Uptown Top Ranking

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"Uptown Top Ranking"
Single by Althea & Donna
B-side Calico Suit
Released 1977
Genre Reggae
Length 3:53
Label Lightning
Writer(s) Althea & Donna, Errol Thompson
Producer(s) Joe Gibbs

"Uptown Top Ranking" is a song and single by the Jamaican teenage singers Althea Forrest and Donna Reid, recorded when they were 17 and 18 years old respectively.[1]

Released in 1977, it was a surprise hit reaching number 1 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1978,[1][2] after early championing by BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel and a performance on Top Of The Pops, but had only one week at the chart summit, despite spending 11 weeks in the charts.[3] It was produced by Joe Gibbs,[1] using a re-recording of the riddim of the 1967 Alton Ellis song "I'm Still In Love", which had already been re-popularised in the 1970s by Marcia Aitken's cover "I'm Still In Love With You Boy", and the deejay track "Three Piece Suit" by Trinity, to which "Uptown" was an 'answer record'.[4] The single's UK release was on the Lightning record label.[1]

The lyrics were written by the duo and Errol Thompson.[1][5] Althea & Donna became the youngest female duo to reach the number 1 place of the UK chart.[5]


"Uptown Top Ranking" has been covered by Ali & Frazier, who released it as a single in 1993,[6] and Black Box Recorder, who included a version on their 1998 album England Made Me.[7] Zoë released a version featuring Prezident Brown in 2003 on her Zoeciety EP, and Scout Niblett released her version as a single in 2004.[8] The song was sampled for Abs Breen's 2002 UK Top 10 hit single, "What You Got".[9] and also for Sean Paul's UK Top 10 2003 single featuring Sasha "I'm Still in Love with You".[10] The song was also covered (with changed lyrics) and recorded as "Strictly Rude" for Big D and the Kids Table's album "Strictly Rude".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 188. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  2. ^ "Althia & Donna* / Mighty Two* – Up Town Top Ranking / Calico Suit". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 349. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ Colin Larkin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0242-9, p.10-11
  5. ^ a b Roberts, David (2001). British Hit Singles (14th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 47. ISBN 0-85156-156-X. 
  6. ^ "Ali & Frazier– Uptown Top Ranking". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "England Made Me". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "Zoe-Zociety". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "Abs - What You Got". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  10. ^ "Sean Paul Feat. Sasha – I'm Still In Love With You". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
Preceded by
"Mull Of Kintyre" by Wings
UK number one single
4 February 1978
Succeeded by
"Figaro" by Brotherhood Of Man