It was reported in February 2013 that Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach and his wife Stephanie Gonis were in the midst of divorce proceedings. Many of the lyrics on the Turn Blue address the breakdown of his marriage and the moody title track finds the vocalist battling depression as he struggles to "stay on track just like Pops told me to."
The arrival of Turn Blue on May 13, 2014 was announced using Mike Tyson's Twitter. The idea to have the boxer unveil the album originated after he called the band to thank them for licensing a song for use in a documentary he was making and he offered to do them a favor in return.
The title is based on a catch phrase used by Ghoulardi, a Cleveland TV host of a late night horror movie presentation between 1963-66. The Black Keys were asked by the BBC what made this appropriate as the title track? Auerbach replied: "We just liked the phrase, first off. We liked the association with Ghoulardi, this kind of weird freak from Ohio from the early 60s - that was phrase he used to use. And then so much of the album was lyrically melancholy and introspective and personal, so it was very blue. I guess it just made sense."
He added: "We also liked how we could translate Turn Blue into artwork for the cover."
"Come Dancing" by The Kinks was inspired by the older sister of Ray Davies, who would make guys take her out dancing and spend their money on her, only to send them home frustrated with just a peck on the cheek.
The song "Sadeness" by Enigma (the one with the chanting monks), got its name from the French novelist Marquis de Sade, who believed sex had to be painful in order to be pleasurable - thus the word "sadism."
"Abracadabra" was inspired by Diana Ross and The Supremes. Steve Miller first met the girl group when they performed together on NBC's Hullabaloo in 1966, and he wrote the lyrics after spotting Diana Ross skiing in the mountains years later.