The Hidden Stories Behind Bruno Mars’s Iconic ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ Album Art Unearthed!

The album cover of Bruno Mars’s “Unorthodox Jukebox” is as evocative and intricate as the music it encapsulates. Released in 2012, this album not only showcases Mars’s versatility as a musician but also tells a deeper story through its iconic album art. At first glance, the cover featuring a gorilla intently gazing at a jukebox is a visual enigma. However, it’s a gateway into understanding the rich and layered themes of the album.

1. The Album’s Theme: A Perfect Embodiment

At the heart of “Unorthodox Jukebox” lies its title, which the album cover captures with remarkable ingenuity. The image of a gorilla, an untamed and instinctual creature, peering at a jukebox, an artifact representing structured musical enjoyment, sets the tone for the album’s essence. This juxtaposition isn’t just visual but also musical, as Mars delves into a range of genres including doo-wop, Motown, reggae, and contemporary pop. Each track is an unorthodox choice in itself, veering away from mainstream trends and exploring new musical landscapes. This theme of unpredictability and exploration is what makes the album stand out, both audibly and visually.

2. The Song “Gorilla”: Setting the Tone

The track “Gorilla” is not just a song on the album; it’s the cornerstone that influences the entire project. Being the first song written for “Unorthodox Jukebox,” it sets a precedent for the rest of the album. Mars describes “Gorilla” as “a love song sung by a beast,” which resonates deeply with the image of the gorilla on the cover. This beast, with its raw instincts and primal nature, symbolizes a deeper dive into passion and intensity. The gorilla thus becomes more than just an image; it’s a mascot representing the album’s raw, untamed spirit.

3. Curiosity and Exploration: The Essence of Innovation

The gorilla’s inquisitive look towards the jukebox is a visual representation of curiosity and the willingness to venture into the unknown. This is precisely what Mars achieves in “Unorthodox Jukebox.” He steps away from his previous pop-oriented work, venturing into an adventurous mix of genres. Each song is a journey into a different musical territory, reflecting Mars’s curiosity and his fearless approach to music-making. This theme of exploration is what makes the album not just a collection of songs, but a narrative of musical discovery.

4. Vintage Aesthetics: A Nod to the Past

The retro design of the jukebox is a subtle yet powerful element of the album cover. It evokes a sense of nostalgia, harking back to the eras of doo-wop and Motown, which heavily influence the album. This vintage element creates a dialogue between the past and the present, seen in the way Mars blends classic and contemporary styles in his music. The jukebox is a symbol of this timeless quality, suggesting that good music transcends eras and remains relevant regardless of its age.

5. Humor and Whimsy: The Lighter Side

There’s an undeniable element of humor and whimsy in the juxtaposition of a wild gorilla and a classic jukebox. This aligns perfectly with Bruno Mars’s charismatic and playful stage persona. His music, while deep and emotionally resonant, never shies away from being fun and lighthearted. The album cover captures this essence beautifully, reminding listeners that music, at its core, should bring joy and amusement. This blend of depth and playfulness is a hallmark of Mars’s style and is encapsulated perfectly in the album’s artwork.


Bruno Mars’s “Unorthodox Jukebox” is more than just an album; it’s a tapestry of musical experimentation, emotional depth, and artistic expression. Its cover art is a window into the soul of the album, telling stories of exploration, nostalgia, passion, and humor. Each element, from the curious gorilla to the vintage jukebox, is a piece of a larger narrative that Mars weaves throughout his music. This album is a testament to his ability to transcend genres and eras, creating something truly timeless and unique. The hidden stories behind this iconic album art are now unearthed, offering fans a deeper appreciation of Mars’s artistic vision and the magic of “Unorthodox Jukebox.”

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