“Mr. Brightside” is an objectively great song. It’s applicability and use-value are off the charts: tortured but optimistic protagonist? Check. Guitar riff technical enough to impress rock purists and palatable enough to satiate casual listeners? Check. Arena-, dive bar-, or headphone-suited anthemics? Check. Rudimentary earworm melody? Check. Sound studies professors could dissect the song, bit by bit, and tell you exactly how it ticks those pleasure centres in your brain.
The appeal doesn’t seem to be wearing off any time soon, either. As Noisey noticed, the iconic track is still on the charts in the UK more than a decade after its release. Crazier still, since first charting in the UK in 2005, it hasn’t missed a year on the UK Singles Charts. Brandon Flowers can now truthfully add, “Wrote a song that spent 12 years on the charts” to his resume.
It’s worth noting that Flowers has competition for the ‘longest charting song’ crown in the UK. “Mr. Brightside” is tied with Snow Patrol’s Grey’s Anatomy-slick “Chasing Cars” for most weeks spent on the UK charts, with 166 a piece. Meanwhile, Drake just marked 400 consecutive weeks in the Billboard Hot 100. It seems that mining the feels isn’t just cathartic, it’s lucrative.