Uptown Girl

Last updated

"Uptown Girl"
Uptown Girl joel.jpg
Artwork for U.S. and Canadian singles, also used for the Japanese release with its native language
Single by Billy Joel
from the album An Innocent Man
ReleasedSeptember 29, 1983
Recorded1983
Genre
Length3:18
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) Billy Joel
Producer(s) Phil Ramone [1]
Billy Joel singles chronology
"Tell Her About It"
(1983)
"Uptown Girl"
(1983)
"An Innocent Man"
(1983)
Music video
"Uptown Girl" on YouTube

"Uptown Girl" is a song written and performed by the American musician Billy Joel. The lyrics describe a working-class "downtown man" attempting to woo a wealthy "uptown girl". It was released on September 29, 1983, on his ninth studio album An Innocent Man (1983).

Contents

The 12" EP has the tracks "My Life", "Just the Way You Are" and "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" (catalogue number TA3775), [2] whereas some 7" single versions featured "Careless Talk" as a B-side. [3]

Inspiration

According to an interview with Howard Stern, Joel had originally titled the song "Uptown Girls" and it was conceived on an occasion when he was surrounded by Christie Brinkley, Whitney Houston and his then-girlfriend Elle Macpherson. According to numerous interviews with Joel, the song was initially written about his relationship with Macpherson, but it ended up also becoming about his soon-to-be wife, Brinkley, both women being two of the most famous supermodels of the 1980s. [4] [5] Joel also has said that the song was inspired by the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. [6]

Christie Brinkley appears as the main character of the video and later married Joel. Christie Brinkley by David Shankbone.jpg
Christie Brinkley appears as the main character of the video and later married Joel.

Music video

The video depicts Joel and his backup singers working as auto mechanics. Brinkley arrives in a chauffeured Rolls-Royce as Joel and the mechanics dance with her. A poster of Brinkley can be seen in the garage as well as on a billboard above the garage advertising "Uptown cosmetics". At the end of the video Joel and Brinkley ride off on a motorcycle.

Charts and certifications

"Uptown Girl" peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks from November 12 to December 10, 1983. [7] It also reached number one in the United Kingdom for five weeks, his only number-one hit in the country. It was the second biggest-selling single of 1983 in the United Kingdom behind only Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon", which Joel had knocked off the number-one position on November 1, 1983. The song was the 19th biggest-selling single of the 1980s in the United Kingdom, selling 975,000 copies. It has sold over 1.06 million copies as of 2017. [8]

Personnel

Additional personnel

Westlife version

"Uptown Girl"
9UptownGirl1.jpg
Single by Westlife
from the album World of Our Own
A-side
ReleasedMarch 5, 2001
Studio Rokstone Studios, London
Genre Teen pop, dance-pop
Length3:06
Label BMG
Songwriter(s) Billy Joel
Producer(s) Steve Mac
Westlife internationalsingles chronology
"I Lay My Love on You"
(2001)
"Uptown Girl"
(2001)
"When You're Looking Like That"
(2001)
Westlife UK/Irelandsingles chronology
"What Makes a Man"
(2000)
" Uptown Girl "
(2001)
"Queen of My Heart / When You're Looking Like That"
(2001)
Music video
"Uptown Girl" on YouTube

"Uptown Girl" (rereleased as double A-side with "Angels Wings" in 2002) was recorded by Irish boy band Westlife for their third studio album, World of Our Own . It was released on March 5, 2001 as the first single from the album. It was also the 2001 Comic Relief charity single. The song was also released as the fifth single for the European Special Edition and Asian Deluxe Edition Bonus Disc of the group's second album, Coast to Coast (2000). The Westlife version is slightly shorter than the Billy Joel version because one of the verses was not repeated. The music video was a parody of the Billy Joel one, with the members of Westlife playing workers in a burger bar, Robert Bathurst, Crispin Bonham-Carter, Ioan Gruffudd, Tim McInnerny and James Wilby play the snobby uptown customers and Claudia Schiffer is in the Christie Brinkley role.

"Uptown Girl" reached number one in Ireland, Mexico and the United Kingdom. It became the biggest selling single of 2001 and the tenth best-selling single of all-time in Ireland. In the United Kingdom, it was the sixth best selling single of 2001 and the 24th best-selling single of the decade in the UK charts, with sales of 756,215 copies. It became the band's biggest selling single (paid-for and combined sales categories) in the UK and also achieved the highest first week sales (292,318 copies) of any of their singles. It has since been certified Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for shipments of 600,000 copies. [35] In Mexico, the song was the fourth best selling single of 2001. By March 2017, the song had sold almost 800,000 copies in the country from physical and digital copies which make up 81% of the total units. [36] As of January 2019, it has 920,000 total sales. It is also their second most streamed song in the United Kingdom of all-time. [36]

Track listing

CD1
  1. "Uptown Girl" (Radio Edit) – 3:06
  2. "Angel's Wings" (2001 Remix) – 4:14
  3. "Uptown Girl" (Video) – 3:14
CD2
  1. "Uptown Girl" (Radio Edit) – 3:06
  2. "Uptown Girl" (Extended Version) – 5:02
  3. "Behind the Scenes Footage & Band Messages"
DVD
  1. "Uptown Girl" (Video) – 3:14
  2. "Behind the Scenes Footage & Band Messages"
  1. "Uptown Girl" (Radio Edit) – 3:06
  2. "Uptown Girl" (Extended Version) – 5:02
  3. "Angel's Wings" (Original Version) – 4:02
  4. "Close Your Eyes" – 4:32
  5. "Uptown Girl" (Video) – 3:14
  6. "Behind the Scenes Footage & Band Messages"

Charts and certifications

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