According to Billboard, Unorthodox Jukebox sold as many as 40,000 copies during the week ending on Feb. 2, an increase of 164 percent over the previous week. Mashable also reports that Mars’ sophomore album and 2010 debut, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, held down the No. 1 and 3 spots, respectively, on the iTunes album chart on Monday, and that “14 versions of 12 of his songs snagged spots on iTunes Top Songs.”
Sunday’s Super Bowl performance capped a big week for the 28-year-old pop star. On Jan. 26, Mars took home the Grammy for Best Pop Album, and his performance at the Super Bowl was a highlight in an otherwise lackluster game, a 43-8 blowout by the Seattle Seahawks over the Denver Broncos. Beginning his performance with a drum solo over Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire,” one of the first hits on which Mars was featured, he brought a noticeable James Brown vibe to performances of “Locked Out of Heaven” and “Runaway Baby,” before ceding the stage to the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ performance of “Give It Away.” Mars capped off his set with a stirring rendition of “Just the Way You Are” that featured an introduction from members of the military and their families. All told, it was a captivating performance from Mars, who became the youngest artist ever to headline the Super Bowl halftime show.
The same could not be said for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who have had to deal with embarrassing questions of credibility following their performance, in which the bass and lead guitars of group members Flea and Josh Klinghoffer were never plugged in. Although Flea is widely regarded as one of the most talented bassists of his generation, the Chili Peppers use of pre-recorded guitar, bass, and drum tracks on “Give It Away” has brought the band unwanted attention and criticism, and yesterday, Flea took to the group’s website to address those concerns, stating:
We take our music playing seriously, it is a sacred thing for us, and anyone who has ever seen us in concert (like the night before the Super Bowl at the Barclays Center), knows that we play from our heart, we improvise spontaneously, take musical risks, and sweat blood at every show. There was a lot of confusion amongst us as whether or not we should do it, [but the group ultimately decided that] with Anthony singing live...we could still bring the spirit and freedom of what we do into the performance, and of course we played every note in the recording specially for the gig. We thought it better to not pretend.”
It was like making a music video in front of a gazillion people, except with live vocals, and only one chance to rock it.”