|"Call Me Maybe"|
|Single by Carly Rae Jepsen|
|from the album Curiosity and Kiss|
"Both Sides Now"|
"Talk to Me"
|Released||September 20, 2011|
2009-July 2010; Richmond, British Columbia, Canada|
|Carly Rae Jepsen singles chronology|
"Call Me Maybe" is a song recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen for her EP Curiosity (2012) which also appears on her second studio album, Kiss (2012). The song was written by Jepsen and Tavish Crowe as a folk song, but its genre was modified to pop following the production by Josh Ramsay. It was released as the lead single from the EP on September 20, 2011, through 604 Records. Jepsen was signed to Schoolboy Records, releasing her single in the United States through the label, as the first single from Kiss. Musically, "Call Me Maybe" is a pop and teen pop track that alludes to the inconvenience that a love at first sight brings to a girl who hopes for a call back from a new crush.
"Call Me Maybe" reached number one in Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, while peaking inside the top three in Austria, Belgium (Flanders & Wallonia), Germany, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. After reaching the top position on the Canadian Hot 100, Jepsen became only the fifth Canadian artist to do so in her home country since 2007. In the United States, the track reached number one on the Mainstream Top 40 chart, and is the first number one by a Canadian female artist on the Billboard Hot 100 chart since 2007's "Girlfriend" by Avril Lavigne.
An accompanying music video was directed by Ben Knechtel. In it, Jepsen seeks the attention of an attractive boy next door who is revealed at the close of the story to be attracted to a male band member. As part of promotion for the song, Jepsen performed the track on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she made her US television debut, and at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards. "Call Me Maybe" has been covered by several artists, including Kelly Clarkson, Fun, Big Time Rush, Lil Wayne and Cody Simpson, and parodied by Cookie Monster and some of the news staff of National Public Radio. It was also covered on "The New Rachel", the season premiere episode of the fourth season of Glee.
"Call Me Maybe" was nominated for two Grammy Awards, for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance at the 55th Annual ceremony, but lost to "We Are Young" by Fun and the live performance of "Set Fire to the Rain" by Adele, respectively. On December 11, 2012, "Call Me Maybe" was named Song of the Year for 2012 by MTV. In its 2012 Year-End issue, Billboard magazine ranked this song #2 in the Hot 100 Songs, Digital Songs, and Canadian Hot 100 charts, in each case behind "Somebody That I Used to Know", by Gotye featuring Kimbra. The song was also ranked number one by the Village Voice's annual Pazz and Jop poll, which compiles the votes of music critics from all over the United States. The song was the best-selling single worldwide in 2012, selling over 12 million copies in that year alone, and the best-selling single on the iTunes Store in 2012. With worldwide sales, quoted in one source in July 2015 as over 18 million copies, it became the best selling single of the century by a female artist. "Call Me Maybe" was the best-selling digital single of 2012, and is the seventh best-selling digital single of all time.
"Call Me Maybe" was initially written by Jepsen and Tavish Crowe as a folk song, while they were on tour. Jepsen stated that the writing process was easy, and that she wasn't "over-thinking it. We brought in Josh, and he helped us kind of pop-ify it." The following days, she recorded the track at the Umbrella Studios in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. Jepsen later stated that it is "basically a pick up. What person hasn't wanted to approach somebody before and stopped because it's scary? I know I have." "Call Me Maybe" had been first released in Canada only through 604 Records on September 20, 2011.
In December 2011, dating pop singers Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez were in Canada and heard the track on the radio. After they tweeted about it on their personal profiles, Jepsen instantly gained international attention, and got signed by Scooter Braun to his Schoolboy Records. Bieber's tweet said the song "is possibly the catchiest song I've ever heard..." Braun revealed that Bieber has "never jumped out and promoted an artist like this before. He sends me different YouTube videos of unsigned artists that he'd like to work with, but never someone who already had a song out and is on the radio." Worldwide distribution of the single was done through Interscope Records.
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"Call Me Maybe" was written by Jepsen and Crowe, with additional writing and song production by Josh Ramsay. Lyrically, the song describes the "infatuation and inconvenience of a love at first sight," as described by Bill Lamb of About.com. During the pre-chorus, Jepsen states how she suddenly becomes attracted to a person, singing, "Your stare was holding, ripped jeans, skin was showing/Hot night, wind was blowing/Where you think you're going, baby?" As the chorus begins, the background incorporates synthesized string chords, and Jepsen explains that her feelings towards the guy are unexpected, "Hey, I just met you, And this is crazy, But here's my number, So call me maybe."
