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Treasure (Bruno Mars song)

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"Treasure"
A gold chain with the word "Treasure" on the bottom of the chain. The same word can also be found under the gold chain in black capital font and on the top of the latter, the words "Bruno Mars" in red capital font.
Single by Bruno Mars
from the album Unorthodox Jukebox
B-side Remixes 12"
"Locked Out of Heaven" (Paul Oakenfold Remix) (CD)
Released May 10, 2013 (2013-05-10)
Format
Genre
Length 2:58
Label Atlantic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) The Smeezingtons
Bruno Mars singles chronology
"When I Was Your Man"
(2013)
"Treasure"
(2013)
"Bubble Butt"
(2013)
"When I Was Your Man"
(2013)
"Treasure"
(2013)
"Bubble Butt"
(2013)
Music video
"Treasure" on YouTube

"Treasure" is a song recorded by Bruno Mars for his second studio album, titled Unorthodox Jukebox (2012). It is inspired by Breakbot's song "Baby I'm Yours". "Treasure" was written by Mars himself along with Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine and Phredley Brown, while production was handled by Mars, Lawrence and Levine under the name The Smeezingtons. The song is the album's fourth track and was selected as its third single by Atlantic Records. "Treasure" was first released to mainstream radio in Italy on May 10, 2013, through Warner Music. The track details Mars' band time of party and fun: Philip Lawrence described it as "the kind of song where the whole band can get up and jam".[1] It was described as disco, funk, soul and post-disco with R&B elements.

"Treasure" became Mars' seventh top 10 hit in the United States since his career began in 2010. It has also reached the top-five in countries like Canada, Israel and South Africa. "Treasure" ranked within the top 20 in eight territories. It received media attention for its "funk" vibe, that a few artists have brought back, including Mars. Due to the similarities shared with "Baby I'm Yours" by Breakbot new writing credits were added.

The single was certified three-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in October 2013, representing sales of two million copies, since the certifications for digital singles include on-demand audio and/or video song streams in addition to downloads. An accompanying music video for the song premiered on June 14, 2013. It was shot by Cameron Duddy and Bruno Mars in Las Vegas, Hollywood. The video presents Mars' band, The Hooligans, in a live performance. The single was performed on the Moonshine Jungle Tour (2013-14) and on the 24K Magic World Tour (2017-18).

Background and production[edit]

"Treasure" is one of the eleven songs composed and produced by The Smeezingtons, Mars' song-writing and production team, for his second studio album, Unorthodox Jukebox.[2] In an interview with Rob LeDonne, Philip Lawrence from The Smeezingtons explained the inspiration for the song: "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. Even going to festivals and seeing big bands live, like Coldplay or Bruce Springsteen, we knew the second time around we wanted something fun. 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".[1]

"Treasure" was mixed at Larrabee Sound Studios in Hollywood by Manny Marroquin. Ari Levine recorded the track at Levcon Studios in California. He was also responsible for the engineering of the song, which was done at the same studio. Charles Moniz served as the song's additional engineer, and David Kutch mastered the single.[2]

In December 2012, Breakbot, a French electronic artist, tweeted to Mars regarding the similarity to "Treasure" and his own song "Baby I'm Yours", released in 2010 through Ed Banger Records.[3][4] In May 2013, during an interview in Tiny Mix Tapes, Breakbot explained that the boss of Because Music had mentioned, a year previously, that Mars wanted to cover "Baby I'm Yours". As Breakbot was busy finishing the album, however, "it did not happen". Breakbot called "Treasure" a "rip-off" of his song, however, he was "cool with it"; he explained that he also had many influences on his music "with lots of bits taken from here and there".[5] Later in June 2013, Ed Banger from Busy P responded in a Reddit AMA to a question about the song and said that they considered it a compliment and that Mars himself said that "Treasure" was inspired by "Baby I'm Yours".[6] The song was re-registered in ASCAP with new writing credits, which included Thibaut Jean-Marrie Michel Berland and Irfane Khan Christopher.[7]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

"Treasure" was written by Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine and Phredley Brown. Mars, Lawrence and Levine form The Smeezingtons; they produced the song under that name.[8] According to the digital sheet music published by Alfred Music Publishing, the song was composed in common time and in the key of E♭ major with a tempo of 112 beats per minute.[9] The chord progression of [A♭M7, (Gm7), Fm7, Gm7, Cm, (B♭)] repeats throughout the song, changing only to end phrases on B♭9sus (A♭/B♭), a deceptive cadence. Mars' vocals range from the low note of B♭3 to the high note of E♭5.[9] Its instrumentation comes from the guitar, piano, electronic keyboard and bass.[9][10][11]

