|Mark Ronson — Uptown Special (12 January 2015)|
Mark Ronson — Uptown Special • Ronson has also produced multi–platform, Grammy–winning albums for artists such as Amy Winehouse and Adele.
Born: 04 September 1975 in Notting Hill, London, England
Location: Notting Hill, London, England
Album release: 12 January 2015
Record Label: Sony Music Ent./Columbia/RCA Records
01. Uptown’s First Finale (feat. Stevie Wonder & Andrew Wyatt) 1:39
02. Summer Breaking (feat. Kevin Parker) 3:08
03. Feel Right (feat. Mystikal) 3:43
04. Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars) 4:30
05. I Can’t Lose (feat. Keyone Starr) 3:17
06. Daffodils (feat. Kevin Parker) 4:59
07. Crack In the Pearl (feat. Andrew Wyatt) 2:26
08. In Case of Fire (feat. Jeff Bhasker) 4:34
09. Leaving Los Feliz (feat. Kevin Parker) 4:19
10. Heavy and Rolling (feat. Andrew Wyatt) 3:58
11. Crack In the Pearl, Pt. II (feat. Stevie Wonder & Jeff Bhasker) 2:17
℗ Tracks 3, 4 & 6 (P) 2014, all other tracks (P) 2015 Mark Ronson under exclusive licence to Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited
Producers: Mark Ronson Jeff Bhasker Bruno Mars Emile Haynie Boys Noize James Ford Riton
iTunes Editors’ Notes:
• Having already teamed up with legends like D’Angelo and Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson attains new collaborative heights on the wonderfully funky Uptown Special. In addition to workshopping lyrics with Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Michael Chabon, the multi–instrumentalist DJ/producer joins forces with heavyweights past and present. While Stevie Wonder lends his touch to the astral melodies of the album’s opening and closing cuts, Bruno Mars pays brilliant homage to Prince on the propulsive “Uptown Funk”. Elsewhere, Mystikal channels James Brown on the rambunctious "Feel Right” and Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker adds layers of sumptuous psychedelia to “Daffodils”.
Chart (2015): Peak position:
• Australian Albums (ARIA) #2
• Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders) #12
• Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia) #36
• Danish Albums (Hitlisten) #15
• Dutch Albums (MegaCharts) #5
• Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista) #8
• French Albums (SNEP) #18
• German Albums (Offizielle Top 100) #23
• Irish Albums (IRMA) #7
• Italian Albums (FIMI) #72
• New Zealand Albums (Recorded Music NZ) #10
• Norwegian Albums (VG–lista) #27
• Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE) #55
• Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan) #53
• Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade) #3
• UK Albums (OCC) #1
• US Billboard 200 #5
• Uptown Special is the fourth studio album by English music producer Mark Ronson. The album was released on 13 January 2015 in the US and 19 January 2015 in the UK. • Ronson dedicated the album to the late Amy Winehouse. Uptown Special became Ronson's first number one on the UK Albums Chart (with his previous two albums charting at number two), and reached number two in the Australian ARIA Charts and number five on the US Billboard 200. Upon release, Uptown Special received positive reviews from music critics.
• What do you do when you're a connected and funded musician/producer who, like many others pushing 40 or greater, is disappointed with commercial music made by and for people born after your favorite era of music? If you're Mark Ronson, you dial a Pulitzer–winning novelist, snare a sympathetic group of stars, session giants, and unknowns, including a singer discovered during a talent quest through churches from New Orleans to Chicago, and record another tribute to your childhood soundtrack. Indeed, apart from the involvement of Michael Chabon, whose lyrics color nine of the 11 songs, Uptown Special is business as usual for Ronson and co–pilot Jeff Bhasker. The two songs that don't involve Chabon made the earliest and deepest impressions. • Bruno Mars showcase "Uptown Funk," despite aiming for early Time and landing closer to a second–tier trifle — One Way's "Let's Talk," for instance — topped pop charts in a number of territories and went platinum in Ronson's native U.K. "Feel Right," led by Mystikal at his vulgar and ebullient best, splits the difference between Bobby Byrd and Son of Bazerk. Everything else was co–written with Chabon, whose somewhat surreal scenes are matched with predominantly hazier and freewheeling sounds. These songs, including two highlights that boast the dynamite rhythm section of Willie Weeks and Steve Jordan, as well as lazing vocals from relative youngsters Andrew Wyatt and Kevin Parker, tend to evoke summery soft rock/smooth soul hybrids of the mid– to late '70s, or certain songs by later practitioners like Phoenix and Daft Punk. "I Can't Lose" is the lone Chabon song that breaks a sweat — thick, twisted synth funk that borrows from Soho's "Hot Music" and (cleanly) lifts from Snoop Dogg's "Ain't No Fun," featuring newcomer Keyone Starr in the role of Evelyn King (or maybe Mary Jane Girls' JoJo McDuffie). Neatly tied together by opening and closing cuts that include Stevie Wonder on harmonica, because Ronson could swing it, Uptown Special is another nostalgic fantasy that provides light entertainment and provokes backtracking.
