Mark Ronson - UpTown Special

Limited Black Vinyl LP Record + CD Album Copy

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UpTown Special is the fourth studio album by English producer Mark Ronson, released in January 2015 by RCA Records.

Enough has been written about the success of “Uptown Funk”, it's inescapable, a bona fide modern day mega hit. It's gone to number one all across the world, smashed its own streaming record three times, first pop single to split the atom etc... but what of the album? Does Uptown Special break under the weight of expectation created by its all conquering lead single? Or does it live up to the hype?

There is a fine line between homage, pastiche and reinvention, and Mark Ronson works this tight seam with considerable panache. He is one of the most publicly recognisable and successful pop producers of recent years, working with Amy Winehouse, Adele, Lily Allen, Robbie Williams and Paul McCartney. Yet he doesn’t really have a signature sound or do anything particularly original. Rather, he expertly juggles and recalibrates retro styles, sprucing up past fads with modern studio technology and slick session players. Ronson’s oeuvre is gleaming, detailed contemporary pop tableaux that hit the nostalgia sweet spot, fresh enough for a new generation yet resonant with inbuilt emotional associations. 

Uptown Funk”, his global No 1 hit with Bruno Mars, is a razor-sharp evocation of the kind of Eighties funk that was already ripe with nostalgia for the sound’s earlier glories. You could tie yourself in knots unravelling Ronson’s sources, but part of his appeal is a shameless lack of irony, itself a very contemporary, post-postmodernist position: if everything has been done before, why not do it again, only slicker? 

Uptown Special is another tribute to his record collection, mashing together influences from Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson, Cameo and the Sugarhill Gang but filtered through the contemporary vocal and melodic sensibilities of collaborators such as Kevin Parker of Australian psych-rockers Tame Impala and Andrew Wyatt of Swedish electropop trio Miike Snow. 

As he is essentially a backroom technician, the personality of Ronson’s records depends heavily on his musical partners. Uptown Special takes a bold creative gambit inviting American Pulitzer prize novelist Michael Chabon to contribute lyrics for more than half of the songs. There is both surface shimmer and hidden depths in his cleverly observed tales of young people’s fluid approach to identity. They are set to lush soundscapes evoking the cerebral jazz fusion groove of Steely Dan.

Uptown Special veers wildly from high to low brow, stupid to sophisticated. It’s a compelling collision, falling somewhere between a chin-stroking jazz poetry recital and a riotous teenage disco.

Uptown Special plays like an uber cool DJ set, an ambitious and eclectic mix of Minneapolis funk, soul and old school R&B all filtered through Mark Ronson's slick, modern production. Mark Ronson makes records. And he's really, really good at it.

This Limited Edition LP with a CD copy of the album is pressed in Europe on black vinyl.

(888750682413)

Tracklisting:

 

 

Title

Time

A1

Uptown’s First Finale (Feat. Andrew Wyatt and Stevie Wonder)

1:38

A2

Summer Breaking (Feat. Kevin Parker)

3:07

A3

Feel Right (Feat. Mystikal)

3:42

A4

Uptown Funk (Feat. Bruno Mars)

4:29

A5

I Can’t Lose (Feat. Keyone Starr)

3:16

A6

Daffodils (Feat. Kevin Parker)

4:58

B1

Crack In The Pearl (Feat. Andrew Wyatt)

2:25

B2

In Case Of Fire (Feat. Jeff Bhasker)

4:33

B3

Leaving Los Feliz (Feat. Kevin Parker)

4:18

B4

Heavy And Rolling (Feat. Andrew Wyatt)

3:57

B5

Crack In The Pearl, Pt. II (Feat. Jeff Bhasker and Stevie Wonder)

2:16

 

 

 

Compact Disc

 

CD-1

Uptown’s First Finale (Feat. Andrew Wyatt and Stevie Wonder)

1:38

CD-2

Summer Breaking (Feat. Kevin Parker)

3:07

CD-3

Feel Right (Feat. Mystikal)

3:42

CD-4

Uptown Funk (Feat. Bruno Mars)

4:29

CD-5

I Can’t Lose (Feat. Keyone Starr)

3:16

CD-6

Daffodils (Feat. Kevin Parker)

4:58

CD-7

Crack In The Pearl (Feat. Andrew Wyatt)

2:25

CD-8

In Case Of Fire (Feat. Jeff Bhasker)

4:33

CD-9

Leaving Los Feliz (Feat. Kevin Parker)

4:18

CD-10

Heavy And Rolling (Feat. Andrew Wyatt)

3:57

CD-11

Crack In The Pearl, Pt. II (Feat. Jeff Bhasker and Stevie Wonder)

2:16

SKU 888750682413
Record Label Columbia Records
Label / Model # Sony
Catalogue Number 88875068241
Country EU - Europe
Release Date (Year) 02 April 2015
Original Release Date (Year) 13 January 2015
Barcode # 888750682413
Shipping Weight 0.2900kg
Shipping Width 0.010m
Shipping Height 0.314m
Shipping Length 0.314m
Shipping Cubic 0.000985960m3
Type New
Format Limited Edition LP Record, Black Vinyl, Printed Inner Sleeve, CD Album Copy
Vinyl Colour Black
Genre Rock & Popular
Format VINYL LP+CD

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