Doo-Wops & Hooligans

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Doo-Wops & Hooligans
The silhouette of a rocket is shown flying away through a yellow background, leaving behind a trail on which the silhouette of a fedora-wearing man is walking. The words "Bruno Mars", in beige capital font, and "Doo-Wops & Hooligans", in lower case black font, are printed to the right.
Studio album by Bruno Mars
Released October 4, 2010 (2010-10-04)
Length 35:24
Bruno Mars chronology
It's Better If You Don't Understand
(2010)It's Better If You Don't Understand2010
Doo-Wops & Hooligans
Unorthodox Jukebox
(2012)Unorthodox Jukebox2012
Singles from Doo-Wops & Hooligans
  1. "Just the Way You Are"
    Released: July 20, 2010
  2. "Grenade"
    Released: September 28, 2010
  3. "The Lazy Song"
    Released: February 15, 2011
  4. "Talking to the Moon"
    Released: April 12, 2011[5]
  5. "Marry You"
    Released: August 10, 2011
  6. "Count On Me"
    Released: November 7, 2011

Doo-Wops & Hooligans is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars. It was released on October 4, 2010 through Atlantic Records and Elektra Records. Mars' writing and production team The Smeezingtons were credited with writing all songs and serve as the album's executive producers. The album's title refers to doo-wop music and was chosen to reflect simplicity, as well as appeal to both males and females. Two digital singles—"Liquor Store Blues" featuring Damian Marley and "Grenade"—were released to promote the album.

The lead single "Just the Way You Are" was released on July 20, 2010, and topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four consecutive weeks, going on to become an international top ten hit. "Grenade" was later announced as the second single, and has charted in the top ten in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, as well as becoming his second consecutive number one in the United States and United Kingdom. "The Lazy Song" was released as the third single from the album in Spring 2011, peaking at number 4 on the Hot 100 and becoming his third consecutive number one single in the United Kingdom as a solo artist.

Doo-Wops & Hooligans charted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 and in the top ten of music charts in Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand. The album received generally positive reviews from music critics. The usage of a wide variety of influences was noted by critics, with musical comparisons made to Michael Jackson, Jason Mraz and Little Richard.[6] The album received a total of seven nominations for the Grammy Awards in 2011 and 2012, including Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album.[7] Mars embarked on a US headlining tour throughout November and December 2010 to promote the album. Doo-Wops & Hooligans was announced the third biggest-selling album of 2011 in the United Kingdom, selling approximately 1,214,420 copies.[8] The album has sold over 6 million copies worldwide.[9]


The release of Doo-Wops & Hooligans was announced during a press release on August 25, 2010, following the release of Mars' debut EP, It's Better If You Don't Understand, earlier in the year.[10] Speaking to MTV News, Mars said the EP gave a "nice effect of what's in store" for the album.[11] The album cover was officially released on August 30, 2010.[12] The official track listing was revealed by Atlantic Records on September 9, 2010.[13] Three of the four songs from It's Better If You Don't Understand are included on the album.[14]

On the title of the album, Mars said, "'Doo-wop' is a very special word for me. Because I grew up listening to my dad who, as a Fifties rock & roll head, loved doo-wop music... Plus doo wop songs come from a time back in the day when there were no TRICKS! You just needed a beautiful melody, you needed a beautiful voice, and you needed to CONNECT!... So the 'doo-wop' part is for the women!"[15]... But then because, on this album, I have records that women are going to relate to and men are going to relate to, the doo-wops are for the girls and hooligans are for the guys."[16] In addition, he told 4Music, "It explains the two sides of me. Doo-wop is a special form of music I grew up on. It's straight to the point, very simple. I have songs like that. ... I have that simple, romantic side of me but I'm also just a young, regular dude and that's like the hooligan side!"[17]

"I've been working really hard. A lot of people think this was an overnight thing. I was in the recording studio just figuring out the production process and the writing process. It needed to happen; it was training for me to put out my own album."

