The Black Keys ¦ Brothers

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The Black Keys - Brothers.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 18, 2010 (2010-05-18)
  • The Black Keys
  • Mark Neill
The Black Keys chronology
El Camino
Singles from Brothers
  1. "Tighten Up"
    Released: April 23, 2010
  2. "Howlin' for You"
    Released: January 25, 2011
  3. "Next Girl"
    Released: 2011

Brothers (printed as This is an album by The Black Keys. The name of this album is Brothers. on the front cover) is the sixth studio album by American rock duo The Black Keys.[1] Co-produced by the group, Mark Neill, and Danger Mouse, it was released on May 18, 2010 on Nonesuch Records. Brothers was the band's commercial breakthrough, as it sold over 73,000 copies in the United States in its first week and peaked at number three on the Billboard 200, their best performance on the chart to that point.

The album's lead single, "Tighten Up", the only track from the album produced by Danger Mouse, became their most successful single to that point, spending 10 weeks at number one on the Alternative Songs chart and becoming the group's first single on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 87 and was later certified gold. The second single, "Howlin' for You", went gold as well.[2] In April 2012, the album was certified platinum in the US by the RIAA for shipping over one million copies.[3] It also went double-platinum in Canada and gold in the UK.[2] In 2011, it won three Grammy Awards, including honors for Best Alternative Music Album.[4]


Tensions had grown within the band by 2009, and the two embarked on side projects. Guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach was introduced to engineer Mark Neill through friend Liam Watson, and with his assistance built his own analogue home studio at his home in Akron, Ohio (later named Easy Eye Sound System), and in late 2007, the two convened in Neill's La Mesa, California home to record.[5] The sessions became Auerbach's solo debut Keep It Hid, which was released in February 2009 on Nonesuch Records to positive reviews.[6] Drummer Patrick Carney, who had not been informed of Auerbach's solo plans, was livid: "Everybody knew but me. I was mad at Dan. I was mad at our manager. I was mad at everybody."[6][7] Carney was afraid Auerbach had moved on and was on the verge of quitting the band; the two hardly spoke for several months and another Black Keys recording was uncertain.[6] Auerbach, who had played Carney the recordings but failed to mention it would see release, found it increasingly difficult to communicate with the drummer due to his antipathy for Carney's then-wife, Denise Grollmus. Auerbach said, "I really hated her from the start and didn't want anything to do with her."[8]

Carney realized his anger was misdirected as he was coming off a rough divorce. He and Grollmus were married for two years but together for nine.[6] According to the drummer, his ex-wife slept with his best friend, lied to him for several years and bilked him for money.[6] By the end of the relationship, Carney was depressed, drinking heavily, and had gained 25 pounds.[6] "Homeboy was miserable," Auerbach said of his bandmate "He was being manipulated mentally and emotionally."[6] Carney eventually broke off the relationship with a phone call while his wife was in Europe.[6] Eventually, Auerbach and Carney met to discuss how important the band was to both of them. "Then we hugged and made up and it's been all good ever since," said Auerbach.[6] The duo soon met at Neill's La Mesa home and got to work on several ideas, notably recording "These Days", which would ultimately become the closing track on Brothers. Things moved carefully in La Mesa when conversations shifted to Neill's old studio in Georgia. The three began discussing heading down South to complete the bulk of the album in a historic old studio.[5] Sun Studio and Phillips Recording in Memphis, as well as Robin Hood Studios in Tyler, Texas were contenders, and the band even considered an old VFW hall in Neill's home town of Valdosta. The band desired, most of all, to get out of town and have the tracks imbued with a Southern kind of atmosphere. Logistical problems immediately surfaced with both Sun and Phillips, and Auerbach suggested Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.[5]

Muscle Shoals, located in northwestern Alabama, opened in April 1969 and hosted several legendary acts, most famously The Rolling Stones and Paul Simon, before it moved from its original location on Jackson Highway in 1978 to a larger, more modern facility.[9] The studio was closed in 2005 and had not seen recording in nearly 30 years, most recently having operated as a poorly maintained museum.[5] The studio was on a short list of legendary venues where Auerbach had always wanted to record.[9] Neill contacted Noel Webster, the musician and entrepreneur responsible for refurbishing the old studio, who cut the band a "good day rate, albeit with the clear understanding that we were getting nothing but an empty building with a bathroom, and yes, air conditioning. So we knew right from the start that we really would be trucking in our own equipment."[5]

Recording and production

Brothers was the first album recorded in 30 years at Alabama's famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.

