Album Title
Mark Ronson
Artist Icon Version (2007)
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Calendar Icon 2007


Genre Icon Pop-Rock


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Style Icon Rock/Pop


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Album Description
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Version is the second album by New York-based English producer Mark Ronson. It is an album of cover versions. It was released on 14 April 2007 in the iTunes Store. It entered the UK Album Chart at number two on 22 April 2007. Mark Ronson describes the sound as Motown/Stax.

Released in mid-2007, the album charted in the Billboard 200 and debuted at number 2 in the UK, supported by the success of single "Stop Me", which charted at number 2 in the UK, top 5 of the US Dance charts, and in the top 40 of Italy and Australia. Upon its release, the album managed to crack into the World Top 40, charting at 29.

Ronson's next single, Oh My God with Lily Allen, became his second top 10 single, peaking at 8 in the UK. "Valerie", Ronson's third single, also peaked at number 2 in the British charts, kept out of the top spot by the Sugababes. It has spent a dozen weeks in the top 10 and has sold well over 300,000 copies. The song ended the year as the ninth biggest seller, behind number 1's "Bleeding Love", "Umbrella", "Grace Kelly" among others. "Valerie" also charted in the Switzerland and New Zealand charts and even managed to top the Dutch Top 40 for four consecutive weeks, keeping Leona Lewis from the top spot.

Ronson released "Just", featuring Alex Greenwald of Phantom Planet, as the fourth single in the United Kingdom. The song was quickly added to BBC Radio 1's "A-List".

Overall, the album has spent 45 weeks in the UK Top 75, with 10 weeks in the top 10. In December 2007, the album was certified double platinum in the UK for sales of over 600,000 copies.

BBC Radio 1 listed the album as the 12th most successful of 2007 in the UK, outperforming the likes of Justin Timberlake, Foo Fighters, Nelly Furtado and Lily Allen.

In February 2008, Ronson received a BRIT Award for Best British Male Solo Artist over favorite Mika. He also performed a medley of 3 songs from the album, the most acclaimed being "Valerie" in which Amy Winehouse appeared. After the ceremony, Version soared from 22 to 4 in the UK Albums chart.

The album cost more than £870,000 to launch.
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User Album Review
OK, let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way. Mark Ronson, for all his geezerish charm, is the child of a privileged background, this much we know. Let’s start off by stating categorically that this should not in any way affect our opinion of him. He’s a talented DJ. He knows how to produce. These are also facts and they are the pertinent ones when trying to get to grips with his latest offering. Unfortunately they’re not quite enough to stop Version being a disappointment.

There’s something faintly depressing about someone who has this much talent producing an album of cover versions. Such things always come with a degree of novelty that means that they don’t wear well over time. After the initial thrill of hearing your favourite/least favourite song transformed from a chart-friendly sing-along to a brooding dancefloor killer, or an indie stomp made over as a disco romp where else can you go? With Morrissey’s ''Stop Me'' already riding high in the charts it seems there is a market for this kind of thing. But then again maybe that’s because the original song was a killer in the first place.

Ronson does do inventive stuff to these songs. Big bold brass stabs perk up songs like the Ol' Dirty Bastard-starring ''Toxic'' which turns Britney into a ska-ed up hip hop extravaganza, or Radiohead’s ''Just'' into a sweaty, funky Maceo Parker-style workout. But for every hit there’s a miss here. No amount of groovy names can turn coal into diamonds. And sometimes the originals were great not because of the songs themselves, but the performances. Not even Amy Winehouse can save the sacrilege of murdering the Zutons’ ''Valerie'', and Paul Weller’s ''Pretty Green'' was a stonker by the Jam because of its spitting sarcasm, not for its woefully dirge-like tune that gets horribly over-exposed in Santo Gold’s attempt.

If anything this record strives too hard with its credentials. All the right names are in all the right places. But essentially, at the heart is another big beat superstar DJ, showing us he knows all the moves but forgetting to pack much originality. Having said that, it’ll sound great blasting out of cars in the summer heat. However by autumn you’ll have returned to the originals and be wondering what happened to Ronson’s glittering career. Let’s hope he doesn’t give up, just give us something more substantial next time.

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