Mr. Brightside

Mr. Brightside
"Mr. Brightside"
Single by The Killers
from the album Hot Fuss
B-side "Smile Like You Mean It"
"On Top"
"Who Let You Go?"
"Change Your Mind"
Released 24 May 2004 (UK)
1 December 2004 (US)
Format 7" single, CD
Recorded November 2001 @ Kill The Messenger Studio, Henderson, Nevada; April & October 2003 @ Cornerstone Studios, Berkeley, California.
Genre Post-punk revival, New Wave
Length 3:42
Label Island, Lizard King
Writer(s) Brandon Flowers, Dave Keuning
Producer The Killers
Certification Gold - ABPD Brazil[1]
The Killers singles chronology
"Somebody Told Me"
"Mr. Brightside"
"All These Things That I've Done"
Music sample
"Mr. Brightside"

"Mr. Brightside" is a song performed by Las Vegas-based rock band The Killers. The song is featured on the group's debut album Hot Fuss and was written by Brandon Flowers and Dave Keuning.

It was named "Song of the Decade" by UK radio stations Absolute Radio and XFM, and in April 2010 revealed that it was the most listened to track since the launch of the online music service, with over 7.66 million plays scrobbled.[2] In October 2010, it was voted at 9 in the Greatest Guitar Riffs of the 21st Century so far by Total Guitar magazine [3]



Lyrically "Mr. Brightside" depicts the jealousy and paranoia of a man who suspects his partner is cheating on him, the song is inspired by an unfaithful ex girlfriend of front man Brandon Flowers, the song's structure is rather unusual for a pop song, discarding the standard verse-chorus-bridge style for a da capo al coda structure.

Dave Keuning composed the verses to the song before meeting Flowers, Flowers wrote lyrics and composed the chorus after hearing Dave's ideas. In November 2001 they recorded Mr. Brightside along with three other demo's including "Desperate", "Replaceable" and "Under the Gun" at Mike Sak's Kill The Messenger Studio in Henderson, Nevada, they handed out this demo for free during their shows in 2002. It became a popular song within the Las Vegas music scene with one reviewer calling it a "feel good anthem, that ranks as one of the best local tracks in a long time." [4]. After being signed by UK indie label Lizard King Records the track was sent to radio as a buzz single, it got frequent spins by influential BBC Radio 1 DJ's Zane Lowe and Steve Lamacq aswell as being playlisted by XFM, in a glowing review NME magazine said the song was filled with "Ambition, sex and noise". [5].

The earliest demo of the song can be found on YouTube, Mark Stoermer and Ronnie Vannucci were not members of the band when this demo was recorded. Bass is played by Dave Keuning and drums by Matt Norcross.[6] a later demo featuring all band members can also be found [7] as well as the first official version.[8]

A remix of the song by Stuart Price was featured on The Killers' 2007 B-side and Rarities Compilation Sawdust. During the tour for Brandon Flowers' solo record, he performed the remix version with Stuart Price during his show at Brixton Academy and has since performed it on his tour as the show closer, again in the remix form.

Music video

There are two videos for this song: the first version also known as the UK version was filmed in April 2004 on Staten Island, New York, the first video was directed by Brad Palmer and Brian Palmer under their studio surround. Later on in the year the label decided to create a more mainstream video for the US market: the second video also known as the US version was filmed in Los Angeles, California during November 2004. It stars Flowers, Izabella Miko, and Eric Roberts in a love triangle, taking place within the context of a burlesque show. Directed by Sophie Muller, it was apparently inspired by the 2001 film Moulin Rouge!.

The American version won an MTV VMA in 2005 for Best New Artist in a Video. The photos that are featured on the inner sleeve of the album "Hot Fuss" were shot on set during the filming of the UK version music video and were inspired by the black and white look of that video.

In popular culture

In the movie The Holiday, the character portrayed by Cameron Diaz is seen singing "Mr. Brightside" while she is dancing on her own. A remix of the track was used in the German film 'Keinohrhasen' ('Rabbit Without Ears').

The Killers performed Mr. Brightside in The OC, season 2 episode 4, originally aired on Thursday December 2, 2004 on Fox

The song appears as a playable master track on Rock Band Unplugged and as downloadable content for the Rock Band and Guitar Hero main series.

Cover versions

The song has been covered in a swing/jazz style by Paul Anka on his 2007 covers album Classic Songs, My Way. English pop-rock band McFly covered the song as a B-side to their 2005 single, "I Wanna Hold You". Texan artist Playradioplay! covered the song on his 2007 EP The Frequency as well. Many other artists have performed live covers of the song, including American rock band Fall Out Boy, and Scottish singer/songwriter Amy MacDonald. The song has also been covered by the Vitamin String Quartet, Boyce Avenue and on the UK television show Orange Unsigned Act by contestant Tommy Reilly. Additionally, a cappella versions have been produced by groups including Wheaton College's Gentlemen Caller's and Boston-based Overboard.