Melody Lau of Rolling Stone wrote that "Call Me Maybe" is a "Taylor Swift meets Robyn" song. Jon O'Brien of AllMusic stated that the songs of Curiosity recall the bubblegum pop era of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, and added that "Call Me Maybe" is a teen pop song with "a chorus that just about straddles that fine line between sugary sweet and sickly." Tiffany Lee of Yahoo! Music deemed it as an instant summer hit, and added that "Call Me Maybe" has "a good beat, great melody and catchy lyrics; something you and your friends can belt out in the car while driving to the beach, a party, and pretty much anywhere." Jon Caramanica of The New York Times wrote that the song is "breezy and sweet, an eyelash-fluttering flirtation run hard through the Disney-pop model of digitized feelings and brusque, chipper arrangements."
According to Musicnotes.com, "Call Me Maybe" is written in the key of G major with a moderate tempo of 120 beats per minute. Jepsen's vocals span from G3 to C5, and the song follows a key progression of Cmaj7-G/D-Cmaj7-G/D.
The song received critical acclaim from music critics. Rolling Stone journalist Melody Lau considered "Call Me Maybe" "a sugary dance-pop tune ... about hoping for a call back from a crush," while Kat George of VH1 described it as a eurodance tune, a "guilty pop pleasure."
Emma Carmichael of Gawker did a long review on the track, which she described as the "new perfect pop song." Carmichael further added that the song is "flawless" and that "we will be virtually incapable of escaping the song and its strident disco strings and that horribly catchy hook." Nicole James of MTV revealed that "Call Me Maybe" is probably the catchiest song she has ever heard, and added that "I don't even want to tell you what the play count is in my iTunes for that song, but the moment you press play you're sucked in."
The Village Voices Maura Johnston deemed it as an "utterly earwormy" song.RedEyes Emily Van Zandt began her review of the track saying, "screw you, Internet. Thanks to a couple of posts on blogs that I refuse to own up to following, my afternoon has been dedicated to Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe'." Van Zandt continued to state that "all I know is that I have co-dependency issues when it comes to my music. When it's sad, I'm sad. When it's angry, I'm angry. And when it's ridiculously over-produced, up-tempo bubblegum pop with terrible lyrics on a beautiful day in Chicago when I'm wearing pink pants, I just kind of want to start skipping around handing my number out to random bros, you know?" Jim Farber of the New York Daily News said, "In lyrical construction, melodic flourish and instrumental arrangement, 'Maybe' has the urgency and sweep of the greatest teen pop songs ever recorded."
Pitchfork Media named "Call Me Maybe" the 29th best song of 2012, while Rolling Stone named it the 50th greatest single of that year. It was voted the best single of 2012 by The Village Voices 40th annual Pazz & Jop critics' poll. As of April 2017, Billboard ranked at number 1 on list "The Best Chorus of the 21st Century".
"Call Me Maybe" achieved commercial success in Canada, and later in the United States and around the world. The song is Jepsen's third single to enter the Canadian Hot 100, debuting at number 97 for the week of October 22, 2011. For the week of February 11, 2012, "Call Me Maybe" reached number one in its 17th week on the Canadian Hot 100. By doing so, Jepsen became the fifth Canadian artist ever to reach the top position on the new chart in her home country, after Avril Lavigne, Nelly Furtado, Nikki Yanofsky, and Young Artists for Haiti. Jepsen commented that she feels "ultimately honored to be mentioned among those names. These are all artists I look up to in a big way. I have their music, they've been on my records since I can remember. It's really hard to believe. It's cool because at the same time, it's all that I've all ever been working for." The song has since been certified 7× Platinum by the Music Canada (MC), and has sold over 560,000 units of the track in the country. For the chart for the week of January 12, 2013, the song jumped from number 43 back into the top 40 at number 27.
In the United States, the song debuted at number 38 on the Billboard Hot 100 on the week of March 10, 2012 with 80,000 downloads. The song entered the top ten on the chart the week April 14, 2012 at number #10. The song reached number one on the week ending June 23, 2012 and spent nine consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. She is the first Canadian female artist to have a number one on Billboard Hot 100 in five years since Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend", which reached number one on the week of May 5, 2007, making her the first Canadian artist to have a number one in 2010s. The song is only the fourth song to log seven weeks at number one by an artist from Canada, tied with "Sh-Boom" by The Crew-Cuts, "Informer" by Snow featuring MC Shan, and "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" by Bryan Adams. Three weeks earlier, it had reached number one on the Digital Songs component chart. The track also reached number one on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. The song is Jepsen's first entry on the Billboard charts in the country, which made her the first lead woman since Kesha with her single "Tik Tok" to have her debut single peak at such position. "Call Me Maybe" holds the record for the longest run at number one on the US Hot 100 among female Canadian artists and tied with Percy Faith's 1960 song, "Theme from a Summer Place," for the longest among all Canadian artists. "Call Me Maybe" was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), becoming third female artist to achieve with her own single and first a Canadian female artist to achieve, and as of August 2015, it has sold 7.6 million copies in the US, making it the country's twelfth all-time best-selling digital single.
