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14 songs written by Max Martin that you need to listen to

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14 songs written by Max Martin that you need to listen to

Max Martin is a Swedish songwriter, record producer and singer who has worked with some of the biggest names in music. With 22 number one hits under his belt, Martin has established himself as a juggernaut in the music industry and has received numerous Grammy Award nominations over the last two decades. To celebrate the Max Martin tracks in the upcoming musical & Juliet, take a listen to some of the iconic songs either written or co-written by Martin and book your tickets for the musical’s world premiere in London.

Max Martin songs

“Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” – Backstreet Boys

Released in 1997, this track only reached number 3 in the UK charts but has grown to become one of the band’s biggest hits. With a Michael Jackson inspired video based on Thriller to boot, the song was awarded best music video at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards. Oozing with 90s style, this Backstreet Boys song will be performed in & Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

“Baby One More Time” – Britney Spears

Britney’s debut single “Baby One More Time” recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and was released when Britney was just 16 years old. A poppy ballad all about a girl wanting a boy back, the accompanying music video sees Britney in different school-related places from the basketball court to the corridor. The song went to number 1 in 20 countries and turned Britney into an overnight success, rocketing her to stardom. “Baby One More Time” will be performed in & Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

“Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd

Sending The Weeknd to the top of the charts around the world, “Can’t Feel My Face” is one of six songs by The Weeknd co-written by Martin. Uniting funk and pop sounds together, the track was likened to an early Michael Jackson song, and was subsequently nominated for record of the year at the 2016 Grammy Awards, losing out to Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”. “Can’t Feel My Face” will be performed in & Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

“Love Me Like You Do” – Ellie Goulding

The angelic-like tone of Goulding’s voice as she captures a woman’s desire to be with a man in “Love Me Like You Do” was loved by audiences ever since it was recorded for the 2015 Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. The song was nominated for 13 awards including best original song at the Golden Globes and best pop solo performance at the Grammy Awards. “Love Me Like You Do” will be performed in & Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

“It’s My Life” – Bon Jovi

Ever since it began to play on the radios in 2000, “It’s My Life” has become one of Bon Jovi’s biggest rock anthems, performed during the band’s last 10 tours. With a heart-thumping guitar and raspy vocals, the song attracted younger listeners to the band and ensured that Bon Jovi’s music would continue to be played to generations.

“Breakaway” – Kelly Clarkson

The 2004 smash hit saw Kelly Clarkson at the top of the US contemporary charts, but it was originally meant to be sung by Avril Lavigne. With a swaying rhythm and heartfelt lyrics, the song charts a young girl’s journey through adulthood as she gains her independence. Released for the film “The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement” and later re-released for her 2006 album also titled Breakaway, the song proved to be a hit years later, with “Breakaway” gaining Kelly Clarkson her first Grammy Award.

“Who Knew” – Pink

Max Martin, Pink and Lukasz Gottwald collaborated to write “Who Knew”, a 2006 track sung by Pink that went on to hit the top spot in the US Mainstream Billboard Chart. During the song, Pink reflects on the loss of a good friend, with guitars and violins providing accompaniment to her earthy tones. The track features on her second album “I’m Not Dead”.

“I Kissed a Girl” – Katy Perry

One of her earliest singles, “I Kissed a Girl” sent Katy Perry into superstardom, with people around the world listening to the track ensuring it topped the charts in 19 countries. Released in 2008, the song initially appears as a sugary, sweet track, yet was scolded for its seemingly inappropriate lyrics and social commentary. Yet, the pop anthem won Katy Perry her first People’s Choice Award, ensuring a lengthy career in the music industry.

“DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” – Usher

The infectious rhythm of “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” had audiences listening to the song on repeat, as the club track soared its way up worldwide music charts. Co-written by four people including Pitbull who also features in the song, the track marks the first time Usher sang a Max Martin original. The blend of pop and electronic sounds was favoured by listeners, with a nomination for top radio song at the Billboard Awards and charting in the top ten in over fifteen countries, becoming one of Usher’s most successful songs.

“Domino” – Jessie J

One of the lead singles from Jessie J’s debut album “Who You Are”, the pulsating, dance-pop rhythm of “Domino” helped solidify the starlet’s career by reaching the top spot in the UK charts. Released in 2011, the blend of catchy lyrics and the high-energy musical accompaniment ensured the track stood out, with the song later nominated for best British single at the 2013 Brit Awards.

“I Knew You Were Trouble” – Taylor Swift

Along with “22” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” on Taylor Swift’s 2012 album Red, “I Knew You Were Trouble” was the final single released off the album to be co-written and co-produced by Max Martin. Swift performed the song around the world, the song grew into a musical phenomenon for its lyrics and video, with the song winning best music video at the 2013 Music Video Awards.

“Break Free” – Ariana Grande

Just one of 30 songs to feature lyrics by Max Martin in 2014, “Break Free” was an instant pop hit for Ariana Grande and has sold just shy of 2 million copies. Fusing components of a chart-topping pop song with an electronic sounding tone, “Break Free” was remarked to be “too catchy to be generic”.

“Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” – Adele

One of Adele’s singles from the 25 album, “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” was the debut collaboration of her and Max Martin. Even though the song reflects on a previous suitor, the track has an upbeat tempo with a swinging rhythm throughout that was a marked change from previous ballads released by the musician.

“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” – Justin Timberlake

One of the feel-good tracks of 2016, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” featured in the Trolls animated film in the same year. Bringing a disco sound into the modern day, audiences fell in love with the infectiously happy message behind the song and was one of the biggest-selling songs in 2016. Even though the film version stars Anna Kendrick, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel and Gwen Stefani on the track, the Grammy Award was given to Justin Timberlake for the best song written for visual media.

& Juliet isn’t the only musical with songs written by famous musicians, with these soundtracks from jukebox musicals showcasing the finest pop songs for the stage.

Photo credit: Näringsdepartementet (Wikipedia) under CC 2.0