Track listings

Original 2003 UK CD Release

  1. "Mr. Brightside"
  2. "Smile Like You Mean It"
  3. "On Top"
  4. "Who Let You Go?"

Re-Release UK CD 1

  1. "Mr. Brightside (radio edit)"
  2. "Change Your Mind"

Re-Release UK CD 2

  1. "Mr. Brightside (Album Version)"
  2. "Somebody Told Me (Insider Remix)"
  3. "Midnight Show (SBN Live Session)"

Re-Release UK Red 7"

  1. "Mr. Brightside"
  2. "Who Let You Go?"

Original 2003 UK 7" Single Release

  1. "Mr. Brightside (A)" - there is a sound effect of shuffling cards.
  2. "Smile Like You Mean It (B)"

US Promotional Release

  1. "Mr. Brightside (single version)"

Australian Limited Edition Tour Single

  1. "Mr. Brightside"
  2. "Somebody Told Me (Josh Harris Remix)"
  3. "Who Let You Go?"
  4. "Mr. Brightside video"

European 2005 Single

  1. "Mr. Brightside"
  2. "Somebody Told Me (Insider Remix)"

European 2005 Maxi single

  1. "Mr. Brightside"
  2. "Somebody Told Me (Insider Remix)"
  3. "Mr. Brightside (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Mix)"

US 12"

  1. "Mr. Brightside (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Remix)"
  2. "Mr. Brightside (The Lindbergh Palace club Remix)"
  3. "Mr. Brightside (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Dub)"
  4. "Mr. Brightside (The Lindbergh Palace Radio Remix)"
  5. "Mr. Brightside (The Lindbergh Palace Dub)"
  6. "Mr. Brightside (Original Version Video)"

Chart performance and certifications

"Mr. Brightside" entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #40 on February 12, 2005,[9] and peaked at #10 on June 11,[10] thus making it a sleeper hit.

In June 2004, "Mr.Brightside" peaked at Number 10 on the UK Singles Chart and has since become one of the longest chart sitters in the 21st Century, spending a total of "71 weeks in the UK Top 100".  Its last appearance was in January 2010, six years after its original UK release.


Chart (2004-05) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 29
German Singles Chart 60
Italian Singles Chart 40
New Zealand Singles Chart 15
UK Singles Chart 10
UK Indie Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 10
U.S. Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks 3
U.S. Billboard Pop 100 5

End-of-year charts

Chart (2005) Position
US Billboard Hot 100 16
Chart (2009) Position
UK Singles Chart[11] 180


Country Certification Sales
Brazil Gold[12] 50,000+
New Zealand Gold[13] 7,500+
United Kingdom Silver[14] 200,000+
United States 2× Platinum[15] 2,000,000+


Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Absolute Radio United Kingdom 100 Best Songs Of The Decade[16] 2009
Channel 4 United Kingdom Greatest Songs of The Noughties 2009
NME United Kingdom Best Tracks of 2004[17] 2004
NME United Kingdom 150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years[18] 2011
Total Guitar United Kingdom Greatest Guitar Riffs of the 21st Century[19] 2010
Triple J Australia Hottest 100 of 2004 2004
Rolling Stone United States 100 Greatest Songs Of The Decade 2009
Pitchfork Media United States The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000's 2009
VH1 United States 100 Greatest Songs of the '00s[20] 2011
XFM United Kingdom Top 100 Songs of the Decade[21] 2009
XFM United Kingdom The Top 1,000 Songs Of All Time[22] 2010


The song was nominated for a Grammy in 2006 for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, but it lost to a live version of "This Love" by Maroon 5.

Year Ceremony Award Result
2005 Billboard Music Awards Digital Song of the Year Nominated
2005 MTV Video Music Awards Best Rock Video Nominated
Best Group Video Nominated
Best New Artist in a Video Won
Best Art Direction Nominated
2005 MuchMusic Video Awards People’s Choice: Favorite International Group Nominated
Best International Video - Group Won
2005 TEC Awards Outstanding Record Production Single or Track Nominated
2006 Grammy Awards Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Nominated
2006 International Dance Music Awards Best Alternative/Rock Dance Track Nominated


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  9. ^ "The Billboard Hot 100 - Mr. Brightside". Billboard. 2005-02-19. Retrieved 2008-10-18. [dead link]
  10. ^ "The Billboard Hot 100 - Mr. Brightside". Billboard. 2005-06-11. Retrieved 2008-10-18. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Charts Plus Year end 2009" (PDF). Charts Plus. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ New Zealand RIANZ Gold Certification
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ [3]
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  20. ^ Anderson, Kyle (September 29, 2011). "U2, Rihanna, Amy Winehouse, Foo Fighters fill out VH1's '100 Greatest Songs of the '00s'". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc.. Retrieved October 11, 2011. 
  21. ^
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External links

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