Sunday, December 8, 2019

"(I Know) I'm Losing You" by Uptown

Song#:  2976
Date:  12/27/1986
Debut:  92
Peak:  80
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Dance, Hi-NRG

Pop Bits:  Not a lot is known about this Dallas, Texas, group. It seems that they were originally a female vocal trio who recorded this song in 1983 with producers Scott Yahney and Jack Malken. The track was originally released on the NYC-based Silver Screen Records. The record might have floated off into obscurity if it wasn't for a popular Dallas nightclub DJ by the name of Rick Squillante. He started to spin the track and it quickly became a club favorite. As its popularity grew to other US clubs, the record got picked up by the Dallas indie label Oak Lawn. They reissued the 12" single along with an edited 45 version and it caught on well enough to make the Pop chart. The tune stayed on the chart for nearly three months, but it couldn't get any higher than 80, which wasn't a bad result for a new indie label that probably didn't have a lot of money for promotion. A follow-up single titled "I'm Gonna Love You," written and produced by Yahney, was released and credited to the duo Uptown Girls featuring Jan & Michelle. A third single, a remake of Fontella Bass' 1965 hit "Rescue Me" (#1 R&B/#4 Pop) was issued in 1988. Neither follow-up proved as popular as "I'm Losing You" and it seems the folks involved in the records went on to other things.

ReduxReview:  There is so little info on Uptown. My Billboard book says they were a female trio, but I can't find anything to support that. The original single had no vocal credits listed. My guess is that the producers used studio vocalists for the track and just credited it to Uptown. Then later when it was picked up for reissue, they either got two of the three girls to be Uptown Girls or they hired on two new ones - Jan & Michelle. Whatever the case, this certainly was a fun dance floor filler. The producers totally transformed the original's chilled, aching mid-tempo version into a furious dance track and it worked. Obviously it's not going to surpass The Temptations' original (see below), but this dance version was solid enough to make a mark of its own. I'm sure the producers were working on virtually no budget and yet it sounds damn good for an 80s indie track. I don't think it was prime for Top 40 success because it really was club oriented, but it should have done better on the chart.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This is a remake of a song originally recorded by The Temptations. Their 1966 version peaked at #1 on the R&B chart while getting to #8 at Pop. It was their fifth R&B #1 and third Pop Top 10. Besides The Temptations and Uptown, two other artists have reached the Pop chart with versions of the song. Rock band Rare Earth recorded a 10-minute version that appeared on their 1970 album Ecology. An edited single would be released and it would get to #7 Pop (#20 R&B). The following year, Rod Stewart recorded the song with his former bandmates from Faces. It appeared on Stewart's breakthrough solo album Every Picture Tells a Story. The tune was released as a single and it would get to #24 Pop.  2) In clubs, this song became known as "The Siren Song" thanks to the blaring sound at the beginning. It was like a notification or call for everyone to get to the dance floor. DJ Rick Squillante first broke the song at a popular Dallas hotspot called the Starck Club. He would go on to introduce other soon-to-be dance hits and he quickly became one of the most influential club DJs in the country. He was eventually lured into the music biz to work for the US branch of Virgin Records. He became successful enough there for the label to reward him with his own imprint, Virgin Underground. Unfortunately, the music biz changes constantly and in 1998 Squillante found himself on the layoff side of things after reorgs at Virgin. He then dropped out of the business altogether. In 2001, Squillante would commit suicide.


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