16-second sample of Avicii's single Wake Me Up
"Wake Me Up" (stylised as "WAKE ME UP!") is a song by Swedish DJ and music producer Avicii. It features uncredited vocals from American soul singer Aloe Blacc and acoustic guitar from Incubus' Mike Einziger. It was released on 17 June 2013 as the first single from Avicii's full-length debut studio album, True (2013).
Avicii introduced "Wake Me Up" for the first time live on stage at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami. The experimental rendering (it was accompanied by a live band with instruments and vocalists, including Blacc) reportedly confused and angered a section of the electronic dance festival community. Subsequently Avicii achieved critical and commercial success with the release of the single worldwide. "Wake Me Up" peaked at number one in much of Europe and charted well in all of the English-speaking world. The song has been described as a "summer anthem" by Variance Magazine and, throughout the 2013 festival season, Avicii included it as part of the opening or closing sequence of his sets at EDC Las Vegas, EDC London, Tomorrowland, Creamfields, Electric Zoo and the iTunes Festival.
In an interview with the Daily Star, Avicii, who had previously labelled "Wake Me Up!" as "a fun experiment" during an exclusive chat with MTV UK, said: "I had a demo with Mac Davis singing, the guy who wrote all the Elvis Presley stuff, but I needed another singer to do the parts. At the same time I was tipped off about doing another track with Aloe Blacc and I started working on that track. When I was with Mike Einziger from Incubus, we came up with the chord progression and the melody for Wake Me Up but no real lyrics. None of us sing and we really needed to get that demo down and the only person I knew that lived in LA was Aloe, so I called him and he was free. Lyrics come really easy to him so the two of us wrote them in a couple of hours and we finished the track."
Robert Copsey of Digital Spy blog gave the song a positive review, stating:
"As chart-friendly EDM continues to reach the furthest corners of the globe, staying ahead of the pack can prove a tricky task - especially when more and more acts arrive on the scene turning out mixes with identikit build-ups, tired lyrics and uninspired breakdowns that newcomers to the arena lap up with excitement. Kudos to Avicii then, who has dared to try something a little different for his latest offering. "So wake me up when it's all over/ When I'm wiser and I'm older," featured artist Aloe Blacc sings over dialled-up, country-flecked guitar strums that sound like Mumford & Sons on speed. The jig-along chorus may conjure up images of Brits-on-tour, but to be honest, what summer anthem doesn't?" .
The single has peaked at number one in 22 countries to date, including Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Israel and several European countries, in addition to reaching the top 10 in six others.
"Wake Me Up!" has performed well in the North American music markets, having currently peaked in Canada and the United States at number two and number four, respectively. It also reached number one position in the 7 September 2013 issue of Billboard's Dance/Mix Show Airplay Chart. It has sold 2,867,000 copies in the US as of November 2013, and is the fifth best-selling dance/electronic songs in SoundScan history. In Canada it was the second best-selling song of 2013 with 519,000 copies sold (523,000 for all versions combined). In the United States, "Wake Me Up!" was kept off the top three by Katy Perry's "Roar", Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball", and Lorde's "Royals".
In the United Kingdom, "Wake Me Up!" sold 88,000 copies in its first day on sale. The Official Charts Company predicted it to become the fastest-selling single of 2013. In July 2013, "Wake Me Up" reached the number one spot (and stayed at the top for three weeks) and became the fastest-selling single of 2013, having sold 267,000 copies. It was the first single to achieve this feat since The Justice Collective's charity single, "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" in December 2012. The single's first week sales are even more remarkable when considering only charity singles or those released by The X Factor winners have achieved comparable success in the United Kingdom within recent memory. Following three weeks at the summit of the chart, "Wake Me Up" spent a further four consecutive weeks at number two, and a total of 11 consecutive weeks in the top ten. The single spent 32 consecutive weeks - over half a year - in the top 40, before exiting. By October 2013, the single has sold over 1 million copies in the UK, becoming the 140th single to do so in UK chart history and the third single of 2013 to do so, behind Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines".Wake Me Up was the fifth most streamed track of 2013 in the UK. The song also spent nine consecutive weeks at number one on the UK Dance Chart until being dethroned from the top spot by Avicii's next single "You Make Me".
In Ireland, "Wake Me Up" spent seven consecutive weeks at number one.
In Australia, the song debuted at number 42 on 24 June. On the next week, the song skyrocketed to number 2, behind "Blurred Lines". The number position became Avicii's highest charting song, beating "I Could Be the One" record which peaked at number four earlier in the year. It also beat Aloe Blacc's 2011 hit, "I Need a Dollar", which peaked at number 11. A week later, the song hit the top position, ending "Blurred Lines" eight-week reign. On its sixth week at the top, 12 August, the song became the longest-running number one by a Swedish act since Roxette's 1989 hit "The Look".
Covers and use in media
In the United Kingdom, the original release date was intended to be 8 September 2013. In the absence of the original, a group called "Spark Productions" took advantage and released a cover version of it; this version made number 26 on the UK Singles Chart before Avicii conceded to public demand and decided to release it early, with the Official Charts Company announcing on 15 July 2013 that it would be released that week.
A cover of the song in Irish was uploaded onto YouTube on 9 August 2013, by an Irish Language College called 'Coláiste Lurgan'. The video received heavy publicity and popularity within Ireland from many news websites and the public. The video was a viral hit within the country and with Irish abroad, hitting a million views in one week. British band You Me At Six made a country version for BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge. James Shotwel commented that their cover "will be pulling at your heart strings all day long. The once fun-loving track has taken a turn for the melancholy, but it plays so well you’ll hardly think twice about the change."
In Chile, the song was used the promo of Chilean TV Channel Canal 13 in Summer 2014.
A lyric video to accompany the release of "Wake Me Up!" was first released into YouTube on 28 June 2013 at a total length of four minutes and twelve seconds, teaser clips for the official video were also released.
The official video for was released on to YouTube on 29 July 2013. It features two females, the older girl is Russian fashion model Kristina Romanova and the younger girl is Laneya Grace. The video includes cross-promotion from Denim & Supply by Ralph Lauren and Sony Xperia Z smartphone. The video was shot in the Santa Clara River, orange groves and in the town of Piru, California, west of Los Angeles as well as Downtown LA. Avicii concert footage was from Miami.