The singer released "Versace on the Floor," the second song from his third album 24K Magic, available Nov. 18. The title track, released Oct. 7, debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
It's been four years since Mars released his last album, Unorthodox Jukebox. Though he lent his vocals to Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk!" and continued to write music for artists like Adele, Mars wanted the music on 24K Magic to make an even bigger impact. "Bro, it's the hardest," the singer-songwriter admitted in Rolling Stone's Nov. 17 issue. "Every beat has already been made, every rhyme has already been said, every chord progression has already been done. I'm competing with billions of other songs...It's like winning the lottery—you just gotta get lucky."
Mars also previewed "Versace on the Floor" for Rolling Stone. "I could play you six different versions of this song," he said. The original demo, which he referred to as the "poolside version," featured Mars telling his girl they can "fly through a storm on a unicorn...Make love on a mountain, bathe in a fountain." The singer laughed listening to it again. "I'm really promising!"
"So, I'm smiling at these lines. I play it for people and they're smiling; it's awesome. But what's the beat doing? We're lounging. I don't want to make poolside music. Let's make it feel like these unicorns we're talking about," he said. After remixing the beat, Mars was slightly happier with the second version. "So we get there with it, and it's good, it's about to be on the album. And then it's like, 'Are you sure?' We're painting this picture—both in silk, I'm promising the world. But I'm not singing. This is supposed to be a big ballad on the album, but I'm not giving it to 'em! If we're gonna really, dramatically slow things down, I've got to be singing some s--t."
Mars decided to write a new melody—which, it turned out, also required new lyrics. "At a certain point," he said, "I needed to stop telling you we're gonna get down, and just get down."
And get down he does.
"So baby let's just turn down the lights / And close the door / Ooh, I love that dress / But you won't need it anymore / No, you won't need it no more / Let's just kiss 'til we're naked, baby," the 31-year-old singer croons. "Versace on the floor / Ooh take it off for me, for me, for me, for me now, girl / Versace on the floor / Ooh take it off for me, for me, for me, for me now, girl."