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Runaway Baby

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"Runaway Baby"
Song by Bruno Mars
from the album Doo-Wops & Hooligans
Released October 4, 2010
Length 2:27
Label Atlantic, Elektra
  • Bruno Mars
  • Philip Lawrence
  • Ari Levine
  • Brody Brown
Producer(s) The Smeezingtons
Doo-Wops & Hooligans track listing
"Our First Time"
"Runaway Baby"
"The Lazy Song"

"Runaway Baby" is a song by American singer and songwriter Bruno Mars for his debut studio album Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2010). It was written by Mars, Philip Lawrence, and Ari Levine, who produced the track under their alias The Smeezingtons, along with Brody Brown. "Runaway Baby" is a funk, soul and pop rock record. Its lyrics detail a playboy who is willing to break every woman's heart regardless of their feelings. Instrumentally, the track relies on finger snaps, police sirens, hand claps and raspy guitar lines. Upon its release, "Runaway Baby" received mixed reviews from music critics, who praised that it was different from the other recordings in the album, but was criticized for its lyrical content.

The song debuted and peaked at number 19 on the UK Singles Chart, after The X Factor performance and it peaked at number 35 and 50 in New Zealand and on Billboard Hot 100, respectively. It was and certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). The singer performed "Runaway Baby" at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards and at the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show. The performances, which include an extra break with a James Brown dance and singing through a megaphone. Mars performed "Runaway Baby" on The Doo-Wops & Hooligans Tour (2010–12), the Moonshine Jungle Tour (2013–14) and on the 24K Magic World Tour (2017-18).

Composition and production[edit]

"Runaway Baby" is a retro[1][2] soul,[1][2][3] funk,[1] bubblegum R&B[4] and pop rock track.[3] Ken Tucker of NPR found it hard to categorize the recording.[3] Its instrumentation includes 60's soul finger snaps,[1][5] police sirens,[6][7] hand claps and "scratchy guitarlines".[6][7] According to the digital sheet music published by Alfred Music Publishing, the song was composed in the key of E minor with a tempo of 144 beats per minute. Mars' vocals range spans from the low note of G4 to the high note of B5.[8] Jon Caramanica from The New York Times felt that Mars was trying to "channel" Little Richard and called the track "jumpy" and "salacious".[9] Lyrically, "Runaway Baby" conveys the message for women to avoid Mars since he is willing to break their hearts due to being a playboy and a "rolling stone" ("Lord knows I'm a rolling stone").[1][10][11] Moreover, there is a comparison established between Mars' penis and a carrot, "So many eager young bunnies...and they all got to share it."[11]

"Runaway Baby" was written by Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, who produced the track under their alias The Smeezingtons, along with Brody Brown. Mars, Levine and Brown played all the instruments on the song. Levine was in charge of engineering the song, which he did at Levcon Studios, in California. The mixing of "Runaway Baby" was done at Larrabee Sound Studios, in North Hollywood by Manny Marroquin, with Christian Plata and Erik Madrid serving as assistants. Stephen Marcussen mastered the song at Marcussen Mastering, in California.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

"Runaway Baby" has received mixed reviews from music critics. Luke Gibson from HipHopDX and Entertainment Weekly' Leah Greenblatt considered "Runaway Baby" one of the standouts in the album.[5][13] The former added that Mars shows his writing skills, despite being so different from the other recordings.[13] While reviewing the album, Harris Decker of the website The Truth About Music praised the song. He found it to be a "rocking, beat driven" that allowed the album to have "a life of its own".[14] Yahoo!'s music critic, Sherri Thornhill, had a mixed opinion towards the track, calling it a "catchy" and "gets your toes tapping", despite not being one of her favorites.[15] Blues & Soul publication found "Runaway Baby" to be inspired in The Jacksons, and "60s rock groove" from Eric Clapton and Cream; dubbing it as "enjoyable even though it's completely vacuous!".[4]

On the other hand, Tim Sendra of AllMusic gave it a negative analysis, "is a pretty cheesy rocker, suffering from clichéd lyrics and production."[16] Alexis Petridis from The Guardian went on to analyze some verses and gave them a harsh review, "Mars compares his penis to a carrot", which could not only lead to speculation regarding its meaning, but also "it's an image that haunts the rest of the song." He continued criticizing as the lyrics tell that "the object of his affections" should not try to connected Mars which could be related to his "carrot-like penis".[11] musicOMH's Jamie Milton felt that the recording was one of the things wrong with the album as at its core "involves throwing everything into the fire", mainly due to its "bad-boy pop-punkrealms".[7]

Commercial performance[edit]

