London Bridge (song)
|Single by Fergie|
|from the album The Dutchess|
|Released||July 18, 2006|
|Length||4:01 (album version)
3:28 (single version)
|Producer||Polow da Don|
|Fergie singles chronology|
"London Bridge" is a song recorded by American singer Fergie for her debut studio album, The Dutchess (2006). It was written by Jamal Jones, Mike Hartnett, Sean Garrett and Fergie herself, while the production was done by Jones under his production name Polow da Don. It was released as the lead single from the album and serviced to contemporary hit and rhythmic radio stations in the United States on July 18, 2006. "London Bridge" is a hip hop song with dance influences. It contains a compositional samples of "Down to The Nightclub" as performed by Tower of Power.
Music critics gave "London Bridge" generally mixed reviews, with some of them criticizing the song's sexually suggestive lyrics and comparing the song to Gwen Stefani's single "Hollaback Girl" (2004). "London Bridge" was a commercial success and reached the top-ten in thirteen countries. In the United States, it peaked at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and at number four on the US Pop Songs chart. "London Bridge" was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and sold more than two million digital copies, becoming the singer's second best selling song in the country. An accompanying music video for the single was directed by Marc Webb and features Fergie playing around with men in England.
Stacy Ferguson, Sean Garrett and Mike Hartnett wrote "London Bridge" together with Polow da Don, the producer. The song contains a compositional sample of "Down to The Nightclub" by Tower of Power. The song was recorded at two separate locations: at the Chalice Recording Studios in Hollywood, California and at Hit Factory Criteria in Miami, Florida. Jones, credited under his production name Polow da Don, produced the song as well as provided background vocals with Jay Anderson, who also provided additional vocals to the song. Hartnett plays the bass and guitar on the song while Nate Hills, know professionally as Danja, played the drums and percussion. The keys for the song were provided by Elvis Williams while engineering was handled by Demacio "Demo" Castellon and Jason Schweitzer. Phil Tan worked with Josh Houghkirk on mixing the song, which took place at Soapbox Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. A&M Records, in association with will.i.am Music Group and Interscope Records, sent the song to contemporary hit radio on July 18, 2006. Fergie stated in an interview with The Age that the song was about bringing humor to certain subject matters, stating "'It's poking fun at certain things. I'm really not going to spray the paparazzi with mace - I don't know if you know that about me."
"London Bridge" is a hip hop and dance song that lasts for 4:01 (4 minutes and 1 second) and incorporates the use of horns. According to the sheet music published by Windswept Holdings, LLC at Musicnotes.com, it was composed in the key of F major. The song is set in common time to a moderate hip hop groove of 104 beats per minute. Fergie's vocal range spans from the high note of E4 to the low note of F5. Fergie describes the song as being "kind of like a punch in the face to let people know I'm coming out... I've been getting way too into myself nowadays and I just wanna have fun with as many men as I can possible." IGN writer Spence D. labels "London Bridge" as a "club stomper" while Rebecca Wright of Blogcritics describes the song as a catchy and danceable tune with lyrics that are hard to decipher. John Murphy of musicOMH claimed that the song also incorporates the use of horns similar to those used by Beyoncé in her single "Work It Out" (2002). Mike Joseph of PopMatters compared the song to Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl", Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous", and the Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps". Joseph also notes that the song is a mixture of Stefani's schoolgirl sass and "a bit of ambiguous sleaze".
"London Bridge" received mixed to negative reviews from music critics. Rolling Stone called the song a "total ripoff of Hollaback Girl", Gwen Stefani's number one single of 2005. A reviewer of About.com described the song as being "Hollaback Girl" "slathered in puerile sexual raunch". Steve Yates of The Observer describes the song as being "much in the M.I.A. vein". Amy Phillips of Pitchforkmedia noted how much the song and Lil Mama's Lip Gloss resembled M.I.A.'s songs such as her 2003 single "Galang", serving as a reminder of how much the mainstream pop, dance, and rap musical landscape had shifted since M.I.A. "first appeared in 2004". M.I.A. later asked Interscope boss Jimmy Iovine after hearing the track "If I don't sell records and make money for you you're just going to make them with her anyway", however Iovine notes that the song is yet another example of how M.I.A. was "an artist who inspires other artists."
Allmusic writer Andy Kellman selected "London Bridge" as one of the album's best tracks, writing that it is "terrific" and "inexplicably asinine". Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly writes that Fergie plays the role of a sexaholic superstar, especially on the refrain, where she "unsubtly, if memorably", combines winky sexual metaphors and club-banging beats. Bill Lamb of About.com rated the song two out of five stars, praising the spirit exuded, claiming it resembles that of Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl". However, he labeled it as a derivative of higher quality pop music and criticized it for its explicit sexual lyrics. Benjamin Boles of NOW expressed dislike for the song in this comment, "Basically, if London Bridge doesn’t make you want to rip your ears off, you’ll enjoy almost 80 per cent of the album." Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine also expressed dislike for the song's sexual suggestiveness, writing that it is "the most uninspired metaphor for oral sex in recorded history." Norman Mayers of Prefix Magazine labels "London Bridge" as one of the album's highpoints. Dan Gennoe of Yahoo! Music compared the song to music by American recording artist Gwen Stefani, writing that the "raucous thump has Gwen Stefani stamped all over it."
