"Waking Up in Vegas" is a song written by Katy Perry, Desmond Child, and Andreas Carlsson between 2005-2006. It is also one of the only songs that Perry is credited as a producer. It serves as the fourth and final single off One of the Boys and was released in the United States on April 21, 2009 and then on June 8, 2009 in the UK. The single topped charts in countries like Germany, France, Brazil, Hungary, United States, and the United Kingdom.
According to A&R, Chris Anokute, the song played a significant role in initiating Perry's pivotal move to Capitol Records. Having been recorded while still under contract with Columbia Records for an album that was then shelved, Anokute later heard the song on a three-song demo and, convinced it was a number 1 single and its singer a star talent, set about trying to convince his employers at Capitol to sign Perry.
Writing and inspiration
Perry explained the song to The Sun September 26, 2008:
"Vegas gives me that 'what the fuck' feeling. It's really close to LA so one night you could be having a beer with your friends and, when you wake up, you're in Vegas."
Perry said that the song has some real-life inspiration. During a chat with PopEater.com, Perry revealed that she and her then-boyfriend "decided to get fake married".
"I was 21. We took all the pictures with the minister, with the fake cake, in the fake chapel and got a fake marriage certificate. We went and bought a wedding dress and a suit at a thrift store, and scanned the pictures and the certificate to my family members, my manager at the time [and] totally freaked the shit out of them. It was the most hilarious, stupid prank I've ever pulled, I still have the wedding dress and the certificate."
Perry added that the song isn't about apologizing: "[It's] basically a song about getting into trouble with your best friend or your boyfriend or your girlfriend - or whoever you're with - and not having any "I'm sorry for what I did"."
Perry, Carlsson and Child all worked on the song together. In an interview with HitQuarters, Carlsson said that two of the first aspects of the song to be composed were the main guitar riff - which he already had pre-prepared - and the phrase “put your money where your mouth is”, which they were very keen to use and which for a time was almost used as the song's title.
The music video for "Waking Up in Vegas" premiered on iTunes on April 28, 2009 on the Australian, UK and U.S. iTunes store. The music video was directed by Joseph Kahn, and was shot in Las Vegas on March 26, 2009. The song has received over 10 million views on YouTube.
It begins with Perry holding hands with her love interest played by Joel David Moore. They are in a laundromat, standing in front of a slot machine. It is the morning after the night before, setting the theme of the song's lyric "That's what you get for waking up in Vegas". Moore drops one coin into the slot machine and pulls the handle. Three “blazing 7” symbols land on the payline, and the machine delivers a jackpot in quarters. Moore and Perry look at each other in astonishment. The next scene shows them winning at roulette the night before. They then head to the hotel room where they kick out Penn and Teller. Subsequent scenes show the couple playing various casino games and parlaying their winnings into millions, defeating poker legend Daniel Negreanu, being welcomed into to the Palms Hotel, by the owners Gavin and George J. Maloof, Jr.. As the winning streak continues Perry and Moore enjoy a lavish lifestyle, racing through the streets of Las Vegas in his-and-hers Lamborghini Murciélagos. At the height of the streak they are dressed in show costumes riding in chariots down Fremont Street, accompanied by a fire breather and an elephant. Then they are feasting at a Roman-style banquet, in a manner reminiscent of the Last Supper.
Perry and Moore kiss in a money booth. After the kiss, the couple’s luck changes. They begin to argue. They lose all their winnings save a single coin and are ejected from their hotel suite, which Penn and Teller reclaim (even performing a card trick before slamming the door on the couple). Perry steals food from a room service tray. The video ends in the laundromat where it began. The couple is broke. Moore places a single coin in the slot machine and pulls the handle. Three “blazing 7” symbols land on the payline, and the machine delivers a jackpot in quarters. Moore and Perry look at each other in astonishment as the screen goes to black.
Manhattan Clique Remix version
An alternate version to the Manhattan Clique remix of the song has been produced and released to the public. Much of the content has been taken from the original version, although it has been re-cut with additional effects and new scenes. The first displays Perry inside a casino within a giant martini glass with multi-colored candy in her hands. The other additional footage showcases the scenery of Las Vegas Boulevard.
- All instruments — Greg Wells
- Recorded — Greg Wells at Rocket Carousel Studio (Los Angeles, CA)
- Mixed— Joe Zook at Aus Studios (Studio City, CA)
- Published by When I'm Rich You'll Be My Bitch (ASCAP) administrated by WB Music Corp.