On August 2, 2010, Arcade Fire released their third studio album, The Suburbs. The album launched the Montreal-based band into the mainstream, catching the attention of Dave Grohl, Bruce Springsteen, David Byrne and other high profile rockers.

As the album celebrates its tenth anniversary, dive deep and discover seven facts you may not know about it below.

1. The album was inspired by brothers Win and Will Butler’s childhood in The Woodlands, Texas, a suburb in Houston. Win Butler describes it as, “neither a love letter to, nor an indictment of, the suburbs – it’s a letter from the suburbs”. Although it was inspired by a life in the U.S., the album was mainly written and recorded at the band’s church studio in Montreal. They purchased the church in 2005, renovated it into a studio and used it until its roof collapsed in 2013.

Vincenzo D’Alto / The Gazette


2. Win Butler describes the album’s sound as a mix between “Depeche Mode and Neil Young”, stating that he wanted it to sound like “the bands that I heard when I was very young, and wondered what those crazy noises were”.

3. The album’s second single, “We Used To Wait”, was challenge to produce. Like all of the other songs on the album, it was mixed using vintage analog consoles in both Montreal and New York. It contains over 30 individual tracks, including three drum kits.

4. The original music video for “We Used To Wait” was an experimental project between the band and Google. It was the first-ever HTML5-powered music video, using visual data of your town using Google Maps, street view and 3D graphics.

5. The album’s most successful song ended up being its third single, “Ready To Start”. The band performed the song at the 53rd Grammy Awards immediately after winning Album of the Year. #WhoTheHellisArcadeFire then began trending on Twitter.

6. The music video for “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” has two music videos. In one, frontwoman Régine Chassagne dances in a vintage dress. The other is an interactive video where the viewer can control the character’s movements by dancing in front of their screen. Play around with it here.

7. The Suburbs was named the winner of the 2011 Polaris Music Prize, earning $30,000 based on its recognition as the best Canadian album of the year as voted by jury of Canadian journalists and broadcasters. It earned a multitude of accolades, including Album of the Year at both the 2011 Junos and Grammy Awards, Best Alternative Album at the 2011 Britt Awards and was also awarded numerous spots on best album of the year lists.

Filed under: Arcade Fire, The Suburbs