The Followill brothers (and cousin Matthew) scored their first ever UK No.1 single with 'Sex On Fire' which shot to the top spot in September 2008... The boys spent the summer headling some of the UK's biggest festivals and they embark on a tour over here in December 2008In 2008, physical singles were less important than they had been since the inception of the singles chart but still not totally irrelevant, and Kings Of Leon were an act at that fourth album stage where many a hyped rock act tends to slip into irrelevance and declining chart fortunes. It's fair to say that I wasn't really expecting them to enter the chart at Number One with a single that was initially available only on download (CD and 7" singles arrived a couple of weeks later), but that was exactly what happened. And it was only the start of it too, with the song going on to sell a million copies and, admittedly with the assistance of the odd iTunes discount, spending longer on the chart than any Number One single had ever done before. It launched the band to an even greater level of success, particularly back home in the USA, although they didn't seem to have enjoyed it all that much. In surely the crowning glory of the Followills' career, the song was later covered by Westlife.
Never having been keen on the band in the first place, I wasn't really sure why this song suddenly took off as it did; admittedly, the Kings weren't quite as obscure in Britain before this as some might think, their first three albums having all made the Top 3, but they'd never even had a Top 10 single before. Inevitably, some people have suggested that this and the rest of the massive Only By The Night album represented some sort of sell-out, but I can't honestly say I can tell the difference between supposedly commercial Kings Of Leon tracks and supposedly uncommercial ones. For that matter I can't really tell what's supposed to be good about any of them, Southern rock being a style with very little appeal to me and fortunately one that doesn't crop up much on the Now albums. Maybe the word "Sex" in the title just got people's attention. I much prefer their other million-selling single, 'Use Somebody'
Available on: Only By The Night