Bang Bang (will.i.am song)

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"Bang Bang"
Single by will.i.am
from the album Music from Baz Luhrmann's Film The Great Gatsby and #willpower
Released June 26, 2013
Recorded 2012
Length 4:38
Label Interscope
Writer(s) William Adams, James P. Johnson, Cecil Mack, Sonny Bono
Producer(s) will.i.am
will.i.am singles chronology
"Crazy Kids"
(2013)
"Bang Bang"
(2013)
"Fall Down"
(2013)
Music video
"Bang Bang" on YouTube

"Bang Bang" is a song recorded by American producer and rapper will.i.am featuring the vocals of Shelby Spalione. The single[1] features as the third track on the soundtrack album of the 2013 Baz Luhrmann film The Great Gatsby. "Bang Bang" is also featured on deluxe edition of will.i.am's fourth studio album #willpower, and an alternate version of the song featuring vocals from Leah McFall is included on the compilation Now 86.

Composition[edit]

"Bang-Bang" is an up-tempo fusion of 1920s jazz instrumentals along with synthpop elements.[2][3][4] The track features partially Louis Armstrong-inspired lead vocals by will.i.am and additional sing-along by guest vocalist Nicole Scherzinger.[5] It incorporates elements of the 1923 Cecil MackJames P. Johnson composition "Charleston".[4] Lyrics include the line "My baby shot me down" from the 1966 song "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" by American recording artist Cher, written by Sonny Bono.[6]

Live performances[edit]

will.i.am performed "Bang Bang" live on May 2, 2013 during the season 12 finale of American Idol.[7] He also performed the song in the United Kingdom with Leah McFall during the final of the second season of The Voice UK.[8] The original version of "Bang Bang" rose to a peak of number three on the UK Singles Chart following the performance.[9] will.i.am later hinted that a duet version of the song with McFall would be officially released.[8]

Controversy[edit]

In April 2013, controversy arose over allegations that two songs from #willpower – "Bang Bang" and "Let's Go" – may have used unauthorized samples from the EDM instrumentals "Epic" by Sandro Silva and Quintino and "Rebound" by Arty and Matt Zo.[10] "Bang Bang", in particular, was alleged to have copied the chord progression of the drop from "Epic".[11]

Music video[edit]

A music video to accompany the release of "Bang Bang" was first released onto YouTube on May 20, 2013 at a total length of two minutes and fifty-seven seconds.[12] The video features a 1920s-themed speakeasy stage show by will.i.am and a band playing various brass instruments.[13] He is later accompanied by Spalione in Charleston flappers-style; will.i.am and his band then perform highly choreographed routines. The video also features a tap dance solo by will.i.am.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2013) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[14] 12
Belgium (Ultratop Dance Bubbling Under)[14] 9
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[15] 9
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[16] 83
Europe (Euro Digital Songs)[17] 5
France (SNEP)[18] 53
Ireland (IRMA)[19] 14
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[20] 4
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[21] 3
UK R&B (Official Charts Company)[22] 1
US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs (Billboard)[23] 21

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United Kingdom (BPI)[24] Gold 400,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom June 26, 2013[25] Contemporary hit radio Interscope Records
Australia September 26, 2013[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Will.i.am announces UK arena tour for December 2013". BBC. July 23, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  2. ^ Gamboa, Glenn (May 3, 2013). "Hear 'The Great Gatsby' soundtrack now". Newsday (New York). Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  3. ^ McCabe, Kathy (May 3, 2013). "The Great Gatsby by Baz Luhrmann delivers audacious soundtrack". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney). Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Jones, Lucy (May 3, 2013). "'The Great Gatsby' Soundtrack – First Listen, Track-By-Track". NME (London). Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  5. ^ "First Listen: Music From Baz Luhrmann's Film 'The Great Gatsby'". 
  6. ^ Seale, Jack (June 22, 2013). "Andrea Begley wins The Voice UK 2013". Radio Times (London). Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  7. ^ "will.i.am Performs 'Bang Bang' on 'American Idol'". Rap-Up (Los Angeles). May 2, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Will.I.Am Teases Leah McFall Bang Bang Release". MTV (UK). Viacom Media Networks. July 2, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  9. ^ Corner, Lewis (July 1, 2013). "will.i.am teases Leah McFall version of 'Bang Bang' for release". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  10. ^ Brown, Justin (April 17, 2013). "Will.I.Am 'Rips Off' Two EDM Tracks On New Album". Mixmag (London). Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  11. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon (April 17, 2013). "Black Eyed Peas Frontman will.i.am Accused of Plagiarism… Again". Yahoo! Music. Yahoo!. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  12. ^ "will.i.am – Bang Bang (Official Video)". williamVEVO. YouTube. May 20, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  13. ^ Corner, Lewis (May 21, 2013). "will.i.am premieres 'Bang Bang' music video – watch". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "Ultratop.be – will.i.am – Bang Bang" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – will.i.am – Bang Bang" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  16. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201331 into search. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  17. ^ "will.i.am Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Euro Digital Songs for will.i.am. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  18. ^ "Lescharts.com – will.i.am – Bang Bang" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  19. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  20. ^ "Archive Chart". Scottish Singles Top 40. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  21. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  22. ^ "Archive Chart" UK R&B Chart. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  23. ^ "will.i.am Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs for will.i.am. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  24. ^ "British single certifications – will.i.am – Bang Bang". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Bang Bang in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  25. ^ "BBC Radio 1 Playlist – 26 June 2013". BBC Radio 1. BBC. Archived from the original on July 3, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  26. ^ "News Wrap". Auspop. September 26, 2013. Retrieved December 14, 2013.