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The Black Keys Gold on the Ceiling Review

by RabbitHoleMusic
The Black Keys Gold on the ceiling single
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With the recent milestone of the 10th anniversary of 2011 El Camino vinyl album, today we take a listen to The Black Keys “Gold on the Ceiling”. First released on February 25, 2012, “Gold on the Ceiling”, was the second released single off of album and certified platinum in Australia, Canada and in my residence (one of my personal favorites off the album).

The Black Keys Gold on the Ceiling Overview

One of the highlights off of the El Camino album, “Gold on the Ceiling” was co-wrote by The Black Keys (Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney) and producer Danger Mouse (Brian Burton). The song is a classic example of ’60s era garage rock with influences coming from early blues.

The song opens with an amazing, slightly sleazy guitar riff by Dan that is still stuck in my head after first hearing it 10 years ago. Add that sick guitar riff with Danger Mouse’s swarm of bees organ and Patrick laying down the perfect foot tapping drum track. We know we are in for a treat as soon as the song starts. The addition of Ashley Wilcoxson and Leisa Hans belting their hearts out on the backing vocals during the chorus further solidifies what we knew from the start, this is an instant classic.

I can still remember when this single was released. A second listen was needed right away as I could have sworn I knew the song. That is part of the magic as The Black Keys “Gold on the Ceiling” has that ability to fell like it has existed forever and is familiar from the first time you hear it.

What is the Meaning of the song Gold on the Ceiling by The Black Keys

As with a lot of songs, the lyrics for “Gold on the Ceiling” are somewhat cryptic and left open for the individual listener’s interpretation. To my knowledge, Dan, Patrick or Brian have ever confirmed the intention of the lyrics of the song.

Most message boards tend to sway towards drug use around the song meaning. For me, after listening to the guys from Akron for years, I feel it is about the dangers and illusory nature of material success. My favorite lyric is from the second verse, “Clouds covered love’s / Barbed-wire snare”. I always interpreted it as he is talking about how he would meet women / people and only think of the positives. He would not not see himself getting used by women / people who just want to be around him for his money or upcoming fame.

Take a look at the cover for the “Gold on the Ceiling” single. It is of Rolling Acres mall. Rolling Acres was a mall in Akron that closed in 2008. After the closing, vandals carrying weapons were ripping all of the metal from the mall for cash. This was all occurring right before El Camino was recorded. Near the food court of the mall were tin ceiling tiles that had a gold tint and would have surly been taken by the looters. The closed mall furthers reinforces the interpretation of the illusory nature of material success and how it can quickly disappear and be stripped away.

The Black Keys Gold on the Ceiling Videos

There were actually 2 videos for “Gold on the Ceiling” recorded. The first was directed by Reid Long and featured the The Black Keys in concert along with footage of them while on tour.

The second video for “Gold on the Ceiling” was directed by Harmony Korine and let’s just say takes a slightly different approach than the traditional concert footage. The video directed by Harmony features Pat and Dan being carried around by giant doppelgängers of themselves and was shot on grainy VHS.

Where to Buy The Black Keys El Camino Vinyl and CD

As mentioned earlier, the Super Deluxe 10th Anniversary of El Camino was just released on CD (09/16/2021) and vinyl (11/05/2021) on . You can pick them up from Amazon below.


Super Deluxe El Camino Vinyl

El Camino 10th Anniversary CD

The Black Keys Gold on the Ceiling Video directed by Reid Long

The Black Keys Gold on the Ceiling Video directed by Harmony Korine

Full Track / Song List from The Black Keys El Camino Album

  1. “Lonely Boy”
  2. “Dead and Gone”
  3. “Gold on the Ceiling”
  4. “Little Black Submarines”
  5. “Money Maker”
  6. “Run Right Back”
  7. “Sister”
  8. “Hell of a Season”
  9. “Stop Stop”
  10. “Nova Baby”
  11. “Mind Eraser”

The Black Keys Gold on the Ceiling Lyrics

Down in the waves
She screams again
Roar at the door
My mind can’t take much more

I could never drown in

They wanna get my
They wanna get my
Gold on the ceiling
I ain’t blind
Just a matter of time
Before you steal it
It’s alright
Ain’t no blood in my eye

Clouds covered love’s
Barbed-wire snare
Strung up, strung out
I just can’t go without

I could never drown in

They wanna get my
They wanna get my
Gold on the ceiling
I ain’t blind
Just a matter of time
Before you steal it
It’s alright
Ain’t no blood in my eye

They wanna get my
They wanna get my
Gold on the ceiling
I ain’t blind
Just a matter of time
Before you steal it
It’s alright
Ain’t no blood in my eye

Gold on the ceiling
I ain’t blind
Just a matter of time
Before you steal it
It’s alright
Ain’t no blood in my eye

Songwriters: Brian Joseph Burton / Daniel Auerbach / Patrick Carney

Gold on the Ceiling lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Wixen Music Publishing

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