Spence D. of IGN labels "London Bridge' as the album's centerpice, but notes that compared to "Fergalicious" and "Clumsy" it appears to be "a calculated banger aimed at the unscrupulous club goer." John Murphy of musicOMH would disagree, as he finds the song annoying "nothing more, nothing less", but predicts that it will be a commercial success. Heather Murray of Glasswerk.co.uk criticized the song for its lyrics, lack of originality, and Fergie's voice, which she describes as "whinely drawl."
In the United States, "London Bridge" entered on the Billboard Hot 100 at number eighty-four on the issue dated August 5, 2006. The song ascended seventy-nine places to number five the next week, achieving the second biggest leap in Billboard Hot 100 history at the time. It ascended to number one the following week and stayed there for three consecutive weeks. The song was certified platinum on July 11, 2007 by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), almost a year after its release. It's digital download sales stand at 2,115,000, becoming her first single to surpass sales of two million downloads. "London Bridge" is Fergie's fifth most downloaded song, behind "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Fergalicious", "Glamorous", and "Clumsy".
In Australia, the song entered and peaked at number number three on the issue dated September 24, 2006 and stayed at that position for two non-consecutive weeks. The song has been certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for sales of 35,000 units. On the issue dated October 2, 2006, the song debuted and peaked at number one on the chart in New Zealand. "London Bridge" peaked at number three in Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom. In Switzerland, the song peaked on the chart at number six, where it stayed for two non-consecutive weeks and lasted for a total of eighteen weeks. In France, the song entered and peaked at number twenty-seven on the issue dated October 28, 2006. It lasted on the chart for total of eighteen weeks.
The music video was directed by Marc Webb. Fergie collaborated with her fellow member of The Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am, Taboo and apl.de.ap on the clip's concept to make it more distinctive. She describes the concept as follows: "We're doing this androgynous-type thing where my girls and I go into a Gentlemen's club and pull them into a bathroom and come back out in their clothes. They're going to be dressed up really dapper and looking really handsome. (sic) " Will.i.am, Taboo, and Apl.de.ap all made cameos in the video. For the video, which was filmed at the Woolwich Barracks in Woolwich, South London, she brought in backup dancers who double as bodyguards, dressed like cholas — tough Mexican girls known for wearing dark lipstick and big hair — to make the clip "have a bit more edge, be very distinct, be very mixed." Fergie is seen intermittently sailing down the River Thames just in front of Tower Bridge, which isn't the same as London Bridge, despite the song title. Fergie based one of her outfits for the video on her family's crest and tartan, with some changes as she wanted it to be modernized. She also wears a tiara cocked to the side of her head to play off the royal name of her album, as well as having the same surname (Ferguson) and nickname, as the Duchess of York (Sarah Ferguson).
Credits and personnel
- Recording and sample
- Recorded the Chalice Recording Studios in Hollywood, California and at Hit Factory Criteria in Miami, Florida
- Mixed at Soapbox Studios in Atlanta, Georgia
- Contains elements from the composition "Down to the Night Club" by Tower of Power.
- Songwriting – Stacy Ferguson, Jamal Jones, Sean Garrett and Mike Hartnett
- Production – Polow da Don
- Bass and guitar – Mike Hartnett
- Drums and percussion – Danja
- Keys – Elvis Williams
- Engineering – Demacio "Demo" Castellon, Jason Schweitzer
- Mixing – Phil Tan, Josh Houghkirk (assistant)
- UK CD single
- "London Bridge" (album version) — 4:01
- "London Bridge" (instrumental) — 3:25
- Australian CD single
- "London Bridge" (album version) — 4:01
- "London Bridge" (instrumental) — 3:27
- "London Bridge" (a cappella) — 3:18
- "London Bridge" (video version) — 3:31
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||3|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||14|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)||16|
|Czech Republic (IFPI)||7|
|European Hot 100 Singles||4|
|Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)||9|
|Germany (Media Control AG)||3|
|Hungary (Dance Top 40)||25|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||31|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||1|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||6|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||3|
|US Billboard Hot 100||1|
|US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)||4|
|US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)||56|
- List of Hot 100 number-one singles of 2006 (U.S.)
- List of number-one singles from the 2000s (New Zealand)
|United States||July 18, 2006||Top 40/Mainstream and Rhythmic radio|
|Worldwide||August 7, 2006||Digital download|
|Germany||September 8, 2006||CD single|
|United Kingdom||September 11, 2006|
|France||October 23, 2006|
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