—Mars explaining the development of "Doo-Wops & Hooligans".[18]

Fellow Smeezington Ari Levine confessed that they never met Needlz or Walton, who helped with the writing and production of the single "Just the Way You Are", they also never met Supa Dups who produced and wrote along with The Smeezingtons the promotional single "Liquor Store Blues" and the track "Our First Time". Since everything was done by "sending files to and fro".[19]

When he was asked about the writing credits of "The Other Side" he said the song was also written to somebody else’s track. "We redid the sounds and then added things on top of it. Then we found out that there were all these writers on the track, and we went OMG! In general, we find it easier to write songs to an existing track. We approach writing songs almost like remixes: anything can change at any point in time. There’s nothing set in stone."[19]

In addition, he confessed that "Talking to the Moon" is his favourite song from the album explaining that in the beginning they "only had the first verse and the horns, but we knew that it was great." In the midd time "We then had three different bridges and we spent a lot of time trying to find out which one was the best. Jeff Bhasker is a fantastic musician, and he helped write that track. I think we tried to arrange and produce this in four different ways, mostly trying to figure out what kind of drums to put on."[19]

Regarding the hit single "The Lazy Song", Ari explained the idea behind the track and how they came up with it "was a very tough song to write, even though it is so simple. That song began one day when we were hanging around the studio and hadn’t written a song for a few days and we were kind of burnt out and didn’t feel like working. We felt lazy. K’naan was in the studio with us, and the four of us suddenly came up with this idea. After that we had a really hard time getting the groove and the drums to sit right. Once you have one piece of the puzzle, like when you realise that a drum track is good, you can add other things in after that.”[19]

Mars confessed in an interview with Rap-Up that he dedicated a track to one of New York City’s five boroughs. “My dad is originally from Brooklyn,” Bruno states. “I think that everyone can agree that New York is a special place, so one song is called ‘Somewhere in Brooklyn.’ [The premise of that song is that] she’s somewhere in Brooklyn and I’m gonna find her.”[20]

When Philip Lawrence was asked about the single "Marry You" he said "When we were coming up with that song, we had this image of a slow-mo video in Vegas of a couple running, and she’s in her gown and he’s in his tux, the wedding party is behind them and everyone’s raging. This sort of crazy, daring, wedding feeling. It was more of a racy kind of idea, as opposed to this classic marriage tune it has become."[21]

Lawrence said that after the hit singles "Nothin' on You" and "Billionaire" the label told The Smeezingtons they had a lot of time to produce Bruno's first album. He added "but all of that went out the window when the demand changed." They called them and said "instead of six months you have one month to finish this album." He concludes: "So we were scrambling trying to finish the album, and I think “Grenade” was the last song we finished."[21]

Music and style[edit]

Primarily a pop album,[22][23][1][2] Doo-Wops and Hooligans was noted by music writers for its diverse variety of influences. Certain songs on the album contain elements rock,[24] reggae,[24] R&B,[3] soul,[1] and hip hop.[25] Ken Capobianco of The Boston Globe denoted "bright melodies" and "smooth pop" in the album's music.[26] The Guardian's Alexis Petridis noted "takes on Michael Jacksonish pop soul, Coldplay-style arena rock and a stab at 1960s R&B", but added that the album's "default setting" is "acoustic pop-reggae" and recalls Mars' contribution to Travie McCoy's Billionaire", with "laid-back soft rock, with gentle reggae inflections, hang-loose sentiments and all."[27] Jon Caramanica of The New York Times wrote that Mars has "a light, soul-influenced voice that's an easy fit in a range of styles", and that he and The Smeezingtons have "a firm grip on the full spectrum of black pop, and white pop as well."[25] Music journalist Jody Rosen commented that the album's songs "move from power ballads to bedroom anthems to pop-reggae".[2] Lisa Binkert, from Billboard magazine, found out that the album "bobs and weaves between reggae grooves, classic Motown soul and back again to perfectly crafted pop. It is unclear where Mars falls into the musical spectrum.[18]

