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"London Bridge" is a song recorded by American singer and rapper Fergie for her debut studio album, The Dutchess (2006). It was written by Fergie, Mike Hartnett, Sean Garrett, and producer Polow da Don. It was released as the lead single from the album and serviced to contemporary hit and rhythmic radio stations in the United States on July 18, 2006. "London Bridge" is a hip hop song with dance influences. It contains compositional samples of "Down to The Nightclub" as performed by Tower of Power.

"London Bridge"
London Bridge.png
Single by Fergie
from the album The Dutchess
ReleasedJuly 18, 2006 (2006-07-18)
Format
Recorded2006
Studio
Genre
Length3:28
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Polow da Don
Fergie singles chronology
"London Bridge"
(2006)
"Fergalicious"
(2006)
Alternative cover
Fergie - London Bridge.png

Music critics gave "London Bridge" generally mixed reviews, with some of them criticizing the song's sexually suggestive lyrics and comparing the song to Gwen Stefani's single "Hollaback Girl" (2005). "London Bridge" was a commercial success and reached the top ten in thirteen countries. In the United States, it peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and at number four on the US Pop Songs chart. "London Bridge" was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and sold more than two million digital copies, becoming the singer's second best selling song in the country. An accompanying music video for the single was directed by Marc Webb and features Fergie playing around with men in England. The song was featured in the film Neighbors and appears on the film's soundtrack.[3]

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Stacy Ferguson, Sean Garrett and Mike Hartnett wrote "London Bridge" together with Polow da Don, who produced the song.[4] The song contains a compositional sample of "Down to The Nightclub" by Tower of Power.[4] The song was recorded at two separate locations: at the Chalice Recording Studios in Hollywood, California and at Hit Factory Criteria in Miami, Florida.[4] Jones, credited under his production name Polow da Don, produced the song as well as provided background vocals with Jay Anderson, who also provided additional vocals to the song. Hartnett plays the bass and guitar on the song while Nate Hills, know professionally as Danja, played the drums and percussion. The keys for the song were provided by Elvis Williams while engineering was handled by Demacio "Demo" Castellon and Jason Schweitzer. Phil Tan worked with Josh Houghkirk on mixing the song, which took place at Soapbox Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. A&M Records, in association with will.i.am Music Group and Interscope Records, sent the song to contemporary hit radio on July 18, 2006.[5] Fergie stated in an interview with The Age that the song was about bringing humor to certain subject matters, stating "'It's poking fun at certain things. I'm really not going to spray the paparazzi with mace—I don't know if you know that about me."[6]

CompositionEdit

"London Bridge" is a hip hop and dance song that lasts for 4:01 (4 minutes and 1 second) and incorporates the use of horns.[1][2] According to the sheet music published by Windswept Holdings, LLC at Musicnotes.com, it was composed in the key of F minor.[7] The song is set in common time to a moderate hip hop groove of 90 beats per minute.[7] Fergie's vocal range spans from the high note of E4 to the low note of F5.[7] Fergie describes the song as being "kind of like a punch in the face to let people know I'm coming out... I've been getting way too into myself nowadays and I just wanna have fun with as many men as I can possible."[8] IGN writer Spence D. labels "London Bridge" as a "club stomper" while Rebecca Wright of Blogcritics describes the song as a catchy and danceable tune with lyrics that are hard to decipher.[1][9] John Murphy of musicOMH claimed that the song also incorporates the use of horns similar to those used by Beyoncé in her single "Work It Out" (2002).[10] Mike Joseph of PopMatters compared the song to Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl", Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous", and the Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps".[11] Joseph also notes that the song is a mixture of Stefani's schoolgirl sass and "a bit of ambiguous sleaze".[11]

Critical receptionEdit

 
"London Bridge"'s composition drew comparisons to Gwen Stefani's (pictured) "Hollaback Girl".

