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The Lazy Song

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"The Lazy Song"
A greyscale illustration of a chimpanzee wearing a dress shirt, pants, and sunglasses. The animal is seen reclining, with his or her feet outstretched and in the foreground. In black, the words "The Lazy Song" appear in minuscule below the words "Bruno Mars" in majuscule font.
Single by Bruno Mars
from the album Doo-Wops & Hooligans
Released February 15, 2011 (2011-02-15)
Format CD single, digital download
Genre
Length 3:15 (album version)
3:08 (single version)
Label
Songwriter(s)
  • Bruno Mars
  • Philip Lawrence
  • Ari Levine
  • K'naan
Producer(s) The Smeezingtons
Bruno Mars singles chronology
"Grenade"
(2010)
"The Lazy Song"
(2011)
"Talking to the Moon "
(2011)
"Grenade"
(2010)
"The Lazy Song"
(2011)
"Talking to the Moon "
(2011)

"The Lazy Song" is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars for his debut studio album Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2010). It was serviced to contemporary hit radios in the United States on February 15, 2011 as the album's third single by Atlantic and Elektra. Development of "The Lazy Song" began while Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine were hanging around the studio and didn’t feel like working. Mars wrote the song in collaboration with singer-songwriter K'naan and his production team The Smeezingtons, who also produced the track. Musically, "The Lazy Song" has been described as borrowing "heavily from roots reggae", while lyrically it is an anthem to laziness.

"The Lazy Song" reached number four on the US Billboard Hot 100, while it topped the charts in Denmark and in the United Kingdom. It charted on most international markets within the top five. Cameron Duddy and Mars directed the accompanying music video, in which Mars hangs out with five dancers with monkey masks while jest around in his underwear. It has been certified three and four times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and by Music Canada (MC), respectively. Worldwide, it was one of the best selling digital singles of 2011 with sales of 6.5 million copies. Mars sung "The Lazy Song" on television shows such as American Idol and the French version of X-Factor. The single was performed on The Doo-Wops & Hooligans Tour (2010–12), and occasionally on the Moonshine Jungle Tour (2013–14).

Development and production[edit]

"The Lazy Song" is one of the eleven songs composed and produced by The Smeezingtons for Mars' debut studio album Doo-Wops & Hooligans.[4] In an interview with Sound on Sound, fellow Smeezington Ari Levine explained how they came up with the song "[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." He added, "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."[5] Mars affirmed that they were trying to be "magical and historic" thus creating a track "that was better than the Beatles". Due to the frustration of not being able to do so, Mars said "Today I don't feel like doing anything at all", which according to him was an eye-opener.[6]

"The Lazy Song" was mixed at Larrabee Sound Studios in Hollywood by Manny Marroquin, while Christian Plata and Erik Madrid served as the assistant for mix.[4] Ari Levine and Bruno Mars played all the instruments on the track and recorded them. Ari was also responsible for engineering the song at Levcon Studios in California.[4] Stephen Marcussen mastered the song at Marcussen Mastering in California, while Jash Negandhi (DJ Dizzy) was responsible for the scratching on the track.[4]

Composition[edit]

"The Lazy Song" was described as borrowing "heavily from roots reggae" and having a moderate reggae groove.[7][8] According to the digital sheet music published by Alfred Music Publishing , the song was written in the key of B major and is set in time signature of common time with a tempo of 88 beats per minute.[8] The vocal range spans from F4 to B5.[8] "The Lazy Song" features an acoustic guitar,[8] scratching,[4] and a drum track[5] on the instrumentation, being three minutes and fifteen seconds long.[9] Lewis Corner, reviewer of Digital Spy wrote that "Bruno pulls a sickie in this reggae-pop number about, well, absolutely nothing." and noticed the "reggae-pop production" while describing Mars as a "couch potato of the daytime TV variety" due to the lyrics of the song "I'm gonna kick my feet up then stare at the fan/ Turn the TV on, throw my hand in my pants".[2] Jim Farber of Daily News considered the song a "hymn to sloth".[6] The single version of the song features whistling, which is not present on the album version.[10][11] Lyrically, the song makes reference to MTV, the P90X home fitness DVDs, and the Cali Swag District song "Teach Me How to Dougie".[12][13][14]

Release[edit]

