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"Black Beauty" is a song by Lana Del Rey from her second major-label studio album, Ultraviolence. It was written with Rick Nowels and produced by Paul Epworth while Nowels produced the vocals. A separate registration exists listing her ex-boyfriend Barrie-James O'Neill as a co-creator, however, his contributions are currently unknown. The demo was finished during June 2013 and leaked on July 20, 2013. It serves as the first bonus track from the album.

It was released as the album's third single on November 21, 2014, exclusively in Germany.[1] A remix EP was released on the same day through Universal Music Deutschland's main site.[2]

Background and writing[]

Del Rey stated that the song was for her second major label album, which would be more spiritual, though after it leaked, the status of the song on the album became unknown. On May 8, 2014, it was confirmed that it would be featured as a bonus track on Ultraviolence.

The song is about Del Rey loving a man who doesn't appreciate the beauty of life, and lamenting the sadness of this. This theme connects the song to others such as "Next to Me" and "Peace".

The original file of the demo is called "LDR-Black-Beauty-Blaises-version-". Two snippets of a concept demo leaked on July 7, 2021.

A radio mix, which remains unleaked, is confirmed to exist.

Composition[]

"Black Beauty" is a pop ballad with a running time of 5 minutes and 14 seconds. It is in 4/4, written in the key of F major and has a BPM of approximately 120. The original demo of the track featured Del Rey singing over a synthesized organ, bass and strings with minimalistic drum beats and guitar usage. The album version's opening is largely the same as the demo, using the same vocal take and instruments. It starts to differ with the inclusion of a choir and electric guitar, with the chorus having more intense, rock influenced, drums and bass as well as a choir. The rest of the song continues to use heavier drums and electric guitar.

Critical reception[]

MuuMuse's Bradley Stern compared the song to Del Rey's 2012 single "Ride", calling it "an unbelievably gorgeous track" and "one of Lana's greatest epics".[3]

Live performances[]

Del Rey performed the song live for the first time as part of a medley with "Change" and "Young and Beautiful" on the first show of the LA to the Moon Tour on January 5, 2018, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Cross-references[]

Official versions[]

  • Album version — 5:14
    • Instrumental version — 5:11
  • Demo version — 5:08 (produced by Rick Nowels)
  • Radio mix (unreleased)Unknown

Official remixes[]

  • Dinnerdate Remix — 3:07
  • LEEX Tropical Mix — 5:58
  • Lakechild Remix — 4:00

Lyrics[]

Album version/Demo version[]

I paint my nails black
I dye my hair a darker shade of brown
'Cause you like your women Spanish
Dark, strong and proud

I paint the sky black
You said if you could have your way
You'd make it nighttime all today
So it'd suit the mood of your soul

Oh, what can I do?
Nothing, my sparrow blue
Oh, what can I do?
Life is beautiful, but you don't have a clue
Sun and ocean blue
Their magnificence, it don't make sense to you

Black beauty, oh-oh-oh-oh
Black beauty, oh-oh-oh-oh

I paint the house black
My wedding dress black leather, too
You have no room for light
Love is lost on you

I keep my lips red
To seem like cherries in the spring
Darling, you can't let everything
Seem so dark blue

Oh, what can I do
To turn you on or get through you?
Oh, what can I do?
Life is beautiful, but you don't have a clue
Sun and ocean blue
Their magnificence, it don't make sense to you

Black beauty, oh-oh-oh-oh
Black beauty, oh-oh-oh-oh
Black beauty, oh-oh-oh-oh
Black beauty, oh-oh-oh
Black beauty, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Black beauty, baby, black beauty, baby

Oh, what can I do?
Life is beautiful, but you don't have a clue
Sun and ocean blue
That magnificence, it don't make sense to you

Black beauty, oh-oh-oh-oh
Black beauty, oh-oh-oh-oh
Black beauty, oh-oh-oh-oh
Black beauty, oh-oh-oh-oh

Concept demo[]

[Snippet #1]:
...You don't have a clue
Oh, what can I do?..

[Snippet #2]:
...How I love that sun, I love that sun and moon...

Commercial release[]

Black Beauty (The Remix EP) was released on November 21, 2014, through Universal Music Deutschland's main site. The extended play consisted of three remixes. The EP was released under the Vertigo/Capital label. On December 15, 2014, the EP was released on iTunes Germany [4].

Digital release[]

Black Beauty (The Remix EP)
BB-TREP.jpg Label: Vertigo/Capital
Format: Digital
Released: December 15, 2014
Barcode: None
Photography: None
Design: Uncredited


# Name Time
1. "Black Beauty" (LEEX Tropical Remix) 5:57
2. "Black Beauty" (Dinnerdate Remix) 3:08
3. "Black Beauty" (Lakechild Remix) 3:59
Gagapedia

Promotional release[]

Black Beauty (Remix EP) CD by Vertigo and Universal Music in UK, US & Germany[]

Credits[]

Personnel

  • Lana Del Rey — vocals, songwriting
  • Rick Nowels — songwriting, vocal production, piano
  • Paul Epworth — production
  • Matt Wiggins — engineering
  • Kieron Menzies — vocal engineering
  • Robert Orton — mixing
  • Ed Harcourt — piano
  • Pablo Tato — piano
  • Tom Herbert — guitar
  • Leo Taylor — drums
  • Nikolaj Torp Larsen — Philicorda, mellotron
  • John Davis — mastering

Charts[]

Chart (2014) Peak
position
UK (Official Charts Company)[5] 179

Release history[]

Country Date Format Label
Austria December 15, 2014 Digital download (The Remix EP) Vertigo Berlin
Germany
Switzerland

References[]

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