"Call Me Maybe" debuted at number 39 in Australia on the chart issue dated March 18, 2012, and four weeks later, rose to number one. It remained at the top for five consecutive weeks, before falling to number two. The song has since been certified nine-times Platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), denoting shipments of 630,000 copies. The song also made its debut on the country's chart for the week of March 5, 2012 at number 22, reaching the top position four weeks later. It remained at the top for five consecutive weeks, before falling to number two. By August 2012, "Call Me Maybe" had been certified three-times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ), surpassing digital sales of 45,000 units. "Call Me Maybe" became New Zealand's best selling single in 2012, placed at the top spot by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand.
"Call Me Maybe" performed well in Europe also, topping the charts in France, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The song debuted in the Republic of Ireland on March 15, 2012. The song went to number one the following week, March 22, 2012, and stayed consecutively at number one for four weeks. while attaining top three positions in Austria, Belgium (Flanders & Wallonia), Germany, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. In the United Kingdom, the song debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart on April 8, 2012 - for the week ending date April 14, 2012 - where it stayed for 4 weeks, selling nearly 107,000 copies in the first week. The song became the third fastest selling single of 2012 in the country, behind DJ Fresh and Rita Ora's track "Hot Right Now" and Cheryl Cole's "Call My Name". "Call Me Maybe" remained at number one for a second week on April 15, 2012, keeping Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend" reaching such position after outselling it by two to one. In its fourth week on the chart, the song stayed at number one with 99,569 copies sold after three consecutive weeks selling over 100,000 copies. The song became Britain's second best-selling single of 2012, with 1,143,000 copies sold. As of April 2017, "Call Me Maybe" has sold 1.35 million copies in the UK, making it the 11th biggest selling song by a woman in that country.
The music video for "Call Me Maybe" was written and directed by Ben Knechtel. It was released in 2012. According to Knechtel, the main idea behind the concept was to have a "twist at the end", trying to get away from the idea of the classic "boy meets a girl" story. The music video has over 1.0 billion views on YouTube as of May 2018.
The video begins with Jepsen spying on her attractive tattooed neighbour (Holden Nowell) as he is working on his lawn. As he takes his shirt off and notices she is staring at him, Jepsen slips on her high heels and falls below her window. She is reading the books Love at First Sight (Men In Uniform) by B.J. Daniels and Skylar's Outlaw by Linda Warren. The scene then cuts to her garage, where she is rehearsing the track with her band. Following the rehearsals, her bandmates push her to go and wash her car, where she tries to gain her neighbour's attention with various provocative poses only to fall from the hood of the car. She is briefly knocked out from the fall, during which she dreams of a romance novel-type encounter with her crush against the backdrop of Peggys Cove. As she comes to, the neighbour then helps her get up, and watches the band rehearse the track again. After turning and writing down her telephone number, Jepsen sees her neighbour pass one of her male bandmates (Tavish Crowe) his own number, indicating he is gay, where the very end shows that Jepsen is taken aback by this. The video received three nominations on the 2012 MuchMusic Video Awards in the categories of UR Fave Video, Pop Video of the Year, and Video of the Year.
In 2018, Holden Nowell talked publicly about the gay scene in the music video. "The fact that they had to make me gay at the end of the video ... it was all very ... I didn't like being known as the gay guy in the 'Call Me Maybe' video. It was just something I wasn't used to," Nowell told iHeartRadio Canada. In the original storyline he should have kissed a guy in the music video. But Holden suggested the alternative storyline, where he just gave the guitarist his phone number: "I was like, 'I'm going to be completely honest with you. I'm not going to kiss a guy, especially for $500.' I said, 'I really don't think I'm comfortable kissing a guy for a music video [...] I said, 'You know what? What if instead of me kissing a guy at the end of the video, what if I just give a guy my number or something like that?'".
