The Only Way Is Up

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"The Only Way Is Up"
Only way Is Up Otis Clay.jpg
Single by Otis Clay
from the album The Only Way Is Up
B-side "Special Kind of Love"
Released 1980
Format 7" single
Genre Acid house
Length 3:46
Label Echo
  • Otis Clay
  • Troy Thompson
"The Only Way Is Up"
The Only Way Is Up (Yazz single).jpg
Single by Yazz and the Plastic Population
from the album Wanted
  • "Bad House Music"
  • Remix
Released July 11, 1988 (1988-07-11)[1]
  • 4:27 (album version)
  • 4:02 (7" edit)
Label Big Life
Producer(s) Coldcut
Yazz singles chronology
"Doctorin' the House"
"The Only Way Is Up"
"Stand Up for Your Love Rights"

"Doctorin' the House"
"The Only Way Is Up"
"Stand Up for Your Love Rights"
Music video
"The Only Way Is Up" on YouTube
Audio sample

"The Only Way Is Up" is a song written by George Jackson and Johnny Henderson and originally released in 1980 as a single by soul singer Otis Clay.[2] In 1988, it became a chart-topping single for Yazz and the Plastic Population. The song is the official theme tune for award-winning ITV2 series The Only Way Is Essex. The song was a favourite of M People's, who would frequently play it on their live tours. The band's lead singer, Heather Small, has described it as her favourite song, and once explained that, should she ever be anywhere, this is the song that she would sing.

Otis Clay version[edit]

The song was first recorded by Otis Clay and released as a single on the Echo label in 1980.[2] Though not a hit at the time, the song became the title track of Clay's 1982 LP, The Only Way Is Up.[3]

Yazz version[edit]

The Yazz version was produced by Jonathan More and Matt Black (better known as dance duo Coldcut, who had worked with Yazz on their hit single "Doctorin' the House"). Released as a single in July 1988, "The Only Way Is Up" became an instant smash hit, spending five weeks at number one in the United Kingdom, and ultimately becoming the second biggest selling single of the year. In the United States, however, it fared less well, peaking at number 96 on the Billboard Hot 100, though it did reach number two on the Billboard dance chart.[4]

The cover version's opening horn blast is a sample from Sharon Redd's 1982 dance classic "Beat the Street".

A 2009 remix was released in the United Kingdom on 7 September 2009.[5]

Background and release[edit]

After leaving school, Yazz got a job in a nightclub in Soho and got into her first band called The Biz. She then met the managers of English musical duo Wham! who would be her managers. She took singing lessons and made demo songs that was introduced to electronic music duo Coldcut.[6] Together, they wrote "Doctorin' the House" which incorporates samples from various sources, mainly TV and film dialogue. It reached number six on the UK Singles Chart in March 1988 and was very popular in the clubs. Their second single, the pumping house version of "The Only Way Is Up" was released in July 1988 and become a huge hit in the clubs and on the charts. It spent five weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart and became the second biggest selling single of the year. "The Only Way Is Up" also reached number one on the charts in Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand and Sweden.

Formats and track listings[edit]

7" single / CD single / cassette
  1. "The Only Way Is Up" — 4:02
  2. "Bad House Music" — 4:28
12" maxi
  1. "The Only Way Is Up" — 6:44
  2. "Bad House Music" — 7:07
12" maxi
  1. "The Only Way Is Up" (UK extended club mix) — 6:45
  2. "The Only Way Is Up" (the up up up mix) — 7:01
  3. "The Only Way Is Up" (acid dub) — 5:50
CD maxi
  1. "The Only Way Is Up" (7" edit) — 4:02
  2. "The Only Way Is Up" (12" version) — 6:48
  3. "The Only Way Is Up" (speng) — 6:01
  4. "Bad House Music" — 3:00
12" maxi – Remixes
  1. "The Only Way Is Up" (the Bam Bam remix) — 7:24
  2. "The Only Way Is Up" (the up up up mix) — 7:24
  3. "Bad House Music" — 4:28

Charts and sales[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "BPI Certified Awards > Search Results > Yazz". Imgur. Archived from the original on 14 October 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Otis Clay - The Only Way Is Up / Special Kind Of Love (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2014-03-20. 
  3. ^ Otis Clay, The Only Way Is Up, Discogs. Retrieved 10 January 2016
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 285. 
  5. ^ "Radio1 Rodos :: New Music :: U.K. Forthcoming Releases". Retrieved 2014-03-20. 
  6. ^ "Yazz: The only way is up for the singer who is now a powerful woman of God". Retrieved 2017-09-04. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "The Only Way Is Up", in various singles charts (Retrieved December 25, 2008)
  8. ^ German Singles Chart (Retrieved December 25, 2008)
  9. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 10 (30. september 1988)" (PDF) (in Icelandic). Dagblaðið Vísir. Retrieved July 23, 2018. 
  10. ^ Irish Single Chart (Retrieved December 25, 2008)
  11. ^ "Indice per Interprete: Y". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved March 13, 2018. 
  12. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 39, 1988". Retrieved 2008-03-21. 
  13. ^ "The Only Way Is Up", UK Singles Chart (Retrieved December 25, 2008)
  14. ^ a b Billboard (Retrieved December 25, 2008)
  15. ^
  16. ^ "1988 Belgian Flanders Singles Chart" (in Dutch). Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  17. ^ "Single top 100 over 1988" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ Swiss Year-End Charts, 1988
  20. ^ "Chart Archive - 1980s Singles". Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  21. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. 
  22. ^ " > ARIA Full Accreditations List". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  23. ^ "Les certifications depuis 1973, database" (in French). Infodisc. Retrieved 21 September 2010.