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The Black Keys|El Camino  (10th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition)

El Camino (10th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition)

The Black Keys

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At some point every band makes a move towards commercial success. Accolades for purity of motivation and peerless references are great, but selling a few albums carries its own kind of rush. Oh sure, by 2011, The Black Keys had already hit paydirt licensing music for Victoria's Secret ads, among other brands, but the duo wanted their music rather than their opportunism to be respected. Routinely crediting The Cramps and The Clash while still sounding like the rough 'n' ready garage band from Akron, Ohio, that they'd been since the beginning made the journey to larger musical success problematic. Enter Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton, who produced guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney's preceding album, 2010's Brothers; recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama, it continued the Black Keys' move away from a lo-fi sound. Advised by Burton to record more upbeat material that would play well in the arena-sized venues they were aiming for, the pair convened at Auerbach's new Easy Eye Sound Studio in Nashville and began to work up fresh material. Like all Black Keys records, riff rock and Auerbach and Carney's back-and-forth interplay are the foundation, but now their usual dirty blues vibe gave way to a more straight ahead early rock and roll tone. Danger Mouse also became an active part of the songwriting process for the first time. Fast tempos and more pronounced pop hooks were the immediate focus. The opener "Lonely Boy," is impossible to resist. In "Dead and Gone" handclaps and the album's three female background singers Leisa Hans, Heather Rigdon and Ashley Wilcoxson beef up the poppy choruses. Recorded by Kennie Takahashi and Collin Dupuis, and mixed by Tchad Blake, the sound here is enhanced with plenty of reverb making everything that much larger in the process. Tunes like the working girl paean, "Money Maker," where Auerbach sings, "I wanna buy some time but don't have a dime," sound oversized and very much arena-ready. "Sister" is the Keys' elemental riff rock at its best, this time fleshed out by Danger Mouse on keyboard. Touches like the squiggly guitar line in "Run Right Back" confirm musical evolutions in their usual jam-it-up method. This reissue contains 20 tracks from a previously unreleased concert from Portland, Maine, an 11-track BBC Radio 1 session from 2012, and a 9-track 2011 Electro-Vox rehearsal session recorded prior to the 2012 El Camino tour. While both live sets are stacked with tracks from Brothers ("Howlin for You," "Tighten Up") and El Camino, the BBC set has a closer, densely packed sound, while the live sound of the Portland show in front of a rabid audience is huge and reverberant. The rehearsal session is predictably loose with slower tempos, though the arrangements are similar to what was eventually released. This reissue does bring up questions: is ten years long enough to create the demand and perspective necessary for a successful reissue? Have Keys fans even stopped listening to their original copies yet or is this more rampant commercialism from a band famous for it? Of course, it may also be that Auerbach and Carney are closing a chapter. Stay tuned for the next decade. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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El Camino (10th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition)

The Black Keys

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1
Lonely Boy (2021 Remaster)
00:03:13

Brian Burton, Writer - Danger Mouse , Producer - Tchad Blake, MixingEngineer - Dan Auerbach, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Producer, Drums, Writer - Brian Lucey, MasteringEngineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2011 Nonesuch Records

2
Dead and Gone (2021 Remaster)
00:03:41

Brian Burton, Writer - Danger Mouse , Producer - Tchad Blake, MixingEngineer - Dan Auerbach, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Producer, Drums, Writer - Brian Lucey, MasteringEngineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2011 Nonesuch Records

3
Gold on the Ceiling (2021 Remaster)
00:03:44

Brian Burton, Writer - Danger Mouse , Producer - Tchad Blake, MixingEngineer - Dan Auerbach, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Producer, Drums, Writer - Brian Lucey, MasteringEngineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2011 Nonesuch Records

4
Little Black Submarines (2021 Remaster)
00:04:11

Brian Burton, Writer - Danger Mouse , Producer - Tchad Blake, MixingEngineer - Dan Auerbach, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Producer, Drums, Writer - Brian Lucey, MasteringEngineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2011 Nonesuch Records

5
Money Maker (2021 Remaster)
00:02:57

Brian Burton, Writer - Danger Mouse , Producer - Tchad Blake, MixingEngineer - Dan Auerbach, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Producer, Drums, Writer - Brian Lucey, MasteringEngineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2011 Nonesuch Records

6
Run Right Back (2021 Remaster)
00:03:16

Brian Burton, Writer - Danger Mouse , Producer - Tchad Blake, MixingEngineer - Dan Auerbach, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Producer, Drums, Writer - Brian Lucey, MasteringEngineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2011 Nonesuch Records

