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“Uptown Funk!” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars

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    “Uptown Funk!” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars (official video) is a funk song.

    Song Title: Uptown Funk! (official video)
    Artist: Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
    Album: Uptown Special
    Genre: funk, soul, Minneapolis sound, pop, adult pop, rhythmic, dance, adult R&B, adult contemporary
    Composer: Copyright © 2014 Mark Ronson, Jeff Bhasker, Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence
    Lead Vocals: Bruno Mars
    Guitar: Mark Ronson
    Drums: Bruno Mars
    Producer: Mark Ronson
    Recorded: 2014 in several cities including Cherry Beach Sound in Toronto
    Released: 10 November 2014
    Format: digital download
    Label: RCA / Sony Music
    Number of listens: 63983

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    Summary quotation from Wikipedia:

    “Uptown Funk” (stylised as “Uptown Funk!” on the cover) is a song recorded by English producer Mark Ronson with guest vocals by Bruno Mars for Ronson’s fourth studio album, Uptown Special (2015). RCA Records released the song as the album’s lead single on 10 November 2014. The song was written by Ronson, Jeff Bhasker, Mars and Philip Lawrence; with Ronson credited for producing it as well.

Writing and production

    In June, Ronson told Capital FM that he and Mars planned on working together again. “[Mars] had a incredible run and it was great to be able to work on that record with him and hopefully we’ll be making music for a while.” Ronson accrued some serious frequent flyer miles trying to pin Mars down for this album. Uptown Special co-producer Jeff Bhasker along with Ronson would set up shop whenever and wherever they found time with Mars, eventually recording in L.A., London, Memphis, and NYC. Mars wound up playing drums throughout the album, as well as co-writing the lead single. “It was six or seven months of chasing Bruno around on tour,” confirmed Ronson. Part of the track was recorded at Cherry Beach Sound in Toronto.

    “Uptown Funk” stems from a lick that Mars and his band were playing on tour. “When we hit on that opening line — ‘This shit, that ice cold/ Michelle Pfeiffer, that white gold’—we knew that we had the seed of this really exciting idea,” Ronson said, adding that he pushed himself more in this song than anything else he has worked in the past. Nevertheless, the airtight turnarounds and sharp horn lines in “Uptown Funk”, courtesy of members of Antibalas and Dap Kings, didn’t come easy. At one point during the song’s seven-month creation, Ronson collapsed over lunch. “There was all of this pressure because Bhasker was leaving at the end of the day,” Ronson recalls. “The plan was for me to record my guitar part by lunch. Lunchtime comes around and I still haven’t nailed the part. We go out and in the stress of finishing this song I fainted in the restaurant. I threw up three times. Jeff had to carry me back to the studio.” In the end, they got it—on take 82.

Composition and influences

    Ronson believes the song “turned into a full-on combustible groove workout with elastic bass and indomitable spirit.” The song has been “catching the allusions to one early ’80s funk/R&B classic after another”. Many fans have been citing “Cameo horns, the Time [keyboards], and ‘Party Train’ [by the Gap Band] drums.”

    According to Billboard’s author, Sean Ross, the song is widely influenced by funk artists and their songs, including Zapp’s “More Bounce To The Ounce”, One Way’s “Cutie Pie”, The Gap Band’s “I Don’t Believe You Want To Get Up And Dance (Oops, Up Side Your Head)”, Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Getaway”, The Sequence’s “Funk You Up”, The Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache”, George Kranz’s “Trommeltanz (Din Daa Daa)”, The Time’s “Cool” and Trinidad James’ “All Gold Everything”. Nevertheless, many of the songs cited “were released during the worst period of a “disco backlash” that effectively kept all types of black music, not just disco, off of top 40.”, while “Uptown Funk” received instant airplay at top 40 radio.

Critical reception

    The song has received positive reviews from most music critics. Nick Murray of Rolling Stone was positive, giving the song a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, praising “some George Kranz scatting and a Nile Rodgers guitar riff”. He also wrote that Mars, Ronson, and The Hooligans “channel the days when brags weren’t humble and disco wasn’t retro.”. Brennan Carley of Spin Magazine noted that “Mars sounds a bit like Nelly on the track, sing-rapping his way through goofy lyrics (“Got Chucks on / With Saint Laurent / Gotta kiss myself / So pretty”)”, while comparing the bass line to something “taken straight from Prince’s playbook”. He added that “It’s a definite step towards more classic funk for Ronson, who has a history of dabbling in heavy horn sections and walking guitar solos”. He finished by saying “Mars’ voice keeps things light and bubbly though, making “Uptown Funk” the kind of song you’ll be unable to escape on the radio in a matter of days.”

Chart performance

North America

    On the Billboard Hot 100, the song debuted at number 65 on the week-ending November 21, 2014 due to digital downloads sold. The following week, during its second week , “Uptown Funk” sold 110,000 digital copies, becoming the Hot 100’s top Digital Gainer of the week, and nears Streaming Songs with a gain of 2.5 million U.S. streams. The song soared 47 positions to number 18 in its second week on the Hot 100. On its third week the song roared ten spots into number eight, after its first full seven-day tracking period after the premiere of the music video, with 4.4 million streams, digital sales of 167,000 copies and debuting at Radio Songs at No. 46 (28 million audience). So far, the song has earned Ronson his first top 10 as an artist (and in his first visit with such a billing) and his third top 10 as a producer (Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” (No. 9, 2007) and Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven” (No. 1, 2012-13). On the other hand, this ensures Mars’ twelfth top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100, tying with Rihanna for the most top tens on the Hot 100 during a certain span.

    On November 29, 2014, “Uptown Funk” debuted at number 63 on the Canadian Hot 100. On the following week, the song entered the top 10 with digital sales and airplay gainer honors. So far it has peaked at number 4.

Music video

    The official music video was released on 17 November 2014 exclusively on Yahoo Screen. It stars Mars, Ronson and the Hooligans. On 19 November it was released on Vevo and YouTube.

—from Wikipedia (the Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License applies to Wikipedia’s block of text and possible accompanying picture, along with any alterations, transformations, and/or building upon Wikipedia’s original text that applied to this block of text)


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