Following Mars' performance on The X Factor on October 22, 2011,[17] "Runaway Baby" debuted in three different charts according to the Official Charts Company, on the issue date of October 30, 2011.[18][19][20] It entered at number 18 on the United Kingdom, spending 11 weeks on the chart.[18][21] Moreover, it debuted at number 19 in Scotland and number five at the United Kingdom R&B chart.[19][20] The song was certified Silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).[22] In 2012, it entered and peaked at number 66 and 55 on the Canadian Hot 100 and on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively.[23][24] In New Zealand, the single debuted at number 40, peaking at number 35 in its fourth week on the chart.[25]

Live performances and other usage[edit]

Mars performed "Runaway Baby" live for the first time on June 24, 2011 at the NBC's Today Show as he danced along with his band. The choreography was inspired by James Brown, and Mars picked up a megaphone to sing some of the lyrics.[26][27][28] On October 22, 2011, Mars and his band wore matching red velvet Dolce & Gabbana suits during the song's performance on the results show of The X Factor UK.[29][17][30] Robbie Daw of Idolator called the live show "rowdy", while a writer for Rap-Up praised the performance, writing that it "rocked the house" due to his "James Brown funky moves" and singing into a megaphone.[17][30] Christopher Hooton for Metro opined that Mars "stole the show" with his suit and "dance moves James Brown himself would have been proud of."[29]

On February 12, 2012, Mars performed "Runaway Baby" during the 54th Annual Grammy Awards along with his band, wearing matching shining black-and-gold tuxedos.[31][32] The stage, which was revealed during the rehearsals, included a wall with light bulbs and a giant marquee, which spelled "Live on Stage Bruno Mars." Furthermore, pyro and giant spotlights were used.[33] The Grammys' executive producer Ken Erhlich wanted Mars to perform the track on the Grammys since he had seen it live.[33] Mars' performance was dedicated to the soon deceased Whitney Houston.[32] Claire Suddath of Time dubbed it as "retro Motown" and enjoyable. She found the James Brown-inspired choreography "spot-on". However, Suddath considered the singer to be "too perfect". She rated Mars' performance a B+.[34] MTV's Jocelyn Vena thought the performance was energetic and "triumphant".[32] Jodi Jill opined that Mars' show manifested energy, which created the expectation that it would not ever end. She also considered it one of the best performances in the beginning of the show. Jill concluded that Mars did not just want people to watch the performance but also experience it.[35]

At the 2012 Met Gala, Mars performed "Runaway Baby", wearing Prada, with the James Brown breakdown, followed by a medley of covers, which included "Ni**as in Paris", "Roxanne" and "Rock the Boat".[36] Mars also performed a shortened version of the song as part of his Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show, with a reference to The Isley Brothers' "Shout" and the James Brown-inspired choreography.[37] Mars rapped the words "give it away, give it away, give it away now" as the Red Hot Chili Peppers made their cameo.[38] Idolator's Carl Williott complemented the singer's "strong live vocals and stellar footwork".[39] American singer and actress Carly Rose Sonenclar covered the song on her YouTube channel.[40] In 2017, Anatalia Villaranda covered "Runaway Baby" during her Blind Audition at The Voice.[41] Mars also performed the track on The Doo-Wops & Hooligans Tour (2010–12), The Moonshine Jungle Tour (2013–14) and on the 24K Magic World Tour (2017).[42][43][44][45] In 2011, the track was used as the opening theme for the film Friends with Benefits.[46] In 2017, Dwayne Johnson chose the song, as one among several, to be used in the upcoming video game WWE 2K18.[47]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Mixing and mastering
  • Mixed at Larrabee Sound Studios, Hollywood, California; mastered at Marcussen Mastering, Hollywood, California; engineered at Levcon Studios, Hollywood, California.

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Elektra Records[12]