Upon its release, "London Bridge" received extremely polarized reviews from music critics. Rolling Stone called the song a "total ripoff of Hollaback Girl", Gwen Stefani's number one single of 2005.[12] A reviewer of About.com described the song as being "Hollaback Girl" "slathered in puerile sexual raunch".[13] Steve Yates of The Observer describes the song as being "much in the M.I.A. vein".[14] Amy Phillips of Pitchforkmedia noted how much the song and Lil Mama's "Lip Gloss" resembled M.I.A.'s songs such as her 2003 single "Galang", serving as a reminder of how much the mainstream pop, dance, and rap musical landscape had shifted since M.I.A. "first appeared in 2004". M.I.A. later asked Interscope boss Jimmy Iovine after hearing the track "If I don't sell records and make money for you you're just going to make them with her anyway", however Iovine notes that the song is yet another example of how M.I.A. was "an artist who inspires other artists."[15]

Allmusic writer Andy Kellman selected "London Bridge" as one of the album's best tracks, writing that it is "terrific" and "inexplicably asinine".[16] Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly writes that Fergie plays the role of a sexaholic superstar, especially on the refrain, where she "unsubtly, if memorably", combines winky sexual metaphors and club-banging beats.[17] Bill Lamb of About.com rated the song two out of five stars, praising the spirit exuded, claiming it resembles that of Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl". However, he labeled it as a derivative of higher quality pop music and criticized it for its explicit sexual lyrics.[2] Benjamin Boles of NOW expressed dislike for the song in this comment, "Basically, if London Bridge doesn’t make you want to rip your ears off, you’ll enjoy almost 80 per cent of the album."[18] Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine also expressed dislike for the song's sexual suggestiveness, writing that it is "the most uninspired metaphor for oral sex in recorded history."[19] Norman Mayers of Prefix Magazine labels "London Bridge" as one of the album's highpoints.[20] Dan Gennoe of Yahoo! Music compared the song to music by American recording artist Gwen Stefani, writing that the "raucous thump has Gwen Stefani stamped all over it."[21]

Spence D. of IGN labels "London Bridge' as the album's centerpice, but notes that compared to "Fergalicious" and "Clumsy" it appears to be "a calculated banger aimed at the unscrupulous club goer."[1] John Murphy of musicOMH found the song annoying "nothing more, nothing less", but predicted that it would be a commercial success.[10] Heather Murray of Glasswerk.co.uk criticized the song for its lyrics, lack of originality, and Fergie's voice, which she describes as "whinely drawl."[22]

Commercial performanceEdit

In the United States, "London Bridge" entered on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 84 on the issue dated August 5, 2006.[23] The song ascended 79 places to number five the next week, achieving the second biggest leap in Billboard Hot 100 history at the time.[24] It ascended to number one the following week and stayed there for three consecutive weeks.[24][25] The song was certified platinum on July 11, 2007 by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), almost a year after its release.[26] Its digital download sales stand at 2,115,000, becoming her first single to surpass sales of two million downloads.[27] "London Bridge" is Fergie's fifth most downloaded song, behind "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Fergalicious", "Glamorous", and "Clumsy".[27]

In Australia, the song entered and peaked at number three on the issue dated September 24, 2006 and stayed at that position for two non-consecutive weeks.[28] The song has been certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for sales of 35,000 units.[29] On the issue dated October 2, 2006, the song debuted and peaked at number one on the chart in New Zealand.[30] "London Bridge" peaked at number three in Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom.[25] In Switzerland, the song peaked on the chart at number six, where it stayed for two non-consecutive weeks and lasted for a total of 18 weeks.[31] In France, the song entered and peaked at number 27 on the issue dated October 28, 2006.[32] It lasted on the chart for total of 18 weeks.[32]

"London Bridge" debuted on the Japan Hot 100 at number 10 on the issue dated September 16, 2006.[33] It peaked at number seven.[34]

Music videoEdit

The music video was directed by Marc Webb. Fergie collaborated with her fellow members of The Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am, Taboo and apl.de.ap on the clip's concept to make it more distinctive. She describes the concept as follows: "We're doing this androgynous-type thing where my girls and I go into a Gentlemen's club and pull them into a bathroom and come back out in their clothes. They're going to be dressed up really dapper and looking really handsome. (sic) "[8] Will.i.am, Taboo, and Apl.de.ap all made cameos in the video. For the video, which was filmed at the Woolwich Barracks in Woolwich, South London, she brought in backup dancers who double as bodyguards, dressed like cholas — tough Mexican girls known for wearing dark lipstick and big hair — to make the clip "have a bit more edge, be very distinct, be very mixed."[8] Fergie is seen intermittently sailing down the River Thames just in front of Tower Bridge, which is not the same as London Bridge, despite the song title. Fergie based one of her outfits for the video on her family's crest and tartan, with some changes as she wanted it to be modernized.[8] She also wears a tiara cocked to the side of her head to play off the royal name of her album, as well as having the same surname (Ferguson) and nickname, as the Duchess of York (Sarah Ferguson). The official music video was uploaded on her VEVO channel on August 4, 2016.[8]