On March 26, 2012, Jepsen visited WBBM-FM's Morning Show and performed two tracks of her EP, "Call Me Maybe" and "Curiosity". Days later, the singer made her US television debut during The Ellen DeGeneres Show performing "Call Me Maybe". Emily Exton of Pop Dust summarized the performance, writing, "delivering fairly true-to-radio vocals that seemed to overcome any lingering nerves performing for millions of viewers (and your sorta boss?) might bring on, Carly left the security of the mike stand to move beneath the oversized dandelion lights during the final moments of her euphoric head-bobber." She also performed an acoustic version of the song on Kidd Kraddick in the Morning and KISS 92.5. On May 2, 2012, on a visit to Australia, she performed "Call Me Maybe" on the TV show Sunrise. On May 20, 2012, Jepsen performed the track on the 2012 Billboard Music Awards. On June 9, 2012, Jepsen performed the track with Justin Bieber on the Capital FM Summertime Ball 2012 at Wembley Stadium, London.
On June 17, 2012, Jepsen performed the song at 2012 MuchMusic Video Awards. On July 22, 2012, Jepsen performed the song at 2012 Teen Choice Awards. She also performed the song on CBBC show Friday Download on April 27, 2012, even though the show is pre-recorded. On August 26, 2012, Jepsen performed the song live at the U.S. Open Arthur Ashe Kids' Day, in what began as a pro-am doubles tennis match (Mardy Fish and Jepsen vs. Novak Djokovic and Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin) but quickly became a musical performance initiated by Djokovic and Franklin, with chair umpire Matthew Morrison (of the TV show Glee) handing a microphone to the seemingly surprised Jepsen. During the number, the tennis court was filled with ball kids doing choreographed dance moves, a four-piece back-up band, a juggle, a marching band, Djokovic pushing a lawn mower as in the official video, and many other performers. Carly Rae Jepsen and Harvey Keitel performed "Call Me Maybe" alternating their own version of it during Comedy Central's Night of Too Many Stars Autism benefit show on October 21, 2012. In 2013, she performed the song at grand launching of NET..
A number of parody and lip dub videos have been released throughout the internet since the song's release. Big Time Rush, Ashley Tisdale, Justin Bieber, and Selena Gomez uploaded a parody video to YouTube on February 18, 2012; it instantly turned viral, having over 75 million views as of May 2018. Pop singer Katy Perry also released a similar viral video with her friends on April 19, 2012, while hosts and members of the E! TV series Fashion Police released theirs on May 4, 2012. On May 23, 2012, a compilation from several fan videos was uploaded to Jepsen's Vevo page. The Harvard University baseball team uploaded a lip-sync video to the song on YouTube on May 6, 2012, which it had recorded on the way to a game over spring break. As of May 2018, it had been viewed over 19 million times. The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders have also made a cover of the song that has garnered over 24 million views as of May 2018. On July 11, 2012, English football club Crystal Palace released a cover version, in which the Crystal Palace cheerleaders squad, "the Crystals", sang and danced along to Call Me Maybe. A promotional campaign to encourage the sale of seasons tickets at the club, it was dubbed "Call Me Crystals". The cover has been viewed over 3 million times to date.
In July 2012, members of the United States Armed Forces stationed in Kandahar International Airport, Afghanistan had released another lip dub video with the idea to show troops in a more positive, light-hearted way. There has also been an auto-tune satire version produced from clips of Barack Obama.New York Mets infielder Justin Turner has also used the song as his at-bat music at home games. On July 3, 2012, Mabson Enterprises released a digital-only compilation on Bandcamp comprising 43 versions of the track remixed or covered including tracks by Dan Deacon, Ear Pwr, Poingly and Sean Carnage. On July 20, 2012, The cast of Hollywood Heights, Cody Longo, Brittany Underwood, Carlos Ponce, Melissa Ordway, Jama Williamson, Meredith Salenger, among others, made a cover version of them lip singing and dancing along to the song on set of the show. On July 26, 2012, the United States Olympic Swim Team posted a video of them lip syncing to the song at practice and on the way to London for the Olympics. On July 30, 2012, a mashup video featuring NASA videos of the Mars Science Laboratory was posted on YouTube, just a week before the Curiosity rover landed on Mars. The video was then updated after the landing and played for the Mars Curiosity Rover team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as the wake up video for Sol 18 on August 24, 2012. The cast of The Big Bang Theory made a flashmob of the song on October 23, 2012 during the live taping of an episode.
A number of covers also emerged since the song's release. On June 7, 2012, producer Chi Duly released "Call Me Calvin (Chi Duly Edit)", a mashup which replaced the original backing of "Call Me Maybe" with Calvin Harris' singles "I'm Not Alone", "Feel So Close", and "We Found Love".
