Imagine Dragons - Bones (Official Music Video)
Imagine Dragons - Bones (Official Music Video)
Hitting the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Top 200 is undoubtedly a huge feat for any band. But perhaps more so for a band that started out of nowhere.
Formed in 2012, Imagine Dragons grew out of Inglewood, California and the surrounding area. The band released their self-titled debut album in 2014 and went on to smash sales records and rack up millions of streams globally with hit singles “Believer,” “Thunder,” and “Young and Wild.”
Now, as the band prepares to release their third studio album, Melodious, they are celebrating by giving fans the ultimate gift: an exclusive premiere of the album's lead single, “Bones.”
“Bones” is a heartfelt ballad that follows the band's frontman, Dr. Nathan Young, as he sings about his experience losing his unborn daughter to miscarriage. It's a story that he has revealed in interviews was extremely difficult for him to share.
“I think that for me, it was hard to put into words what it's like to lose your daughter,” he tells Billboard. “I felt like I was going through the grieving process with my bandmates. We went through a lot of loss together, and this song is a reflection of that.”
The music video for “Bones” beautifully captures the raw emotion that fuels the track. Directed by Marc Klasfeld, the video is an intimate look inside the lives of Young and his bandmates as they navigate a crushing loss and work through their anxieties around it.
“I wanted to put a video out that really captured how personal this album is for us,” says Young. “It's not just about the entertainment value. We wanted to show the world what this album is really like and what we're feeling.”
“Bones” is the first single to be released from Melodious. The album marks Imagine Dragons' first foray into the studio in over a year, and the band is clearly going all out to make the most of their time off. The record was produced by Young along with Grammy Award-winning producer Mike Elizondo (Britney Spears, Fifth Harmony, Pink).
So what will the release of a new album mean for Imagine Dragons? Let's dive into the numbers.
Bones, the first single from Melodious, has already reached No. 8 on the Billboard Top 100 and cracked the Top 10 of both the Billboard Top 200 and the UK Albums Chart. As of December 17, 2018, the album has sold 68,874 copies in the US, according to Nielsen Music.
The album's success comes as no surprise to fans of Imagine Dragons, who have been waiting patiently for new music in the wake of the band's massive success. Since their formation, the band has kept fans engaged through numerous tours, epic performances at festivals, and the release of a steady stream of hit singles.
However, it appears that the band is finally stepping away from their busy schedule to spend some time with their families. On their Instagram page, the band revealed that they had taken a break from touring to spend time with loved ones during the holiday season.
Just as album sales reflect the growing influence of streaming on the music industry, so too does the popularity of “Bones.” As we've mentioned, the song has smashed numerous streaming records, earning over 70 million plays on Spotify. This makes it one of the most streamed songs in the platform's history. It also has the distinction of being the first song to reach over 100 million streams on Spotify.
According to Spotify, “Bones” is the most-streamed song in HISTORY. As of December 17, 2018, the song has accumulated over 70.4 million streams on the platform. The previous record was held by Drake's “God's Plan,” with 70.2 million streams as of December 12, 2018.
Since its release, “Bones” has accrued millions of streams on Spotify. This is primarily because of the song's popularity, and also, perhaps, because it's a ballad that speaks to and resonates with multiple generations. A slow, emotional track, “Bones” allows fans to reflect on their own feelings of loss and to project those onto the character of Dr. Young's daughter. In an interview with Billboard, Young explained how “Bones” came to be:
"I wrote this song pretty quickly, because as I was working on the album, I didn't have a lot of time to write, and I was just kind of in the trenches with the rest of the band. We were all kind of grieving together, and this was one of the first songs that we put down. We wanted to use a lot of mournful strings and synths, and I think that that's what makes this record different from our other records is that there's more of a focus on the emotional side,” says Young.
Live Performance History
Since their inception, Imagine Dragons have been a headlining act and one of the most popular attractions on tour. The band's energetic shows have drawn praise from fans and critics alike. In a Reddit AMA, the band's drummer, Daniel Platzman, shared the band's performance history. According to Platzman, the following is a basic timeline of the band's live performances:
- February 16th, 2018 - Los Angeles, CA @ PlayStation Theater
- June 12th, 2018 - Glendale, AZ @ Gila River Arena
- August 9th, 2018 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Arlene Phillips Theatre
- October 7th, 2018 - Seattle, WA @ Kingdome
- November 4th, 2018 - Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena
The timeline above details the band's US tour, which was in support of their 2019 album, Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Who Wanted to Be a Doctor. However, it appears that the band is stepping away from tours for now to focus on family. In a recent Instagram post, Young mentioned that he and his bandmates had taken a “mini-vacation” during which they did not perform or make public appearances. While the band is taking a break, they have not ruled out the possibility of touring in the future.
While “Bones” has been met with wide praise, it is by no means a universal hit. Like most of the band's previous work, the album features some of their biggest songs, including the anthemic “Thunder” and the acoustic “Young and Wild.”
However, it is the band's most personal work that has resonated with critics. Pitchfork's review of the album referred to “Bones” as a “masterful ballad” that is “certain to speak to anyone who has ever lost a loved one.” The song has been called a “ballad for the ages,” and it is apparent that this is no accident. “Bones” is, in fact, a direct response to the loss of Young's daughter. In an interview with Billboard, Young said that the song is “very therapeutic” and that it comes from a place of “great pain and deep reflection.”
Critics have noted that much like “Never Let Me Go,” the band's 2012 debut single, “Bones” displays “a mature brand of songwriting” that finds them “striking a chord” with listeners.
The Making Of “Bones”
In the same interview with Billboard, Young spoke about how “Bones” came to be.
"The first thing I did was pull up some old photos of my daughter from when she was born and played them back to back to back, just so I could recapture that time. It's funny, because she has this really happy, cheeky grin in all of the photos and I couldn't stop staring at it. It was the first time that I had really looked at her and just remembered what it was like to be a dad. It's an extremely raw emotion and I think that that's what makes this song work so well, because it's very personal,” he said.