Undercover Angel (song)

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"Undercover Angel"
white side-A label by Atlantic Recording Corp., a Warner Communications company
One of side-A labels of the US single
Single by Alan O'Day
from the album Appetizers
B-side"Just You"
ReleasedFebruary 1977
Length4:12 (album version)
3:24 (single version)
Songwriter(s)Alan O'Day
Producer(s)Steve Barri and Michael Omartian
Alan O'Day singles chronology
"Soldier of Fortune"
"Undercover Angel"
"Started Out Dancing, Ended Up Making Love"

"Undercover Angel" is a song by singer-songwriter Alan O'Day. Released as a single in 1977, it was certified gold, having reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (one of 1977's ten biggest hits)[2] and No. 9 on the Australian Singles Chart.


In 1977, Warner Bros. Music decided to form a special label, Pacific Records, for their composers who also performed. O'Day was the first artist signed, and his first release was "Undercover Angel". The original vinyl pressing was released with the B-side "Just You".

The song, which O'Day described as a "nocturnal novelette", was released without fanfare in February 1977. Within a few months, it had reached No. 1 in the US, even without an album to support it. O'Day said of the experience, "It's wonderful when you find out what feels right, and then it also feels right to other people. That's a songwriter's dream."[3] O'Day had also composed "Angie Baby", a No. 1 hit for Helen Reddy. The success of these two songs means O'Day is among the few singer-songwriters who wrote a chart-topper for themselves and one for another artist.


The song begins with a man describing his loneliness, when a woman suddenly appears in his bed and encourages him to make love to her. The rest of the song describes his feelings about her, then he discovers she must leave him, and he is saddened. She tells him to "go find the right one, love her and then, when you look into her eyes you'll see me again".

It then becomes apparent that he has been telling this story to a woman he is trying to seduce; he tells her he is "looking for my angel in your sweet, loving eyes", Underneath the covers (thus explaining the mystery of the song’s title).

Chart performance[edit]

Use in media[edit]

"Undercover Angel" was used in the 2011 J. J. Abrams film Super 8.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smith, Troy L. (14 December 2021). "Every No. 1 song of the 1970s ranked from worst to best". Cleveland.com. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  2. ^ "Seventies Almanac - 1977". Superseventies.com. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  3. ^ "'Undercover Angel' - Alan O'Day". Superseventies.com. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  4. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 221. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  5. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 5238a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  6. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1977-07-23. Retrieved 2019-05-15.
  7. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Nztop40.co.nz. 1977-07-24. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  8. ^ "Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. 1977-07-02. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
  9. ^ "Alan O'Day Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 179.
  11. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles". July 2, 1977.
  12. ^ "Kent Music Report No 183 – 26 December 1977 > National Top 100 Singles for 1977". Kent Music Report. Retrieved 8 January 2022 – via Imgur.com.
  13. ^ "Top 200 Singles of 1977" (PDF). RPM.
  14. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 1977 | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Nztop40.co.nz. 1977-12-31. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  15. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1977/Top 100 Songs of 1977". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  16. ^ "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1977". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2015-07-16.

External links[edit]