"Born to Die" is a song written by Lana Del Rey and Justin Parker and produced by Parker and Emile Haynie in 2011. Taken from Del Rey's first major-label album of the same title, Born to Die, the song served as the album's second single worldwide.
Writing and inspiration
The song was written by Del Rey and Justin Parker after the success of "Video Games".
Musically, "Born to Die" is an apocalyptic down-tempo ballad with hip-hop influences. It was composed in the key of E minor and at a tempo of 86 beats per minute. It features similar instrumentation to "Video Games", but focuses more heavily on the hip-hop influenced beat also seen in "Blue Jeans". It samples "Big Red" by Mountain.
- Del Rey has stated that the song is part of the "K" trilogy with "Blue Jeans" and "Video Games".
- The phrase "Friday night" also appears in "Body Electric".
- "It's like I told you" is also found in "Freak"
- "I can see but once I was blind" is a similar lyric to "I was blind before I saw the world through your eyes" from "TV In Black & White"
- "I'm hoping at the gates they'll tell me that you're mine" is a similar lyric to "gargoyles, standing, at the front of your gate; trying to tell me to wait" from "Bel Air"
Following the release of the single, Robert Copsey of Digital Spy commented, "we thought it would be near-impossible for Lana to top the chilling 'Video Games', but her new cut – the title track from her forthcoming album – may just have out-haunted its predecessor." Laura Snapes of NME considered the song not "quite as flooring as 'Video Games', but then that song is fairly extraordinary", while Entertainment Weekly contributor Grady Smith considered it a "beautifully dour tune". Pryia Elan also of NME said the song "is a grower and whilst not as pitch perfect as 'Video Games', it's pretty damn fine". Aaron-Spencer Charles of Metro noted "Lana Del Rey's Born to Die is a slow yet strong song, with Lana singing about her relationship experience over an orchestra. The calm tone of Del Rey's voice sets sad-love mood really well." Tim Lee of musicOMH said the song is "essentially 'Video Games' with percussion", and noted that "her (alleged) agents clearly having stumbled upon a formula with which they can (allegedly) print money and (allegedly) further consign Lana's secretive, (allegedly) real debut LP to the annals of history. You didn't hear it from us, right?"
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||95|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Gold||40,000^|
|Denmark (IFPI Denmark)||Gold||15,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000^|
|*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
- Album version 4:46
- Radio edit 4:06
- Demo version #1 4:23
- Demo version #2 4:44
- Chad Valley Remix 3:46
- Clams Casino Remix 3:07
- G.Vump Remix 5:52
- Gemini Remix 4:50
- Kris Di Angelis 'Love Below' Remix 5:07
- Moodymann Remix 6:14
- Parrade Remix 5:47
- PDP / 13 Remix 6:22 (also known as Damon Albarn Remix)
- Woodkid & The Shoes Remix 4:03
|Released||December 14, 2011|
|Location||Palace of Fontainebleau, France|
|VEVO views||308+ Million views|
After feeling dissatisfied with the home production of the video for "Video Games", and with a budget given by her new label, Interscope, Del Rey shot the video for "Born to Die" in the royal Fontainblau Palace in October, 2011. She wrote the treatment for the video, and presented it to filmographer and fellow musician Yoann Lemoine, in late 2011. He rewrote the concept, known as "The Lonely Queen", which featured her in heaven after dying and remembering her and her lover together, into a more reasonable concept.
The video depicts the "live fast, die young" mantra Del Rey has used throughout her career. It begins with Del Rey embracing her lover, played by Bradley Soileau, with an American flag behind them. Then Del Rey is shown, in "heaven", sitting in a throne with two tigers next to her. Interlaced clips of her and her lover are shown throughout clips of the castle, Del Rey in the throne, and Del Rey walking about the castle. Her lover and her meet at the castle, and begin to kiss on the hood of, and inside, a vintage Ford Mustang. The two then drive through the night before crashing. Soileau is shown holding a bloody corpse of Del Rey while the car is aflame behind them. Interlaced clips of them inside the castle, lying on a bed and standing against a wall, are also shown throughout the video.
