Forthcoming album inspired by New York hip-hop scene of '90s
The album, which has been inspired by the New York hip-hop scene of the ’90s, is due for release January 19 via Columbia Records. Written and produced with Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Drake, Alicia Keys) over 18 months in London, Memphis, LA and New York City, it is Ronson’s fourth studio album and his first release since 2010’s ‘Record Collection’.
The majority of the lyrics on the record were written by Pulitzer winning author Michael Chabon, who Ronson referred to as a huge pop fan who quickly became immersed in the project. “I wanted lyrics to push farther than most of what’s going on in R&B and pop today,” Ronson said. “I wrote Michael to ask if he’d be interested in writing lyrics for the album.”
Other artists featuring on the album include Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt, Stevie Wonder, and Keyone Star – the winner of an audition Ronson and Bhasker held at the Jackson State University in Mississippi when they were road-tripping across Southern USA. Wonder appears on two tracks, the first and last song on the album.
‘Uptown Special’s’ first single, ‘Uptown Funk’, topped the UK charts this week, becoming Mark Ronson’s first ever UK Number One. The track – which has lead vocals from Bruno Mars – was rush released last week (December 8) following contestant Fleur East’s performance of the song on The X Factor on December 6. In line with the ITV show’s usual practice, East’s version was made available after the performance was topping the iTunes chart on Monday.
In a statement to the Official Charts Company, Ronson described topping the chart as “pretty much the coolest thing ever”.
‘Uptown Special’ full track listing:
‘Uptown’s First Finale’ featuring Stevie Wonder & Andrew Wyatt
‘Summer Breaking’ featuring Kevin Parker
‘Feel Right’ featuring Mystikal
‘Uptown Funk’ featuring Bruno Mars
‘I Can’t Lose’ featuring Keyone Starr
‘Daffodils’ featuring Kevin Parker
‘Crack in the Pearl’ featuring Andrew Wyatt
‘In Case of Fire’ featuring Jeff Bhasker
‘Leaving Los Feliz’ featuring Kevin Parker
‘Heavy and Rolling’ featuring Andrew Wyatt
‘Crack in the Pearl pt II’ featuring Stevie Wonder & Jeff Bhasker