Mars' sound has drawn comparisons to Michael Jackson[3][28][29][30]—especially the album's "atmospheric" opener "Grenade" to "Dirty Diana"[1][31]—as well as to Jason Mraz.[25][29][32] Other comparisons in style and sound made include "Grenade" to Kanye West[25] and Shakira,[33] "Just the Way You Are" to U2,[25] "Our First Time" to "Boyz II Men"[34] and singer-songwriters D'Angelo,[24] Al B. Sure!,[1] and Sade,[25] "Runaway Baby" to Little Richard,[25] "The Lazy Song" to Sugar Ray,[3] "Marry You" to Coldplay,[25] "Liquor Store Blues" to Bedouin Soundclash,[30] and "Count On Me" to Israel Kamakawiwoʻole.[35]

Lyrical themes[edit]

Lyrically, many tracks have been described as "feel-good", carefree, and optimistic, including love song "Just the Way You Are" ("When you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while"),[36] the friendship song "Count On Me" ("You can count on me like 1 2 3 / I'll be there"),[24][37] and "Marry You", a song singing of a spontaneous marriage idea.[1][38] In addition, "Runaway Baby" is a guitar-driven "snappy retro trip",[1][24] and "The Lazy Song" is described as a "hymn to sloth" and a "surf stoner's anthem" ("I be loungin' on the couch just chillin' in my Snuggie / click to MTV so they can teach me how to Dougie").[26][28][29] On the other hand, darker subjects are addressed in "Grenade", the album's masochistic heartbreak song ("Take a bullet straight through my brain / Yes, I would die for ya baby"),[1][38][39] "Talking to the Moon" ("Talking to the moon... / In hopes you're on the other side"),[1][38] and the reggae track "Liquor Store Blues" ("I'll take one shot for my pain / One drag for my sorrow").[30][32] The experimental collaboration "The Other Side" was frequently noted as the album's highlight, being the most complicated and having the best production.[40][26][41][42]


"Just the Way You Are" was released as the album's lead single commercially worldwide on July 20, 2010, through digital distribution.[43] The song was critically acclaimed with reviewers complimenting its piano balladry and the love lyrics associated with it.[44][45] It achieved commercial success by topping charts in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as well as reaching the top ten in several other countries.[46][47][48][49] "Just the Way You Are" received a Grammy award in the Best Male Pop Vocal Performance category.[50]

"Grenade" was released as the second single from the album. It had previously been premiered as the album's second and final promotional single on September 28, 2010 prior to its stand-alone release.[51] It was also well received by the critics, most of whom have praised Mars' vocals abilities.[52][53] The single achieved greater success than "Just the Way You Are" by topping the charts in almost all the countries it was released to.[54][55][56] The song became Mars' third non-consecutive number one on the Hot 100.[57] In 2012, "Grenade" received three Grammy nomiantions in the categories of Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance.[58]

"The Lazy Song" was the album's third single.[59] The song received mixed reviews. Some critics found it to have a laid back groove while the others criticized it for being a "filler" and its empty lyrical theme and thus being an embarrassment to the album.[60][61][1] The song topped the United Kingdom and Denmark charts.[62][63] It has also reached the top five in the United States, Austria, Canada, and New Zealand and the top ten in others.[46][48][63] The associated music video for the song was shot as a lone continuous and uninterrupted shot with Mars goofing around with five monkeys.[64] An alternative video version was made and features Leonard Nimoy on his lazy daily routine.[65]

"Talking to the Moon" became an official single, only in Brazil, following its appearance on the soundtrack of the Brazilian telenovela Insensato Coração (Irrational Heart) from 2011.[4] The song reached the top position in Billboard Brasil Hot Pop & Popular and the Brasil Hot 100 Airplay. The song spent nine weeks at number one on the latter chart,[66] while it topped the former chart for 22 weeks.[67][68][69] The song received mixed reviews from critics who praised its slow pace and lyrics; however, it was criticized for its overwhelming production.[38][70]

