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This was released in the summer of 2007 and was from the Kings of Leon's third album 'Because Of The Times' and was their biggest hit at the time.
The main song, 'Fans' is the best and most melodic song on 'Because of the Times' for my money. Throughout the song the structure essentially remains the same with a collection of four line verses and no real chorus. Lyrically the song pays tribute to the English fans after achieving success in the country far earlier than in their homeland of America although some of the words are unintelligible and a bit random. Despite this it's a great song to shout along to and the bass line is impossible not to tap your foot along to.
Woo Hoo is the B-side and it shows a different, almost playful side to the bands. The song is a series of fast vocal deliveries followed by a gap in the music and a 'Woo Hoo!' and it works very well.
For a band so associated with America, in particular the deep South, it may come as a surprise that 'Fans', one of their best and most-loved songs, is simply Kings of Leon's loving ode to their faithful English fans. There isn't much more inspiring for an Englishman than hearing the words "All of London sing/'Cos England swings and they sure love the tales I bring/And those rainy days they aint so bad when you're the king." For anyone outside of England, it's still easy to enjoy hearing an underdog's tale of being king for the day, helped no end by the passion and conviction with which lead singer Caleb Followill projects his words.
The album which spawned 'Fans', Because Of The Times, saw Kings of Leon at a musical peak (although their 2007 album oddly isn't their best overall work; that honour falls to 2004's much grittier Aha Shake Heartbreak in my opinion), halfway between their previously rough-and-ready sound and a more thought-out, mature musical arrangement.
Fans' is the perfect representation of this: there is still a raw, emotional charge, particularly in Caleb Followill's husky, at-times unintelligible vocals and Nathan Followill's crashing drums, while Followills Matthew (lead guitar) and Jared (bass guitar) have become skilled instrumentalists at this point, the two doing more mannered things than just relentlessly thrashing their guitars in a garage rock stylee.
There have been some great opening chords in musical history, but Matthew Followill's quivering note at the beginning of 'Fans' must be up there with the best of them. What follows that elongated guitar strike is the joyous sound of a band meshing as a whole: a cheeky, cheery bassline, some campfire-style acoustic guitar playing, shouty, elated backing vocals and of course Matthew Followill's simple, echoing guitar work. Caleb Followill's voice is probably best of all, though. More composed than on previous albums, but still with a raw and bittersweet edge, the singer was at an all-time high on Because Of The Times. This was before any preachy posturing on Only By The Night and Come Around Sundown - at this point, Caleb could still draw emotion from the most cynical of souls. Whether you can understand what he's saying or not.
Also included on this single is the oft-overlooked B-side 'Woo Hoo'. Nathan Followill's toe-tapping drums sound massive and again the guitar work from Matthew Followill is impressive, perfectly complementing Caleb's return to his Youth And Young Manhood style of talk-singing.
Kings Of Leon history...
Formed in 2000 they are made up by brothers Nathan Followill (drums), Caleb Followill (singer & guitar), Jared Followill (bass guitar) and cousin Matthew Followill (lead guitar). Their name comes from the fact they're Grandfather and Father (who is actually named Ivan) go by the name Leon. The early music was a mixture of upbeat southern rock and garage rock but have since tried a variety of different sounds and genres.
To date the band have released four studio albums and one ep-
Holly Roller Novocaine ep, released Feb 18th 2003
Youth and Young Manhood, released July 7th 2003
Aha Shake Heartbreak, released Nov 1st 2004
Because of the Times, released April 2nd 2007
Only by the Night, released Sept 19th 2008
During the time of the ep and first studio album the band and a very retro chic look wearing seventies style clothing with long hair, moustaches and beards and from there on the band won such gongs as 'Best New Band' for 2004 in the UK, but they failed to make much of an imperssion in the US.
The highly anticipated second album again was very much a success in the UK entering the charts at number 3, still not massive in the US but better than the 1st this was rumoured to be because the bands more popular songs were too understated to cross larger audiences.
With the Third album came a new look for the band, more modern with skinny jeans, shorter hair and no moustahces and still gaining yet even more success in the UK (No 1 in the album charts), the band were getting more adventurous and bringing new influnces into their own own Southern rock style. Kings of Leon headlined Glastonbury following the release of Because of the Times.
Once Only by the Night had been released Kings of Leon had really began to make comercial headway even getting to number 5 on the US charts. This album continues to gain the band much more success including three grammy nominations (best rock performance, best rock songand best rock album).
Ever since the ep was released i have followed Kings of Leon as much as possible buying all albums and trying to get tickets where i can, with them finally breaking the US market i'm sure the band will continue to grow (plus new album expected 2010) which will surely only make it more difficult for me to get tickets for!!!
Non the less having seen them live i really would recommend to anybody who is a fan to see these live is an absolute must.
If your interested in reading more about the albums please keep an eye on my reviews i will be doing each indiviual album over the next week :)
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Woo Hoo