Off to the Races (song)

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"Off to the Races"
Off to the Races cover.jpg
Promotional single by Lana Del Rey
from the album Born to Die
Released December 20, 2011
Format Digital download
Genre Alternative hip hop
Length 5:01
  • Lana Del Rey
  • Tim Larcombe
Born to Die track listing
"Born to Die"
"Off to the Races"
"Blue Jeans"

"Off to the Races" is a song by American singer and songwriter Lana Del Rey. First appearing on her self-titled Interscope debut, the song was re-released on her second studio album, Born to Die (2012). The song was written by Del Rey and Tim Larcombe. Emile Haynie and Patrik Berger paired up for the song's production. It was released in the UK as iTunes Single of the Week on December 20, 2011; in the Netherlands, "Off to the Races" was released as a digital single on January 6, 2012.


Del Rey employs an "almost rapping" technique, hip-hop beat and heavy basslines, similar to that of "National Anthem" and "Diet Mountain Dew" in the song.[1] Pitchfork Media said the rapping technique was almost "chatting."[2] The song references the novel Lolita, with lyrics such as, "Light of my life, fire of my loins".[3] "Off to the Races" also features elements of cloud rap, such as "the distinct echoing of a hypeman in the background".[4]

Background and performances[edit]

"Off to the Races" was released in the UK as iTunes Single of the Week on December 19, 2011.[5] It was then released as a digital single in the Netherlands on January 6, 2012 on the iTunes Store.[6] A video for "Off to the Races" was released through digital channels and was produced solely by Del Rey, similar to her previous hits,[7][8] the video features Latin American gangsters, femme fatale figures with guns, and a race track.[7] At the Ruby Lounge in Manchester, UK, Del performed the song for the first time, along with "Video Games" and "Blue Jeans", it was the final song of the set.[9][10] She also performed the song on The Endless Summer Tour.

Critical reception[edit]

"Off to the Races" received mixed reviews, having been lyrically described as "a freak show of inappropriate co-dependency",[11] Giving the song a negative review, indie music website Pitchfork said it "...aim[s] for chatty, sparkling opulence," adding that she "doesn't have the personality to bring it off."[2] The Guardian wrote that "Off to the Races' turns Del Rey from vintage siren to R&B hoochie most convincingly. There's jazz in Del Rey's dextrous vocal, and new territory in the swoop and pow of Haynie's undertow."[12] Comparing the song to "Video Games" and "Blue Jeans", The Huffington Post blogged that the song was "...pretty good...and it sounds just as catchy..."[9] Of the song's music video, reviewer Robbie Daw commented: " seems the video’s producer was off to find the cheesiest footage of old shoot-'em-up '80s B-movies for this clip."[7]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[13]
  1. "Off to the Races" – 5:01


Chart (2012) Peak
US Alternative Digital Songs (Billboard)[14] 22
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[15] 40


  1. ^ Nellis, Krystina (30 January 2012). "Lana Del Rey Born to Die Review". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Zoladz, Lindsay (30 January 2012). "Lana Del Rey - Born to Die - Review". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Hogan, Marc. "Lana Del Rey Plays a 'Hood Lolita in 'Off to the Races'". Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Smith, Da'Shan (May 15, 2017). "The Gangsta Nancy Sinatra: 9 Lana Del Rey Songs That Experiment With Hip-Hop". Billboard. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  5. ^ Lapatine, Scott (December 20, 2011). "Lana Del Rey – “Off To The Races” (Studio Version)". Stereogum. SpinMedia. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  6. ^ "iTunes - Muziek - 'Off to the Races - Single' van Lana Del Rey". iTunes Store (in Dutch). 6 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-27. 
  7. ^ a b c Daw Robbie (22 December 2011). "Lana Del Rey Shoots Out Her "Off To The Races" Video". Idolator. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  8. ^ Langshaw, Mark (December 22, 2011). "Lana Del Rey debuts 'Off to the Races' music video – watch now". Digital Spy. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Rao, Mallika (6 November 2011). "'Off To The Races': New Lana Del Rey Song (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  10. ^ Lapatine, Scott (5 November 2011). "Lana Del Rey Debuts "Off To The Races"". Stereogum. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  11. ^ Elan, Pryia (December 21, 2011). "Lana Del Rey, 'Off To The Races'". NME. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  12. ^ Empire, Kitty (29 January 2012). "Lana Del Rey: Born to Die – review". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "Off to the Races – Lana Del Rey – Release Information". AllMusic. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Lana Del Rey – Chart History – Alternative Digital Songs". Billboard. Retrieved December 1, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Lana Del Rey – Chart History – Rock Songs". Billboard. Retrieved December 1, 2012. 

External links[edit]