UV cover
Lana Del Rey
Writer(s) Lana Del Rey
Dan Heath
Producer(s) Dan Auerbach
Released June 4, 2014
Length 4:11
(See official versions)
From Ultraviolence logo
Single(s) "West Coast"
"Black Beauty"
Promotional single(s) "Shades of Cool"
"Brooklyn Baby"
Singles chronology
SOC cover

"Shades of Cool"

UV cover


BB cover

"Brooklyn Baby"

Ultraviolence track listing
"Cruel World" "Shades of Cool"
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

"Ultraviolence" (originally titled "Melancholia") is a song by Lana Del Rey written with Dan Heath. It is the second single and title track from Del Rey's second major-label studio album, Ultraviolence. The song was released as the second promotional single from the album on June 4, 2014, after "Shades of Cool". On August 18, "Ultraviolence" was released to radio stations in the United Kingdom as the second single from the album after "West Coast".[1]

Background and writingEdit

Del Rey stated in an interview that the title "Ultraviolence" had little to do with the novel and film that made the term famous, A Clockwork Orange, instead she was inspired by the phonetic quality of the word. The track was debuted live on May 25, 2014 before the song's release during a concert in Vancouver. The song premiered on BBC Radio 1 on June 4 and was uploaded to Del Rey's official Vevo channel straight after. The song was available for download on iTunes the same day and reached #1 on the iTunes song chart briefly.

While doing a track-by-track commentary of the album, Del Rey explained that "Ultraviolence" was a reworking of a song she had written previously called "Melancholia".

Whilst she still performs the song live, she no longer sings the line 'He hit me and it felt like a kiss' to where in a recent Pitchfork interview she states "I don’t like it. I don’t. I don’t sing it. I sing “Ultraviolence” but I don’t sing that line anymore. Having someone be aggressive in a relationship was the only relationship I knew. I’m not going to say that that [lyric] was 100 percent true, but I do feel comfortable saying what I was used to was a difficult, tumultuous relationship, and it wasn’t because of me. It didn’t come from my end" - in her 2017 live shows you can see backing vocals taking over this particular line.


"Ultraviolence" is written in 4/4, in the key of D minor and is performed at approximately 110 beats per minute. The track utilises a heavy use of strings, similar to songs on her previous two records, as well as pounding piano chords and guitar. The song features a spoken bridge, similar to "Carmen", although it is, for the most part, in English. The vocals on the track are heavily layered during the chorus similar to "West Coast".

Critical receptionEdit

Nolan Feeney of Time criticized the song for its glorification of domestic violence, mentioning Lorde's comment on Del Rey's music, "This sort of shirt-tugging, desperate, don’t leave me stuff. That’s not a good thing for young girls, even young people, to hear." However, Feeney also stated that Del Rey would "likely" not endorse the "screwed-up tales of vice and luxury" her character, Lana Del Rey, sings about.[2] While noting that Del Rey did not offer a positive or negative opinion on domestic violence, Harley Brown of Spin said that the lyrics to the song could generate controversy, especially since Del Rey dismissed feminism in a recent interview with The Fader, saying "For me, the issue of feminism is just not an interesting concept. I’m more interested in, you know, SpaceX and Tesla, what’s going to happen with our intergalactic possibilities. Whenever people bring up feminism, I’m like, god. I’m just not really that interested."[3] [4] By the end of 2014, NME named "Ultraviolence" the 32nd best song of the year.[5]

Commercial performanceEdit

"Ultraviolence" debuted at number 70 in US Billboard Hot 100.[6] The song debuted at number 34 and 12 in Belgium, Flanders and Wallonia, respectively.[7][8] The song reached number 38 in Canada,[9] number 88 in France,[10] and number 59 in Czech Republic.[11]


Music videoEdit

Scrapped music videoEdit

The song originally had a music video that was shot in 2014, but for unknown reasons, it was not released, and later its scenes were used in the "Honeymoon Sampler" video, as well as in the music videos for "Music to Watch Boys To" and "Freak". In 2016, Father John Misty told NME, "I filmed the 'Freak' video two years ago. It was supposed to be the video for something else... She wanted me to play a cult leader in the video, with a bunch of a women."[12] A behind-the-scenes photo of Lana Del Rey dressed in the same outfit she wears in the "Freak" video, holding a clapperboard dated 6-9-14 and reading "Ultraviolence", further supports the idea that footage used for the "Freak" video was originally intended for the "Ultraviolence" video.