"The Lazy Song" was the third single to be released from Mars' debut studio album Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2010). Atlantic and Elektra released the song, initially for airplay on mainstream radio in the United States, on February 15, 2011.[15] The radio edit of the record was first released in Finland by Elektra Records on April 11, 2011 as a CD single.[10] Later, on May 8 and May 9, 2011, the single was released in the UK via digital download and as a CD single, respectively, containing both the single edit version and The Hooligans remix of "Grenade", by the Warner Music Group, respectively.[2][16] On February 18, 2011 it was released as a digital download only in New Zealand, containing the single version of the song.[9] On May 27, 2011, the CD single was then also released on Germany, Austria and Switzerland.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

"The Lazy Song" has received generally mixed reviews from contemporary music critics. Eric Henderson of Slant Magazine noted that in song Mars "paints a portrait of Al Bundy as a young man"[17] and Andy Gill of The Independent classified the song as a "laidback acoustic groove".[18] Tim Sendra of AllMusic said it was one of the tracks from Doo-Wops & Hooligans that captured the laid-back groove.[19] Scott Mervis of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described the song as a "Jason Mraz/Sugar Ray-style reggae."[1] Sean Fennessey, a reviewer of The Washington Post, felt the song was written in a "quality that is both endearing and damning".[13] A mixed review came from Digital Spy reviewer Lewis Corner, who commented that the song is a "summery ditty more head-boppable than a Churchill nodding dog, which, given his current state of mind, is probably about all he could muster", giving it three stars out of five.[2] and from Blues & Soul magazine who called it "reggae tinged" and found it to be "somewhat of a filler but for the likes of Peter Andre" is great.[20] Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt considered that "other modes suit him less well; The Lazy Song is perhaps better left to Jason Mraz".[21] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian, gave the song a negative review, writing that The Lazy Song "gets no further than the second verse before Mars – nothing if not keen to keep his fans abreast of his every activity in a world of 360-degree connectivity – announces that he's planning on having a wank".[22]

Accolades[edit]

In 2011, the song received a nomination at the MP3Music Awards for "The BNC Award Best/New/Act", but lost.[23] It also received a nomination for the "Choice Summer Song" award at the 2011 Teen Choice Awards.[24] In 2011, the song was nominated at the NRJ Music Awards and ASCAP Pop Music Awards for, respectively, the International Song of the Year and Most Performed Song, having won the latter.[25][26] It also was nominated for 2011 Billboard Music Awards, it the category of Top Streaming Song.[27] At the RTHK International Pop Poll Awards the song won "Top 10 Gold International Gold Songs"[28] The song, according to Spotify and 300.000 users, was considered a "Hangover Cure".[29]

Chart performance[edit]

"The Lazy Song" spent a total of 27 weeks on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at number 4.[30] It also peaked at number 3 on Billboard's Pop Songs chart[31] and at number 2 on the Adult Top 40 chart.[32] The single sold over 1 million digital copies in the United States in May 2011, becoming Mars' fifth consecutive million-selling single as a solo and featured artist combined.[33] The song has sold 3,262,000 digital copies in the United States by September 2012.[34] Only in August 16, 2013 the song was certified Platinum, Double-Platinum and consequently Triple-Platinum at the same time.[35] The song rose to number 5 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart, having started at number 85 on March 19, 2011.[36] It entered the Australian ARIA Singles Chart at number 10 on February 28, 2011 and eventually reached number 6.[37] Worldwide, it was one of the best selling digital singles of 2011 with sales of 6.5 million copies.[38]

In New Zealand, it debuted at number eighteen on the New Zealand Singles Chart on February 28, 2011, and peaked at number three.[39] In the United Kingdom, "The Lazy Song" peaked at the top of the UK Singles Chart, becoming Mars's third solo chart topper, and fourth in total, in Britain, as well as his third chart-topping song there in under a year following "Just the Way You Are" and "Grenade".[40][41] According to the Official Charts Company, the song has sold 747,000 copies in the United Kingdom as of October 2016 and was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).[42]

The single debuted at number 18 on the Denmark and peaked at number one, the only country in which it did.[43] In Germany it reached number 9.[44] "The Lazy Song" started at number 26 in the Dutch Top 40 on April 2, 2011, and peaked at number 4 in its eighth week on the chart.[45] The single debuted at number 10 on the Ö3 Austria Top 40 and peaked at number 4.[46] In Switzerland it entered the singles chart at number 29 and climbed to number 9.[47] It peaked at number 11 on the French singles chart (SNEP), and it peaked at number 10 in Italy.[48][49]

Music video[edit]

Background and concept[edit]

Mars was able to watch the video his label had produced before Doo-Wops & Hooligans was released. The singer thought that the music video didn't represent the song in the way he wanted, and asked the label to record another. The latter agreed and gave him a "couple thousand dollars", with it Mars bought monkey masks and shot the video in two days. After doing 12 takes, the tenth was the one chosen.[50]

Development and synopsis[edit]

Mars and the Poreotics in a shot from the official music video.