7
Sister (2021 Remaster)
00:03:25

Brian Burton, Writer - Danger Mouse , Producer - Tchad Blake, MixingEngineer - Dan Auerbach, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Producer, Drums, Writer - Brian Lucey, MasteringEngineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2011 Nonesuch Records

8
Hell of a Season (2021 Remaster)
00:03:44

Brian Burton, Writer - Danger Mouse , Producer - Tchad Blake, MixingEngineer - Dan Auerbach, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Producer, Drums, Writer - Brian Lucey, MasteringEngineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2011 Nonesuch Records

9
Stop Stop (2021 Remaster)
00:03:29

Brian Burton, Writer - Danger Mouse , Producer - Tchad Blake, MixingEngineer - Dan Auerbach, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Producer, Drums, Writer - Brian Lucey, MasteringEngineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2011 Nonesuch Records

10
Nova Baby (2021 Remaster)
00:03:27

Brian Burton, Writer - Danger Mouse , Producer - Tchad Blake, MixingEngineer - Dan Auerbach, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Producer, Drums, Writer - Brian Lucey, MasteringEngineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2011 Nonesuch Records

11
Mind Eraser (2021 Remaster)
00:03:14

Brian Burton, Writer - Danger Mouse , Producer - Tchad Blake, MixingEngineer - Dan Auerbach, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Producer, Drums, Writer - Brian Lucey, MasteringEngineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2011 Nonesuch Records

12
Howlin’ for You (Live in Portland, ME)
00:03:45

Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

13
Next Girl (Live in Portland, ME)
00:03:30

Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

14
Run Right Back (Live in Portland, ME)
00:03:41

Brian Burton, Writer - Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

15
Same Old Thing (Live in Portland, ME)
00:03:17

Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

16
Dead and Gone (Live in Portland, ME)
00:04:06

Brian Burton, Writer - Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

17
Gold on the Ceiling (Live in Portland, ME)
00:04:05

Brian Burton, Writer - Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

18
Thickfreakness (Live in Portland, ME)
00:03:24

Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

19
Girl Is on My Mind (Live in Portland, ME)
00:05:08

Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Auerbach, Writer - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums - Carney, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

20
I'll Be Your Man / Your Touch (Live in Portland, ME)
00:07:16

Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - Dan Auerbach, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

21
Little Black Submarines (Live in Portland, ME)
00:05:38

Brian Burton, Writer - Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - Dan Auerbach, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

22
Money Maker (Live in Portland, ME)
00:03:32

Brian Burton, Writer - Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

23
Strange Times (Live in Portland, ME)
00:03:11

Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

24
Chop and Change (Live in Portland, ME)
00:03:55

Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer - Dan Auerback, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

25
Nova Baby (Live in Portland, ME)
00:04:03

Brian Burton, Writer - Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

26
Ten Cent Pistol (Live in Portland, ME)
00:06:16

Ryan Smith, Masterer - Danger Mouse , Writer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

27
Tighten Up (Live in Portland, ME)
00:03:51

Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

28
Lonely Boy (Live in Portland, ME)
00:04:01

Brian Burton, Writer - Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

29
Everlasting Light (Live in Portland, ME)
00:03:40

Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

30
She’s Long Gone (Live in Portland, ME)
00:04:11

Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

31
I Got Mine (Live in Portland, ME)
00:05:32

Ryan Smith, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records Inc.

32
Howlin’ for You (BBC Session)
00:03:27

Ryan Smith, Masterer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 BBC

33
Next Girl (BBC Session)
00:03:10

Ryan Smith, Masterer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 BBC

34
Gold on the Ceiling (BBC Session)
00:03:48

Brian Burton, Writer - Ryan Smith, Masterer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 BBC

35
Thickfreakness (BBC Session)
00:03:26

Ryan Smith, Masterer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Composer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 BBC

36
I’ll Be Your Man (BBC Session)
00:03:25

Ryan Smith, Masterer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 BBC

37
Your Touch (BBC Session)
00:03:03

Ryan Smith, Masterer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 BBC

38
Little Black Submarines (BBC Session)
00:04:45

Brian Burton, Writer - Ryan Smith, Masterer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 BBC

39
Dead and Gone (BBC Session)
00:04:04

Brian Burton, Writer - Ryan Smith, Masterer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 BBC

40
Tighten Up (BBC Session)
00:03:45

Ryan Smith, Masterer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 BBC

41
Lonely Boy (BBC Session)
00:03:11

Brian Burton, Writer - Ryan Smith, Masterer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 BBC

42
I Got Mine (BBC Session)
00:05:30

Ryan Smith, Masterer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 BBC

43
Dead and Gone (Electro-Vox Sessions)
00:03:47

Brian Burton, Writer - Ryan Smith, Masterer - Kennie Takahashi, Engineer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer - Jason Tarulli, Engineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records, Inc.