"Marry You" was released as a single except in the United States, despite its strong airplay on mainstream and adult top 40 radio stations.[71] The song was critically appreciated for its catchy tune, described as "instantly hummable melody and a sing-songy chorus", and reminiscence of the 60's pop.[38][72] The song has reached the top ten in countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand and the top twenty in others.[73][48]

"Count On Me" was announced as the sixth overall single with a radio release date of November 7, 2011, in Australia.[74] The song has reached the top ten in Austria, Portugal ans Spain.[75][76] It has also reached the top twenty in Australia and New Zealand.[75] The single has received critical acclaim for its arrangement and "uplifting" vibe and comparasions were established with "Over The Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole.[77][78][35]

Release and promotion[edit]

Bruno Mars performing in Houston, Texas, on November 24, 2010, on The Doo-Wops & Hooligans Tour

"The Other Side" featuring Cee Lo Green and B.o.B, was released in the form of EP, titled It's Better If You Don't Understand.[79] The accompanying music video was directed by Nick Bilardello and Cameron Duddy, and was released in July 2010.[80][81]

"Liquor Store Blues" featuring Damian Marley was released to the iTunes Store on September 21, 2010, as the album's promotional single.[82][51] "Liquor Store Blues" debuted at number 97 on the Canadian Hot 100 for the week of October 1, 2010.[83]

"Runaway Baby" charted in the United Kingdom and peaked at number 19, this was due to Mars' performance on The X Factor on the previous week. "Somewhere in Brooklyn" was released as the album's second promotional single in Germany.[84]

Doo-Wops & Hooligans saw its premiere on Myspace on September 24 and was released to digital retailers on October 4, then to stores on October 5, 2010.[13][85] A deluxe edition was released that includes two more tracks: a remix of "Just the Way You Are" featuring Lupe Fiasco and "Somewhere in Brooklyn", originally from It's Better If You Don't Understand.[51][86] The deluxe edition also includes the music videos of "Just the Way You Are" and "The Other Side".[86]

In Sammy's Adventures: The Secret Passage, two songs can be heard from the album in the movie, namely "Count on Me" and "Talking to the Moon". Both are credited to Mars in the final credits.

Mars premiered several of the album's songs during a performance at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City on August 25, 2010.[87] He appeared as the musical guest for Saturday Night Live on October 9, 2010, alongside host Jane Lynch, and performed "Just the Way You Are", "Nothin' on You", and "Grenade".[88] Along with OneRepublic, Mars promoted the album opening for Maroon 5 on the fall leg of the Hands All Over Tour that began October 6, 2010. He also supported Travie McCoy on his European tour from mid-October through November 2010.[13] Atlantic has allowed the musical television series Glee to cover two songs from the album; "Just the Way You Are" and "Marry You" were performed on "Furt", an episode that aired in November 2010.[89]

iPhone app Tap Tap made a series of game based on the album. It is called Bruno Mars Revenge. It features all 10 hits off the standard version from the album.[90] Mars' song "Runaway Baby" was then used as opening song in the 2011 film Friends with Benefits.[91]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
AnyDecentMusic? 4.9/10[92]
Metacritic 61/100[23]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[93]
Consequence of Sound B–[94]
Entertainment Weekly B+[1]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[27]
The Independent 3/5 stars[95]
musicOMH 2.5/5 stars[96]
The New Zealand Herald 3/5[33]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[2]
Slant Magazine 2.5/5 stars[35]
The Telegraph 4/5 stars[97]