On July 10, 2012, the Sesame Workshop released a parody of the song, called "Share it Maybe", which features "Cookie Monster-ified lyrics". A cover of the song released by Carly Rae Jepsen Tribute Team peaked at number 49 on the UK Singles Chart for one week and another version by Hit Masters spent the same amount of time on the chart but peaked 23 places lower, at number 72. American indie pop band Fun covered "Call Me Maybe" in an acoustic form at an in-studio session for Dutch radio's 3FM. On May 8, 2012, folk artist Ben Howard covered the song for BBC Radio. Renditions from other notable people include James Franco and Colin Powell. On July 30, 2012, video game developer Her Interactive, well known for the Nancy Drew computer games, added a new video parody of the song about Nancy Drew, titled "Call Me Nancy, Second Chance Me", a reference to the "Second Chance" feature in its games. On August 17, 2012, the song was chosen for Kelly Clarkson's fan request song during her concert at the Summer MixTape Festival in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
On the fourth season of Glee premiere episode "The New Rachel", they covered Call Me Maybe as a way to decide who the "new Rachel" will be. During the fourth season of The X Factor (Australia), the finalists recorded and performed a cover of "Call Me Maybe" as a charity single in aid of Sony Foundation's You Can program. During the third season of The Voice contestant MacKenzie Bourg from Team CeeLo performed the song.Girls Aloud covered Call Me Maybe live during their Ten: The Hits Tour. Los Angeles comedy punk band The Radioactive Chicken Heads recorded a punk rock version of the song in November 2012, also releasing a music video concurrently with their punk rock cover of Taylor Swifts "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together". During the first episode of the 8th season of America's Got Talent, aired on June 4, 2013, The 3 Penny Chorus and Orchestra directed by Arianne Abela did a cover of "Call Me Maybe", arranged by Colin Britt and Arianne Abela. In 2013, New York-based music collective Postmodern Jukebox released a cover of this song remade into a Jazz song, which is mostly 1920s Gatsby style."Weird Al" Yankovic briefly covered the song as part of his polka medley "NOW That's What I Call Polka!" for his 2014 album Mandatory Fun. For the thirtieth anniversary of The MathWorks in 2014, a group of employees created a flashmob-style parody version called "Call Me Nerdy."
The song was used in other television shows as well, including Castle, Jane by Design, Degrassi: The Next Generation, 90210, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Taiwan's CTi News morning show also uses the song as a segue between news and commercial segments and in its promo spots. An achievement/trophy in the 2013 video game Grid 2 is named "Here's My Number, Call Me Maybe", a reference to the song. In the 2012 animated film Hotel Transylvania, there's a parody of the song called 'Call Me Mavy'. The song is also used in the films Suck Me Shakespeer 2, Sing and Wilson. The song is also referenced in "Favorite Song" by Ben Rector on his 2015 album Brand New. The song has also been sampled in other songs including 3LAU's single "Pretty Language", DJ Earworm's singles "Fly" and "Shine Brighter", Kitty's single "Give Me Scabies", The Sxplay's single "Star Drop", A. G. Cook's single "HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH?", Pomplamoose's single "Do Not Push", and Neil Cicierega's single "Numbers". Call Me Maybe appears in 2012 video game, Just Dance 4
Jepsen also appeared on the late-night NBC talk show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, in which she joined Fallon and the house band, The Roots, singing the song while performing it with classroom instruments.
Credits adapted from Curiosity and Kiss album liner notes.
|Australia (ARIA)||9× Platinum||630,000^|
|Austria (IFPI Austria)||Platinum||30,000*|
|Canada (Music Canada)||8× Platinum||640,000^|
|Denmark (IFPI Denmark)||3× Platinum||90,000^|
|Germany (BVMI)||5× Gold||750,000^|
|Italy (FIMI)||2× Platinum||100,000*|
|Netherlands (NVPI)||2× Platinum||40,000^|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||3× Platinum||45,000*|
|South Korea (Gaon Chart)||2,260,136|
|Sweden (GLF)||4× Platinum||160,000^|
|Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)||3× Platinum||90,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||2× Platinum||1,350,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Diamond||10,000,000|
|Venezuela (APFV)||4× Platinum||40,000^|
|Denmark (IFPI Denmark)||4× Platinum||7,200,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
Since May 9, 2013, RIAA certifications for digital singles include on-demand audio and/or video song streams in addition to downloads.=1
|Country / region||Date||Format||Label|
|Canada||September 20, 2011||Digital download||604|
|Taiwan||January 1, 2012||Schoolboy, Interscope|
|Europe||February 20, 2012|
|United States||February 22, 2012|
|Brazil||February 24, 2012|
|United Kingdom||March 30, 2012||Digital EP|
|United States||April 17, 2012||CD single||Schoolboy, Interscope|
|Germany||April 27, 2012|