Neill, Auerbach, and Carney arrived at Muscle Shoals Sound on August 16, 2009—coincidentally 40 years to the day singer-songwriter R. B. Greaves cut "Take a Letter Maria" at the studio, the first hit record to originate from the building.[5] The group hauled a truckload of Auerbach's equipment from Easy Eye Sound System in Akron, as well as Neill's personal gear from California.[9] Neill's equipment included portions of a Universal Audio 610 console (the same desk featured during the early days of Muscle Shoals) and a late 1950s Pultec panning mixer, as well as a 10:2 Studer monitoring mixer originally designed for classical music recording.[5] The studio was very much a museum when they arrived—they found vintage recording gear that no longer operated, along with photos on the walls of legendary performers, such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, who had once recorded there.[9] Auerbach immediately took down the photos, feeling they were distracting decorations.[9] The band put a piece of Plexiglas on top of the studio's non-functional console to hold their own digital recording equipment.[9] The group experienced technical difficulties while recording. However, they were not caused by the studio, but rather by utility work on nearby telephone poles. Some of Neill's equipment was wrecked, including burned-out microphones.[9] Compositions were kept very simple due to technical limitations. Neill said, "Thanks to the Studer mixer, we seldom went beyond 10 tracks."[5] He occasionally had to resort to digital sources; as the studio's downstairs echo chambers were long gone, Neill attached a mono digital reverberator to the Studer console.[5] He also provided additional guitar and percussion parts during the sessions.[5]

The musicians stayed at the Marriott Shoals in Florence and woke early each morning, eating breakfast at a local Cracker Barrel before arriving at the studio by 10 a.m.[9] Entering the sessions, Carney had a negative mindset due to his divorce. He said, "At the time it was really, really difficult for me because I had just split with my wife after a nine-year relationship and the last place I wanted to be was the middle of fucking nowhere in Alabama, sitting in a dark room."[9][10] The first song recorded at Muscle Shoals, "Next Girl", helped shape the direction of the sessions. Auerbach's lyrics for the song about moving on resonated with the "bummed-out [and] spacey" Carney, and Auerbach noticed an improvement in his bandmate's mentality immediately after he heard them. Auerbach said, "When he heard the lyrics, he was just so stoked. The rest of the session it was smooth sailing."[6][9] "Next Girl" was first cut with Carney playing drums and Auerbach playing bass, without guide vocals or the band's more usual guitar.[5] The group continued to use a rhythm-first approach throughout the sessions, recording a basic arrangement of drums and bass before overdubbing guitar, keyboards, vocals, and percussion later. This imbued several songs, such as "Everlasting Light", "Howlin' for You", and "Sinister Kid", with a bass-driven sound.[5] Neill found the emphasis on bass was also a result of the studio's acoustics:[5]

It’'s because of the construction of that building. It's very odd: the acoustics are really different, the control room has this real mid‑range 'bark', and as a result you tend to mix things a certain way. So much so that when you go out to the car or listen through your ear buds back at the hotel, you suddenly realise, 'Jeez, I've done this completely differently.' You realise that it's because of that room that those early MSS productions were mixed the way they were, with the kick drum and bass really loud and present. And there I was, all those years later, doing the exact same thing—just flooring the kick and bass in order to hear it properly! But you can get away with it, because the floors in the main room have a lot of give, they're flexible kind of like a trampoline, and so they were acting like a bass trap, soaking up a lot of the low end. Add to that the bass deficiency inside the control room, and you were forced to add back the lows that were missing in the first place. It was like magic.

The group found their time at Muscle Shoals to be productive and inspirational, as they recorded all day in "a kind of focused frenzy" with a sense of immediacy.[5][9] Neill recalled, "Things were happening that were very, very transcendent, as soon as they began playing. First few takes, we literally couldn't believe what we were hearing. Dan and Pat were kind of looking at each other saying, 'That doesn't even sound like us.' Seriously."[5] Much of the songs crafted were based on "idea fragments" that had been cut beforehand as demos at both Neill's and Auerbach's studios, but eventually evolved into entirely different creations as the sessions progressed.[5] The band recorded 10 of the 15 tracks on Brothers in their 10 days at the studio.[5][9]

Due to the long hours working in the studio, Neill, Auerbach, and Carney generally only had time to kill at night when fewer retailers are open.[9] Furthermore, Sheffield was remote and isolated; Neill said, "What they were complaining about is that at night, after we were done, they wanted to go swarm around and do something. There's nothing. I told them that before we went out. Unless you want to go see a movie or something, or go to Walmart and stand around under the fluorescent lights. So what did we do? We went to Walmart."[9] Carney said that the trio were "just so bored that we were getting so fucked up every night at the hotel," and one drunken night the group stayed up watching YouTube clips of Freddie King.[10] The following day, the musicians showed up at the studio and found a harpsichord. The band's manager had received a drunken voicemail from the band the night before asking for a harpsichord.[10] The trio soon grew restless for a change, and after finalizing the tenth and final song at Muscle Shoals, the band left town.[9] Back in La Mesa, Neill tweaked the multitracks, then filed the recordings away and awaited further instruction.[5] The Black Keys eventually decided to re-work the overtly swampy tracks from Muscle Shoals using more modern machinery, and they subsequently employed producer Tchad Blake to re-mix their songs.[5]