44
Gold on the Ceiling (Electro-Vox Sessions)
00:03:37

Brian Burton, Writer - Ryan Smith, Masterer - Kennie Takahashi, Engineer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer - Jason Tarulli, Engineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records, Inc.

45
Howlin’ for You (Electro-Vox Sessions)
00:03:25

Ryan Smith, Masterer - Kennie Takahashi, Engineer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer - Jason Tarulli, Engineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records, Inc.

46
Lonely Boy (Electro-Vox Sessions)
00:03:15

Brian Burton, Writer - Ryan Smith, Masterer - Kennie Takahashi, Engineer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer - Jason Tarulli, Engineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records, Inc.

47
Money Maker (Electro-Vox Sessions)
00:02:59

Brian Burton, Writer - Ryan Smith, Masterer - Kennie Takahashi, Engineer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer - Jason Tarulli, Engineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records, Inc.

48
Next Girl (Electro-Vox Sessions)
00:03:02

Ryan Smith, Masterer - Kennie Takahashi, Engineer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer - Jason Tarulli, Engineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records, Inc.

49
Run Right Back (Electro-Vox Sessions)
00:03:24

Brian Burton, Writer - Ryan Smith, Masterer - Kennie Takahashi, Engineer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer - Jason Tarulli, Engineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records, Inc.

50
Sister (Electro-Vox Sessions)
00:03:27

Brian Burton, Writer - Ryan Smith, Masterer - Kennie Takahashi, Engineer - John Wood, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals - Gus Seyffert, Background Vocals, Bass - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer - Jason Tarulli, Engineer

© 2011 Nonesuch Records ℗ 2021 Nonesuch Records, Inc.

Album Description

At some point every band makes a move towards commercial success. Accolades for purity of motivation and peerless references are great, but selling a few albums carries its own kind of rush. Oh sure, by 2011, The Black Keys had already hit paydirt licensing music for Victoria's Secret ads, among other brands, but the duo wanted their music rather than their opportunism to be respected. Routinely crediting The Cramps and The Clash while still sounding like the rough 'n' ready garage band from Akron, Ohio, that they'd been since the beginning made the journey to larger musical success problematic. Enter Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton, who produced guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney's preceding album, 2010's Brothers; recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama, it continued the Black Keys' move away from a lo-fi sound. Advised by Burton to record more upbeat material that would play well in the arena-sized venues they were aiming for, the pair convened at Auerbach's new Easy Eye Sound Studio in Nashville and began to work up fresh material. Like all Black Keys records, riff rock and Auerbach and Carney's back-and-forth interplay are the foundation, but now their usual dirty blues vibe gave way to a more straight ahead early rock and roll tone. Danger Mouse also became an active part of the songwriting process for the first time. Fast tempos and more pronounced pop hooks were the immediate focus. The opener "Lonely Boy," is impossible to resist. In "Dead and Gone" handclaps and the album's three female background singers Leisa Hans, Heather Rigdon and Ashley Wilcoxson beef up the poppy choruses. Recorded by Kennie Takahashi and Collin Dupuis, and mixed by Tchad Blake, the sound here is enhanced with plenty of reverb making everything that much larger in the process. Tunes like the working girl paean, "Money Maker," where Auerbach sings, "I wanna buy some time but don't have a dime," sound oversized and very much arena-ready. "Sister" is the Keys' elemental riff rock at its best, this time fleshed out by Danger Mouse on keyboard. Touches like the squiggly guitar line in "Run Right Back" confirm musical evolutions in their usual jam-it-up method. This reissue contains 20 tracks from a previously unreleased concert from Portland, Maine, an 11-track BBC Radio 1 session from 2012, and a 9-track 2011 Electro-Vox rehearsal session recorded prior to the 2012 El Camino tour. While both live sets are stacked with tracks from Brothers ("Howlin for You," "Tighten Up") and El Camino, the BBC set has a closer, densely packed sound, while the live sound of the Portland show in front of a rabid audience is huge and reverberant. The rehearsal session is predictably loose with slower tempos, though the arrangements are similar to what was eventually released. This reissue does bring up questions: is ten years long enough to create the demand and perspective necessary for a successful reissue? Have Keys fans even stopped listening to their original copies yet or is this more rampant commercialism from a band famous for it? Of course, it may also be that Auerbach and Carney are closing a chapter. Stay tuned for the next decade. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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