'Mr Brightside has become an anthem for a generation': The Killers on the indie classic's lasting success

'Mr Brightside has become an anthem for a generation': The Killers on the indie classic's lasting success

Brandon Flowers has reflected on the enduring success of Mr Brightside as The Killers’ classic spends its 200th week in the UK Top 100.

Originally a No.10 hit in 2004, the triple platinum track charted at No.100 last week, racking up a further 3,588 sales towards a total of 1,978,431, according to the Official Charts Company (OCC)

In a report released last year by BPI, Mr Brightside was revealed as the most streamed song of any track released before 2010 and has been streamed 45 million times in the past 12 months. 

Speaking to Music Week in late 2017, Flowers pondered whether the track would have made as big of a splash had it been released in the current era.

“I just don’t think it would be as certain of a home run as it was,” said the frontman. “There’s not a home for traditional rock music - guitar, bass, drums and vocals - and I see a lot of people catering to a certain listener to try and get on the radio.

“A lot of rock is getting enthused with hip-hop and urban sentiments, feelings and tones, and so I don’t know that [Mr Brightside] would have been as easily taken into people’s hearts as it was.”

The song has averaged 878,000 plays a week across all major streaming services in 2018, helping it linger around the lower end of the Top 100. It has also been downloaded an average of 696 times a week this year so far. Its overall Spotify streams have topped 434m. 

“The band talk about Mr Brightside taking a life of its own,” the band’s manager Robert Reynolds, of Reynolds Management, told Music Week. “Mr Brightside has become an anthem for a generation and you kind of surrender a little bit of ownership and let that song do what it does. We’re all happy to have it in the catalogue.” 

Mr Brightside was the lead single from The Killers’ chart-topping 2004 debut Hot Fuss, which has since been certified 7x platinum by the BPI with sales of 2,244,150. The band’s most recent LP Wonderful Wonderful (Virgin EMI) became their fifth UK No.1 album last September and has sales of 148,518 to date. It was also their first chart-topper in their native US.  

The Killers return to the UK this summer for stadium shows in Bolton and Swansea alongside festival headline dates at Isle Of Wight, Trnsmt and Latitude.

Other popular catalogue singles in the streaming era include Oasis' 1995 hit Wonderwall, which has been streamed 30 million times in the last year, according to the OCC.

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