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This song is about growing up and moving on from the past, trying to make yourself a better person. It was written by lead singer Brandon Flowers when he was working as a bellman at the Gold Coast casino in Las Vegas. Since this was before cellphones, he would call his friends from work and leave song ideas on their answering machines if inspiration struck.
Like their hit "Mr. Brightside," this song has two videos. The first version has The Killers singing while walking down a London street. The second version was directed by Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn, and features a surreal, dream-like sequence where The Killers, dressed as cowboys, are attacked by scantily-clad female warriors armed with boomerangs (possibly inspired by the Russ Meyer film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!). (thanks, Donovan Berry - El Dorado, AR)
The Killers often play this as the closer for their concerts, and the lyrics, "I got soul but I'm not a soldier" have become a sing-along moment. Lead singer Brandon Flowers told Rolling Stone about the line in 2009: "I can specifically remember being in Ronnie Vannucci's garage when I wrote it that. I don't know why I wrote it, but I know I'd been listening to a lot of U2's Joshua Tree and All That You Can't Leave Behind. Some people act like that line is nonsense, and I just don't understand that. If you listen to the song, it makes perfect sense. Our fans get it."
Brandon Flowers says that Lou Reed was a huge influence on this song, as the chorus and the "gotta help me out" part were Flowers imitating Reed's delivery. Three years after recording the song, the Killers teamed up with Reed on "Tranquilize
The song features the Sweet Inspirations Gospel vocal group, who were founded by Cissy Houston, the mother of Whitney Houston. The Sweet Inspirations sang with Elvis Presley and provided the back up vocals for Van Morrison on his classic hit "Brown Eyed Girl
" as well as scoring their own Hot 100 top 40 hit in 1968 with "Sweet Inspiration."
According to Flowers, this song's bass line is "a direct rip-off" from the 2002 David Bowie track "Slow Burn."
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