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Ten Years Of “Night Visions”: How Did Imagine Dragons’ Debut Album Affect The Band’s Career

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Approaching a style that moves between indie, rock and pop, the North American band has been on the road since 2008. From the beginning of their career to the release of their first album, they produced three EP’s: Imagine Dragons (2009), Hell and Silence (2010) and It’s Time (2011), which made the band leverage in local festivals. 

Night Visions (2012)

After signing a contract with Interscope Records, they released their debut studio album on September 04, 2012. Entitled Night Visions, it reached number two on the Billboard 200 chart and number one on the Billboard Alternative & Rock Album, with more than 83,000 copies sold in the first week.

Between 2012 and 2014, during their first tour, the band was nominated for a few awards. Among them, they won the categories of Best Rock Video – at the Music Video Production Awards -, Best Rock Song – at the Teen Choice Awards – and Best Performance of Rock – at the Grammys. 

The group ended their tour in Brazil, during the Lollapalooza festival in 2014. With a historic show, they gathered a crowd of fans in full hysteria, singing Demons, It’s Time and ending with Radioactive – with the members of the band playing and punching a big bulb, similar to the one in the clip. In the end of the show, the lead singer, Dan Reynolds, thanked the audience several times and proposed a “toast to the good things in life”.

The next albums

In February 2015, they released their second studio album, Smoke and Mirrors. With singles like I Bet My Life, the band kept up the tradition of success right from their debut, reaching the top of the US bestseller charts. On their second tour, they returned to Brazil about a year after their first appearance, in April 2015. 

In June 2017, the band produced their third album. Entitled Evolve, it went Double Platinum, was among the top-selling records in North America and topped Billboard’s Rock charts. In the following year, again at the Lollapalooza in São Paulo, with the expectation of hitting what, according to the vocalist, would be the “best show in the history of the band” – surpassing the other one made at the festival years before – they once again had a cheering crowd, singing in full voices the singles Believer, Thunder and Whatever It Takes

On Origins, their fourth album, released at the end of 2018, Imagine Dragons took the opportunity to continue exploring the musicality used in their previous work. Filled with conscious and intimate lyrics and with melodies that vary between indie, rock and even electronic, the singles Bad Liar, Birds and Stuck stood out. 

Before the pandemic period – without new releases until 2021 – the band made their last appearance in Brazil in October 2019, when they debuted at the Rock in Rio festival. Just like the other times, they followed up with a loyal audience and an explosive show.

After a two-year hiatus, they have returned with a double album, entitled Mercury – Acts 1 and 2. Available individually, the first act was released in September 2021, approaching themes such as love, death and grief. With singles like Follow You, Cutthroat and Wrecked, their fifth album ran away from established expectations, even using pop punk for more decisive and direct moments.

On the other hand, the second act, released in July 2022, can be interpreted as the moment that follows the shock after the loss. As Dan Reynolds said: “[the album] focuses on life after loss. May this album bring you joy. It brought me joy. And you bring me joy”. With tracks like Bones and Sharks, the second part also includes the single Enemy, featuring the rapper J.I.D., produced for the League of Legends series Arcane

The 10th anniversary

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of their debut album, the group released Night Visions (Expanded Edition) on September 9. The extended version of the original album features re-recordings of the songs, including live versions (as in the Red Rocks amphitheater show in 2014) and some remixed by other artists (such as the single It’s Time, now with changes by the British band Bastille). 

The album has a new cover, similar to the first one, but with different colors, bringing a new look to the work.

The article above was edited by Juliana Sanches.
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Fernanda Alves

Casper Libero '25

Future journalist, writer in training and lover of culture.