The song has been described as a disco, funk, soul and post-disco track,[10][12][13][14] heavily influenced by R&B.[15] Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian called it a "sprightly disco thumper".[13] Josep R. Atilano of Philippine Daily Inquier wrote that Mars was "acknowledging artists synonymous with the 80s in the likes of The Police, New Edition, Billy Joel, Earth, Wind And Fire, and Michael Jackson".[16] Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly remarked that the song "makes silk-jumpsuit disco feel contemporary,"[17] Andy Gill of The Independent wrote that Mars "demonstrates a keen appreciation of Patrice Rushen's funk-pop" on the single.[18] In a Slate magazine article, critic Ann Powers said that the song "was a direct homage to the sound and even the look of "P.Y.T."-era Michael Jackson".[15] Tina Jamias from AXS.com called the song a "groovy, dance-pop track with sounds and vocals similar to that of Michael Jackson’s "Off The Wall" and "Rock With You", or Madonna's "Holiday".[19]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[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",[20] while Spin's Dan Hyman favorably compared "Treasure" to the work of American disco artist Donna Summer.[21] Journalist Robert Copsey of Digital Spy gave the song a rating of 4 out of 5, and noted that it "sounds like a modern day 'Rock With You', a feat that few could get away with pulling off so authentically".[22] Katie Hasty, while reviewing the songs of the summer of 2013, said "it looks like it was culled straight out of Soul Train".[23] Ryan Reed of Paste Magazine gave the song a positive review, and described "Treasure" as a "stripper-theme funk-pop with gooey synth pads and enormous slap-bass fills that punch through like air-humps".[11] Rolling Stone's Jody Rosen commented that "Treasure" is "creamy Michael Jackson/Prince-schooled disco soul",[12] while Matt Cibula from Pop Matters also compared the "funky" song to the work of those two musicians when he said that "Treasure" "knows that a flirt beats a bleat any day".[24] 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".[10] Evan Rytlewski of The A.V. Club wrote that for this "disco-spiked" song, Mars "capably sells himself as a one-man Maroon 5".[25] Tim Sendra of AllMusic found that the song had a "easy-going charm" of the previous album, and described it as "MJ-inspired disco jam".[26] On a mixed review for The Scotsman, Fiona Shepherd wrote that "Treasure" is "likeable pop funk".[27]

Accolades[edit]

"Treasure" received a 2014 NAACP Image Awards nomination for Outstanding Song.[28] In the same year, the song was one of the 50 winners of the 2014 ASCAP Pop Music Awards for Most Performed Song.[29] The song was nominated in the Best Dance Performance category for the 2013 Soul Train Music Awards.[30] It was also nominated for Love Song and Single Choice of Summer at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards,[31] and for the 2013 NRJ Music Awards in the International Song of the Year category.[32] According to, Rdio's, an online music service, the song was the sixth most streamed track worldwide; it was also eighth in the US.[33]

Commercial performance[edit]

North America[edit]

The Billboard Top 40 Mid-Week Update of 18 April 2013, reported that "Treasure" was the album's third single, with no official date of release in the United States.[34] Nevertheless, "Treasure" entered the US Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 71 on June 1, 2013.[35] In the following week, it entered the top 40 after the first full week of sales and Mars' performance of the song in the opening of the 2013 Billboard Music Awards.[36] In the week of July 6, 2013, the song entered the top 10 of Billboard Hot 100 at number eight.[37] On October 9, 2013, it was certified three times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[38] As of November 2013, the song had sold two million copies in the US indicating inclusion of on-demand audio and/or video song streams in addition to downloads to its certification.[39][40] It also peaked at number five on Billboard's Pop Songs chart.[41] The song also rose to number five on the Canadian Hot 100 on July 6, 2013 and reached the top position on Canada AC.[42][43]

