Uptown Girl

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"Uptown Girl"
Uptown Girl joel.jpg
Single by Billy Joel
from the album An Innocent Man
ReleasedSeptember 29, 1983
Format7" vinyl[1]
Recorded1983
Genre
Length3:18
LabelColumbia
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 American musician Billy Joel. It was released on September 29, 1983, on his ninth studio album An Innocent Man (1983). The lyrics describe a working-class "downtown man" attempting to woo a wealthy "uptown girl."

The 12" EP featured 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 (TBC).[3]

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 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.

Success[edit]

Although "Uptown Girl" was not as successful in the U.S. as previous single "Tell Her About It", it was still a big hit. It peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100,[7] and number one in the United Kingdom, staying at that position for five weeks as 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]

Music video[edit]

In the music video, Billy Joel plays an auto mechanic who attempts to impress a high-class uptown girl, whose car has arrived at the auto shop/gas station for gas, with the help of three other mechanics.[9]

The title character in the music video was played by Christie Brinkley, whom Joel married two years later.

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 television. Then, depending on the version, the next image on the television is either a blank screen or the logo of the network or TV show the video was on.[citation needed]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Westlife version[edit]

"Uptown Girl"
9UptownGirl1.jpg
Single by Westlife
from the album World of Our Own
ReleasedMarch 6, 2001
FormatCD single, cassette, digital download, streaming
RecordedRokstone Studios, London
GenreTeen pop, dance-pop
Length3:06
LabelBMG
Songwriter(s)Billy Joel
Producer(s)Steve Mac
Westlife international singles chronology
"I Lay My Love on You"
(2001)
"Uptown Girl"
(2001)
"When You're Looking Like That"
(2001)
Westlife UK/Ireland singles chronology
"What Makes a Man"
(2000)
"Uptown Girl"
(2001)
"Queen of My Heart"
(2001)
Music video
"Uptown Girl" on YouTube

"Uptown Girl" was recorded by Irish boy band Westlife for their third studio album, World of Our Own. It was released on 6 March 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 repeated in the Billy Joel version which wasn't repeated in the Westlife version. On 12 May 2018, the song was performed on South Korean music programme 'Immortal Songs 2' by Baek Hyeong-hun & Ki Se-jung. Band member Shane Filan was the featured 'Legend' and judged the participants. Also he performed the song on his solo tours.

"Uptown Girl" reached number one in Ireland and the United Kingdom. It became the biggest selling single of 2001 in Ireland, as well as 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 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.[29] As of March 2017, the song has sold almost 800,000 copies in the country.[30]

Music video[edit]

The video for this song was shot in a Cafe setting with the members of Westlife working there as busboys. Claudia Schiffer starred as the title character, while Robert Bathurst, James Wilby, Ioan Gruffudd, Crispin Bonham-Carter and Tim McInnerny were featured as high class customers. The video starts with Shane Filan taking the orders of the five customers while Mark Feehily passes by. One of the customers starts the Jukebox and the song starts. The video ends with Claudia Schiffer leaving the Cafe to which the band members and several other customers followed her while the Cafe closes leaving the five customers at the cafe.[31] The single was also released as a video album and certified as Platinum by BPI in UK.

Tours performed at[edit]

Track listing[edit]

  • United Kingdom
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"
  • Japan
  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[edit]

Streaming Counts[edit]

Site Count
Worldwide (YouTube) (Official and unofficial counts included; as of October 2018) 43 million +
Worldwide (Spotify) (as of October 2018) 46 million +