The album's first single was "Tighten Up", which became The Black Keys' most successful single to that point, being the group's first song to chart on and reach number one on the Alternative Songs and Rock Songs charts.[11] Mark C. Horn of Buzzbin Magazine described the song: "The song intros with the distinct whistling from Ennio Morricone's The Good, The Bad and The Ugly composition, backed up by Carney's monster thump drumming and Auerbach's soulful vocal offerings." Famed producer Danger Mouse, who produced Attack and Release, produced the song, which was recorded at Brooklyn's Bunker Studios."[12]

As the label asked director Chris Marrs Piliero to do a placeholder video for "Tighten Up" as a teaser for the album, he made a low-budget video for the song, released in April 2010, with The Black Keys alongside a dinosaur puppet named Frank. Later that month, another Piliero teaser video was released, with Frank singing "Next Girl" alongside bikini-clad models.[13] The official "Tighten Up" video, directed by Piliero, was released on May 18, 2010.[14][15]

An official video for the song "Howlin' for You" was released on February 10, 2011.[16] Directed by Chris Marrs Piliero,[17] the video parodied action movie trailers and starred Tricia Helfer, Diora Baird, Sean Patrick Flanery, Christian Serratos, Corbin Bernsen, Todd Bridges, and Shaun White.[16][18] It was nominated for the 2011 MTV Video Music Award for Best Rock Video.[19]

The band appeared as the musical guest on the American sketch comedy television show Saturday Night Live on January 8, 2011, performing "Howlin for You" and "Tighten Up".[20]

The third season finale of Luther used the song "Never Gonna Give You Up" as an outro song.[21]


The Black Keys performing in 2011

The album's art direction was designed by Michael Carney, the brother of drummer Patrick Carney. Michael wanted a change from their illustration-driven covers, and devised a simple approach, littered with messages that identify everything, such as the front saying, "This is an album by The Black Keys. The name of this album is Brothers". Nonesuch was initially perplexed, but once the label's marketing department approved it, he went with it. Michael said taking risks with an unconventional packaging added an incentive to purchasing physical copies, while acknowledging the minimalistic cover also helped with digital copies given "it does jump out on the iTunes page". In 2011, Michael won the Grammy Award for Best Album Package.[22][23] The packaging is designed to resemble a vinyl record jacket, with the old Nonesuch logo on the front cover in the lower left, and the words "STEREO SOUND" in the upper right. The album was released as a 12-inch double LP. The Brothers art was compared to the front cover design of Howlin' Wolf's 1969 album, The Howlin' Wolf Album, which reads, "This is Howlin' Wolf's new album..." Auerbach and Carney have both stated repeatedly that Howlin' Wolf was one of their greatest influences.[24]

When first opened, the label on the disc is almost entirely black. However, the label is heat-sensitive and turns white when played in a disc player for a long enough time. The label can also be revealed by touching the disc. On finding the heat-sensitive ink Carney told the Los Angeles Times, "Before we started the design, I talked to the people [at the label] and said I'd heard of this ink. Literally, every ink supplier was contacted. People are really open to making new packaging."[23] On Australian copies of the album, the disc is white with black text; on the European copies the disc is silver with black text.[25]

Included in the album sleeve is a poster with the lyrics on the back.

The font used, Cooper Black, is used on the iconic Muscle Shoals Sound Studio (where the album was recorded) '3614 Jackson Highway' board and has been used by other bands, including The Doors on L.A. Woman, In It for the Money by Supergrass, the first three of The Fratellis albums, Tyler, The Creator's Goblin and the cover of Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[28]
The A.V. ClubB+[29]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[30]
The Guardian3/5 stars[31]
The Independent4/5 stars[32]
Q4/5 stars[35]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[36]
Uncut4/5 stars[37]

Brothers garnered critical acclaim. According to review aggregator website Metacritic, the album has an average critic review score of 82/100.[27] Rolling Stone magazine placed the album at No. 2 on the Best Albums of 2010[38] and "Everlasting Light" at No. 11 on the Best Songs of 2010.[39] The album was also featured on Spin's Top 40 Albums of 2010[40] and Paste magazine's 50 Best Albums of 2010.[41] Time magazine ranked it number seven on its list of 2010's Top 10 Albums.[42] The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[43]

The album was nominated for five 2011 Grammy Awards[44] the biggest win being Best Alternative Music Album beating out eventual Album Of The Year winner, Arcade Fire's The Suburbs. The single "Tighten Up" won the award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and was nominated for Best Rock Song. "Black Mud" was nominated for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.[4] The fifth nomination was for Grammy Award for Best Recording Package, which Michael Carney won for designing the album artwork.[22]

Brothers was also the band's commercial breakthrough, as it sold over 73,000 copies in the United States in its first week and peaked at number three on the Billboard 200, their best performance on the chart to that point.[45] By the time follow-up El Camino was about to be released in 2011, Brothers had sold 814,000 copies in the U.S.[46]

Track listing

All tracks are written by Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, except where noted.

