Bruno Mars with Mark Ronson, image from kissradio.ca
Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk!”
Writer(s): Jeff Bhasker/ Philip Lawrence/ Bruno Mars/ Mark Ronson (see lyrics here)
Released: 10 November 2014, First charted: 29 November 2014
Peak: 114 US, #5 AC, #11 AA, #1 7 UK, #1 15 CA, #1 6 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 5.23 US, 1.24 UK, 7.97 world (includes US and UK)
Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): 522.64
Review: Mark Ronson had released three albums under his name and landed four top ten hits in the UK. He’d never hit the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. as a solo artist, although he had produced hits such as Bruno Mars’ #1 “Locked Out of Heaven” (2012) and Amy Winehouse’s top-ten “Rehab” (2006), which won Grammys for Song and Record of the Year.
For his fourth solo album, Uptown Special, Ronson tapped Mars for lead vocals and landed not just the hit of his career, but one of the biggest #1 hits of all-time. On the Hot 100, only Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day” (1995) spent more weeks at #1 (16). In Canada, only the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” (2009) spent more weeks at #1 (16). WK The song was one of only four to top the Hot 100 and the UK charts for at least seven weeks on both charts. The others were Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” (1991), Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” (1992), and Rihanna’s “Umbrella” (2007). SF The song also set a worldwide record for highest number of streams in one week (15 million). WK
The song grew out of a lick Mars and his band played on tour, but took over half a year to complete. SF They went with deliberately over-the-top lyrics, such as “gotta kiss myself I’m so pretty,” a line adapted from an interview with boxer Larry Holmes, who kissed his arms after saying how much he loved himself, and boxer Muhammad Ali, who boasted “I’m so pretty.” SF
Mars and Ronson co-wrote the song with Jeff Bhasker, with whom they’d also collaborated on “Locked Out of Heaven.” Bhasker had also produced Kanye West, Drake, and Alicia Keys. SF The song gave Mars his sixth #1 and eleventh top 5 hit on the Hot 100, passing Katy Perry and Rihanna (both with 10) for the most of the 2010s. WK The song also featured Sharon Jones’ Dap-Kings on horns. Ronson previously used the group on Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black and in his solo work.
Resources and Related Links:
- Mark Ronson’s DMDB Encyclopedia entry
- Bruno Mars’ DMDB Encyclopedia entry
- SF Songfacts.com
- WK Wikipedia
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.