Behind the scenes
Promotional photoshoot by Clement Jolin
Demo version #1
Demo version #2
- Strings arrangement — Larry Gold
- Strings assistant — Steve Tirpak
- Vocal production — Justin Parker
- Additional vocal noises — Ken Lewis
- Guitar — Jeff Bhasker
- Drums — Emile Haynie
- Keyboards — Emile Haynie
- Recording — Brent Kolatalo
- Mixing — Dan Grech Marguerat for 365 Artists
- Mixing assistant — Duncan Fuller
- ↑ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/thesound/a354438/playlist-10-tracks-you-need-to-hear.html
- ↑ http://www.nme.com/blog/index.php?blog=10&title=five_things_we_learned_at_lana_del_rey_s&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1
- ↑ http://www.nme.com/reviews/lana-del-rey/12524
- ↑ http://music-mix.ew.com/2011/12/14/lana-del-rey-born-to-die-video/
- ↑ http://www.metro.co.uk/music/885117-music-video-fight-club-lana-del-rey-v-cher-lloyd
- ↑ http://www.musicomh.com/music/features/track-reviews-28-nov-31-dec_1211-1.htm
- ↑ http://www.australian-charts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Born+To+Die&cat=s
- ↑ http://www.austriancharts.at/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Born+To+Die&cat=s
- ↑ http://www.tonlist.is/Music/Chartlist/475/
- ↑ http://www.ultratop.be/nl/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Born+To+Die&cat=s
- ↑ http://www.ultratop.be/fr/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Born+To+Die&cat=s
- ↑ http://hrt.hr/fileadmin/video/ARC100_26032012.xls
- ↑ http://www.ifpicr.cz/hitparada/index.php?hitp=R
- ↑ http://www.danishcharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Born+To+Die&cat=s
- ↑ http://www.ifpi.fi/tilastot/virallinen-lista/artistit/Lana+Del+Rey/Born+To+Die
- ↑ http://www.lescharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Born+To+Die&cat=s
- ↑ http://musicline.de/de/chartverfolgung_summary/artist/Lana+Del+Rey/?type=single
- ↑ http://www.chart-track.co.uk/index.jsp?c=p%2Fmusicvideo%2Fmusic%2Farchive%2Findex_test.jsp&ct=240001&arch=t&lyr=2012&year=2012&week=05
- ↑ http://www.mediaforest.biz/WeeklyCharts/HistoryWeeklyCharts.aspx?year=2012&week=02
- ↑ http://www.dutchcharts.nl/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Born+To+Die&cat=s
- ↑ http://www.billboard.com/artist/306420/lana+del+rey/chart?f=806
- ↑ http://www.officialcharts.com/archive-chart/_/22/2012-02-18/
- ↑ http://www.ifpicr.cz/hitparadask/index.php?hitp=R
- ↑ http://gaonchart.co.kr/main/section/online/download/list.gaon
- ↑ http://www.spanishcharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=BornToDie&cat=s
- ↑ http://www.swedishcharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Born+To+Die&cat=s
- ↑ http://www.swisscharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Born+To+Die&cat=s
- ↑ http://www.officialcharts.com/archive-chart/_/1/2012-02-11/
- ↑ http://www.billboard.com/artist/306420/lana+del+rey/chart?f=1085
- ↑ http://www.snepmusique.com/fr/pag-259376-Classements-Annuels.html
- ↑ http://www.zpav.pl/aktualnosci.php?idaktualnosci=538
- ↑ http://www.officialcharts.com/charts/end-of-year-singles-chart/20120108/37501/
- ↑ http://www.aria.com.au/pages/httpwww.aria.com.aupagesSINGLEaccreds2012.htm
- ↑ http://musiccanada.com/gold-platinum/?fwp_gp_search=%22Born+to+Die%22%20%22Lana+Del+Rey%22
- ↑ http://ifpi.dk/?q=certificeringer&page=31
- ↑ http://www.fimi.it/certificazioni/
- ↑ http://www.bpi.co.uk/certified-awards/search.aspx
- ↑ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/mtv-video-music-awards-winners-vmas-368553
- ↑ http://www.ukmva.com/user/docs/UKMVAs_2012_Nominations_PR.pdf