Payphone by Maroon 5 Featuring Wiz Khalifa (official video) is a pop song.
Song Title: Payphone (official video)
Artist: Maroon 5 Featuring Wiz Khalifa
Genre: adult pop, adult contemporary
Composer: Copyright © 2012 Adam Levine, Benjamin Levin, Ammar Malik, Shellback, Dan Omelio, Cameron Thomaz
Musical key: written in B♯ Major, recorded in B Major
Lead Vocals: Adam Levine
Backing Vocals: Shellback
Rap: Wiz Khalifa
Lead Guitar: James Valentine
Guitar: Dan Omelio (Robopop), Shellback
Keyboards: PJ Morton, Benjamin Levin (Benny Blanco), Shellback
Bass Guitar: Mickey Madden
Drums: Matt Flynn
Director: Samuel Bayer
Producer: Shellback, Benny Blanco
Recording: Noah Mailbox Passovoy
Recorded: Recorded at Conway Studios, Los Angeles, California
Engineered at Record Plant Studios, Los Angeles, California, at Downtown Studios, New York City, New York, and at Jon Mann Studios, Reston, Virginia
Mixed at MixStar Studios, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Engineer: Benjamin Levin (Benny Blanco), Bradford Smith, Chris Sclafani, Jonathan Mann, Eric Eylands (assistant engineer), Andrew Muffman Luftman (asst eng), Scott Yarmov Yarmovsky (asst eng)
Mixer: John Hanes, Phil Seaford (assistant mix engineer)
Released: April 16, 2012
Number of listens: 22269
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: #46, 31 weeks on chart, peak #2 (two)
Adult Contemporary: #2 (two), 28 weeks on chart, peak #2 (two)
Radio Songs: #50
Digital Songs: #54, 31 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
On-Demand Songs: #34, 30 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
Canadian Hot 100: #40, 31 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
MySpace: peak #2 (two)
Billboard information for the week of Dec 1, 2012
Billboard chart listings courtesy of Billboard Magazine
Summary quotation from Wikipedia:
Payphone is a song performed by the American pop rock band Maroon 5. The song was released on April 16, 2012, as the lead single from their upcoming fourth studio album Overexposed (2012). It features American rapper Wiz Khalifa. It was written by Adam Levine, Benny Blanco, Ammar Malik, Shellback, Dan Omelio and Wiz Khalifa, and it was produced by Shellback and Benny Blanco. The song is a pop ballad and it talks about a romance that is no more.
The mid-tempo song finds Adam lamenting a deteriorating relationship and Wizs verse talks about how regretful the unlucky lady will be for walking away. The songs title comes from Levines line: Im at a payphone trying to call home / All of my change I spent on you. The song has received positive reviews from music critics, who praised the catch melody and named it a radio success. Some critics dismissed Wiz Khalifas appearance and its title.
The official music video, directed by Samuel Bayer, finds Levine taking down some bank robbers, attempting to become the hero in a hail of bullets as he makes his escape, steals a gun from a robber and then gets mistaken for a bank robber. Because of this, he must escape from a fleet of policemen, which he does with ease. The video was positively received from critics, who considered it an enjoyable mini-action movie.The video was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for Best Pop Video, but lost out to What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction.
On the Billboard Hot 100, the song debuted at the number three spot before peaking at number two. The song sold 493,000 copies in its first week, becoming the best sales week for a digital song by a group and also the eighth-best sales week overall. It also reached number-one on the Canadian Hot 100 chart and has stayed at the top for eight consecutive weeks. It also topped the UK Singles Chart, making it the bands first ever single to do so. Payphone was the worlds 5th best selling single of 2012 with 9.1 million copies sold.
Writing, production, and release
In 2011, Maroon 5 re-released their third studio album Hands All Over. The song Payphone was written as a birthday present to a fan, Nguyen Quynh Mai on 19 September 2011. The lead single from the re-issue of the album, Moves Like Jagger featured American recording artist Christina Aguilera and was a commercial success, managing to reach the number-one on 18 national charts including the US Billboard Hot 100. In middle 2011, the band started working on their following fourth studio album. One of the members of Maroon 5, James Valentine spoke to Billboard and revealed their plans are to release their fourth studio album in early 2012. On March 22, 2012, the band posted a video on YouTube featuring numerous scenes from the band in the studio, recording the album. On July 17, 2012, the album was released under the title Overexposed.
The song is a mid-tempo pop ballad and it features a rap verse from Wiz in the middle of it. Payphone has a plodding, piano-heavy production with martial drumming and a dramatic chorus. It also features throbbing bass on the hook that gives the song the hint of a disco edge. Lyrically, it explores the way a relationship used to be and the way they no longer are. Thomas Chau from AOL Radio Blog commented that the song is one of the bands more mellow singles similar to She Will Be Loved and Wont Go Home Without You. Andrew Unterberger agreed, writing that its got that same kind of mid-tempo blandness thats caused casual fans to mix up ballads like Wont Go Home Without You and Never Gonna Leave This Bed in our heads for years.
