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Video Games (song)

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VG itunes
Lana Del Rey
Writer(s) Lana Del Rey
Justin Parker
Producer(s) Robopop
Released October 7, 2011
Length 4:42
(see official versions)
From Btdogo
Singles "Video Games"
"Born to Die"
"Blue Jeans"
"Summertime Sadness"
"National Anthem"
"Dark Paradise"
Digital single(s) "Off to the Races"
"Carmen"
Born to Die track listing
"Diet Mountain Dew"
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

"Video Games" is a song written by Lana Del Rey and Justin Parker and produced by Robopop in 2011. Taken from Del Rey's first major-label album Born to Die, the song served as the album's first and lead single worldwide and is credited for the launch of Del Rey's international success. The song was officially released as a single on October 7, 2011.

Writing and inspiration

The song was written by Lana Del Rey and Justin Parker in the same sessions as "Blue Jeans". It was written about how Del Rey watched her then-boyfriend play video games. She has stated that it is a statement about her putting her musical career on hold for him. When creating the song, Del Rey had no plans for it to be released as a single, as she assumed it would struggle to gain traction.

Composition

Musically, "Video Games" is an down-tempo ballad song with highly orchestrated instrumentation. It is composed in the key of F♯ minor, and is in common time with a tempo of around 60 beats per minute. Instrumentally, the song features pizzicato strings, swathing strings, harps, and violins. The song lacks any major percussion instruments, but does feature minor thumping in the latter half. Del Rey's vocals range from E3 to A4, and the song showcases her using a lower vocal range than she had used previously. The crescendos, as well as feathery backing vocals create a subdued and haunting atmosphere that was praised by critics.

Reference in popular culture

  • The song was used in an episode of the CW show, Ringer, "If You Ever Want a French Lesson...". It is often highlighted as a proponent to the launch of Del Rey's career.
  • A remixed version of the song in the 666 Park Avenue episode "The Dead Don't Stay Dead."

Cross-references

  • "Take that body downtown" is a phrase Del Rey uses often in her work, such as "National Anthem".
  • "Heaven is on Earth" are also lyrics from "Ultraviolence", and is similar to "Heaven is a place called Earth on your arm" from "Match Made In Heaven"
  • Certain lyrics from the song were originally recorded in an unreleased song by Lana in 2010, "Is It Wrong".
  • The song is part of the K trilogy.

Critical reception

"Video Games" was met with critical acclaim from music critics. Following the release of the single, Ian Cohen dubbed the song "Best New Music" on Pitchfork Mediacommenting, "on her stirring debut single, New York singer-songwriter Lizzy Grant transforms into the more bombastically named Lana Del Rey and absolutely wallows in it."[1] Digital Spy writer Robert Copsey noted Del Rey "combines a near-identical [Nancy Sinatra] vocal with her own fascination for the tragically glamorous — or 'Hollywood sadcore' as she succinctly labels it."[2] Lewis Corner, also of Digital Spy, said, "New York-born, London-based Lana Del Rey is currently working on her debut album, but if this newly released preview track/video is anything to go by, it's going to be avant-garde pop at its very best."[3] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian considered "Video Games" the best song of 2011 and added, "it's tempting to say with a song that good it doesn't matter who sings it, but that's not strictly true. As pop divas who collaborate with Eg White go, Lana Del Rey sounds hugely understated."[4]

In a poll performed by NME, readers ranked it as the tenth best song of the year.[5] Maura Johnston of The Village Voice, however, called the song and the accompanying music video overproduced,[6] while New York magazine contributor Amanda Dobbis commented that "it's hard to totally separate Del Rey's looks from the criticism that's been bubbling around her."[7] In responses to this controversy, Paste '​s Luke Larson said, "when 'Video Games' first hit the web, people weren’t freaking out about Lana Del Rey or fake lips or Lizzy Grant. People were freaking out because they had stumbled upon a fresh voice and a beautifully written song and ultimately, does the rest really matter?"[8] Krystina Nellis of Drowned in Sound said the single reminded her of something from a David Lynch movie.[9]

The Village Voice '​s Pazz & Jop annual critics' poll ranked "Video Games" at number seven to find the best music of 2011, tied with Britney Spears's "Till the World Ends". The British magazine NME named "Video Games" the best single of 2011.

