Uptown Girl

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"Uptown Girl"
Single by Billy Joel
from the album An Innocent Man
ReleasedSeptember 29, 1983
FormatVinyl (7")[1]
Recorded1983
GenrePop rock
Length3:18
LabelColumbia
Writer(s)Billy Joel
ProducerPhil Ramone[1]
CertificationGold (RIAA)
Billy Joel singles chronology
"Tell Her About It"
(1983)
"Uptown Girl"
(1983)
"An Innocent Man"
(1983)
 
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"Uptown Girl"
Single by Billy Joel
from the album An Innocent Man
ReleasedSeptember 29, 1983
FormatVinyl (7")[1]
Recorded1983
GenrePop rock
Length3:18
LabelColumbia
Writer(s)Billy Joel
ProducerPhil Ramone[1]
CertificationGold (RIAA)
Billy Joel singles chronology
"Tell Her About It"
(1983)
"Uptown Girl"
(1983)
"An Innocent Man"
(1983)

"Uptown Girl" is a song written and performed by musician Billy Joel, first released in 1983 on his album An Innocent Man. The lyrics describe a working-class "downtown man" attempting to woo a wealthy "uptown girl."

Success[edit]

Although "Uptown Girl" was not as successful in the U.S. as "Tell Her About It," the first single released from An Innocent Man, the single was still a big hit for Joel. It peaked at #3 on the Billboard charts in the US,[2] and #1 in the United Kingdom, staying at that position for 5 weeks; 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, where it has sold over a million copies.[3]

In 1988, Rolling Stone ranked "Uptown Girl" #99 on their list of the 100 most important singles of the period 1963-1988.

Inspiration[edit]

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 Elle Macpherson, Christie Brinkley, and Whitney Houston. According to numerous interviews with Joel, the song was initially written about his relationship with his then-girlfriend Elle Macpherson, but it ended up also becoming about his soon-to-be wife Christie 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]

Music video[edit]

Christie Brinkley appears as the main character of the video and later married Joel.

The title character in the music video was played by Christie Brinkley. Joel and Brinkley married in 1985 and divorced in 1994. Subsequently, the song was missing from the setlist during Joel's 1994 "River of Dreams" tour.

Different versions of the music video opening were produced, in which an auto mechanic is watching the end of Joel's previous hit "Tell Her About It" on a small TV. Then, depending on the version, the next image on the TV is either a blank screen or the logo of the network or TV show the video was on. The only logos known to be used are MTV and Friday Night Videos. A fourth version, which skipped the prologue segment, aired on Night Tracks, America's Top 10 and other music video shows. This is also the version posted on the music video website Vevo.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1983)Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[7]1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8]18
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9]3
Canda (Nielsen SoundScan)[10]4
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[11]26
Germany (Media Control AG)[12]18
Ireland (IRMA)1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[13]10
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[14]1
Norway (VG-lista)[15]3
South Africa (RiSA)[16]8
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)1
US Billboard Hot 100[17]3
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[18]2
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)22

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1983)Position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)2
Chart (1984)Position
US Billboard Hot 10039

Certifications[edit]

CountryCertificationDateSales certified
United Kingdom[19]Gold1 November 1983500,000
Preceded by
"Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club
UK Singles Chart
5 November 1983 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Only You" by The Flying Pickets
Preceded by
"They Don't Know" by Tracey Ullman
Irish Singles Chart
12 November 1983 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Love of the Common People" by Paul Young
Preceded by
"Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club
New Zealand Singles Chart
11 December 1983 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Come Back and Stay" by Paul Young
Preceded by
"Reckless (Don't Be So)" by Australian Crawl
Australian Singles Chart
5 December 1983 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Islands in the Stream" by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes version[edit]

"Uptown Girl/Billy"
Single by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
from the album Have a Ball
ReleasedNovember 1, 1996
Format7" vinyl
RecordedJanuary 1996
GenrePunk rock
Length2:22
LabelEpitaph Records
ProducerMe First and the Gimme Gimmes
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes singles chronology
"Take Me Home, Country Roads"
(1986)
"Uptown Girl"
(1986)
"Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard"
(1986)

in 1996 Me First and the Gimme Gimmes covered the song for their 1997 album Have a Ball. The song was released as a single on vinyl in 1996 with the Billy Joel song "Only the Good Die Young" as the B-side.

