On June 7, 2004, the Killers released their debut album Hot Fuss. Acclaimed as one of the most influential rock albums of the decade, it has sold over seven million copies worldwide and helped make the Killers into one of the biggest rock bands in the world. This what they looked like back then:

AP Photo/Jeff Christensen

Celebrate the band’s 15th anniversary with 15 facts about Hot Fuss.

1. All of the songs were recorded in a studio in Berkley, California with the exception of “Everything Will Be Alright”, which was recorded in guitarist Dave Keuning’s apartment.

2. Most tracks were recorded as demos, but the band decided to use those recordings on the album for the “spontaneity”.

3. Hot Fuss was the result of frontman Brandon Flower’s depression. He said that he was so dishearted after hearing the Strokes’ “perfect album” This Is It. According to Flowers, the band “threw away everything [they were working on] and the only song that made the cut and remained was ‘Mr. Brightside.’”

4. “Mr. Brightside” was the first single the Killers ever released. Brandon Flowers remembers performing it for the first time with Keuning at an open mic night in their hometown of Las Vegas, “It was terrible, awful.”

5. UK radio stations Absolute Radio and XFM each named “Mr. Brightside” the “Song of the Decade”. Total Guitar magazine listed the song as their ninth-best Greatest Guitar Riffs of the 21st Century. Rolling Stone lists it as the forty-eighth best song of the 21st Century.

6. The album includes the second and third parts of the so-called “Murder Trilogy”. Part one begins with “Midnight Show” into “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” followed by the b-side “Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf”, which appears on the Killers’ rareties album Sawdust.

7. According to Brandon Flowers, “Somebody Told Me” is “the story of trying to meet someone in a club”.

8. The choir featured in “All These Things That I’ve Done” is an R&B girl group called The Sweet Inspirations. Founded by Emily “Cissy” Houston, mother of Whitney Houston, the group is featured on work by Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Hendrix, Van Morrison, The Bee Gees, The Righteous Brothers, Elvis Presley and more. The group disbanded the year after Hot Fuss was released.

The Sweet Inspirations


9. The song has been covered by many of the band’s peers, including U2, Imagine Dragons, Coldplay, Walk the Moon and more.

10. The band says they wrote ‘Smile Like You Mean It” in eight minutes.

11. Hot Fuss is among the top 25 longest-charting albums in UK album chart history at 249 weeks, more than four and a half years. It’s also the longest-charting post-2000 release on the same chart.

12. Rolling Stone lists the album as #9 on their list of the 10 Greatest Debut Albums of All Time.

13. European, Japanese and Australia releases included a song called “Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll”. The lyrics are an ironic take on hipster culture. Brandon Flowers said, “There’s so much snobbery. You go through high school and all the paranoia and crap that goes with that. It’s bullshit. I just didn’t want to be like that. We like big songs and we’re going to embrace it.”.

14. In the time since, Brandon Flowers now calls the song his “least favourite Killers song”, saying it makes him “want to crawl under a rock”.

15. Since its release, Hot Fuss has become certified platinum or multi-platinum in Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand. The album gained the band five Grammy nominations. Not bad for their first ever album.