1."Everlasting Light"3:24
2."Next Girl"3:18
3."Tighten Up"3:31
4."Howlin' for You"3:12
5."She's Long Gone"3:06
6."Black Mud"2:10
7."The Only One"5:00
8."Too Afraid to Love You"3:25
9."Ten Cent Pistol"4:29
10."Sinister Kid"3:45
11."The Go Getter"3:37
12."I'm Not the One"3:49
13."Unknown Brother"4:00
14."Never Give You Up" (Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, and Jerry Butler)3:39
15."These Days"5:12

Bonus tracks

16."Ohio" (7" vinyl or free download for members of the band's website)4:29
17."Howlin' for You (feat. Prins Thomas Diskomiks)" (Available on iTunes)7:27

Deluxe Remastered 10th Anniversary Edition

16."Chop and Change"2:25
17."Keep My Name Outta Your Mouth"3:09
18."Black Mud Part II"2:39


The Black Keys

In popular culture

  • The third single of the album, "Next Girl", was featured on the game Saints Row: The Third.
  • The single "Everlasting Light", was featured on the soundtrack of the game NBA 2K15.
  • The single "Sinister Kid", was featured on the game Fight Night Champion.

Charts and certifications


  1. ^ Phillips, Amy (March 2, 2010). "The Black Keys Announce New Album". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Record Certifications Around the World". October 26, 2012. Archived from the original on November 15, 2012.
  3. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "nominees and winners". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on February 1, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Simons, Dave (August 2011). "Mark Neill: Recording The Black Keys At Muscle Shoals". Sound on Sound.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Eells, Josh (May 27, 2010). "Two Against Nature". Rolling Stone (1108): 48–80.
  7. ^ Simpson, Dave (December 1, 2011). "'We've put in more hours than anyone': The Black Keys interviewed". Guardian Media Group. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
  8. ^ Hiatt, Brian (January 19, 2012). "Black Keys Rising". Rolling Stone (1148): 38–41, 66. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Carlson, Sarah (May 14, 2010). "This is an article on The Black Keys". TimesDaily.
  10. ^ a b c White, Shelley (May 14, 2010). "Black Keys Battle Demons and Ghosts to Make Brothers". Spinner. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ "Tighten Up- The Black Keys". Billboard. March 30, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  12. ^ "Interview: The Black Keys, Brothers". Buzzbin Magazine. May 7, 2010. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  13. ^ Dombal, Ryan (June 22, 2010). "Director's Cut: Black Keys: "Next Girl"". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  14. ^ "Interview: The Black Keys' "Tighten Up" Video: Small Children Beat Dan and Patrick". Seattle Weekly. May 19, 2010. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  15. ^ "Interview: Tighten Up Official Video Premiere". Warner Bros. Records. May 18, 2010. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  16. ^ a b "Howlin' for You". Warner Bros. Records. February 10, 2011. Archived from the original on April 12, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
  17. ^ "Howlin' for You Behind-the-Scenes". Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  18. ^ "Howlin' for You: IMDB page". February 10, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  19. ^ "MTV VMA Best Rock Video Nominees 2011". Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  20. ^ "Saturday Night Live Episode Recap". Saturday Night Live. Archived from the original on January 30, 2011. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  21. ^ "BBC Luther on Twitter".
  22. ^ a b Browne, David (August 12, 2011). "The Incredible, Inevitable Shrinking Album Cover". The New York Times.
  23. ^ a b Kennedy, Gerrick D. (February 13, 2011). "Grammy Awards: Black Keys' 'Brothers" album designer Michael Carney talks recording package win". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
  24. ^ Saufley, Charles (July 20, 2010). "Future Blues: The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach". Premier Guitar.
  25. ^ Paul (April 20, 2013). "The Black Keys: Brothers (UK/EU)".
  26. ^ "Brothers by The Black Keys reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  27. ^ a b "Reviews for Brothers by The Black Keys". Metacritic. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  28. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Brothers – The Black Keys". AllMusic. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  29. ^ Murray, Noel (May 18, 2010). "The Black Keys: Brothers". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  30. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (May 21, 2010). "Brothers". Entertainment Weekly (1103). Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  31. ^ Dean, Will (May 13, 2010). "The Black Keys: Brothers". The Guardian. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  32. ^ Gill, Andy (May 14, 2010). "Album: The Black Keys, Brothers, (V2)". The Independent. Archived from the original on May 24, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  33. ^ Stokes, Paul (May 13, 2010). "Album Review: The Black Keys – 'Brothers' (V2/Co-Op Music)". NME. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  34. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry (May 19, 2010). "The Black Keys: Brothers". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  35. ^ "The Black Keys: Brothers". Q (287): 128. June 2010.
  36. ^ Fricke, David (May 17, 2010). "Brothers". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  37. ^ "The Black Keys: Brothers". Uncut (157): 81. June 2010.
  38. ^ "Rolling Stone's Best Albums of 2010". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  39. ^ "Rolling Stone's Best Singles of 2010". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  40. ^ "Spin's 40 Best Albums of 2010". Spin Magazine. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  41. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2010". Paste Magazine. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  42. ^ Suddath, Claire (December 9, 2010). "The Top 10 Everything of 2010 - The Black Keys, Brothers". Time. Archived from the original on December 12, 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  43. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (2014). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2.
  44. ^ "The Black Keys Score Five Grammy Nominations". The Akron Beacon Journal. December 2, 2010. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  45. ^ a b "The Black Keys' "Brothers" Debuts at No. 3 on Billboard Album Chart with Band's Best One-Week Sales Ever". Nonesuch Records. May 26, 2010. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  46. ^ "The Black Keys Announce More Album Details, First Single".
  47. ^ a b c d e f g "The Black Keys –Brothers". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
  48. ^ "The Black Keys Album & Song Chart History: Canadian Albums". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  49. ^ " – Foo Fighters – Wasting Light". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  50. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts: The Black Keys –Brothers". Offizielle Deutsche Charts. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  51. ^ "Album Top 40 slágerlista – 2021. 2. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  52. ^ " – The Black Keys – Brothers". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  53. ^ " – The Black Keys – Brothers". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  54. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100: 39 May 2010". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  55. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums: 2010 Year-End Charts". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  56. ^ "Alternative Albums: 2010 Year-End Charts)". Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on June 30, 2013. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
  57. ^ "Digital Albums: 2010 Year-End Charts". Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on January 1, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  58. ^ "Rock Albums: 2010 Year-End Charts". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  59. ^ a b "Billboard 200 Albums: 2011 Year-End Charts". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  60. ^ "Alternative Albums: 2011 Year-End Charts)". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
  61. ^ "Rock Albums: 2011 Year-End Charts". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  62. ^ "Decade-End Charts: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2019.
  63. ^ "Canadian album certifications – The Black Keys – Brothers". Music Canada. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  64. ^ "British album certifications – The Black Keys – Brothers". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Brothers in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  65. ^ "American album certifications – The Black Keys – Brothers". Recording Industry Association of America.

