Mark Ronson, the producer behind the success of artists such as Adele, Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen teams up with superstar Bruno Mars in what is the first chart-topper under his name. The two collaborated 3 times before, on Locked Out of Heaven, Gorilla and Moonshine, all songs that appeared on Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox album.
Ronson explained the retro character of the song by stating that “What we do is essentially dance music with live instruments, which really doesn’t happen anymore. It’s become a dying art. Somewhere along the line computers made it easier not to have to do that.”
The producer expanded on the genesis of the song: “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.”
Spin Magazine commented that “Mars sounds a bit like Nelly on the track, sing-rapping his way through goofy lyrics (“Got Chucks on / With Saint Laurent / Gotta kiss myself / So pretty”)”, while comparing the bass line to something “taken straight from Prince’s playbook.”
Pitchfork described Mars’ contribution as “unleashing a braggadocio that’s several degrees sassier than what we’ve heard on his more congenially soulful solo hits”.
The single spent 14 consecutive weeks at number one in Billboard Top 100 before being dethroned by Wiz Khalifa’s See You Again (featuring Charlie Puth).