Bruno Mars' 10 greatest songs ever, ranked

28 December 2021, 14:35

Bruno Mars' best songs
Bruno Mars' best songs. Picture: YouTube/Bruno Mars

By Tom Eames

Bruno Mars has been one of the most successful artists of the last decade.

Thanks to his infectious blend of funk, R&B, pop and hip-hop, he has wowed fans around the world, selling over 100 million records worldwide.

We've put together a list of his 10 best songs so far, to make for a perfect Bruno Mars playlist:

  1. The Lazy Song

    This reggae track is the ultimate anthem to celebrate laziness, and gave Bruno another hit from his debut album.

    Co-writer Ari Levine said of the song: "[It] was a very tough song to write, even though it is so simple. That song began one day when we were hanging around the studio and hadn't written a song for a few days and we were kind of burnt out and didn't feel like working. We felt lazy."

  2. Treasure

    From his second album, this funk-disco anthem gave Bruno yet another worldwide hit.

    Co-writer Philip Lawrence said: "We're fun, like to dance and party, and we didn't really get to do a lot of that on the first album. Even going to festivals and seeing big bands live, like Coldplay or Bruce Springsteen, we knew the second time around we wanted something fun.

    "It's the kind of song where the whole band can get up and jam and have this Earth, Wind and Fire kind of moment."

  3. Marry You

    This doo-wop and soul track is about a spontaneous marriage and has since been used a a proposal song for fans around the world.

    Co-writer Philip Lawrence explained the inspiration behind the song, saying "[w]e had this image of a slow-mo video in Vegas of a couple running, and she's in her gown and he's in his tux, the wedding party is behind them. This sort of crazy, daring, wedding feeling."

  4. Grenade

    From his debut album Doo-Wops and Hooligans, this pop ballad gives a message of unrequited love and how Bruno's heart was broken, despite his best efforts.

    Bruno later said that the song was inspired by "his love for a girl who did not love him back". He admitted to be "a bit of a drama queen in that song" and that the track was therapeutic for him.

  5. 24K Magic

    The title track of Bruno's third album, this was an '80s-inspired tune that featured elements from hip-hop, R&B, funk and disco. And it's impossible not to dance to.

    Using all the methods that made 'Uptown Funk' such a big hit, it took inspiration from Prince, The Gap Band, Grandmaster Flash and others to great effect.

  6. Locked Out of Heaven

    This loved-up rock and reggae track was the lead single from Bruno's second album Unorthodox Jukebox.

    Bruno revealed that he wanted to create something unexpected with its follow-up album, saying: "This is me going into the studio and recording and writing whatever I want. This album represents my freedom."

  7. Uptown Funk (with Mark Ronson)

    You simply couldn't escape this song when it was released in 2014, becoming the following year's best-selling single in the UK. It also topped the charts in 19 countries overall.

    After producing three songs for Bruno's second album, Mark Ronson ended up working on 'Uptown Funk' for seven months, in a number of grueling, stressful sessions.

    Inspired by The Gap Band, Kool & the Gang and other funk legends, it was worth all those stressful hours in the end.

  8. When I Was Your Man

    This piano ballad was inspired by when Bruno was worried about losing his girlfriend Jessica Caban.

    "I'm never singing another ballad again," but that came from the gut – it's the most honest, real thing I've ever sung," he said. "When there are no safe bets, that's when I feel my blood move."

  9. Just the Way You Are

    Bruno Mars burst onto the scene with this ridiculously catchy pop love song in 2010, becoming one of the world's best-selling singles of the decade.

    Speaking about the song, Bruno later said: "It took me months to come up with 'Just the Way You Are'. I wasn't thinking of anything deep or poetic. I was telling a story. Get ready to fall in love!

    "I'm a big fan of songs like Joe Cocker's 'You Are So Beautiful' and Eric Clapton's 'Wonderful Tonight' – songs that go straight to the point. You know, there's no mind-boggling lyrics or twists in the story – they just come directly from the heart.

    "And to me 'Just The Way You Are' is one of those songs. There's nothing mind-blowing about it. I'm just telling a woman she looks beautiful the way she IS – and, let's be honest, what woman doesn't wanna hear those lyrics?!".

  10. Leave the Door Open (as Silk Sonic)

    This sensual song was the first song by Silk Sonic, Bruno's collaboration project with Anderson Paak.

    Harking back to the days of 1970s Philadelphia Soul, the stunning love song has been described as a "detailed erotic invitation".

    The song was met with huge critical acclaim and was a hit around the world.