Treasure (Bruno Mars song)

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Single by Bruno Mars
from the album Unorthodox Jukebox
B-side "Locked Out of Heaven"
Released May 10, 2013 (2013-05-10)
Format Digital download, CD single, cassette single, vinyl
Length 2:58
Label Atlantic
  • Bruno Mars
  • Philip Lawrence
  • Ari Levine
  • Phredley Brown
Producer(s) The Smeezingtons
Bruno Mars singles chronology
"When I Was Your Man"
"Bubble Butt"

"Treasure" is a song by American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars. The song was written by Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, and Phredley Brown, while production was handled by the former three as members of The Smeezingtons. It was released on May 10, 2013 as the third single from his second studio album, Unorthodox Jukebox (2012).[2]

"Treasure" is a disco song with funk, post-disco and R&B elements. It received media attention for its "funky" vibe, that a few artists could bring back in a modern way, with Daft Punk cited as one of them. "Treasure" was a commercial success, charting inside the top 10 in 18 countries all over the world.


When interviewed by Rob LeDonne from American Songwriter Philip Lawrence said "Well, the thing we learned after touring with Doo Wops was how it is we like to feel on stage when performing. We’re fun, like to dance and party, and we didn’t really get to do a lot of that on the first album." As a result after touring the world for the first time they have seen "what people love about us". When they went to festivals and saw bands live, such as Coldplay or Bruce Springsteen, they knew that the second time they toured they had to do something different, coming up with "Treasure". "It’s the kind of song where the whole band can get up and jam and have this Earth, Wind and Fire kind of moment."[3]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

A 30 second sample of "Treasure," where Mars sings about treating the girl he loves like a treasure.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Treasure" was written by Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine and Phredley Brown, while production was handled by the latter three production-team The Smeezingtons.[4] It is a disco song containing funk, post-disco and R&B elements. The chord progression of [Ab, Fm, Gm, Cm] repeats throughout the song, changing only to end phrases on Bb7, a deceptive cadence. Mars' vocals range from the low note of Bb3 to the high note of Eb5 (Bb3-G5 live). The song is notably similar to French electronic artist Breakbot's song "Baby I'm Yours", released on Ed Banger Records. Mars has said the song was inspired by Breakbot's 2010 track. Ed Banger owner Busy P responded in a Reddit AMA to questions about the song saying they considered it a compliment.[5]

Reception and accolades[edit]

"Treasure" was well received by music critics. Jason Lipshutz of Billboard wrote that one "gets the feeling that 'Treasure,' with its grand harmonies, classically kooky hooks and slyly sexual undertones, is the musical mode that makes Mars the happiest."[6] Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly remarked that the song "makes silk-jumpsuit disco feel contemporary,"[7] while Spin '​s Dan Hyman favorably compared "Treasure" to the work of American disco artist Donna Summer.[8] Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian described the song as a "sprightly disco thumper".[9] Robert Copsey of Digital Spy gave the song a rating of 4 out of 5, stating that Mars " insists over '80s smooth funk guitars and retro-styled disco beats, before declaring his woman his "treasure" and "golden star" with a sense of unabashed affection. The result sounds like a modern day 'Rock With You'; a feat that few could get away with pulling off so authentically".[10]

Rolling Stone '​s Jody Rosen commented that "Treasure" is a creamy Michael Jackson/Prince-schooled disco soul,[11] while Matt Cibula from Pop Matters compared also the "funky" song with the two musicians' work saying that "Treasure" "knows that a flirt beats a bleat any day".[12] Matthew Horton from BBC Music wrote that the track has a "sugary early 80s funk", and that it "is lathered in so much slap bass it starts to sting".[13] Evan Rytlewski of The A.V. Club opined that Bruno "capably sells himself as a one-man Maroon 5 on the disco-spiked "Treasure.""[14] Ryan Reed of Paste Magazine gave the song a positive review, writing that "“Treasure” is stripper-theme funk-pop with gooey synth pads and enormous slap-bass fills that punch through like air-humps".[15] In a Slate magazine article, critic Ann Powers said that "while we’re discussing R&B appropriation and the monoculture, Bruno’s all-around best 2013 single—the Top Five hit “Treasure”—was a direct homage to the sound and even the look of “P.Y.T.”-era Michael Jackson.[16]

Mars, who choreographed the video, won an award for Best Choreography during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.[17]

Chart performance[edit]

In the US, it debuted on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart at number 25 and in Canada debuted at number 98. The following week, the song moved into the US Hot 100 at number 76. It entered the top 40 in its second week on the chart and peaked at number 5.[18] On the following week the song stayed in the same position but it entered the top 10 of radio and extends Mars' perfect top 10 streak on Radio Songs, as all 11 of his entries have now reached the top tier. As a result he tied with T-Pain (11 songs) for the longest career-opening top 10 streak among males dating to the list's December 1990 launch and is now within one of tying Mariah Carey (12 songs) for the best start among all acts.[19] It has sold over 2 million copies in the US as of November 2013.[20] It was certified on August 19, 2013.[21] According to Mediabase, "Treasure" occupied the 33rd position as one of the most played songs on the Top 40 radio stations during 2013.[22]

In Australia, it debuted at number 28 on the ARIA Charts week of May 19, 2013. In the following week, it climbed to number 17. The third week it peaked at number 10.[23] In France, after the single was released debuted at number 113, and on the following week it moved to number 53 on the chart. It fell to number 56 and on the following week climbed to number 46, currently it is peaking at number 13.[24] In Germany the song debuted at number 91 and on the next week moved to number 25, moving to number 26.