Credits and personnelEdit

Recording and sample
Personnel
  • Songwriting – Stacy Ferguson, Jamal Jones, Sean Garrett and Mike Hartnett
  • Production – Polow da Don
  • Bass and guitar – Mike Hartnett
  • Drums and percussion – Danja
  • Keys – Elvis Williams
  • Engineering – Demacio "Demo" Castellon, Jason Schweitzer
  • Mixing – Phil Tan, Josh Houghkirk (assistant)

Credits adapted from the liner notes of The Dutchess, A&M Records, Will.i.am Music Group, Interscope Records.[4]

Track listingEdit

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[72] Platinum 70,000^
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[73] Platinum 40,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[74] Silver 200,000^
United States (RIAA)[75] 2× Platinum 2,000,000 

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See alsoEdit

Release historyEdit

Country Date Format Label Ref.
United States July 18, 2006 Mainstream radio [76]
Rhythmic contemporary radio
July 25, 2006 Digital download (1-track) [77]
France August 14, 2006 Polydor [78]
Italy Universal [79]
Spain [80]
Germany September 1, 2006 [81]
Digital download (3-track) [82]
United Kingdom September 4, 2006 Digital download (1-track) Polydor [83]
Germany September 8, 2006 CD single Universal [84]
Maxi single [85]
France September 11, 2006 Digital download (3-track) Polydor [86]
Digital download (2-track) [87]
United Kingdom [88]
  • CD single
[89]
United States September 19, 2006 12" A&M [90]

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ a b c Lamb, Bill. "Fergie: London Bridge - Review of "London Bridge" by Fergie". About.com. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  3. ^ "'Neighbors' Soundtrack Details". Film Music Reporter. April 1, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d The Dutchess (inlay cover). Fergie. A&M Records, Will.i.am Music Group, Interscope Records. 2006.CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. ^ "R&R :: Going for Adds :: CHR/Top 40". Going for Adds. Radio and Records. Archived from the original on 2014-02-03. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
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  9. ^ Wright, Rebecca. "Music Review: Fergie - The Dutchess". Blogcritics. Technorati Inc. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  10. ^ a b Murphy, John. "Fergie - London Bridge". musicOMH. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  11. ^ a b Joseph, Mike. "Fergie: The Dutchess". PopMatters. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  12. ^ "The Dutchess". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. 2006-09-30. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
  13. ^ "Fergie: London Bridge - Review of "London Bridge" by Fergie". About.com. IAC. 2006-09-19. Archived from the original on 2012-01-21. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
  14. ^ Steve Yates (2007-09-15). "New world order". The Observer. London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
  15. ^ "Fergie | M.I.A Slams Fergie For Copying Her Style". Contactmusic. 2007-09-21. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
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  17. ^ Greenblatt, Leah. "Review: The Dutchess". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  18. ^ Boles, Benjamin. "Fergie| NOW Magazine". NOW. NOW Communications Inc. Archived from the original on 2012-09-10. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  19. ^ Cinquemani, Sal. "Fergie: The Dutchess | Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
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  26. ^ "Gold & Platinum - Clumsy by Fergie". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on 2012-12-17. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
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  76. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20060815034746/http://www.fmqb.com/Article.asp?id=69239
  77. ^ Digital release of "London Bridge" in the United States:
  78. ^ https://www.amazon.fr/London-Bridge-single-Fergie/dp/B003W2AXBE
  79. ^ Digital of "London Bridge" in Italy:
  80. ^ https://www.amazon.es/London-Bridge-Explicit-single-Fergie/dp/B0098JX7RW
  81. ^ https://www.amazon.de/London-Bridge-single-Fergie/dp/B001SPMZJU
  82. ^ https://www.amazon.de/London-Bridge-Explicit-track-single/dp/B001SV96R8
  83. ^ https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001KC2XT8
  84. ^ https://www.amazon.de/London-Bridge-2-Track-Fergie/dp/B000HWY4O4
  85. ^ https://www.amazon.de/London-Bridge-Fergie/dp/B000HIVO7S
  86. ^ https://www.amazon.fr/London-Bridge-Explicit-track-single/dp/B004KJJHI8
  87. ^ https://www.amazon.fr/London-Bridge-International-Version-Fergie/dp/B004A0TA0C
  88. ^ https://www.amazon.co.uk/London-Bridge-Fergie/dp/B000HKDBWC
  89. ^ https://www.amazon.co.uk/London-Bridge-Fergie/dp/B001KEX2D2
  90. ^ https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I0QLVE

External linksEdit