External links


Veröffentlichungen von The Black Keys die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

Brothers ¦ Delta Kream ¦ Let's Rock ¦ Chulahoma: The Songs Of Junior Kimbrough

The Black Keys auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

The Black Keys
The Black Keys (2011)
The Black Keys (2011)
Allgemeine Informationen
Genre(s)Bluesrock, Low Fidelity, Garage Rock, Indie-Rock, Crossover
Aktuelle Besetzung
Dan Auerbach
Patrick Carney

The Black Keys sind ein 2001 gegründetes US-amerikanisches Bluesrock-Duo und mehrfache Grammy-Preisträger.


The Black Keys bestehen aus dem Sänger und Gitarristen Dan Auerbach und dem Schlagzeuger Patrick Carney. Das Duo stammt aus Akron im Bundesstaat Ohio. Der Name stammt von einem Freund der Band, der Personen, die ihm nicht gefielen oder von denen er meinte, man könne ihnen nicht trauen, als „Black Keys“ bezeichnete. Eine Konnotation des Namens „Black Keys“ besteht in der englischen Bezeichnung für die schwarzen Tasten des Klaviers.

Die Black Keys werden oft mit den White Stripes verglichen, da diese in ähnlicher Weise ein Duo waren, das LoFi-Musik machte und kurze Zeit vor den Black Keys seinen Durchbruch feierte.

Bei den Aufnahmen wird auf große Aufnahmetechnik verzichtet. Bisher wurden große Studios gemieden. Aufnahme, Produktion und Mix wurden von den beiden Musikern selbst übernommen. Zum Beispiel wurde ihr zweites Album Thickfreakness innerhalb von 14 Stunden im Keller von Carneys Haus auf einem Tascam 388 8-Trackrecorder aus den 1980er Jahren eingespielt. Die Black Keys haben daher einen ausgesprochen derben und ruppigen Sound. Regelmäßig finden sich auch Hintergrundgeräusche auf ihren Platten wieder. Das Duo bekennt sich ostentativ zu dieser schlichten Produktionstechnik. So sind im Beiheft der CD Magic Potion Fotos ihres Übungsraumes, einer Waschküche, abgebildet.