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Billy Joel - Uptown Girl". Discogs. Archived from the original on November 27, 2009. Retrieved February 11, 2009.
  2. ^ "Billy Joel - Uptown Girl - Discogs". Discogs. Archived from the original on November 27, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  3. ^ "Billy Joel - Uptown Girl". Discogs. Archived from the original on November 27, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  4. ^ "Channel Five Interview" on YouTube
  5. ^ "Billy Joel Visits. 11/16/10. 7:55am". Howard Stern archive. Marksfriggin.com. November 16, 2010. Archived from the original on May 28, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  6. ^ "Billy Joel Website Interview". Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2012.
  7. ^ Dean, Maury (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. pp. 137–138. ISBN 0-87586-207-1.
  8. ^ a b Copsey, Rob (September 19, 2017). "The UK's Official Chart 'millionaires' revealed". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on September 19, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  9. ^ billyjoelVEVO (October 2, 2009), Billy Joel - Uptown Girl, archived from the original on December 7, 2017, retrieved November 30, 2017
  10. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Billy Joel – Uptown Girl". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  11. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Billy Joel – Uptown Girl" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  12. ^ "Ultratop.be – Billy Joel – Uptown Girl" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  13. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  14. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Billy Joel – Uptown Girl". Tracklisten.
  15. ^ "Billy Joel: Uptown Girl" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  16. ^ "Musicline.de – Billy Joel Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  17. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Billy Joel" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  18. ^ "Charts.nz – Billy Joel – Uptown Girl". Top 40 Singles.
  19. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Billy Joel – Uptown Girl". VG-lista.
  20. ^ ""Uptown Girl" on the South African Singles Chart". Springbok Radio. January 13, 1984. Archived from the original on November 19, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  21. ^ "Billy Joel: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  22. ^ "Billy Joel Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  23. ^ "Billy Joel Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  24. ^ "Billy Joel Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  25. ^ * Zimbabwe. Kimberley, C. Zimbabwe: singles chart book. Harare: C. Kimberley, 2000
  26. ^ "Top 100 Singles of 1983 – Volume 39, No. 17, December 24 1983". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  27. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1984/Top 100 Songs of 1984" Archived May 30, 2016, at the Wayback Machine., musicoutfitters.com (retrieved 9 April 2017).
  28. ^ "British single certifications – Billy Joel – Uptown Girl". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Uptown Girl in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  29. ^ "BPI Certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on September 1, 2009. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  30. ^ a b Copsey, Rob (March 17, 2017). "The Official Top 40 biggest selling singles by Irish acts of the last 20 years". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on March 18, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  31. ^ westlifeVEVO (February 17, 2017), Westlife - Uptown Girl, archived from the original on August 15, 2017, retrieved June 16, 2017
  32. ^ a b "{title}". Archived from the original on June 17, 2018. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  33. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Westlife – Uptown Girl". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  34. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Westlife – Uptown Girl" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  35. ^ "Ultratop.be – Westlife – Uptown Girl" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  36. ^ "Ultratop.be – Westlife – Uptown Girl" (in French). Ultratip.
  37. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Westlife – Uptown Girl". Tracklisten.
  38. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (March 24, 2001). "Billboard".
  39. ^ "Westlife: Uptown Girl" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  40. ^ "Lescharts.com – Westlife – Uptown Girl" (in French). Les classement single.
  41. ^ "Musicline.de – Westlife Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  42. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Westlife – Uptown Girl". Top Digital Download.
  43. ^ "{title}". Archived from the original on May 19, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  44. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Westlife" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  45. ^ "Charts.nz – Westlife – Uptown Girl". Top 40 Singles.
  46. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Westlife – Uptown Girl". VG-lista.
  47. ^ "Polish Airplay Charts - Lista krajowa 27/2001". PiF PaF Production. Archived from the original on February 28, 2002. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  48. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  49. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Westlife – Uptown Girl" Canciones Top 50.
  50. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Westlife – Uptown Girl". Singles Top 100.
  51. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Westlife – Uptown Girl". Swiss Singles Chart.
  52. ^ "Westlife: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  53. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  54. ^ "Australian End of Year 2001 Singles Chart". ARIA. Archived from the original on August 8, 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  55. ^ "Best of 2001 Irish Singles Chart". IRMA (Would required to select the "Best of 2001" tab). Archived from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  56. ^ "New Zealand Top Selling Singles of 2001". Recorded Music NZ. Archived from the original on January 27, 2016. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  57. ^ "2001 UK Singles Chart" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  58. ^ Radio 1 Official Chart of the Decade, as broadcast on BBC Radio 1 on December 29, 2009, presented by DJ Nihal
  59. ^ "British single certifications – Westlife – Uptown Girl". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Uptown Girl in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]