Commercial performance

  • Weekly charts:

The song was a big succcess in Europe. The song peaked number 1 in Germany, Luxembourg and Slovakia.[10][11][12] It reached number 2 in Belgium (Flanders and Wallonia),[13][14] Austria, France and Switzerland.[15][16][17] It peaked number 3 in Czech Republic,[18] and number 5 in Portugal and Poland.[19][20] It reached 9 in UK being her highest peak, 1 in UK Indie,[21][22] 6 in Ireland and 10 in Scotland.[23][24] In America "Video Games" reached 91 in US and 72 in Canada.[25][26] It also peaked 21 in Japan being her highest peak.[27] In Australia the single reached number 23 [28] and in Brazil it reached 2 in the Hot 100 and 3 in the Hot Pop Songs chart.[29]

  • Year-end charts:

In 2011, the song reached number 40 in Belgium (Flanders), 60 in France, 19 in Germany and 32 in Netherlands.[30][31][32][33] In 2012, the song peaked 15 in Belgium (Flanders), 16 in Belgium (Wallonia),[34][35] 7 in France, 33 in Germany and 87 in UK.[36][37][38]

  • All-time charts:

"Video Games" reached 38 in France.[39]

Certifications

"Video Games" was certified 'Platinum' in Australia, Austria and Belgium with sales of 70,000, 30,000 and 30,000 copies respectively.[40][41][42] It was certified 'Gold' in Canada, Italy, and United States with sales of 40,000, 15,000 and 500,000 copies respectively.[43][44][45] In Germany, it was certified 3x Gold with sales of 450,000 copies.[46] In France, the single sold 177,000 copies, becoming certified 'Platinum'.[47] It was certified 2x Platinum in Switzerland, with sales of 60,000 copies.[48] In the UK, "Video Games" sold +600,000 copies, and it was certified 'Platinum'.[49]

In December 2015, the official VEVO music video for "Video Games" became VEVO certified, with over 100 million views.[50]

Official versions

  • Album version 4:42
  • Remastered version 4:41
  • Radio edit 4:01
  • Demo version 3:55
  • Video version 4:46

Remixes

  • Club Clique For The Bad Girls Remix 5:00
  • Helium Robots Remix 4:52
  • Jakwob & Etherwood Remix 3:43
  • Jamie Woon Remix 5:14
  • Joy Orbison Remix 5:00
  • Larry "Mr. Fingers" Heard Remix 9:01
  • Larry "Mr. Fingers" Heard Edit 9:00
  • Omid 16B Remix 5:14
  • Omid 16B Radio Edit 4:07
  • Omid 16B Instrumental Mix 5:08
  • Omid 16B Instrumental Reprise 2:35
  • Rainer Weichhold & Nick Olivetti Clubmix
  • We Don't Belong In Pancha Remix 5:20
  • White Lies C-Mix 7:34

Commercial release

Physical releases

United Kingdom (2783433)

(45RPM)

VG Picture Vinyl Label: Stranger
Format: 7" picture disc vinyl in plastic sleeve
Released: 2011
Barcode: 00602527834337
Photogaphy: Nicole Nodland
Design: Unknown
# Name Time
1. "Video Games" (Radio Edit) 4:01
2. "Blue Jeans"   3:31
Gagapedia

United States (INTR-12733-2)

VG Single Label: Stranger
Format: CD in jewel case
Released: 2011
Barcode: 602527893242
Photogaphy: Nicole Nodland
Design: Unknown
# Name Time
1. "Video Games" (Radio Edit) 4:01
2. "Blue Jeans"   3:31
Gagapedia

United States (INTR-12736-7)

(45RPM)

VG Vinyl Label: Polydor, Interscope
Format: 7" vinyl in cardsleeve
Released: TBA
Barcode: TBA
Photogaphy: Nicole Nodland
Design: Unknown
# Name Time
1. "Video Games" (Joy Orbison Remix) 5:00
2. "Blue Jeans" (Odd Future's The Internet Remix) 4:00
Gagapedia


Digital releases

VG Remixes EP Label: Polydor, Interscope
Format: Digital download
Released: February 28, 2012
Barcode: None
Photogaphy: Nicole Nodland
Design: Unknown
# Name Time
1. "Video Games" (Club Clique for The Bad Girls Remix) 4:57
2. "Video Games" (Jakwob and Etherwood Remix) 3:42
3. "Video Games" (White Lies C-Mix) 7:32
4. "Video Games" (Jamie Woon Remix) 5:14
5. "Video Games" (We Don't Belong In Pacha Remix) 5:19
Gagapedia

Music video

Music video Information
Lana Del Rey - Video Games04:47

Lana Del Rey - Video Games

Released July, 2011
Length 4:46
Director Lana Del Rey
Producer Lana Del Rey
Filmed Unknown, 2011
Location Unknown
VEVO views 145+ Million views
Music video Information
Lana Del Rey - Video Games (original version)04:53

