Dark Paradise

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"Dark Paradise"
Single by Lana Del Rey
from the album Born to Die
Released March 1, 2013 (2013-03-01)
Genre Trip hop[1]
  • 4:04 (album version)
  • 3:52 (radio version)
Producer(s) Emile Haynie
Lana Del Rey singles chronology
"Dark Paradise"
"Young and Beautiful"

"Dark Paradise"
"Young and Beautiful"

"Dark Paradise" is a song recorded by American singer and songwriter Lana Del Rey for her debut studio album, Born to Die (2012). It was written by Lana Del Rey and Rick Nowels, while production was handled by Emile Haynie. Nowels and Devrim Karaoglu produced the radio mix of the song, the song was released on March 1, 2013, by Universal and Vertigo Records, as the sixth and final single from Born to Die.

The song received mainly mixed reviews from critics, many criticizing her melodramatic performance, also with the repetition of production and lyrical content. However, many believed the attraction of the criticism proved it as a highlight. Noticeably less successful than other singles from the album, "Dark Paradise" managed to gain some commercial success in Central Europe, becoming a top five hit on Polish airplay, it was also featured in an episode of The Originals, a spin-off of The Vampire Diaries.

The song was recorded by psychobilly band Tiger Army, released in 2018 on the EP of the same name.

Background and release[edit]

In an interview in June 2012, Del Rey said she would not release the song as a single but did plan to release a music video in September 2012.[2] However, no music video was released, and on January 29, 2013, an official radio edit of "Dark Paradise" was serviced to German radio stations, on the same day, it was announced that the song would serve as the fifth single in Austria and Germany, and the sixth single in Switzerland.[3] It was released as a digital download in the three countries on March 1, 2013.

Lyrics and composition[edit]

Billboard said about the song's lyrics: "Del Rey once again declares her undying love for her bad-boy lover," adding that the song's melody "recalls late-'80s Madonna".[4]

Critical reception[edit]

The song garnered mixed reviews from critics. Most critical reviews came from the melodramatic tone of the song, along with the lyrical content and repetitive production. Billboard gave the song a negative review, saying that "fatigue sets in" when this song comes up on the album, and that the song "would be a subpar ballad for Del Rey" even if she had never released "Blue Jeans" or "Video Games".[4] Jaime Gill from BBC Music used the song as an example as why "Born to Die" isn't perfect, saying that "it slumps slightly towards the end, and the glossy trip-hop production grows wearying on lesser [G]othic melodramas like Dark Paradise."[1] David Edwards from Drowned in Sound said along with "Carmen" that they weren't the best tracks on the album, saying "The dreary fallen angel whimsy of ‘Carmen’ sums up precisely the unfocused drift that critics often use to malign her and on songs such as ‘Dark Paradise’, the caricature extends beyond our empathy."[5]

On the other hand, many critics believed that the criticism towards the song attracted it as a standout towards the album. Los Angeles Times named it among the best tracks on the album along with "Video Games" and "Summertime Sadness".[6] MuuMuse highlighted the album as a standout, saying "Yet beneath the song’s gothic exterior lies an deeply romantic sentiment, suggesting that love trumps all circumstances–even death [...]"[7]

Track listings[edit]

All tracks written by Lana Del Rey and Rick Nowels.

CD single and digital download[8][9]
1."Dark Paradise" (Radio Mix)
  • Nowels
  • Devrim Karaoglu
2."Dark Paradise"Emile Haynie4:04
Total length:7:56

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Born to Die and Dark Paradise.[10][11]

Technical and production
  • John Davis - mastering
  • Chris Galland - mixing assistant
  • Larry Gold - string arrangement, conductor
  • Emile Haynie - production (Album Version)
  • Devrim Karaoglu - production (Radio Mix)
  • Erik Madrid - mixing assistant
  • Manny Marroquin - mixing
  • Rick Nowels - co-production (Album Version); production (Radio Mix)
  • Steve Tirpak - string assistant


Chart (2013) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[12] 42
Germany (Official German Charts)[13] 45
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 100) [14] 5
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[15] 48

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format(s) Label
Austria[16] March 1, 2013


  1. ^ a b BBC - Music - Review of Lana Del Rey - Born to Die
  2. ^ Cotton, Fearne. "Lana Del Rey — Interview with Fearne Cotton on Radio 1 (June 21st 2012)". Radio 1. SoundCloud. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Lana Del Rey choisit "Dark Paradise" comme nouvel extrait de l'album "Born to Die"
  4. ^ a b OutBrain (25 January 2012). "Lana Del Rey's 'Born To Die': Track-By-Track Review". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Lana Del Rey - Born to Die - The Paradise Edition / Releases / Releases // Drowned In Sound
  6. ^ Roberts, Randall (27 January 2012). "Album review: Lana Del Rey's 'Born to Die'". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  7. ^ Lana Del Rey: Born To Die (Album Review) | MuuMuse
  8. ^ a b "Dark Paradise (2-Track)". Amazon.de. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Dark Paradise". Amazon.de. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  10. ^ Born to Die (booklet). Lana Del Rey. London, United Kingdom; Santa Monica, California: Polydor Records, Interscope Records. 2012. 
  11. ^ Dark Paradise (Media notes). London, United Kingdom; Santa Monica, California: Polydor Records, Interscope Records. 2013. 
  12. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Lana Del Rey – Dark Paradise" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  13. ^ "Musicline.de – Lana Del Rey Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  14. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  15. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Lana Del Rey – Dark Paradise". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  16. ^ "Dark Paradise (2013)". 7digital Austria. Archived from the original on April 18, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Dark Paradise (2013)". 7digital Germany. Archived from the original on April 18, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Dark Paradise (2013)". 7digital Switzerland. Archived from the original on April 18, 2014. 

External links[edit]