7 Songs You Didn’t Know Danger Mouse Wrote for Other Artists

One look at the list below and it’s easy to see the prestigious company that 46-year-old New York-born super producer Danger Mouse keeps. And that doesn’t even take into consideration what the artist (born Brian Joseph Burton) has accomplished in his acclaimed group with CeeLo Green, Gnarls Barkley.

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The songwriter and producer, who got his name from an old popular children’s cartoon character, knows how to create rock songs, pop songs, soul songs, and rap tracks. He’s a genius and the breadth of his career speaks volumes.

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But while he’s earned plenty of accolades, fans may not know his impact on a granular level. Below, we dive into seven songs you likely didn’t know that Danger Mouse wrote for other artists.

1. “Dark Necessities,” Red Hot Chili Peppers

Written by Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith, Danger Mouse, Josh Klinghoffer

The lead single from the band’s 2016 album, The Getaway, a record solely produced by Danger Mouse, this song continues the legacy of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ knack for bridging rock and rap. The song was written by the band and Danger Mouse and it features the producer’s signature penchant for big, fat bass lines. A little bit disco, a little bit funk, the song soars. On it, lead singer Anthony Kiedis sings:

Coming out to the light of day
We got many moons that are deep at play
So I keep an eye on the shadow’s smile
To see what it has to say
You and I both know
Everything must go away
Ah, what do you say?

2. “Ordinary Love,” U2

Written by Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen, Bono, The Edge, Danger Mouse

From the 2013 biopic about the great South African activist and leader Nelson Mandela, this song earned the Irish rock band U2 a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song as well as an Oscar nomination. Reflective and uplifting, two signature traits of U2 as songwriters and performers, the song pays tribute to the anti-apartheid figure. On the song, Bono sings:

The sea wants to kiss the golden shore
The sunlight warms your skin
All the beauty that’s been lost before wants to find us again

I can’t fight you any more, it’s you I’m fighting for
The sea throws rock together but time leaves us polished stones

3. “River Lea,” Adele

Written by Adele, Danger Mouse

Released in 2015 on the British-born big-voiced singer Adele’s album, 25, this song is named after a river in South East England that is located close to where Adele grew up. The song is about time, both lost and passing, like water in a river. What do we do with this sense of loss, with the guilt of it all? Those are the questions Adele asks with her unparalleled voice. She sings:

But it’s in my roots, in my veins
In my blood and I stain every heart that I use to heal the pain

Oh, it’s in my roots, in my veins
In my blood and I stain every heart that I use to heal the pain

So I blame it on the River Lea, the River Lea, the River Lea
Yeah, I blame it on the River Lea, the River Lea, the River Lea

4. “Happy Pills,” Norah Jones

Written by Norah Jones, Danger Mouse

Another song on this list that benefits from Danger Mouse’s signature sonic thump, this track comes from Norah Jones’ 2012 album, Little Broken Hearts. The offering is a breakup song, with Jones saying that she’s better off without the buffoon who broke her heart. And being away from him makes her feel like, yes, she’s taken “happy pills.” Sings the satin-voiced Jones on the track co-written by her and Danger Mouse:

Please just let me go now
Please just let me go
Would you please just let me go now?
Please just let me go

I’ve gotta get ya out
I gotta get ya out
I gotta get you out of my head
Get out
Gotta get you out
I gotta get ya out
I gotta get ya out of my head
Get out!

5. “Feel Good Inc,” Gorillaz

Written by Trugoy the Dove, Damon Albarn, Danger Mouse, Jamie Hewlett

One of this British-born animated band’s most famous songs, “Feel Good Inc” comes from Gorillaz’ 2005 album, Demon Days. This song uses Danger Mouse’s best tricks, a hefty beat mixed with sultry acoustic guitars as he blends rock and rap. The song hit No. 2 in the U.K. and No. 14 in the U.S. and it remains a fan favorite, garnering hundreds of millions of views on YouTube alone. On the song, the group’s frontman Damon Albarn sings:

Windmill, windmill for the land
Turn forever hand in hand
Take it all in on your stride
It is ticking, falling down
Love forever, love is freely
Turned forever, you and me
Windmill, windmill for the land
Is everybody in?

6. “Dead and Gone,” The Black Keys

Written by Danger Mouse, Dan Auerbach, Patrick Carney

From the Ohio-born rockers’ 2011 album, El Camino, which was produced solely by Danger Mouse, this song is one of 11 that the producer helped co-write. Featuring his driving rhythms and the Black Keys’ blues-rock style, the track is sticky and includes influences of glam rock and even funk, all while lead singer Dan Auerbach moans on the mic. He sings:

So long
Why you waiting so long?
After every single word is said
I’m feeling dead and gone

Don’t you drag me alone
If you do, you know I’ll follow you
Until the truth is gone

7. “Love & Hate,” Michael Kiwanuka

Written by Danger Mouse, Michael Kiwanuka, Denzie

From the 2016 album of the same name, this soul song performed by one of the greatest vocalists on the planet today, was co-written by Michael Kiwanuka and Danger Mouse along with Denzie. Since its release, a live version of the song, which you can see below, has garnered more than 100 million views on YouTube. On this mournful, beautiful, mesmerizing offering, the British-born Kiwanuka sings with a brittle rasp:

Standing now
Calling all the people here to see the show
Calling for my demons now to let me go
I need something, give me something wonderful

I believe
She won’t take me somewhere I’m not supposed to be
You can’t steal the things that God has given me
No more pain and no more shame and misery

Photo by Scott Wintrow/Getty Images

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