• Mark Ronson is a sought–after turntablist who's worked with such diverse artists as Macy Gray, Jay–Z, and comedian Jimmy Fallon. The stepson of guitarist Mick Jones of Foreigner, Ronson spent the first eight years of his life growing up in England. Having played guitar and drums from an early age, it wasn't until moving to New York City with his mother that Ronson discovered DJ culture. At age 16, already a fan of such popular hip–hop artists as Run–D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys, Ronson began listening to the various hip–hop mixtapes released every few months by DJs. Inspired, Ronson confiscated his father's record collection and began trying his hand at mixing.
• The young DJ with the diverse taste soon caught the ears and eyes of various socialites and New York celebrities, including fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, who featured Ronson, along with other sons and daughters of celebrities, in a 1997 fashion campaign. A year later, hip–hop mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs hired Ronson to DJ his fabled 29th birthday bash. These and other high–profile gigs boosted Ronson's "hip quotient" and helped promote his more serious–minded music career. Fusing his eclectic turntable skills with his knowledge of musical instruments and songwriting, Ronson eventually embarked on his first solo project. Featuring such diverse guest artists as dancehall rapper Sean Paul, hip–hop artist Mos Def, Jack White of the White Stripes, and Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, Ronson's debut album, Here Comes the Fuzz, appeared on Elektra in 2003.
• After releasing his debut album, Ronson kept busy producing tracks for a number of artists including Amy Winehouse, whose 2006 album Back to Black earned critical praise in large part for Ronson's throwback, Motown–influenced production. His own sophomore effort, a collection of cover songs called Version, dropped in 2007. In 2010, Ronson began performing under the moniker Mark Ronson & the Business Intl and released his third studio album, Record Collection, featuring the single "Bang Bang Bang." Taking time out in 2011 to marry French actress and singer Joséphine de la Baume, Ronson wouldn't return to the studio until 2013 to start work on his fourth album, Uptown Special. Featuring collaborations with the likes of Bruno Mars, Mystikal, Tame Impala's Kevin Parker, Hudson Mohawke, and Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford, Uptown Special also featured lyrics written by novelist Michael Chabon. Released in January 2015, Uptown Special marked Ronson's first–ever number one on the U.K. albums charts and entered the Top Ten on the Billboard 200 chart in the U.S.
• By Lily Jan 13, 2015 12:00 AM; Score: A–
• Mark Ronson gets more attention as a producer for what he brings to, and out of, other musicians than for his own releases. But on his fourth album, Uptown Special, Ronson has saved the best for himself, with Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Alicia Keys) co–writing and –producing and acclaimed novelist Michael Chabon contributing lyrics.
• Uptown Special’s overall tone features classic funk and R&B along the lines of masters James Brown and Stevie Wonder (who appears on the album). But the album is by no means restricted to those styles. The Steely Dan–informed breezy and beautiful “Summer Breaking” is the first of three delicately vocalized tracks from Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker. He taps into his falsetto on “Daffodils,” giving the rock–guitar–spiked funk a groovy psychedelic twist.
• The parade of special guests continues throughout the album. The stanky funk of “Feel Right,” with its saucy brass and Mystikal’s downright nasty vocalization, most exemplifies the spirit of Uptown Special. Newcomer Keyone Starr is the soul queen ripping over “I Can’t Lose.” Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt releases his inner soulboy on the walk–of–shame tribute “Crack In The Pearl,” which features Wonder on harmonica. And the snazzy guitar and smooth vocal of “Heavy And Rolling” create a super–slick track.
• Without sacrificing authenticity, Ronson has created an accessible, pop–friendly, and undeniably sexy collection of funk and R&B. >> http://www.avclub.com/
Press: Online: James Penycate
Print: Barbara Charone
• Here Comes the Fuzz (2003)
• Version (2007)
• Record Collection (2010)
• Uptown Special (2015)
|Mark Ronson — Uptown Special (12 January 2015)|