image from youtube.com
Writer(s): Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Brody Brown, Claude Kelly, Andrew Wyatt (see lyrics here)
First Charted: 10/16/2010
Peak: 14 US, 11 AC, 3 A40, 12 UK, 13 CN, 13 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales *: 8.0 US, 1.2 UK, 10.9 world (includes US + UK)
Radio Airplay *: 0.2
Video Airplay *: 843.42
Streaming *: --
* in millions
“Grenade” was a pop and R&B ballad from Bruno Mars’ debut studio album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. Originally released as a promotional single before the album, it later became the album’s official second single. It was only his second single as a solo artist, although he hit the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 twice (#1 on B.o.B.’s “Nothin’ on You,” #4 on Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire”) before his debut single, “Just the Way You Are (Amazing)” hit the summit.
Mars was the first solo male to send his first four entires to the top ten since Rick Astley did it in 1988-89. SF Mars was also the first male act since P. Diddy, 13 years earlier, to take his first two songs as a lead artist to the top. SF The song hit #1 in fifteen countries WK and was nominated for Grammys for Song and Record of the Year.
In “Grenade,” Bruno Mars assures his “hard-to-please girl” that “he would catch a grenade for her, along with other assorted foolhardy acts.” SF The video echoed that them as it depicted Mars dragging an upright piano through the streets of Los Angeles in an effort to sing to a girl about how he’d do anything for her. Mars said he got the inspiration for the song from Benny Bianco, who co-wrote the #1 songs “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry and “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha. SF
The Smeezingtons (Mars, Phillip Lawrence, and Ari Levine) produced and wrote the song. Brody Brown, Claude Kelly, and Andrew Wyatt also received songwriting credits. The song originally had an “uptempo 1960’s surf-style sound with a jangle pop,” WK but Mars stripped it down and slowed the pace. WK That ended up being the version recorded and praised by the label. WK
Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt called the song a “captivating masochist’s anthem” WK while Consequence of Sound’s Kevin Barber said it “showcases his Michael Jackson-esque vocal range.” WK
Resources and Related Links:
Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.