STORY OF SONG
“Teenage Dream” is one of Katy Perry’s (real name Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson) most well-known and loved songs, drawing from themes of teenage lust, infatuation and emotions. Written by Perry, Dr.Luke, Max Martin, Benjamin Levin and Bonnie McKee, “Teenage Dream” has become a firm fan favourite for many, reminding the listeners of an easier, care-free time. The song is the opening track to Katy Perry’s 2010 album of the same name.
“Teenage Dream” went through many re-writing sessions, and according to Perry, it took re-writing the track five times to finally get a version that felt right. The song is said to be about Perry’s now ex-husband, British comedian and presenter, Russell Brand. In a video on Katy Perry’s official YouTube channel that was uploaded on the 15th July 2010, the singer had this to say about the track:
“So, I wrote “Teenage Dream” in Santa Barbara – which is my hometown. And I went down there with a couple of producers that I worked with on the first record… Max Martin and Dr. Luke. And I was there for 10 days, and we wrote “Teenage Dream” and a couple other songs. It was really exciting to finish that song, because, literally it took four or five different versions of the song. We had to re-write the chorus of “Teenage Dream” until it felt like it was totally perfect… until it felt like it moved you and you wanted to kinda… just release and let go and dance, and have that euphoric feeling of like… having a teenage love all over again. We finally got it – through the fifth try – and it’s a really sweet song. I think it’s both kind of rock and also has like this really Chaka Khan-like dance, fierce little beat behind it… I decided to name the record that because… well, you know, when you’re growing up and you fall in love for the first time, it is such an amazing feeling, that sometimes you can’t recycle again later on in your life. For me, ebbing in love now… it’s kind of the same feeling. Having that “teenage dream”… that teenage love. I want people to kind of, like, I guess in a way think of me as that pin-up poster in their room, or hopefully I can invade their dreams and be their teenage dream… So, the song talks about that. It’s just a very fun song – there’s a lot of sugar on the record but also, what I would say, a lot of spice. To me, its completely appetising, and “Teenage Dream” happens to be one of those middle, in the middle songs where it’s got a really good story to it and it makes you feel like you’re falling in love all over again”.
The music video for “Teenage Dream” was released on Perry’s official YouTube channel on the 10th August 2010. Directed by Yoann Lemoine, it feature Perry with her on-screen lover (Josh Kloss), at the beach partying with friends, driving a car and just acting as if they are young and in love. As of March 2020, the video has 243.8 million views with well over 1 million likes. On Spotify, the track has 240.7 million global streams.
Release Date: 23rd July 2010
Songwriter/s: Katy Perry, Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Benjamin Levin & Bonnie McKee
Producer/s: Dr.Luke, Benny Blanco & Max Martin
Music Video Release Date: 10th August 2010
Music Video Director: Yoann Lemoine
Chart Rankings, Certifications & Accolades: “Teenage Dream” reached #24 on Australian charts, #10 in Canada, #18 in Ireland and #8 in the US. “Teenage Dream” is certified Gold in the US. In 2010, Rolling Stone Magazine placed the song at #4 on their “Best Singles of 2010”, as well as Pitchfork ranking it he 35th best song released in the first half of 2010, as well as the 102nd best song of 2010.
The lyrics to “Teenage Dream” can be viewed here: LINK