Monday, May 2, 2016

"Uptown Girl" by Billy Joel

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  1629
Date:  09/24/1983
Debut:  70
Peak:  3
Weeks:  22
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Joel's first single from his album An Innocent Man, "Tell Her About It," became the second #1 single of his career. The week that it reached #1 on the Pop chart this second single debuted. It was another smash that reached #3 and stayed there for five weeks eventually being certified a gold seller. It was helped along by an MTV video that became one of Joel's most popular. The song also did well at AC reaching #2, but it wasn't as popular at Rock where it topped out at #22. In the UK, this became Joel's first and only #1 hit and was the year's second biggest single there. The song also earned Joel a Grammy nod for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.

ReduxReview:  Man, I loved this song at the time. I was a fan of The Four Seasons (see below) so this was right up my alley. My brother had a few 45's of The Four Seasons and I loved playing them. My favorite was always "C'mon Marianne" (#9, 1967). Joel did such a great job capturing that sound. I think The Four Seasons could have had a hit with this tune back in their heyday. Joel is really at his joyous best here.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) This song was initially inspired by three women - Elle McPherson, Christie Brinkley, and Whitney Houston. The trio happened to be present when Joel was asked to play something on the piano at a vacation spot. While Joel was playing, he looked up and saw them lined up at the piano watching him. It led him to begin writing a song called "Uptown Girls." However, he got to know McPherson a lot better and they began to date. The song then became about a singular girl inspired by McPherson. However, they stopped dating and he began to see Brinkley and he finished the song with her in mind. Brinkley also became the star of the song's video. The pair married two years later and remained together for nine years.  2) As with other songs on An Innocent Man, Joel fashioned them after specific artists. "Uptown Girl" was an homage to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.  3) This song would end up being a #1 UK hit again in 2001 when the Irish boy band Westlife did a version. As with Joel's record, the single became the band's biggest UK hit.


No comments:

Post a Comment