Der Gitarrist und Sänger der Band Dan Auerbach, hier in Tulsa im April 2012.
Patrick Carney ist am Schlagzeug zu finden, hier in Washington D.C. im Jahre 2014.

Die Band wird regelmäßig von der Kritik für ihr Werk gelobt; unter anderem auch für ihr Album Brothers aus dem Jahre 2010. Es erreichte u. a. Platz 3 der Billboard Charts. Bei den Grammy Awards 2011 wurde es als Best Alternative Music Album des Jahres sowie als Bestes Aufnahme-Paket ausgezeichnet. Einen dritten Grammy gewannen sie mit dem Song Tighten Up für die Beste Rock-Performance mit Gesang einer Gruppe. Insgesamt waren sie fünf Mal nominiert.

Am 6. Dezember 2011 wurde das Album El Camino veröffentlicht. Die erste Single-Auskopplung war Lonely Boy. Das Album stieg sofort auf Platz 2 der US-Charts ein. "Music to cook crystal meth by"[1], lobt der Spiegel dieses Album. Die Black Keys hatten den Durchbruch geschafft und ihre Show im Madison Square Garden in New York City war innerhalb von 15 Minuten ausverkauft.

Anfang 2012 gab die Band bekannt, dass sie sich im Februar desselben Jahres an die Arbeiten zu einem neuen Album machen wollten. Dieses sollte bis Ende März fertig eingespielt sein. Jedoch wollten sich Auerbach und Carney nach einer langen Tour den Sommer freinehmen. Das Album Turn Blue erschien im Mai 2014 und am 28. Juni 2019 das Album Let´s Rock.

Am 14. Mai 2021 erschien mit Delta Kream das zehnte Studioalbum des Duos.

Arbeit als Produzent und Studio-Musiker

Dan Auerbach war als Produzent und Studiomusiker an zahlreichen Alben mit beteiligt. Als Produzent, Mixer, Sänger und Gitarrist wirkte er unter anderem mit an Alben der Pretenders, von Lana Del Rey, Bombino, Ray LaMontagne, Valerie June, Hanni El Khatib, Connie Britton und Nikki Lane. Patrick Carney betätigte sich als Label-Betreiber (seit 2005: Audio Eagle Records) sowie als Produzent – unter anderem für die kanadische Rockband The Sheepdogs.

Soundtrackbeiträge und Werbung

  • Girl Is on My Mind wird von Sony Ericsson in einem Werbespot mit den Tennisspielerinnen Ana Ivanović und Daniela Hantuchová zur Bewerbung eines Mobiltelefons genutzt. Der Titel ist ebenfalls im Kinofilm Cashback als Untermalung eines Striptease zu hören.
  • Set You Free wird im Film School of Rock angespielt.
  • Gold On The Ceiling wird in der Serie gespielt.
  • Strange Times ist Teil der Playlist des Radiosenders Radio Broker im Computerspiel GTA IV.
  • Your Touch ist im Soundtrack zum Film Zombieland enthalten und kommt auch im Soundtrack zum Computerspiel Driver San Francisco vor.
  • Just Got to Be ist Teil des Soundtracks des Konsolenspiels NHL 08.[2]
  • I’ll Be Your Man aus dem Album The Big Come Up ist der Titelsong der Fernsehserie Hung – Um Längen besser.
  • I Got Mine aus dem Album Attack & Release kommt im Kinofilm Das A-Team – Der Film vor (als das A-Team sich im Irak auf einen Einsatz vorbereitet),[3] sowie als Opener im Film Homefront (2013).
  • Tighten Up gehört zu den Soundtracks der Fußballsimulation FIFA 11. Des Weiteren ist der Song auch zu Beginn des Films Spring Breakers vertreten.
  • Howlin' for You ist einer der Songs aus Limitless (Ohne Limit).
  • Chop and Change wird in Eclipse – Biss zum Abendrot gespielt.
  • Hard Row wird in der Pilotepisode der Serie Sons of Anarchy gespielt.
  • Next Girl ist auf dem Gitarren-Videospiel Rocksmith zum Lernen hinterlegt.
  • Lonely Boy aus dem Album El Camino dient im Trailer für das Computerspiel Need for Speed zur Unterlegung von The Run. Außerdem ist er im Trailer des 2013 erschienenen Film Warm Bodies, in Forza Horizon zu hören und auch A1 Telekom Austria verwendete den Song für Werbezwecke. 2017 nutzte Volkswagen den Titel für die Werbung des neuen Polos.
  • The Black Keys sind mit ihrer Coverversion von Bob Dylans The Wicked Messenger auf dem Soundtrack der fiktiven Dylan-Filmbiographie I’m Not There (2007) von Todd Haynes vertreten.
  • Im Film Die Qual der Wahl ist der Black-Keys-Song Gold on the Ceiling am Anfang zu hören.
  • Das Intro von Howlin' for You ist in dem Werbespot von Netflix zu hören.
  • Everlasting Light ist Teil des Soundtracks des Computerspiels NBA 2K15 und Howlin' for You war im Vorgängerspiel NBA 2K14 zu hören.
  • Lies ist in der dritten Episode der Krimiserie Lie to Me zu hören
  • Howlin' for you ist in der Pilotfolge der Serie Suits (S1E1) zu hören. In der Szene, wo Harvey Mike einstellt und der das Gras die Toilette runter spült.
  • Lonely Boy läuft als Titellied der Serie Im Knast.
  • Goin' Home ist in dem Film Up in the Air zu hören.
  • I'm Not The One aus dem Album Brothers ist am Anfang der vierten Folge der Serie The Leftovers zu hören.
  • She's Long Gone bildet Teil des Soundtracks zum Film Boyhood.[4]



JahrTitelHöchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen[5]
(Jahr, Titel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
2002The Big Come Up
Erstveröffentlichung: 14. Mai 2002
Erstveröffentlichung: 8. April 2003
2004Rubber FactoryUK62
(1 Wo.)UK
(2 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 7. September 2004
2006Magic PotionUK79
(1 Wo.)UK
(2 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 12. September 2006
2008Attack & ReleaseUK34

(3 Wo.)UK

(14 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 1. April 2008
(1 Wo.)DE
(4 Wo.)CH

(25 Wo.)UK

(145 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 18. Mai 2010
2011El CaminoDE27
(13 Wo.)DE
(15 Wo.)AT
(36 Wo.)CH

(81 Wo.)UK

(100 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 6. Dezember 2011
2014Turn BlueDE6
(7 Wo.)DE
(6 Wo.)AT
(12 Wo.)CH

(18 Wo.)UK

(31 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 12. Mai 2014
2019Let’s RockDE7
(5 Wo.)DE
(5 Wo.)AT
(9 Wo.)CH
(5 Wo.)UK
(4 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 28. Juni 2019
2021Delta KreamDE3
(8 Wo.)DE
(3 Wo.)AT
(11 Wo.)CH
(2 Wo.)UK
(3 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 14. Mai 2021


JahrTitelHöchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen[5]
(Jahr, Titel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
2006Chulahoma: The Songs of
Junior Kimbrough
(1 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 2. Mai 2006
(1 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 27. November 2009
2010iTunes SessionUS79
(1 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 26. November 2010
2012The Tour Rehearsal TapesUS156
(1 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 9. Oktober 2012


2004Thickfreakness in AustinErstveröffentlichung: 7. September 2004
2005LiveErstveröffentlichung: 4. Oktober 2005
2006Austin City Limits Music Festival 2005Erstveröffentlichung: 20. Juni 2006
2008Live at the Crystal BallroomErstveröffentlichung: 18. November 2008

Weitere Veröffentlichungen

  • 2002: The Big Come Up
  • 2003: Thickfreakness
  • 2004: The Moan
  • 2006: Live in Austin, TX


Höchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen[5]
(Jahr, Titel, Album, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
2003Hard Row
(1 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: Mai 2003
Have Love Will Travel
(1 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: September 2003
200410 A.M. Automatic
Rubber Factory
(2 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 30. August 2004
Till I Get My Way / Girl Is on My Mind
Rubber Factory
(2 Wo.)UK
Erstveröffentlichung: 22. November 2004
2010Tighten Up

(4 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 18. Mai 2010
2011Lonely Boy
El Camino

(8 Wo.)UK

(20 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 26. Oktober 2011
2012Gold on the Ceiling
El Camino

(6 Wo.)UK

(6 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 25. Februar 2012
Turn Blue
(4 Wo.)UK

(3 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 24. März 2014

Weitere Singles mit Auszeichnungen

  • 2010: Howlin’ For You (UK:SilberSilber; US:PlatinPlatin)
  • 2010: Everlasting Light (US:GoldGold)
  • 2012: Little Back Submarine (US:GoldGold)