"Treasure" eventually peaked at number five on Billboard Hot 100.[44] In the week of July 11, 2013, the song entered the top 10 of radio and extended Mars' streak on Radio Songs. All of his 11 first entries reached the top 10 of the chart, tying with T-Pain among males and within one of tying Mariah Carey for the best start among all acts. The list tracks releases since December 1990.[45] Mars' next single, "Gorilla", peaked at number 21, preventing him from extending the streak.[46] Mediabase ranked the song as the 33rd most played on Top 40 radio stations in 2013.[47]

Europe and Oceania[edit]

"Treasure" first appeared in the UK Singles Chart on May 26, 2013.[48] After three weeks, it reached its peak position at number 12.[49] More than 400,000 copies of the song have been sold in the UK, including streams; it thus received a Gold certification.[50] The single made its debut at number 51 on the Ö3 Austria Top 40 and peaked at number 15.[51] In France, the song entered the French singles chart at number 113 and ended up peaking at number six; it was Mars' fifth top ten single in that country.[52] In Ireland it reached number nine and became Mars' ninth top ten single.[53] "Treasure" started at number 33 in the Ultratop 50 Wallonia on June 29, 2013, and peaked at number 10 in its eighth week on the chart.[54] In Denmark it entered the singles chart at number 30 and climbed to number 14, making it Mars' eighth top-fifteen single in that country.[55]

It entered the Australian ARIA Singles Chart at number 28 on May 19, 2013 and eventually reached number 10, thus becoming Mars' ninth top-ten single in Australia.[56] In New Zealand, it first entered the singles chart at number 21 on May 27, 2013, and rose to number seven.[57] On August 26, 2013, it was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ), nine weeks after it first charted.[58]

As of January 2016, the song has sold over 6,2 million digital copies worldwide.[59]

Live performances[edit]

Mars has performed the song in several shows. On January 11, 2013, Mars sang "Treasure" and his previous single "Locked Out of Heaven" on Jimmy Kimmel Live.[60] On May 19, Mars began the 2013 Billboard Music Awards with a performance of the single on a set decorated with disco balls.[61] The website Idolator described his style during the performance as "Michael Jackson-esque, circa Off The Wall and Thriller".[61] Billboard considered the performance one of the best ten of the night.[62] Mars sang "Treasure" at the finale of Germany's Next Topmodel, Cycle 8 on May 30, 2013 at SAP Arena in Mannheim[63][64] and again a week later on Le Grand Journal.[65] He performed the song with The Hooligans on the season finale of Season 4 of The Voice, on June 18, 2015.[66] On February 2, 2014, the single was featured as the fourth song in Mars' performance in the halftime performance of Super Bowl XLVIII at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.[67] Mars performed the song live at the 2014 Brit Awards ceremony. Ashley Lee, a writer for The Hollywood Reporter, noticed that Mars "added few well-harmonized vocal interludes to the song bridge, while reprising the song's vintage-style choreography".[68] The single was also sung during the Moonshine Jungle Tour (2013) as the third item on the setlist.[69] The song was performed as a medley of "That's What I Like" of Mars' third studio album 24K Magic, at the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards.[70] "Treasure" was also the third song on the setlist of the 24K Magic World Tour (2017-18).[71]

Music video[edit]

Development and synopsis[edit]

Mars filmed the music video for "Treasure" with Taja Riley, a model and dancer, in Las Vegas on May 20, 2013, the day after the live performance of the song at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards.[61][72][73] It was directed by Cameron Duddy and Mars, who also directed the videos for the last two singles of the album, "Locked Out of Heaven" and "When I Was Your Man".[74][75] The video was released on June 14, 2013, by Mars on his official Twitter account[76] and was the third of Mars series to feature simple effects from the late 1970s and early 1980s music videos.[72][77]

Mars and The Hooligans perform the song along with a simple synchronized choreography in matching red suits, leopard print shirts and gold chains. The set features a disco ball, vintage stage lights, the set up of the instruments in the background and other elements present in the disco era.[16][78][79][80] The style of the music video greatly resembles the performance held at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards.[81] Following the 1970s theme, the video is unavailable in high definition, and is rather shown in standard-definition quality and with a 4:3 aspect ratio. For EW, Kyle Anderson, pointed out "It’s all there: The suits, the setting, and the bong-water video effects", while Melinda Newman for HitFix noticed that "to complete the look, the video features special effects, including crude back lighting, wacky dissolves, geometric shapes, and a Space Wars-like background". All of these and the videotape wear were also added to the footage to bring a retro-feel to it.[78][80][82]

