Locked Out of Heaven
Writer(s): Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine (see lyrics here)
Released: October 1, 2012
First Charted: October 7, 2012
Peak: 15 US, 16 RR, 17 BA, 13 DG, 7 AC, 2 A40, 2 UK 13 CN, 4 AU, 16 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 10.0 US, 1.11 UK, 11.86 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1001.04 video, 1470.36 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Bruno Mars burst on the scene in December 2009 when he was featured as the vocalist for B.o.B.’s “Nothin’ on You,” a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Three months later, he provided guest vocals to Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire,’” which got to #4. In 2010, he also released the first two singles (“Just the Way You Are” and “Grenade”) in support of his own debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans. In the U.S. alone, the album sold more than two million copies and reached #3.
He was primed for even greater success with his follow-up, 2012’s Unorthodox Jukebox. Sure enough, it was another multi-platinum seller and this time he reached #1 on the album chart. The album featured another pair of chart-topping songs – “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man.” The former – the lead single – became the first song to hit a million streams in a week’s time. SF It was also nominated for Grammys for Record and Song of the Year.
“Locked Out of Heaven” featured a mix of reggae and pop influenced by new wave and funk. The lyrics celebrate “a relationship that is so good the narrator feels like he was ‘locked out of heaven’ before he met his lover.” SF Some critics compared Mars’ vocals to Sting, which was fitting since Mars cited Sting’s former group, The Police, as his greatest influence in writing the song. WK Mark Ronson, one of the producers, brought the Dap-Kings (who backed Amy Winehouse on her Back to Black album) to get a “crisply syncopated, locked-in groove.” WK
The Guardian’s Paul MacInnes called the song “a brazen – but successful – welding of Dire Straits’ ‘Sultans of Swing’…and ‘Can’t Stand Losing You’ by the Police.” WK The Idolator’s Carl Williott said “the angular guitars and Mars’ Sting-like staccato delivery are heavily indebited to The Police.” WK Melinda Newman of HitFix also noted the similarities to the Police as well as The Romantics’ “What I Like About You.” WK The Los Angeles Times’ Mikael Wood said it was like The Police-era Ghost in the Machine album with a heavy influence from the Human League. WK
First posted 7/20/2023.