Auszeichnungen für Musikverkäufe

Goldene Schallplatte

  • BelgienBelgien Belgien
    • 2015: für das Album El Camino
  • DanemarkDänemark Dänemark
    • 2020: für das Album El Camino
  • ItalienItalien Italien
    • 2013: für das Album El Camino
    • 2014: für die Single Gold on the Ceiling
    • 2014: für die Single Fever
    • 2019: für die Single Howlin' for You
  • KanadaKanada Kanada
    • 2011: für die Single Howlin' for You
    • 2011: für die Single Tighten Up
    • 2012: für das Album Attack & Release
    • 2012: für die Single Little Black Submarines
    • 2012: für die Single Gold on the Ceiling
  • NiederlandeNiederlande Niederlande
    • 2012: für das Album El Camino
  • NorwegenNorwegen Norwegen
    • 2021: für das Album El Camino


  • AustralienAustralien Australien
    • 2012: für die Single Gold on the Ceiling
  • FrankreichFrankreich Frankreich
    • 2014: für das Album El Camino
  • IrlandIrland Irland
    • 2012: für das Album El Camino
  • ItalienItalien Italien
    • 2018: für die Single Lonely Boy
  • KanadaKanada Kanada
    • 2012: für die Single Lonely Boy
    • 2015: für das Album Turn Blue
  • NeuseelandNeuseeland Neuseeland
    • 2012: für die Single Lonely Boy

2× Platin-Schallplatte

  • AustralienAustralien Australien
    • 2012: für das Album El Camino
  • NeuseelandNeuseeland Neuseeland
    • 2012: für das Album El Camino

3× Platin-Schallplatte

  • AustralienAustralien Australien
    • 2012: für die Single Lonely Boy
  • KanadaKanada Kanada
    • 2019: für das Album Brothers

4× Platin-Schallplatte

  • KanadaKanada Kanada
    • 2021: für das Album El Camino

Anmerkung: Auszeichnungen in Ländern aus den Charttabellen bzw. Chartboxen sind in ebendiesen zu finden.

Land/RegionAus­zeich­nung­en für Mu­sik­ver­käu­fe
(Land/Region, Auszeichnungen, Verkäufe, Quellen)
Silver record icon.svg SilberGold record icon.svg GoldPlatinum record icon.svg PlatinVer­käu­feQuel­len
Australien (ARIA) Australien (ARIA)0! S0! GPlatinum record icon.svg 6×
Belgien (BEA) Belgien (BEA)0! SGold record icon.svg Gold10!
Dänemark (IFPI) Dänemark (IFPI)0! SGold record icon.svg Gold10!
Frankreich (SNEP) Frankreich (SNEP)0! S0! GPlatinum record icon.svg
Irland (IRMA) Irland (IRMA)0! S0! GPlatinum record icon.svg
Italien (FIMI) Italien (FIMI)0! SGold record icon.svg 4× Gold4Platinum record icon.svg
Kanada (MC) Kanada (MC)0! SGold record icon.svg 5× Gold5Platinum record icon.svg 9×
Neuseeland (RMNZ) Neuseeland (RMNZ)0! S0! GPlatinum record icon.svg 3×
Niederlande (NVPI) Niederlande (NVPI)0! SGold record icon.svg Gold10!
Norwegen (IFPI) Norwegen (IFPI)0! SGold record icon.svg Gold10!
Vereinigte Staaten (RIAA) Vereinigte Staaten (RIAA)0! SGold record icon.svg 5× Gold5Platinum record icon.svg 8×
Vereinigtes Königreich (BPI) Vereinigtes Königreich (BPI)Silver record icon.svg 2× Silber2Gold record icon.svg 4× Gold4Platinum record icon.svg
InsgesamtSilver record icon.svg 2× Silber2Gold record icon.svg 22× Gold22Platinum record icon.svg 30× Platin30


  • MTV Video Music Award 2010 für „Breakthrough Video
  • Grammy Award 2011 für „Best Alternative Music Album“ (Brothers)
  • Grammy Award 2011 für „Best Recording Package“ (Brothers)
  • Grammy Award 2011 für „Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals“ (Tighten Up)
  • Grammy Award 2013 für „Best Rock Song“ (Lonely Boy)
  • Grammy Award 2013 für „Best Rock Performance“ (Lonely Boy)
  • Grammy Award 2013 für „Best Rock Album“ (El Camino)
  • BRIT Award 2013 für „International Group“

Dan Auerbach

  • Grammy Award 2013 für Producer of the Year, Non-Classical


  1. DER SPIEGEL: Abgehört: Die wichtigsten CDs der Woche - DER SPIEGEL - Kultur. Abgerufen am 8. August 2020.
  2. EA Trax Game Music (Memento vom 5. Dezember 2010 im Internet Archive)
  3. The A-Team (2010) in der Internet Movie Database (englisch), abgerufen am 14. Juni 2019
  4. Boyhood (2014) in der Internet Movie Database (englisch), abgerufen am 4. Januar 2021
  5. a b c Chartquellen: DE AT CH UK US



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