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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. 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[]

The original Rick Nowels version of the song leaked on July 20, 2013. 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 original file of Nowels' demo is titled "LDR-Black-Beauty-Blaises-version-", suggesting longtime production assistant Blaise Thomas had a role in its production. An earlier demo produced by Jamie xx leaked on June 21, 2024. A filtered snippet of a demo featuring tambourine and bells, produced by Epworth,[S 1] leaked on May 18, 2024. The song is rumored to have over 20 unleaked demos and remixes.[S 2][S 3]

Two snippets of a concept demo leaked on July 7, 2021, with a third leaking on October 7, 2022. An extended and uncut snippet, which combined two of the previously-leaked snippets, leaked on May 16, 2024. This concept demo was later revealed to be a stem edit made from the song's unleaked session and vocal outtakes. A radio mix, which remains unleaked, is also confirmed to exist.

In November 2023, the song was released on a 7" picture disc vinyl as a b-side to the newly-released "Say Yes to Heaven".

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 1 (produced by Jamie xx) — 5:12
  • Demo version 2 (produced by Rick Nowels) — 5:08
  • Demo version 3 (unleaked; produced by Paul Epworth) — Unknown
  • Radio mix (unleaked) — Unknown

Official remixes[]

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

Lyrics[]

Album version/demo versions[]

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

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 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

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[]

Notes[]

  1. This is speculation and should not be relied upon. It has not been confirmed by any official sources, but has been reported by Eclipse, who is considered a reliable insider by the community.
  2. This is speculation and should not be relied upon. It has not been confirmed by any official sources, but has been reported by Carcase, who is considered a reliable insider by the community.
  3. This is speculation and should not be relied upon. It has not been confirmed by any official sources, but has been reported by Carcase, who is considered a reliable insider by the community.


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