Brandon Flowers Writes Track-By-Track To The Killers’ Greatest Hits Album

The Killers

The Killers

Exciting news for fans of The Killers! The Nevada rockers will release their first Greatest Hits compilation – titled ‘Direct Hits’ – on November 11. The 18-song compilation features two brand new songs – ‘Just Another Girl’, which sees the band reunite with longtime collaborator Stuart Price, and ‘Shot At The Night’, produced by M83’s Anthony Gonzalez. Legendary Killers frontman Brandon Flowers has penned us an exclusive, revealing track-by-track for the record delving into memories of the past:

Mr Brightside
“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. What strikes me about it is how powerful that song still is, and the second verse is still as powerful as the first one, every night. There’s just something about it. It’s a moment.”Somebody Told Me

“This song really brought out the band’s strengths at that time. I was 20, 21, and just trying to write about what I was doing and seeing in these indie nightclubs in Vegas. I was listening to Pulp and David Bowie, trying to channel all of that stuff. It’s one of Mark’s greatest moments on the bass, too. It’s a really great collaboration.”
Smile Like You Mean It

“It’s more melancholy, but it really translated to a lot of people. It was very personal to me, and that’s one of the things that’s amazing about music – we all bring our own meaning to songs. It was quite a sophisticated song for where we were at that time, I think.”

All These Things That I’ve Done

“When that one was cooking I was really into U2’s ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’. I thought that was an amazing comeback for them, and I was blown away by how many great songs were on that record. There’s an earnestness, spirit soul to U2, and I was trying to channel that. I wanted a song that stood up to those songs. We also took the bassline from a David Bowie song called ‘Slow Burn’, from ‘Heathen’, although enough time has probably passed now that I think he probably won’t sue us!”

When You Were Young
“We’ve been guilty of having a lot of chords in our songs, and there’s not anything necessarily wrong with that, but there’s something great about simplicity. ‘When You Were Young’ is just one progression which repeats, with a couple of small variations, but it was instantly powerful and once I heard it, I came up with the melody and the title within 20 minutes. It was one of those exciting moments that you read about, and I’ve been lucky enough to be part of it a few times. This was definitely one of them. Live, it took a huge load off my shoulders too – there was a lot of pressure on us when ‘Hot Fuss’ did so well, and that song was just a total relief! I knew that song had something about it, and I’m thankful for it every night. It kept the fire in us, it kept the ball rolling.

Read My Mind
I love ‘Read My Mind’. Every producer is different, but they’re all leaders. That’s why we enlisted Flood and Alan Moulder for ‘Sam’s Town’ – they were two guys who had a huge amount of experience and had worked on a lot of records that we loved, and this was where their experience and leadership came into play the most. We had a different song called ‘Little Angela’, but it just wasn’t ‘Read My Mind’. My melody was a little too much like ‘Mrs. Robinson’, the lyrics weren’t great, and Alan had the balls and the courage to tell me – he said ‘Let’s keep this template, and write a different song over it.’ So the song was born out of us jamming that old song, and it grew from there. When we play it live, you can tell it means a lot to people, and that’s definitely one of the songs that attracts people to the band.”

For Reasons Unknown
“We wrote it on the road, while we were touring with Louis XIV. It was written really quickly, and it’s got a real urgency about it because of that. We recorded it live, and I’m playing bass on it – that’s the only song on any Killers record where I play bass.”

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