Lana Del Rey - Video Games (original version)

Released July, 2011
Length 4:52
Director Lana Del Rey
Producer Lana Del Rey
Filmed Unknown, 2011
Location Unknown
VEVO views N/A
Music video Information
LANA DEL REY - VIDEO GAMES (MUSIC VIDEO 1 OF 3)04:53

LANA DEL REY - VIDEO GAMES (MUSIC VIDEO 1 OF 3)

Released July, 2011
Length 4:52
Director Lana Del Rey
Producer Lana Del Rey
Filmed Unknown, 2011
Location Unknown
VEVO views N/A

Background

After recording videos for the tracks from Lana Del Ray in the same style, Del Rey continued by recording this one and interlacing clips of her with old films, cartoons, paparazzi footage, and nature clips to create the video. The first two original videos, released in July of 2011, were removed and reformatted using some new clips once Del Rey was signed to Stranger, due to copyright issues. Del Rey posted the video on her personal YouTube channel on August 19, 2011, and it was posted to her VEVO channel on October 16, 2011.

Description

The video shows Del Rey, with her hair in a similar style to that of Jackie Kennedy, wearing a white top and a yellow & black shirt, and shows her with various colorizations added to her shots. The clips in the video show San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, amongst others, as well as specific shots of the Chateau Marmont and various billboards around L.A. A prominent scene featured throughout the video is that of an intoxicated Paz De La Huerta, an actress, stumbling. Many scenes of a man and woman on a moped, dancing, kissing, and jumping in a pool are a main focus of the video. The original video also included many shots of cartoons and orchestras, but these were removed in the final edition.

Look #1

Look #2

Lyrics

Album version

Swinging in the backyard,
Pull up in your fast car,
Whistling my name.
Open up a beer,
And you say "get over here,
And play a video game."

I’m in his favorite sundress,
Watching me get undressed,
Take that body downtown.
I say you the bestest,
Lean in for a big kiss,
Put his favorite perfume on.
Go play a video game.

It’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you,
Everything I do.
I tell you all the time,
Heaven is a place on earth with you.
Tell me all the things you wanna do.
I heard that you like the bad girls, honey, is that true?
It’s better than I ever even knew.
They say that the world was built for two.
Only worth living if somebody is loving you,
And baby, now you do.

Singing in the old bars,
Swinging with the old stars,
Living for the fame.
Kissing in the blue dark,
Playing pool and wild darts,
And video games.

He holds me in his big arms,
Drunk and I am seeing stars,
This is all I think of.
Watching all our friends fall,
In and out of Old Paul’s.
This is my idea of fun,
Playing video games.

It’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you.
Everything I do.
I tell you all the time,
Heaven is a place on earth with you.
Tell me all the things you wanna do.
I heard that you like the bad girls, honey, is that true?
It’s better than I ever even knew.
They say that the world was built for two.
Only worth living if somebody is loving you,
And baby, now you do.

(Now-now you do, now you do, now you do)
(Now-now you do, now you do, now you do)

It’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you.
Everything I do.
I tell you all the time.
Heaven is a place on earth with you.
Tell me all the things you wanna do.
I heard that you like the bad girls, honey, is that true?
It’s better than I ever even knew.
They say that the world was built for two.
Only worth living if somebody is loving you,
And baby, now you do.

(Now-now you do, now you do, now you do)
Mm, now you do.
(Now-now you do, now you do, now you do)

Demo version

Swinging in the backyard,
Pull up in your fast car,
Whistling my name.
You open up a beer,
And you say "get over here,
And play my video game."

I’m in his favorite sundress,
Watching me get all dressed,
We gonna go downtown.
I say you're the best best,
Lean in for a big kiss,
Put his favorite perfume on.
Go play your video game.

It’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you,
Everything I do.
I tell you all the time,
Heaven is a place on earth with you.
Tell me all the things you wanna do.
I heard that you like the bad girls, honey, is that true?
It’s better than I ever even knew.
They say that the world was built for two.
Only worth living if somebody is loving you,
And baby, now you do, mm.

Singing in the old bars,
Swinging with the old stars,
Living for the fame.
Kissing in the blue dark,
Playing pool and wild darts,
Video games.

He holds me in his big arms,
Drunk and I am seeing stars,
This is all I think of.
Watching all our friends fall,
In and out of Old Paul’s.
This is my idea of fun,
Playing video games.

It’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you.
Everything I do.
I tell you all the time,
Heaven is a place on earth with you.
Tell me all the things you wanna do.
I heard that you like the bad girls, honey, is that true?
It’s better than I ever even knew.
They say that the world was built for two.
Only worth living if somebody is loving you,
And baby, now you do.