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Album review: Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops & Hooligans". The Scotsman. January 14, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Mervis, Scott (October 7, 2010). "For the Record: Bruno Mars". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on October 11, 2011. Retrieved October 16, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Tucker, Ken (October 19, 2010). "Liking Bruno Mars Just The Way He Is". NPR. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Baird, Emrys, "Bruno Mars: Doo-Wops & Hooligans", Blues & Soul, 1080, retrieved January 15, 2017 
  5. ^ a b Greenblatt, Leah (September 29, 2010). "Doo-Wops & Hooligans". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b DeAndrea, Joe (October 12, 2016). "Bruno Mars' 5 Best Deep Cuts". Billboard. Retrieved October 13, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c Milton, Jamie (January 17, 2011). "Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops And Hooligans". musicOMH. Archived from the original on October 15, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Bruno Mars - Runaway Baby (Digital Download)". Music Notes. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  9. ^ Caramanica, Jon (October 5, 2010). "Bruno Mars in Ascension". The New York Times. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  10. ^ Yang, Emily. "Album Review: Doo-Wops & Hooligans". The Signal. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b c Petridis, Alexis (January 20, 2011). "Bruno Mars: Doo-Wops & Hooligans – review". The Guardian. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Doo-Wops & Hooligans (CD booklet). Bruno Mars. United States: Elektra Records. 2010. 2-525393. 
  13. ^ a b Gibson, Luke (October 11, 2010). "Bruno Mars - Doo-Wops & Hooligans". HipHopDX. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  14. ^ Decker, Harris (October 5, 2010). "Album of the Month: Bruno Mars Dazzles In Debut Album". The Truth About Music. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  15. ^ Thornhill, Sherrri (December 2, 2010). "Bruno Mars Doo Wops & Hooligans CD Review". Yahoo! Voices. Yahoo. Archived from the original on January 28, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  16. ^ Sendra, Tim. "Doo-Wops & Hooligans – Bruno Mars". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on February 8, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2011. 
  17. ^ a b c Daw, Robbie (October 24, 2011). "Kelly Clarkson & Bruno Mars Rock 'The X Factor' UK Stage". Idolator. Retrieved January 14, 2017. 
  18. ^ a b c "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  19. ^ a b c "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  20. ^ a b c "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  21. ^ "Bruno Mars Runaway Baby UK charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 14, 2017. 
  22. ^ a b "British single certifications – Bruno Mars – Runaway Baby". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved May 29, 2015.  Enter Runaway Baby in the search field and then press Enter.
  23. ^ a b "Bruno Mars Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  24. ^ a b "Bruno Mars Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  25. ^ a b " – Bruno Mars – Runaway Baby". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  26. ^ "Watch Bruno Mars' Today Show Performance Right Here". CBS. June 24, 2011. Archived from the original on February 19, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  27. ^ Genet, Danielle (June 24, 2011). "Bruno Mars Fans Brave Rain For 'Today' Performance". MTV News. MTV. Archived from the original on April 10, 2015. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Bruno Mars performs on the "Today" Show". Rap-Up. June 24, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  29. ^ a b Hooton, Christopher (October 23, 2011). "Bruno Mars hits The X Factor with James Brown-inspired performance". Metro. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  30. ^ a b "Bruno Mars performs "Runaway Baby" on X Factor". Rap-Up. October 23, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Bruno Mars performs "Runaway Baby" at The Grammys". Rap-Up. February 12, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  32. ^ a b c Vena, Jocelyn (February 12, 2012). "Bruno Mars shines during Grammy Performance". MTV. Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  33. ^ a b Boucher, Geoff (February 10, 2012). "Grammy 2012: Bruno Mars lights it up at rehearsals". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 26, 2017. 
  34. ^ Suddath, Claire (February 12, 2012). "The Best and Worst of the 2012 Grammys: Bruno Mars, "Runaway Baby"". Time. Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  35. ^ Jill, Jodi (February 13, 2012). "Bruno Mars performs "Runaway Baby" at Grammys 2012 (photos, video)". AXS. Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  36. ^ "Bruno Mars Rocks The Met Gala [Video]". Rap-Up. December 5, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2017. 
  37. ^ Mainsfield, Brian (February 2, 2014). "Did the Super Bowl make a superstar out of Bruno Mars?". USA Today. Retrieved January 26, 2017. 
  38. ^ Rutherford, Kevin (February 2, 2014). "Bruno Mars Gets One-Sided Super Bowl Bouncing With Biggest Hits". Retrieved January 26, 2017. 
  39. ^ Willot, Carl (February 2, 2014). "Super Bowl Halftime Show: Watch Bruno Mars & Red Hot Chili Peppers Sweat It Out". Idolator. Retrieved August 4, 2017. 
  40. ^ "Carly Rose Sonenclar Covers "Runaway Baby" By Bruno Mars (Video)". The Huffington Post. March 21, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2017. 
  41. ^ "Fil-Am Anatalia Villaranda's "Runaway Baby" wows The Voice coaches". March 1, 2017. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  42. ^ Schutte, Lauren (June 15, 2011). "Bruno Mars: Concert Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  43. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (June 25, 2013). "Bruno Mars Romps Through 'Moonshine Jungle' Tour in Philadelphia: Live Review". Billboard. Retrieved June 25, 2013. 
  44. ^ Kot, Greg (June 21, 2014). "Concert review: Bruno Mars in Tinley Park". Chicago Tribune. Bruce Dold. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  45. ^ Guerra, Luís (April 5, 2017). "Ele é funk, ele é rock, ele é um romântico. Bruno Mars fê-la bonita em Lisboa". Blitz (in Portuguese). Medipress. Retrieved April 18, 2017. 
  46. ^ "Friends With Benefits (2011)". Soundtrack.Net. July 22, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2017. 
  47. ^ Mazique, Brian (August 18, 2017). "'WWE 2K18' Soundtrack Announced And Curated By Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson". Forbes. Retrieved September 16, 2017. 

External links[edit]