Official music video Edit

Music video Information
Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

Released July 30, 2014
Length 4:23
Director Francesco Carrozzini
Filmed July 3, 2014
Location Portofino, Italy
Vevo views 56+ Million views

Background and description Edit

The music video was shot entirely on an iPhone using the 8mm Vintage Camera app and was released on July 30, 2014 by Noisey (Vice). It was directed by Francesco Carrozzini, and shows Del Rey wearing a white dress and wandering around in an outside setting located in Portofino and later entering the church of San Sebastiano. The video was then uploaded to her official Vevo channel on August 1st. [13][14]

Promotional polaroids by Francesco Carrozzini Edit

Official versions Edit

  • Album version — 4:11
  • Music video version — 4:23
  • Instrumental version — 4:10

Official remixes Edit

  • Carbon Airways Remix — 4:15[15]
  • Datsik Remix — 3:56
  • Disciples Remix — 5:40
  • Hook N Sling Remix — 5:28[16]
  • Hook N Sling Remix (BUMP 35) — 5:29[17]
  • Hotel Garuda Remix — 3:52
  • Jean Tonique Remix — 4:24
  • PBR Streetgang Remix — 5:28
  • Prins Thomas Diskomiks — 7:20[18]
  • Prins Thomas Dub Remix — 5:23
  • Sonic Matta Dawood Remix — 5:34
  • The Penelopes Remix — 5:01


He used to call me DN
That stood for "Deadly Nightshade"
'Cause I was filled with poison
But blessed with beauty and rage

Jim told me that
He hit me and it felt like a kiss
Jim brought me back
Reminded me of when we were kids

With his ultraviolence

I can hear sirens, sirens
He hit me and it felt like a kiss
I can hear violins, violins
Give me all of that ultraviolence

He used to call me poison
Like I was poison ivy
I could have died right there
'Cause he was right beside me

Jim raised me up
He hurt me but it felt like true love
Jim taught me that
Loving him was never enough

With his ultraviolence

I can hear sirens, sirens
He hit me and it felt like a kiss
I can hear violins, violins
Give me all of that ultraviolence

We could go back to New York
Loving you was really hard
We could go back to Woodstock
Where they don't know who we are

Heaven is on Earth
I would do anything for you, babe
Blessed is this union
Crying tears of gold like lemonade

I love you the first time, I love you the last time
Yo soy la princesa, comprende mis white lines
'Cause I'm your jazz singer and you're my cult leader
I love you forever, I love you forever

With his ultraviolence
(Lay me down tonight)
(In my linen and curls)
(Lay me down tonight)
(Riviera girls)

I can hear sirens, sirens
He hit me and it felt like a kiss
I can hear violins, violins
Give me all of that ultraviolence

Commercial release Edit

Digital release Edit

Ultraviolence - Single
UV cover Label: Polydor, Interscope
Format: Digital
Released: June 4, 2014
Barcode: None
Photography: Neil Krug
Design: Mat Maitland
# Name Time
1. "Ultraviolence"   4:11
Ultraviolence (Hook N Sling Remix) - Single
UV Hook N Sling Label: Polydor, Interscope
Format: Digital
Released: February 15, 2015
Barcode: None
Photography: None
Design: Uncredited
# Name Time
1. "Ultraviolence" (Hook N Sling Remix) 5:29

Promotional releaseEdit

Ultraviolence CD by Polydor in UKEdit

Credits Edit


  • Lana Del Rey — vocals, background vocals, songwriting
  • Dan Heath — songwriting
  • Dan Auerbach — production, mixing, electric guitar
  • Collin Dupuis — engineering, mixing, drum programming
  • Maximilian Weissenfeldt — drums
  • Nick Movshon — electric bass
  • Leon Michaels — synthesizers, mellotron, piano
  • Russ Pahl — pedal steel
  • Kenny Vaughan & Seth Kaufman — electric guitar
  • Alfreda McCrary Lee, Ann McCrary & Regina McCrary — background vocals
  • John Davis — mastering


Chart (2014) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[19] 34
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[20] 12
Canadian Hot 100 (Billboard)[21] 38
Czech Republic Digital Singles (ČNS IFPI)[22] 59
France (SNEP)[23] 88
Russian Top Radio Hits (Tophit)[24] 160
US Billboard Hot 100[25] 70


  15. ISRC: GBUM71404391
  16. ISRC: GBUM71404603
  17. ISRC: GBUM71405571
  18. ISRC: GBUM71404136
UV Logo Large

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.