It’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you.
Everything I do.
I tell you all the time.
Heaven is a place on earth with you.
Tell me all the things you wanna do.
I heard that you like the bad girls, honey, is that true?
It’s better than I ever even knew.
They say that the world was built for two.
Only worth living if somebody is loving you,
And baby, now you do.

Credits

Personnel

  • Mixing — Robopop

References

  1. http://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/12276-video-games/
  2. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/singlesreviews/a342509/lana-del-rey-video-games-single-review.html
  3. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/thesound/a318491/playlist-10-tracks-you-need-to-hear.html
  4. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2011/dec/19/best-song-2011-lana-del-rey
  5. http://www.nme.com/ratemy/253447/song-of-the-year-2011/item/254089
  6. http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/2011/09/lana_del_rey_secret_show_glasslands.php
  7. http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/09/lana_del_rey.html
  8. http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2011/11/the-50-best-songs-of-2011.html
  9. http://drownedinsound.com/releases/16769/reviews/4144405?search
  10. http://www.officialcharts.de/song.asp?artist=Lana+Del+Rey&title=Video+Games&cat=s&country=de
  11. http://www.billboard.com/artist/306420/lana+del+rey/chart?f=913
  12. http://www.ifpicr.cz/hitparadask/index.php?hitp=R
  13. http://www.ultratop.be/nl/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Video+Games&cat=s
  14. http://www.ultratop.be/fr/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Video+Games&cat=s
  15. http://www.austriancharts.at/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Video+Games&cat=s
  16. http://www.lescharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Video+Games&cat=s
  17. http://www.swisscharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Video+Games&cat=s
  18. http://www.ifpicr.cz/hitparada/index.php?hitp=R
  19. http://www.billboard.com/artist/306420/lana+del+rey/chart?f=806
  20. http://bestsellery.zpav.pl/airplays/top/archiwum.php?year=2012&idlisty=617#title
  21. http://www.officialcharts.com/archive-chart/_/1/2011-10-29/
  22. http://www.officialcharts.com/archive-chart/_/12/2012-01-21/
  23. 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
  24. http://www.officialcharts.com/archive-chart/_/22/2011-10-29/
  25. http://www.billboard.com/artist/306420/Lana+Del+Rey/chart?f=379
  26. http://www.billboard.com/artist/306420/Lana+Del+Rey/chart?f=793
  27. http://www.billboard.com/artist/306420/Lana+Del+Rey/chart?f=848
  28. http://www.australian-charts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Lana+Del+Rey&titel=Video+Games&cat=s
  29. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billboard_Brasil
  30. http://www.ultratop.be/nl/annual.asp?year=2011&cat=s
  31. http://web.archive.org/web/20120921052441/http://www.snepmusique.com/fr/pag-259376-Classements-Annuels.html
  32. http://www.mtv.de/charts/Single_Jahrescharts_2011
  33. http://dutchcharts.nl/jaaroverzichten.asp?year=2011&cat=s
  34. http://www.ultratop.be/nl/annual.asp?year=2012
  35. http://www.ultratop.be/fr/annual.asp?year=2012&cat=a
  36. http://web.archive.org/web/20130728075636/http://www.snepmusique.com/fr/pag-259376-Classements-Annuels.html?
  37. http://www.viva.tv/charts/52-top-100-jahrescharts-2012
  38. http://www.officialcharts.com/charts/end-of-year-singles-chart/20120108/37501/
  39. http://www.officialcharts.com/charts/end-of-year-singles-chart/20120108/37501/
  40. http://www.aria.com.au/pages/httpwww.aria.com.aupagesSINGLEaccreds2012.htm
  41. http://www.ifpi.at/?section=goldplatin
  42. http://www.ultratop.be/nl/goud-platina/2011
  43. http://musiccanada.com/gold-platinum/?fwp_gp_search=%22Video+Games%22%20%22Lana+Del+Rey%22
  44. http://www.fimi.it/certificazioni/
  45. http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?artist=%22Video+Games%22
  46. http://www.musikindustrie.de/no_cache/gold_platin_datenbank/?action=suche&strTitel=Video+Games&strInterpret=Lana+Del+Rey&strTtArt=alle&strAwards=checked
  47. http://web.archive.org/web/20130116002858/http://www.infodisc.fr/Ventes_Single12.php
  48. http://www.swisscharts.com/search_certifications.asp?search=Lana+Del+Rey+Video+Games
  49. http://www.bpi.co.uk/certified-awards/search.aspx
  50. http://www.vevo.com/watch/lana-del-rey/video-games/GBUV71101634

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