Doo-Wops & Hooligans received generally favorable reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 61, based on 13 reviews.[23] Leah Greenblatt from Entertainment Weekly gave Doo-Wops & Hooligans a B+. He praised Mars' "instant-access melodies", "creamy" productions and "sly snatches of dance-floor swagger". Nevertheless, Greenblatt stated that some music styles present in the record didn't match the singer.[1] Alex Young of Consequence of Sound called Doo-Wops & Hooligans "fulfilling [with] very few holes" awarding the album a B–. The critic found Mars' vocals to be "gold".[94] The Telegraph's Tom Gockelen-Kozlowski considered the record has a "bundle of top-drawer melodies, making commercial success all but a certainty", giving the album four stats out of five.[97] Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone called the album "the year's finest debut" with "10 near-perfect" tracks, awarding it three and half starts out of five. The reviewer believes that the recordings "deliver pleasure without pretension".[2] Rosen and The Boston Globe's Ken Capobianco, commended Mars' vocal performance and talent for composing melodies. The latter, found the debut to be " promising", yet disappointed with the lack of an autobiographical aspect to it.[26] Sean Fennessey of The Washington Post labeled it "effortlessly tuneful" and a good start to a "durable career".[29] The New York Times's Jon Caramanica dubbed Doo-Wops & Hooligans a "fantastically polyglot record that shows him to be a careful study across a range of pop songcraft", applauding its diverse range of influences.[25]

In a mixed review, Tim Sendra from AllMusic praised the majority of the songs on the record due to their "laid-back groove", however, he found the quality to drop when Mars "turns up the volume and boosts the tempo". He gave it three stars out of five. Sendra called it "an uneven debut ... [that] doesn't tap into his potential as a writer or a producer".[93] Scott Kara of The New Zealand Herald enjoyed the first two tracks of the album, but noticed that the record could have had more of both titular elements to raise its "potency". Kara gave Doo-Wops & Hooligans a rating of three out of five.[33] Tony Clayton-Lea from The Irish Times thought that the record is "full of the kind of catchy modern pop that is impossible to dislike or dislodge." He continued by saying "most of the tunes are cocktail bangers hot enough to melt ice."[98] The Independent 's Andy Gill believed that the record "seeks too hard to display Mars' multifaceted talents".[95]

Eric Henderson writing for Slant Magazine criticized Doo-Wops & Hooligans, saying it "manages to wear out its welcome about halfway through", calling it an attempt to "please just about everybody." He awarded the album 2,5 stars out of 5.[35] With the same rating, Jamie Milton of musicOMH pointed out some flaws such as it "involves throwing everything into the fire", which was seen as "a contrast taken too far". The critic also drew attention to the "opportunistic" market that apart the "forthcoming trends in pop, there’s a song on the album pitched to take grasp of it all."[96] Q, which rated the album two out of five stars, wrote that "mostly, he has little to say."[99] The Guardian's Alexis Petridis, who shared the previous rate, gave the album an harsh critic due to his "saccharine sound" and Mars' poor ability with lyrics. The critic emphasizes that the record should have been better and more "groundbreaking".[27] The Scotsman and Mike Diver of BBC stated Mars could have made an album for the masses to appreciate.[100][101] The former used the previous statement to explain why the artist didn't made something more "sophisticated".[100] On ther other hand, Diver assumed the album was aimed to teenagers instead of "anyone with life and love experience beyond passing notes around at the back of class".[101]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, Doo-Wops & Hooligans debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 chart for the week of October 13, 2010, selling 55,000 copies.[102] Since then, the album has sold 2,310,000 copies in the United States and was also certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[103][104][105] The album debuted the same week on the Canadian Albums Chart at number 6, and reached the top of the chart four months later.[106][107] The album peaked at number one in the United Kingdom, in the top five in New Zealand and Australia, and number 29 in Ireland.[108][109][110]

In 2011, Doo-Wops & Hooligans was certified platinum in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.[111][112][113][114] As of December 2011, the album had sold 1,101,185 copies in the United Kingdom, becoming the third album in 2011 to accumulate one million sales. Plus, it was the third best selling album of 2011, with 980,000 copies sold.[115][116][117][118] As of November 2016, the album has sold over 1,712,000 copies in the UK.[119]

