Writer(s): Abel Tesfaye, Emmanuel Nickerson, Carlo Montagnese, Ahmad Balshe (see lyrics here)
Released: May 27, 2015
First Charted: June 13, 2015
Peak: 16 US, 2 RR, 40 A40, 114 RB, 3 UK, 11 CN, 3 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 11.0 US, 1.8 UK, 14.75 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1635.3 video, 1356.0 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
In August 2015, Abel Tesfaye, better known as the Weeknd, reached #1 for the first time with “Can’t Feel My Face.” It spent three non-consecutive weeks on top, finally dethroned by “The Hills.” With his second single from Beauty Behind the Madness, the Weeknd outdid himself, spending six weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100.
The “spooky-sounding song” SF is “intense musically, mixing heavy soul and rap.” PSP Hardeep Phull wrote in The New York Post that the Weekend “is in brilliantly sinister form.” WK Billboard said, “Number one hits aren’t supposed to be this sonically adventurous and dark...There’s barely a pop hook to speak of here – just a beguiling, harrowing soundscape that’s impossible to forget.” WK
The Weeknd “takes the voice of a celebrity…driven by self-destructive hedonism and has no qualms about it.” SF He sings “of a secret relationship, possibly with a celebrity. The singer is all too aware that now because he is famous, the hills have eyes – i.e., everyone is watching him.” SF The title of the song and its lyrics reference the 1977 horror film The Hills Have Eyes, SF but can also be viewed as a reference to the Hollywood Hills. PFF
The song is more than just an exploration of a love affair. It’s about how “people pretend to be who they aren’t and judge others for doing the same things.” PFF Pitchfork’s Hannah Giorgis called the song “a dark, almost discordant meditation on lust, drugs, and fame.” WK
First posted 2/6/2021; last updated 11/7/2021.