Reception[edit]

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".[83] Kyle Anderson from EW wrote "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".[78] Jordan Sargent of Spin said that Mars wasn't trying to hide the Michael Jackson influence on the video, writing "new low-def makes obvious — compare it next to, say, the video for "Rock With You"".[84] Similarly, Robbie Daw, from the Idolator website, drew attention to the fact that the song and dance had already been seen during the performance on Billboard Music Awards in May, since "Mars and his band seem to have recreated that very same performance for this clip". He also wrote that the video was "still a fun three minutes to sit through", mainly because "Bruno mimics MJ's "Rock With You" moves so deftly".[81] According to Joseph Atilano of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, "everything from the choreography, stage lighting, and so on, serve as a heartfelt ode to that era". He wrote "visually, the music video is tricked out with set pieces such as a disco ball and vintage stage lights. Even the manner by which the instruments were set up in the background show the attention given to even the minutest of details and the small things do matter when it comes to making a music video".[16]

Mars, who choreographed the video, won the award for Best Choreography during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.[85] The video for the song was nominated for Outstanding Music Video at the 2014 NAACP Image Award.[28]

Interactive music video[edit]

After the release of his music video, Mars and his label created a website that integrates fan footage shot using Instagram's video function with the official video. This was the first project to be created using Instagram's video functionality, which was launched in June 2013.[86]

When fans visit TreasureDance.com they saw an old-fashioned-looking TV with a pair of knobs. After pressing play, the official video began to play, interspersed with fan footage that had been hashtagged with #treasuredance. When users clicked on the knobs they could to skip around footage; they could also click on Instagram usernames to see those dancers' accounts. Jules LaPlace, the Chief Technology Officer of OKFocus, who produced the website, and Ryder Ripps, the company's creative director, said that the song's "tempo, temperament and general vibe" made it perfect for the project.[86]

Cover versions and usage in media[edit]

Max Schneider and Megan Nicole, two American singer-songwriters, covered the song together. The song was available for purchase on July 30, 2013.[87] It was also covered by Sabrina, a Filipina singer; her acoustic version, which featured King Pichet, was included on her Love Acoustic 6 album, released on January 1, 2013.[88] In 2015, Olly Murs performed the song along with his own song "Wrapped Up" as the closing song of his Never Been Better Tour concerts.[89] In 2015, the song was used in a Nissan commercial.[90] On February 9, 2016, the song was released as DLC for the video game Rock Band 4.[91]

Formats and track listing[edit]

  • German, Austrian and Swiss CD single[92]
  1. "Treasure" – 2:56
  2. "Locked Out of Heaven" (Paul Oakenfold Remix) – 5:17
  • Digital download – Remix EP[93]
  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]

Recording
Personnel

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Unorthodox Jukebox, Atlantic Records and ASCAP.[2][7]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[133] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Belgium (BEA)[134] Gold 15,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[135] 2× Platinum 160,000^
France (SNEP)[136] Gold 75,000*
Germany (BVMI)[137] Gold 150,000^
Italy (FIMI)[138] Platinum 30,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON)[139] 2× Platinum 120,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[58] Platinum 15,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[140] Gold 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[50] Gold 400,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[38] 3× Platinum 2,400,000dagger[39]^
Venezuela (APFV)[141] 2× Platinum 20,000^
Streaming
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[142] Platinum 1,800,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

dagger Since May 9, 2013, RIAA certifications for digital singles include on-demand audio and/or video song streams in addition to downloads.[40]

Release[edit]

Process[edit]

In the April 18, 2013 issue of Billboard Top 40 Mid-Week Update, it was reported that Atlantic Records had selected "Treasure" as Unorthodox Jukebox's third single.[34] "Treasure" was released on Contemporary hit radio in Italy on May 10, 2013.[143] On May 29, of the same year, it was released on Contemporary hit radio in the United Kingdom.[144] On June 21, 2013, a CD single was released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland through Atlantic Records.[92] A remix EP with five remixes of the song was released on August 13, 2013, for Digital Download.[93]

History[edit]

Country Date Format Label
Italy May 10, 2013[143] Contemporary hit radio Warner Music Group
United Kingdom May 29, 2013[144] Atlantic Records
Germany June 21, 2013[92] CD single
United States August 13, 2013[93] Digital download (remixes)

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