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“Uptown Funk” (stylised as “UpTown Funk!” on the cover) is a song recorded by English producer Mark Ronson, with guest vocals by American recording artist Bruno Mars, for Ronson’s fourth studio album, Uptown Special (2015). Sony Music Entertainment released the song as the album’s lead single on 10 November 2014. The song was written by Ronson, Jeff Bhasker, Mars, Philip Lawrence, Aaron Munro, Devon Gallaspy and Nicholaus Williams; with Ronson, Mars and Bhasker credited for producing it as well.
The single has been commercially successful, topping the charts in several countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The single holds the title of the all-time most streamed track in a single week in the United Kingdom, having been streamed a record 2.49 million times in a single week.
In 2012, Ronson produced songs for Bruno Mars’ second studio album Unorthodox Jukebox, including the singles “Locked Out of Heaven” and “Gorilla”. In June 2014, Ronson told Capital FM that he and Mars planned on working together again. “[Mars] had a incredible run and it was great to be able to work on that record with him and hopefully we’ll be making music for a while.” Since Mars was on tour, Ronson had accrued frequent flyer miles by trying to enroll Mars for his album Uptown Special. Ronson, along with Uptown Special co-producer Jeff Bhasker, would set up shop whenever and wherever they found time with Mars, eventually recording in Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Vancouver, Memphis and New York City. Mars wound up playing drums throughout the album, as well as co-writing the lead single. Ronson said, “It was six or seven months of chasing Bruno around on tour.” Part of the track was recorded at Cherry Beach Sound in Toronto.
“Uptown Funk” stems from a lick that Mars and his band were playing on tour. “When we hit on that opening line — ‘This shit, that ice cold/ Michelle Pfeiffer, that white gold’—we knew that we had the seed of this really exciting idea,” Ronson said, adding that he pushed himself more in this song than anything else he has worked in the past. Nevertheless, the airtight turnarounds and sharp horn lines in “Uptown Funk”, courtesy of members of Antibalas and Dap Kings, didn’t come easy. At one point during the song’s seven-month creation, Ronson collapsed over lunch. “There was all of this pressure because Bhasker was leaving at the end of the day,” Ronson recalls. “The plan was for me to record my guitar part by lunch. Lunchtime comes around and I still haven’t nailed the part. We go out and in the stress of finishing this song I fainted in the restaurant. I threw up three times. Jeff had to carry me back to the studio.” In the end, they got it—on take 82.