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  • Bruno Mars wanted to write something better than The Beatles’ songs.
  • He said that sort of ambition causes artists to write their worst work.
  • He wrote one of his hit songs after he started to relax and unwind.
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison standing
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison | John Pratt/Keystone/Getty Images

Bruno Mars wanted to write music that was better than The Beatles’ songs. Subsequently, he became frustrated with himself. Then he made a comment which inspired one of his hit songs.

Bruno Mars explained why reggae is an influence on his music

Mars’ debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, includes reggae influences. During a 2010 interview with the New York Daily News, Mars was asked where this influence originated. “In Hawaii, some of the biggest radio stations are reggae,” he replied. “The local bands are heavily influenced by Bob Marley.”

Mars discussed the impact of reggae. “That music brings people together,” he said. “It’s not urban music or pop music. It’s just songs. That’s what makes it cross over so well. The song comes first.”

Bruno Mars wrote ‘The Lazy Song’ when he stopped trying to be better than The Beatles

Subsequently, Mars was asked about “The Lazy Song,” a reggae-pop track from Doo-Wops & Hooligans. He was asked if he was lazy. “I hope my body of work proves I’m not,” he responded. “That song just came out of the studio.”

Mars discussed what happened in the studio. “We were trying to make a song that was better than The Beatles,” he recalled. “We were trying to be magical and historic. After five hours, it all turned to rubbish.

“The frustration got to me and I said, ‘Today I don’t feel like doing anything at all,'” he added. “That opened up everyone’s eyes.”

Mars revealed his attitude about ambition. “When you’re overshooting, you get the worst work,” he opined. “When you’re relaxed, you have your best. I’m a light kind of guy.”


The Beatles: John Lennon Said Paul McCartney and George Harrison Overshadowed Him on This Song

How ‘The Lazy Song’ and its parent album performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

“The Lazy Song” became a hit for Mars. It peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 27 weeks. The song’s parent album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, was an even bigger hit. It reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200, remaining on the chart for 581 weeks.

“The Lazy Song” was also a hit in The Beatles’ native United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, the track was No. 1 for one of its 34 weeks on the U.K. chart. Meanwhile, Doo-Wops & Hooligans topped the U.K. chart for two weeks. It remained on the chart for 252 weeks altogether.

“The Lazy Song” was popular even if Mars didn’t think it was on the level of The Beatles’ songs.