The Black Keys release Brothers (Deluxe Remastered Anniversary Edition),
an expanded version of their watershed 2010 multi-platinum,
Grammy-winning sixth studio album via Nonesuch Records, on which the
record is newly available throughout the world. To celebrate its tenth
anniversary, Brothers will be re-released with three added bonus songs:
‘Keep My Name Outta Your Mouth’, ‘Black Mud Part II’, and ‘Chop and
Change’. It will be available in three formats: a 7” box set, a 2-LP
set, and a CD. This will be the first in an annual series of archival
releases from the band.
Brothers, originally released on May 18, 2010, was largely recorded at
the famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama. It was a career
breakthrough for The Black Keys, receiving critical praise and earning
three Grammy Awards, for Best Alternative Album, Best Rock Performance,
and Best Recording Packaging for Michael Carney’s design. Upon release,
Rolling Stone hailed the album ‘a masterpiece’, and Uncut named them
‘one of the best rock ‘n’ roll bands on the planet’.
Although they realised upon their arrival in Muscle Shoals, Alabama in
hot and humid August that the studio had seen better days, the band –
singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney – brought in
their own equipment and proceeded. The oppressive Alabama summer weather
"forced us into the studio”, Carney says. "We went into that darkness
and stayed there”.
The duo recorded nine of the original Brothers songs in what was now "a
remote recording in a historic room that had been gutted", Auerbach
recalls, adding that the location contributed to the vibe of Brothers
nonetheless: "You can feel it if you're a musician, the great things
that happened in a place. Half of the thing that we love is in our
minds, but when we go to these shrines, it gives us inner strength. It
feels magical – this is where the music was born".
The band recorded additional material in other locations: the album song
‘Tighten Up’ in Brooklyn with Danger Mouse (Brian Burton), several
others on Auerbach's eight-track in his Akron basement, and three in
Mark Neill's home studio in San Diego. ‘Chop and Change’ and ‘Keep My
Name Outta Your Mouth’ are bonus tracks on this anniversary edition of
Brothers. The band then gave the music to Tchad Blake to mix. Carney
recalls, “We told Tchad, 'Make it sound fucked up'".
The album title highlighted a revived bond between the longtime
bandmates and childhood neighbours, who had been through challenging
times personally and professionally. Carney says, “I was thinking about
what the record meant to me – how Dan and I had gone through this shit
that brothers go through where you don't get along, but then you do get
along and realise it's an unconditional love”. It was reminiscent of one
of Auerbach’s favourite Allman Brothers albums, too: "As soon as Pat
suggested it, I loved it”.
The Black Keys released their ninth studio album, “Let’s Rock”, via Easy
Eye Sound/Nonesuch Records last year. The album received critical
praise, with Pitchfork saying, ‘This is an album by the Black Keys
called “Let’s Rock”. That's what it does’. The Wall Street Journal said,
‘The Black Keys have mastered the form of guitar-based music, and the
craft at work on these dozen songs is something to behold’.