Bruno Mars may be known for his chart-topping hits, but there's more to this Doo-Wop Hooligan than meets the ear. Mars has churned out a number of fantastic songs over the past half-decade, but a lot of them never got the recognition they deserved from the media, the airwaves, or even in the hearts of fans. Still these songs deserve a place in history alongside the ubiquitous hits, or at least a listen after you're done spinning "24K Magic" on repeat.
Mars' new album 24K Magic is just a month away, and there's a good chance it won't take long for some of the newbies to solidify themselves into another Grammy on his mantle. But while we wait until Nov. 18 to see what the full collection has in store for us, let's take a look at some of the Bruno Mars songs that weren't as popular -- the hidden treasures of his sneakily deep catalog.
Mars pulled something great out of left field on sophomore album Unorthodox Jukebox with this furious song. Though he's always been blatant with projecting his influences in his music, there was nothing more blatant than the clear Michael Jackson flair found on "Natalie"; Mars had most likely just spun Bad before heading into the studio to record it. The song's subject nature and lyrical content doesn't win him any points, but it still manages to have one of the strongest hooks in his entire catalog.
4. "The Other Side"
It sounds a little weird to refer to any of Mars' material as "deep cuts" considering he's only got a grand total of two full-length albums, but you know what? Let's get weird. "The Other Side" was originally included on Mars' EP It's Better If You Don't Understand, which pre-dates debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans by only a couple of months. "The Other Side" eventually ended up on the track list for Doo-Wops, but it was only tacked on as the record's closer. With great guest spots from CeeLo Green and B.o.B, the song gets even better when you realize that it was co-written by Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy. No pop-punk here though: only soaring pop hooks that help make it one of Mars' most unappreciated songs around.
3. "Mirror" (by Lil Wayne feat. Bruno Mars)
It didn't take long for the music industry to realize that coupling Mars with a rap artist was a good decision. After the massive success Mars had with his feature on B.o.B's "Nothin' on You," he had a pretty busy summer in 2011 when it came to guest spots on hip-hop songs. First, Mars dropped some vocal tracks for Eminem and Royce Da 5'9"s supergroup project Bad Meets Evil and their song "Lighters." Later in August, he made an appearance on Lil Wayne's song "Mirror." "Mirror" wasn't on the standard edition of Tha Carter IV, but rather, it was a cut included on the deluxe version. Don't let that deter you, though -- the song still holds up as a quality Lil Wayne number, and Mars' vocals on the hook are as smooth as it gets.
2. "Runaway Baby"
"Runaway Baby" is one of the shortest Mars songs you'll find, but it's also one of his greatest. Barely clocking in at only two and a half minutes, the track does a lot in such a brief period of time, and what it does best of all is keep the listener coming back for more. Featuring sirens, hand claps and a signature funky Mars groove, the nonstop adrenaline from "Runaway Baby" was one of his first major songs that proved he was the real deal.
Though Mars' calling card revolves around dance-floor-ready anthems that'll get anyone up and moving, he's just as good at cooking up ballads as he is the upbeat pop hits. "Moonshine," a track off Unorthodox Jukebox, is one of the most eclectic songs Mars has ever delivered. A pop ballad at its roots, there are a lot of cool things going on with the track, most likely thanks to production work from mastermind producer, Jeff Bhasker. With a retro pop feel and a slight disco vibe to it, Mars unleashes a dose of musical ecstasy.