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The Killers Vinyl Records

The Killers Vinyl Records

Sin City Start

Before becoming one of the biggest rock bands in the World, The Killers had to start from the bottom. In early 2001, soon to be frontman, Brandon Flowers had been fired from his current band Blush Response. Left without a band, it wasn't until a fateful night in May 2001 when Flowers attended an Oasis show at the Hard Rock Hotel that he knew music was in his blood and thoughts turned to starting afresh.

Flowers quickly started looking for other musicians with his same passion around the Nevada area and it wasn’t long before he found an ad inside a Las Vegas newspaper by guitarist Dave Keuning who had not long since moved to Vegas from Iowa and was also looking to start a band. The two met up and immediately bonded over their musical tastes and influences and so The Killers were born (taking the band's name from a fictional band in the music video of “Crystal” by New Order).  The pair began jamming and writing songs, the first of which was to become one of their most iconic “Mr. Brightside” with the second entitled “Desperate”. Once these tracks were ready to go they and drummer Matt Norcross who had joined the band along with Keuning’s then roommate Dell Neal on bass, they made their way to Kill The Messenger Studios in Nevada to record the demo tracks. 

After these recordings were complete, The Killers would begin playing live shows around the Las Vegas area, handing out demo tapes for free. The sound of The Killers was a breath of fresh air in the Vegas music scene which was primarily taken up by punk, rap and nu metal bands. While The Killers were bringing their own flavour of indie rock music, they were far from having a refined sound with their live sound being described as “erratic” so by 2002 they had let drummer Matt Norcross go and bass player Dell Neal left the band due to personal reasons. 

Flowers and Keuning quickly got to work finding new members with drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. joining the band just before Neal departed.  Now a three piece band they played their first show with Ronnie on the 30th of August 2002 with Mark Stoermer filling in as bass player. The band were eager to get Mark in the band but he was hesitant to commit to the group as he was already playing lead guitar in a prog-rock band, so the trio pushed on playing live with a few other bassists but with nothing quite sticking until in November 2002 Mark Stoermer agreed to join.

With the final line-up complete, the four would rehearse wherever possible, be that in Vannucci’s garage or sneaking into the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (where Vannucci was also studying at the time) at night. The band began work on their debut album “Hot Fuss” writing hit singles “Smile LIke You Mean It” and “Somebody Told Me”. With a more fleshed out sound and set list of songs, the four continued playing small venues around Vegas, soon catching the attention of Braden Merrick, an A&R representative for Warner Bros. Records. Merrick sent the band to get their demos recorded so he could distribute them to various major labels. While nothing came off for The Killers in the US, across the pond in the UK, they had very much gained the attention of A&R rep, Alex Gilbert, who immediately passed on the demos to Ben Durling from the then newly formed independent label Lizard King Records. Durling loved the five demos and before even meeting the band offered them a deal knowing there was promise in what The Killers had to offer and by July 2003 they were signed to the British Label.

Hot Fuss About The Killers 

A couple of months after signing, The Killers had gained radio play on BBC Radio 1 and the band had been booked to play a weeks worth of shows in London to promote themselves at big name live music venues across the Capital. On the 23rd of September 2003, The Killers first single “Mr. Brightside”  was officially released in the UK with a 500 press release and limited number of CD’s. Following the songs release the reviews were unanimously positive and with such a buzz happening for the band in the UK, it was only a matter of time before labels in the US were showing interest in the band and after being invited to play the ASCAP CMJ Music Marathon in New York City, they would sign to Island Def Jam, an American record label. 

As 2003 came to a close the band had finished recording “Hot Fuss” and had been asked to open for rock band British Sea Power during their UK tour. This was the first of many invites to be the opening act as they would also suuport Stellastarr on their UK and US tours and as well as former Smiths front man, Morrissey. The band would release their second UK single and debut US single “Somebody Told Me” with a subsequent music video in March 2004 which led to their first headline tour over the spring and summer of that year as well festival appearances in Europe and North America. 

After three years of building a name for themselves with live shows and single releases, The Killers debut album “Hot Fuss” was finally released on the 7th of June 2004 in the UK on Lizard King and then a week later in the US on Island Records. “Hot Fuss” received favourable critical reviews upon its release and with the subsequent album tour and three of the singles (“Somebody Told Me”, “All The Things That I’ve Done” and “Mr. Brightside”)  receiving Grammy nominations commercial success also followed. It solidified The Killers as the best selling act in the World in 2005 with the World Music Award For Best Selling Group to boot. “Hot Fuss” was also nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album and became a UK number one album less than a year after its release. 

The Killer’s Town 

After extensive touring for “Hot Fuss”, Flowers and co went straight back to the studio and began recording their highly awaited follow up album “Sam’s Town”. The band recorded the album in Las Vegas over the earlier half of 2006 and in the July of that year released the lead single from the record “When You Were You”.  It too followed the same path as their previous singles and became an immediate hit with fans and critics alike. With the fervour from fans reaching its peak “Sam’s Town” was finally released on the 27th of September 2006 and was the band's highest charting album in the US at the time reaching number two where over in the UK they scored their second number one album. 

The Killers were on a complete hot streak and as the tour for “Sam’s Town” got underway, the demand for tickets to see the band increased and extra dates had to be added including at legendary venues Madison Square Garden and Wembley Arena. 

After the "Sam's Town" tour had finished and band produced another successful release of their B-Side album “Sawdust”, The Killers took a six month break but continued preparing for their third studio album. After a short time apart the band got back into the studio and the first song recorded was the lead single of their third studio album “Human” which would be released in October 2008.  The Killers third studio album "Day & Age" was released in November 2008. The release of “Day & Age” began a streak of number one albums in the UK for The Killers and also became a top twenty album worldwide.  A further tour followed before The Killers took a hiatus to rest and recoup after nearly six year of touring from their debut release. 

The Streak

The Killers have released four additional albums to the original three that saw them become household names - 2012’s “Battle Born”, 2017’s “Wonderful Wonderful”, 2020’s “Imploding The Mirage” and 2021’s “Pressure Machine” each with varying sounds and showing an evolution of style.  All became a UK number one album meaning that The Killers are the first and only band from outside the UK to have all their albums hit number one status in the UK charts. 

Stylistic Changes And What The Future Holds 

The Killers have never been a band to stick to one sound with their influences ranging across different genres with stars such as Oasis, Bruce Springsteen, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, The Smiths and David Bowie contributing to their sound. Across the band's seven albums, they have explored alternative rock/indie rock, heartland rock, new wave, synth pop and even elements of Americana and folk rock on their most recent album “Pressure Machine”. With talks of an eighth studio album in the works who knows what avenue of sound The Killers will go down this time. After a near two decade career in music, it's fair to say that Brandon Flowers and the rest of the band most certainly have found their calling.


New Vinyl Records By The Killers 

Second Hand Vinyl Records By The Killers

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