Payphone was written by Maroon 5s lead singer Adam Levine, along with Benny Blanco, Ammar Malik, Shellback, Dan Omelio (Robopop), and the American rapper Wiz Khalifa. It was produced by Shellback and Benny Blanco. Levine, Blanco, Shellback, and Malik also wrote the bands previous single Moves Like Jagger. The writing process started when Blanco, Robopop, and Malik convened together in the studio; Malik and Robopop constructed a piano line and demo track that Blanco compiled into a proper melody. Then, it was given to Levine who wrote the lyrics. Meanwhile, Blanco recalled rapper Wiz Khalifa with an idea to throw a wrench into the Maroon 5 works by adding hip-hop flavor to the its sound, I love when things dont make sense, like, Holy fuck! You dont hear him on the song at all. I like when bands dip into a whole different genre. Wiz Khalifa wrote and rapped his verse on Payphone. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Blanco told that five minutes before Khalifa arrived at the studio, he prepared the sound beds for the finger snap-driven portion of the jam. However, producer Max Martin, who was the executive producer of Overexposed, adjusted the chorus, because he felt it should be a little different.
Payphone was recorded at Conway Studios in Los Angeles by Noah Mailbox Pasovoy and Shellback, while Eric Eylands served as the assistant engineer. John Hanes mixed the song at Mixstar Studios in Virginia Beach and Phil Seaford was the mixing assistant. The programming, additional bass, keys, acoustic guitars and the background vocals were provided by Shellback and Blanco. Jeremy Jbogs Levin and David D Silb Silberstein served as production coordinators. Khalifa appears as courtesy of Rostrum Records. Payphone was released as a lead single from Overexposed. On April 17, 2012, it was digitally released in most territories. A&M/Octone Records serviced the song to contemporary hit radio in the United States on April 24. A CD single containing the album version of the song together with a Thomas Penton/Barry Huffine remix was released on June 8 in Germany.
Payphone is a pop and R&B song that contains hip hop influences and has duration of 3 minutes and 51 seconds. Its instrumentation, which consists of funk guitars, bass and synths is accompanied by Levines high falsetto. Payphone is written in the key of B♯ major (recorded in B major), in common time, with a tempo of 110 beats per minute. Levines vocal range spans from the low note of A4 to the high note of C6. Thomas Chau from AOL Radio Blog called the song mellow and compared it to the bands previous singles She Will Be Loved (2004) and Wont Go Home Without You (2007). Andrew Unterberger of Popdust agreed, and wrote that its got that same kind of mid-tempo blandness thats caused casual fans to mix up ballads like Wont Go Home Without You and Never Gonna Leave This Bed (2011).
The song kicks off with Adam Levine performing an upper register read-through of the chorus backed by a simple keyboard. On the chorus, he sings: Im at a payphone trying to call home / All of my change I spent on you / Where have the times gone, baby / Its all wrong, where are the plans we made for two? / If happy ever after did exist / I would still be holding you like this / All those fairytales are full of shit / One more fucking love song / Ill be sick. Shit and fucking are replaced with it and stupid, respectively, in the songs clean version. The clean version omits Wiz Khalifas version as well. Following the verse, the full band kicks in on the chorus and the songs sadness seeps through. When Wiz serves his verse, his rhymes dont speak of his love life, but rather his haters: Ill be out spending all this money while you sittin round wondering why it wasnt you who came up from nothin / Made it from the bottom now when you see me Im stuntin. Amy Sciarretto from Pop Crush and Bill Lamb from About.com pointed out that the lyrics are almost mirroring Levines current romantic situation with former girlfriend Anne Vyalitsyna and their very public split.
According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com, Payphone is written in the key of B major with a moderately fast tempo of 112 beats per minute. It follows the chord progression Esus2-B5-G♯m7-F♯sus-F♯-Esus2-B-G♯m7-F♯5, and the vocals span from A♯4 to C♯6.
On April 19, 2012, Levine was spotted shooting the video, making a call from a Los Angeles phone booth, fleeing from the police with Victorias Secrets model Bregje Jeinen and speeding away in a classic sports car. The official music video was directed by Samuel Bayer and was released on May 10, 2012. The video is similar to high-action FPS video game, Payday: The Heist. The car used in the video, a custom 1967 Shelby Cobra, was a kit-car hand built by Levine in the bands practice space during the bands inactive winter months.
The video begins with a flashforward that starts with a beleaguered Levine torching his ride and dialing (possibly) his lost loves telephone number at a payphone. Another typical day at the bank for Levine is shown next, which turns into chaos when some bandits enter and take charge (one of them is played by the bands lead guitarist James Valentine and some of the other bank robbers are probably played by drummer Matt Flynn, bassist Mickey Madden and current keyboardist, originally a touring-only band member, PJ Morton) all of this happens while the song plays in the background. Levine and his beautiful female co-worker (played by Dutch model, Bregje Heinen) escape unscathed, but when some cops mistake him for one of the bank robbers, he tells the female co-worker to hide in a car and steals a convertible that belongs to Wiz Khalifa to get away from them. A car chase follows and when Levine is almost caught by the police, he steers the stolen convertible onto the wrong side of the road and causes a huge explosion, which destroys one of the police cars. When he finally reaches his destination, he passes by a place where Wiz, the owner of the car, performed his rap earlier. After Adam gets out of the convertible, it also explodes and Adam Levine, injured, enters a booth with the titular payphone, probably to call for help this connects to the beginning of the video.
The video was nominated for an MYV VMA for Best Pop Video.
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