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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 then band called 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 his calling in life and that he had to start a new band. 

Flowers quickly started looking for other musicians with his passion around the Nevada area and it wasn’t long before he found an ad inside a Las Vegas newspaper by a guitarist named Dave Keuning who had not long since moved to Vegas from Iowa looking to start a band. The two met up and immediately bonded over their music tastes and influences and upon thinking of a band they decided on the name The Killers taken from the name of a fictional band in the music video of “Crystal” by New Order, the pair began jamming and writing songs the first of which was “Mr. Brightside” and the second titled “Desperate” once these tracks were ready to go they and drummer Matt Norcross 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 their 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 Nircross go and bass player Dell Neal left the band because of personal reasons. 

Flowers and Keuning got to work quickly finding new members having got drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. to join the band just before Neal departed, now going as a three piece 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 then playing lead guitar in a prog-rock band at the time, so the trio pushed on playing with a few other bass players live with nothing quite sticking until November 2002 Mark Stoermer agreed to join as bass player for The Killers. 

With the final lineup completed the four would rehearse wherever possible be that in Vannucci’s garage or sneaking into the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (which Vannucci was also studying at, at time) at night. The band began work on their debut album “Hot Fuss” starting with the writing of hit singles “Smile LIke You Mean It” and “Somebody Told Me”. With a more fleshed out sound and set list of songs the four kept playing small venues around Vegas, soon catching the attention of an A&R representative for Warner Bros. Records called Braden Merrick. Merrick sent the band to get their demos recorded and sent them off to some major labels, while nothing came back 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 who worked at 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 gotten radio play on BBC Radio 1 and the band had gone to London to play a week's worth of shows to promote themselves at big name live music venues across London. 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. After 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 that takes place in New York City and after playing they would not long after 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 British Sea Power for their UK tour, this was the first of many invites to be openers as they would also tour as openers for Stellastarr on their UK and US tour and opened for Morrissey twice. The band would release their second UK single and debut US single “Somebody Told Me” with a subsequent music video which led to their first headline tour over the spring and summer of 2004 as well festival appearances in Europe and North America which only garnered them more fans. 

After three years of building a name for themselves with live shows and single releases The Killers debut album “Hot Fuss” was 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 success upon its release and with the subsequent album tour and three of the singles on the record (those being “Somebody Told Me”, “All The Things That I’ve Done” and “Mr. Brightside”) getting grammy nominations made the commercial success skyrocket which 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 for the record titled “When You Were You” which followed suit of the past singles they had released and became an immediate hit. With the hype 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 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 so they began adding arena show dates to the tour such as Madison Square Garden and Wembley Arena proving their staying power in the music world. 

After the tour had finished for “Sam’s Town” and a successful release of their B-Side album “Sawdust” The Killers took a six month break but during this time they were all coming up with and sending each other song ideas preparing for their third studio album. After a short time apart the band got back into the studio and the first song written was the lead single of their third studio album titled “Human” which would be released in October 2008 which was another hit single for the band leading on to the release of their third album “Day & Age” 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. Following the “Day & Age” album cycle of touring, 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 put them as household names those being; 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 for the band but they all have one thing in common, each album (like “Hot Fuss”, “Sam’s Town” and “Day & Age”) 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 from many different artists such as Oasis, Bruce Springstean, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys and David Bowie to name a few. Across the seven albums the bands released they explored alternative rock/indie rock, heartland rock, new wave, synth pop and even elements of americana and folk rock with 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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