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Uptown Girl by Billy Joel

Album: An Innocent ManReleased: 1983Charted:
3
1
  • Billy Joel married the supermodel Christie Brinkley less than two years after this song was released, but he wasn't even dating her when he started writing the song - he was actually dating another supermodel: Elle McPherson. Asked about his relationship with Elle on The Howard Stern Show in 2010, Joel explained: "We dated on and off. We weren't like engaged or anything. We just kind of dated. She was 19."

    Joel went on to explain that he and Elle parted ways when she went off to Europe, which is around the time he started dating Brinkley. He reworked the lyrics, and by the time he finished the song, it was about Brinkley.
  • On Australian TV in 2006, Joel said: "The song was originally called 'Uptown Girls' not 'Uptown Girl.' I know its associated with Christie but when I started to write that song I had recently divorced prior to meeting her, all the sudden I'm a rock star and divorced. All these women were going to go out with me."

    As he explained to Howard Stern, Billy Joel was on vacation in the Caribbean when he was playing the piano, looked up, and saw Elle McPherson, Christie Brinkley and Whitney Houston (who was more a model than a musician at that point) standing over his piano in wonderment watching him play. Joel thanked his creator for his good fortune, and began dating Elle. His first attempt at the song had the lyrics, "Uptown girls, I've been around the world." The music was more of a classical piece when it started.
  • Joel is from Long Island, New York, and always considered himself a working-class, regular guy. This song reflects his surprise at his ability to attract such beautiful, glamorous women. In a 1987 interview with Q magazine, Joel said: "The fact that I can attract such a beautiful woman as Christie should give hope to every ugly guy in the world!"
  • The whole album, especially this song, was a sort of tribute to '60s Pop music. Specifically, this one is done in the style of The Four Seasons, with Joel trying to sound like Frankie Valli. He had their song "Rag Doll" in mind both musically and lyrically, Valli sang about a poor girl that he loved anyway. In fact, he loved her "Just the way you are."
  • Christie Brinkley was in the video, playing the Uptown Girl. Joel portrayed a mechanic working on her car.
  • Brinkley and Joel remained married for nine years. She drew the cover art for his 1993 album River of Dreams. They eventually separated due to Joel's busy schedule.
  • This was Joel's only #1 single in the UK. It's also one of his best-selling in the US.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer decides to hang out with the band of hippies his mother was once part of in the 1960s, Homer breaks into singing a fragment of this song at one point. (thanks, Vincent - Fayetteville, AR)
  • In 2001 the Irish boy band Westlife covered "Uptown Girl," topping the UK charts for a week. It was recorded as the official song for the 2001 BBC Comic Relief charity appeal. Screenwriter Richard Curtis, one of the founders of the Comic Relief campaign, knew supermodel Claudia Schiffer's agent and obtained her cooperation to be the Uptown Girl in the video, which mimicked Billy Joel's original that featured his model wife Christie Brinkley. In addition to Schiffer and Westife themselves, the video also featured the actors Tim McInnery, James Wilby, Ioan Gruffudd, Robert Bathurst and Crispin Bonham Carter as a chorus of city workers.
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Comments: 23

I remember this song from when I was younger.Peter - Coventry, United Kingdom
No wonder why the first time I heard this song I was like "Is this a Four Seasons song that Billy Joel covered?" lol.Allison - Allentown, Pa
My frist song I herd by Billy Joel was Uptown Girls, I loved it, it's my top 2 favorite song. I would love to meet the AWESOME SINGER BILLY JOEL. My dad HATES THE SONG and whatever he hates I love!!!!!Val - Des Moines, Ia
Kristin from Canada is right and I agree.Uptown Girl is so very boring and awful.If I was Billy Joel I would refuse to sing this JUNK!Everything else from BJ is better.John - Brisbane, United States
This one and "Tell Her About It" were the first (and only) two songs of Billy Joel I ever saw on video back in the 80's. Thus propelling me into more Rock and more Rock music and lesser Pop and Rap music.John - Stamford, Ct
You can't help but sing along when this song comes on. Christie Brinkley may be hot but she reminds me of crazy internet date women hahahaha Hasn't she been divorced like 3 or 4 times ?Mike - Hueytown , Al
Someone said he doesn't play Inocent man songs in concert anymore, but i went to a concert 2 months ago he sang "Innocent Man".Megan - St. Louis, Mo
Billy was horribly upset upon hearing the news of the annulment from a relative and not directly from Brinkley. Although he still vows he will always love Brinkley - his heart was broken when by hearing the news from a third party.Sjoseph - Norfolk, Ma
I love that episode, I love how he wears that poncho lol good stuff.Dawson - Draper, Ut
mmm christie brinkley hohhhhhuuuhhh (homer simpson style)Marlow - Perth
Billy Joel, the great imitator...on this album, though, that was the point and this song is almost more Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons than the originals.Ben - Tucson, Az
Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley = soulmates. At least to meAshley Jade - Cleveland, Ga
Billy Joel has not performed this or any other "Innocent Man" song in concert since the early 1990's since he beleieves that these were all novelty songs that don't reflect the type of songs he wants to be remembered for.Ken - Louisville, Ky
that simpson episodes HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!! where he discovers that his name is homer jay simpson! lol...................Jeanette - Irvine, Ca
Brinkley might be easy on the eyes, but man, SHE CAN'T DANCE!!! Jerry's Kids have better moves...Ydur - Knoxville, Tn
This song is the peak of Joel's Prozac period!Delbert - Austin, Tx
Also a Number One for boyband WestLife in the UK in 2002, but their version was rubbishDave - Cardiff, Wales
How unreal does Christine Brinkley look in this video? - she is also in the background of Billy Joels clip for Matter of Trust.Rhett - Melbourne, Australia
actually ... she did divorce him because he was gone so much ... she actually got the marriage annulled, claiming that there wasn't enough "consumation" in the marriage. (i think she said 8 months since the last time)Kt - St. Louis, Mo
She married one of the survivor's of the crash, really really regretted it.. and got a divorce from that guy right after she gave birth to her son that she had with him.Brooke - Sedona, Az
The didn't seperate because of Joel's schedule. The seperated after Brinkley's helecopter crash. She claimed he couldn't understand what she went through. She later married (and divorced, I think) another survivor from the crash.

Joel and Brinkley met on a cruise. Niether knew who the other was.
Rick - Buffalo, Ny
This song is kinda boreingKristin - Kelowna, Canada
The video was filmed on the two hottest nights of the summer in 1983.Dc - Hilo, Hi