Single track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Uptown Girl"  Billy Joel2:22
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
2."Only the Good Die Young"  Billy Joel3:55

Westlife version[edit]

"Uptown Girl"
Single by Westlife
from the album World of Our Own
ReleasedMarch 5, 2001
FormatCD single, cassette
RecordedRokstone Studios, London
GenreTeen pop, dance-pop
Length3:06
LabelBMG
ProducerSteve Mac
CertificationPlatinum (UK)
Gold (Sweden)
Westlife singles chronology
"I Lay My Love on You"
(2001)
"Uptown Girl"
(2001)
"When You're Looking Like That"
(2001)
Alternative cover
UK CD2

"Uptown Girl" is the fifth single released from Irish pop band Westlife's third studio album, World of Our Own (2001). It was released as 2001's Comic Relief charity single, and reached number one on in Ireland and the United Kingdom. The single was released early through the group's second album, Coast to Coast (2000). It became the sixth best-selling single of 2001 and the 23rd best-selling single of the 2000s in the UK, with sales of 756,215 copies. It became the band's biggest-selling single in the UK, and also achieved the highest first week sale (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.[20] As of October 2011, the song had sold almost 800,000 copies.[21]

Music video[edit]

The video for this song was shot in a Cafe setting with Claudia Schiffer as the title character, while Robert Bathurst, James Wilby, Ioan Gruffudd, Crispin Bonham-Carter and Tim McInnerny were featured as high class customers.

Tracklisting[edit]

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"

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2001)Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[22]6
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[23]12
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[24]5
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[25]2
Denmark (Tracklisten)[26]2
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[27]8
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[28]13
France (SNEP)[29]8
Germany (Media Control AG)[30]8
Ireland (IRMA)1
Italy (FIMI)[31]10
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[32]2
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[33]4
Norway (VG-lista)[34]3
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[35]7
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[36]2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[37]13
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)1

Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"It Wasn't Me" by Shaggy featuring Rikrok
Irish IRMA number one single
10 March 2001 (6 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Survivor" by Destiny's Child
Preceded by
"It Wasn't Me" by Shaggy featuring Rikrok
UK number-one single
March 11, 2001 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Pure and Simple" by Hear'Say

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2001)Position
Irish Singles Chart1
UK Singles Chart6
Chart (2000–2009)Peak
position
UK Top 100 Songs of the Decade23[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Billy Joel - Uptown Girl". 
  2. ^ Dean, Maury (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. pp. 137–138. ISBN 0-87586-207-1. 
  3. ^ Ami Sedghi (4 November 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Channel Five Interview."[1]"
  5. ^ "Billy Joel Visits. 11/16/10. 7:55am". Howard Stern archive. Marksfriggin.com. November 16, 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Billy Joel Website Interview
  7. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Billy Joel – Uptown Girl". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ "Billy Joel – Uptown Girl – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – Billy Joel – Uptown Girl" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada
  11. ^ "Billy Joel: Uptown Girl" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  12. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  13. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Billy Joel search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  14. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Billy Joel – Uptown Girl". Top 40 Singles.
  15. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Billy Joel – Uptown Girl". VG-lista.
  16. ^ ""Uptown Girl" on the South African Singles Chart". Springbok Radio. January 13, 1984. Retrieved September 25, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Billy Joel Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Billy Joel.
  18. ^ "Billy Joel Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Billy Joel.
  19. ^ UK certifications Bpi.co.uk (Retrieved 2 September 2008)
  20. ^ "BPI Certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2011-02-08. 
  21. ^ The nation’s favourite Westlife tracks revealed!
  22. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Westlife – Uptown Girl". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  23. ^ "Westlife – Uptown Girl – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – Westlife – Uptown Girl" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  25. ^ "Ultratop.be – Westlife – Uptown Girl" (in French). Ultratip.
  26. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Westlife – Uptown Girl". Tracklisten.
  27. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (2001-03-24). Billboard. 
  28. ^ "Westlife: Uptown Girl" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  29. ^ "Lescharts.com – Westlife – Uptown Girl" (in French). Les classement single.
  30. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  31. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Westlife – Uptown Girl". Top Digital Download.
  32. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Westlife search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  33. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Westlife – Uptown Girl". Top 40 Singles.
  34. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Westlife – Uptown Girl". VG-lista.
  35. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Westlife – Uptown Girl" Canciones Top 50.
  36. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Westlife – Uptown Girl". Singles Top 60.
  37. ^ "Westlife – Uptown Girl – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
  38. ^ Radio 1 Official Chart of the Decade, as broadcast on BBC Radio 1 on Tuesday 29th December 2009, presented by Nihal

External links[edit]