Live performances[edit]

On January 11, 2013, Mars performed "Treasure" and his previous single "Locked Out of Heaven" on Jimmy Kimmel Live.[25] On May 19, Mars began the 2013 Billboard Music Awards with a performance of the single. Described as funky, retro and amusing, the performance was reminiscent of classic Jackson 5 stage shows, from the matching ensembles to the simple, in-line choreography that Mars and his band employed. stated that "While Bruno might not have the moves of Chris Brown, his attention to detail as a musician trumps Chris’ ability to moonwalk and crotch grab easily".

Mars performed the song live at Le Grand Journal on June 6, 2013.[26]

Bruno Mars performed the song live at the finale of Germany's Next Topmodel, Cycle 8 on May 30, 2013 at SAP Arena in Mannheim.[27]

He performed the song on the season finale of Season 4 of The Voice.[28]

Mars also performed the song during the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show on February 2, 2014.

Music video[edit]

The video was shot in Las Vegas on May 20, 2013, the day after the band's live performance of "Treasure" at the Billboard Music Awards.[29] The female model/dancer in the video is Taja Riley.[30]

The music video was released on June 14, 2013 by Mars personally via his Twitter.[31] The music video of "Treasure" is the third of Mars series to feature simple effects from the late 1970s and early 1980s music videos, with simple choreography, a disco ball and other elements that present the disco era.

The style of the music video greatly resembles those of the band Earth, Wind & Fire, particularly of their song "Let's Groove".[32] Keeping with its 1970s theme, the video is unavailable in HD, and is rather shown in SD quality and 4:3 aspect ratio, deliberately adding visual artifacts such as videotape wear to the footage to bring a retro-feel to it.

Michael Lopez from The Huffington Post reviewed the video saying "Flossing a bright red blazer and a hefty afro, the part-Puerto Rican crooner looks like he time traveled to a vintage Euro discotheque. But to be honest, the trend works! And it’s certainly helped by “Treasure’s” bouncy beats."[33] While Kyle Anderson from EW states that "We should probably just change the name of this year from “2013″ to “1978,” because there are more sparkly suits and disco guitars than we know what to do with." and that "Bruno Mars has gone full-on Betamax for his new video for the track “Treasure.” It’s all there: The suits, the setting, and the bong-water video effects".[34]

Interactive music video[edit]

After the release of his music video, Mars and his label with the help of a NYC-based technology agency OKFocus, created a website that integrates fan footage shot using Instagram's video function with the official video. When fans visit they'll be presented with an old-fashioned-looking TV — a nod to the retro quality of the "Treasure" video — outfitted with a pair of knobs. When they click play, the official video will begin playing, interspersed with fan footage that has been hashtagged with #treasuredance. Users can click the knobs to skip around footage, as well as click on Instagram usernames to see those dancers' accounts.[35]

"The site looks for videos posted with the hashtag #TreasureDance on Instagram, takes the newest 100 videos and places them in a random sequence alongside Bruno Mars's preexisting music video for Treasure," OKFocus's Chief Technology Officer Jules LaPlace and Creative Director Ryder Ripps told MTV News, adding that the song's "tempo, temperament and general vibe" make it the perfect jam for the project.This is the first such project to be created using Instagram's video functionality, which launched in June.[35]

Track listing[edit]

  • German CD single[36]
  1. "Treasure" – 2:56
  2. "Locked Out of Heaven" (Paul Oakenfold Remix) – 5:17
  1. "Treasure (Sharam radio remix)" — 3:41
  2. "Treasure (Audien radio edit)" — 3:52
  3. "Treasure (Cash Cash radio mix)" — 3:28
  4. "Treasure (Robert DeLong radio edit)" — 2:58
  5. "Treasure (Bailey Smalls radio edit)" — 3:32

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Recorded at: Levcon Studios in Los Angeles, California, Avatar Studios in New York, New York and Daptone Studios in Brooklyn, New York; mixed at Larrabee Sound Studios in North Hollywood, California.


Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
Italy May 10, 2013[98] Contemporary hit radio Warner Music Group
United Kingdom May 29, 2013[99] Atlantic Records
Germany June 21, 2013[36] CD single
United States August 13, 2013[100] Digital download (remixes)

Cover Versions[edit]

  • Filipina Acoustic Singer Sabrina Orial covered her version as an acoustic from her "Sabrina Acoustic Vol. 6" album in 2013.


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External links[edit]