The official video was directed by Mars and Cameron Duddy, produced by Nick Tabri and Dara Siegel, and features Poreotics wearing chimpanzee masks; it was released on April 15, 2011. The whole video is presented in as a lone continuous and uninterrupted shot, it begins with Mars singing and hanging out in a bedroom with five dancers, they all wear monkey masks and Mars dresses in black sunglasses and a flannel shirt. While Mars sings what he feels to do on a day off, he and the monkeys perform dance moves typical of a boy-band, fool around and mimicking the song's lyrics. Philip Lawrence, a member of the Smeezingtons, makes an appearance, lip syncing the line, "Oh my God, this is great!" before being driven off by the chimps; the monkeys drop their pants when Mars sings, "I'll just strut in my birthday suit/and let everything hang loose!" The music video ends with Mars pouring yellow confetti all over his boxer-clad pals, right before him, Poreotics and Philip Lawrence, who meanwhile reappeared, striking a pose for the camera.[51]

An alternate video was directed by Nez, produced by Anne Johnson, and was released on May 27, 2011.[52] The video features Leonard Nimoy, who "enjoys the lazy life". During the music video Nimoy, who wears a robe and slippers all day, is seen "wandering around the neighborhood and scaring the local Ginger kids, he's at home smoking weed and chilling out". Besides this, one or two other famous Trek stars make a brief appearance, like William Shatner.[53][54] Mars and Lawrence make a cameo in the video, walking out of the grocery store as Nimoy walks in.[55]

Reception[edit]

"The Lazy Song" official video was nominated at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards for Best Choreography.[56] It received a "Double Platinum" award for one of the most played music video on MTV channels around the world at the MTV Platinum Video Plays Awards ceremony.[57] It was also nominated at the Myx Music Awards for "Favorite International Video".[58] The UK Music Video Awards also recognized the video in the category of "Best Pop Video-UK" with a nomination.[59] As of June 2017, the music video has received over 1.14 billion views on YouTube.

Live performances[edit]

Mars has performed the song in several shows. The song was first performed live on Kidd Kraddick, on October 19, 2010.[60] On October 22, 2010, a "soulful" arrangement of the song was sung for a Billboard Tastemakers video session.[61] On April 28, 2011 he performed the song on the tenth season of American Idol.[62] Mars also performed it at the NBA All-Star Tip Off Pre-Show in February 2011.[63] The song was also performed on NBC's Today Show on June 24, 2011.[64]According to MTV's Dannielle Genet, the singer "really got the crowd amped" during the performance of the track.[65] On July 28, of that year Bruno performed in the X-Factor finale of France with the two finalists.[66] On July 27, 2011 he performed the song at KIIS FM for the program Jojoontheradio.[67] It was the seventh song of his debut worldwide tour, The Doo-Wops & Hooligans Tour (2010)[68] and it was performed in Australia, Asia and on the second North America leg of his second worldwide tour, The Moonshine Jungle Tour (2013).[69][70][71]

Track listing[edit]

  • Digital download[9]
  1. "The Lazy Song" (Single Version) – 3:08
  1. "The Lazy Song" (Album Version) – 3:15
  2. "Grenade" (The Hooligans Remix) – 3:30

Credits and personnel[edit]

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

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Elektra Records[4]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[105] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[106] Gold 15,000*
Belgium (BEA)[107] Gold 15,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[108] 4× Platinum 320,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[109] Platinum 30,000^
Germany (BVMI)[110] Gold 150,000^
Italy (FIMI)[111] Platinum 30,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON)[112] Gold 30,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[113] Platinum 15,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[114] Platinum 30,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[115] Platinum 747,000[42]^
United States (RIAA)[116] 3× Platinum 3,500,000[34]
Streaming
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[117] Platinum 900,000^

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

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref.
United States February 15, 2011 Mainstream radio [15]
New Zealand February 18, 2011 Digital download Elektra [9]
Finland April 18, 2011 CD single [10]
United Kingdom May 8, 2011 Digital download Unknown [2]
May 9, 2011 CD single Warner [16]
Germany May 27, 2011 Elektra [10]
Austria
Switzerland

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External links[edit]