendition of this song in praise of their former player Norman Whiteside.
Brandon Flowers told NME the story of the song in a 2012 interview: "We must've written it around the end of 2001. Dave and I were writing a ton of songs at the time, trying to figure out what it was that made us tick. I remember us going into the Virgin Megastore to buy (The Strokes') Is This It on the day it came out and, when we put it on in the car, that record just sounded so perfect. I got so depressed after that, we threw away everything and the only song that made the cut and remained was 'Mr. Brightside.'"
He continued: "It came from this cassette of ideas that Dave gave me, and one of them was the 'Mr. Brightside' riff. I was able to slap a chorus and some lyrics onto it, and I knew I liked it. But it wasn't until we first tried it out with a drummer that I knew it was special. We went to the guy's house and showed him the song, and I got the goosebumps after that.
Lyrically, it's about an odd girlfriend of mine. All the emotions in the song are real. When I was writing the lyrics, my wounds from it were still fresh. I am Mr. Brightside! But I think that's the reason the song has persisted - because it's real. People pick up on those things. And that goes all the way down to the production; we recorded it in a couple of hours, but it just sounds right, you know?"
The song returned to the Top 40 of the UK singles chart in 2013 after the band performed it on The X Factor.
Flowers recalled to NME in 2013: "I remember being in the studio, recording the demo but still writing the lyrics. I was procrastinating, and that's why the second verse is the same as the first one, but it just stuck."
A video showing a pub sing-a-long of the song
at an Irish wake went viral in late March 2016. Brian O'Sullivan from Killorglin, County Kerry is seen paying his respects to Ger 'Farmer' Foley, who passed away at the age of 45, by prompting a mass rendition of the tune at Falvey's bar.
The Killers endorsed the clip, writing on Twitter: "Brian O'Sullivan, if Brandon ever needs a fill-in, we're calling you! May we all have friends like this #farmersrule".