Debuting at number one, Doo-Wops & Hooligans is the first debut album by a foreign artist to do so on the German Albums Chart since Lady Gaga's The Fame did so, as of January 2010. In the week of August 25, 2013, Doo-Wops & Hooligans held at number one on Top Catalog Albums for the seventh week, enabling it to surpass Bob Marley & the Wailers’ 1984 compilation Legend for the most weeks at number one on the catalog chart in 2013.[120] Furthermore, Doo-Wops held at number one on Top Catalog Albums for the eleventh week. That enabled it to surpass Michael Jackson’s 2001 compilation Number Ones, the longest time an album by a male artist has logged at number one on this chart in a calendar year.[121] 'Doo-Wops & Hooligans' by Bruno Mars now spends its 300th week on the Billboard 200. It is the 3rd album released this millennium to do so. In the United Kingdom, the three singles from this album received commercial success reaching the top spot and selling a combined 2.2 million units.[122]

Track listing[edit]

Doo-Wops & Hooligans – US and International edition[123]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Grenade"
The Smeezingtons 3:43
2. "Just the Way You Are"
3. "Our First Time"
  • Mars
  • Lawrence
  • Levine
  • Dwayne Chin-quee
  • Mitchum Chin
4. "Runaway Baby"
  • Mars
  • Lawrence
  • Levine
  • Brown
The Smeezingtons 2:27
5. "The Lazy Song"
The Smeezingtons 3:10
6. "Marry You"
  • Mars
  • Lawrence
  • Levine
The Smeezingtons 3:50
7. "Talking to the Moon"
  • The Smeezingtons
  • Bhasker[a]
8. "Liquor Store Blues" (featuring Damian Marley)
  • The Smeezingtons
  • Supa Dups
9. "Count On Me"
  • Mars
  • Lawrence
  • Levine
The Smeezingtons 3:17
10. "The Other Side" (featuring Cee Lo Green and B.o.B)
The Smeezingtons 3:47
Total length: 35:24


Credits for Doo-Wops & Hooligans adapted from liner notes.[123]



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[167] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[168] Platinum 20,000*
Belgium (BEA)[169] Platinum 30,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[170] Platinum 40,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[171] 3× Platinum 240,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[172] 2× Platinum 60,000^
France (SNEP)[173] 2× Platinum 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[174] 5× Gold 500,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[175] 4× Platinum 60,000^
Italy (FIMI)[176] Gold 30,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[177] Platinum 250,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[178] Gold 30,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[179] 6× Platinum 90,000^
Philippines (PARI)[180] 2× Diamond 300,000
Poland (ZPAV)[181] Gold 10,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[182] Gold 20,000^
Sweden (GLF)[183] Gold 20,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[184] 2× Platinum 60,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[185] 5× Platinum 1,712,854[119]
United States (RIAA)[186] 5× Platinum 5,000,000double-dagger
Europe (IFPI)[187] 3× Platinum 3,000,000*

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

See also[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label(s) Formats Edition
France[188] October 4, 2010 Warner Music Digital download Standard
United States[85][86]
  • Standard
  • deluxe
Austria[189] October 5, 2010 Warner Music CD Standard
Mexico[191][192] Digital download
  • Standard
  • deluxe
United States[13][193]
  • Atlantic
  • Elektra
  • Standard
  • deluxe
New Zealand[194] October 11, 2010 Warner Music Standard
Australia[195] October 15, 2010
United States[196] December 7, 2010 Atlantic, Elektra LP
Japan[128] January 12, 2011 (standard)
May 23, 2012 (platinum)[197]
Warner Music CD Standard
Germany[198] January 14, 2011
  • CD
  • LP
Denmark[199] January 17, 2011
  • CD
  • digital download
Italy Elektra
Poland[200] January 24, 2011 Warner Music
Brazil[201] February 18, 2011
United Kingdom[124] November 7, 2011 (Standard)

November 28, 2011 (Deluxe)

  • CD
  • digital download
  • LP


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