Editor’s Note: Back in June 2014 we launched a year-long series called New Ordered, where we ranked the individual tracks of a legendary album. We started the series with The Killers’ 2004 debut ‘Hot Fuss’, mainly because it was celebrating its 10th anniversary but mostly because it’s one of those rare records from the early-’00s that sounds as lethal now as it did back then. With The Killers playing TD Garden tonight (January 7) and then returning to town in May for Boston Calling, we re-booted the article for Sunday viewing (and arguing) pleasures.
The year was 2004 — the Red Sox exorcised the Curse of the Bambino, people started to migrate from Friendster to MySpace, and an ambitious Las Vegas synth-rock band called the Killers released perhaps the finest rock record of the decade in Hot Fuss. At the time, we were all so young and incredibly naive.
With the 10th anniversary of Hot Fuss arriving this weekend in the United Kingdom and then June 15 here in the United States, the barrage of indie-disco singles and pulsating album cuts came crashing back into our headspaces, and got us wondering: How would we rank each song on Hot Fuss, from album opener “Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine” to standard album closer “Everything Will Be Alright”? (We’re ignoring the bonus tracks, here.)
This is no easy task.
In November 2008, I was a guest on WFNX 101.7 FM’s heralded Sandbox morning show in Boston to discuss the release of the Killers’ third record, Day & Age. After previewing tracks like “Spaceman” and “Joyride,” I quipped that one day the Killers would release a greatest hits album, and it’d simply be called Hot Fuss.
Like 2006 sophomore effort Sam’s Town and 2012’s Battle Born, Day & Age didn’t have the raw thump of the band’s debut, both because of an understandable inability to trump a classic and because of the times. 2004 was pretty much the height of the indie dance party, when Britpop nights shed the worn-in skins of Blur and Pulp for the fresher sounds of Franz Ferdinand, the Rapture, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The Killers’ debut kicked the door in to the indie disco but also kept things going way past morning; with dashes of UK indie, new wave, emo, glam rock, Vegas showmanship, and a name nicked off New Order’s fictional band in the “Crystal” video, the Killers were some white-hot shit that set the tone for rock’s fixation with electronics.
Hot Fuss would go on to sell seven million copies worldwide, come in at Number 43 on Rolling Stone’s Best Albums of the 2000s list, and boast two iconic singles that defined the era in “Somebody Told Me” and “Mr. Brightside.” It was a massive debut record.
So, a decade later, which are the best — and worst — songs off that LP? Let’s find out…
11. “Andy, You’re A Star”
Herky, jerky, at-times awkward album-filler snack dab between the third single “All These Things That I’ve Done” and the easy-breezy convertible-pop of “On Top.” Unless you’re named Andy, this one wore out the >>| button on your first-generation iPod.