Undercover Angel

Album: Appetizers (1977)
Charted: 43 1
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Songfacts®:

  • In this song, a lonely guy gets a welcome visitor: an "undercover angel" who makes love to him in his sleep. It might be a dream, or perhaps a vivid fantasy, but it seems very real. Alan O'Day described it as a "nocturnal novelette."
  • Alan O'Day was a successful songwriter before becoming a solo artist and releasing "Undercover Angel" as his first single. He had written hits for Bobby Sherman ("The Drum" - 1971), Cher ("Train of Thought "- 1974), and The Righteous Brothers ("Rock And Roll Heaven" - 1974), but most notably, penned the #1 hit "Angie Baby" for Helen Reddy in 1974. That song also dithers between fantasy and reality.
  • O'Day drew inspiration from a 1975 song called "He Did Me Wrong, But He Did It Right" by Patti Dahlstrom. In that song, a woman falls for a guy with "an undercover double life" who is also "under covers late at night." This gave O'Day the idea to play on the double meaning of "undercover."
  • O'Day was the first recording artist for Pacific Records, a company created by Warner Brothers Music for their composers who also performed. "Undercover Angel" was the first song he wrote for himself to perform. It was a surprise hit. Released in February 1977, it went to #1 in America in July. Some radio stations refused to play it because of its sexual nature, but that helped create a buzz and send it up the charts.
  • Michael Omartian produced this song along with Steve Barri. Some of Omartian's other credits include "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" by Christopher Cross and "The Next Time I Fall" by Chicago.
  • O'Day's next single, "Started Out Dancing, Ended Up Making Love," stalled at #73. He released a few more singles, including "Soldier of Fortune" and "Satisfied," before mothballing his solo career. He ended up working on music for TV, including some project for Sesame Street and The Muppets.

Comments: 13

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyFor: Jennie P.
    Carol Parks is the female singing back-up on the record, she also provided vocals for "Desiderata", "It Never Rains In Southern California", "Rock Me Gently", "The Goodbye Girl", "Little Green Apples", "That's The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia" and "Delta Dawn"...
    Ms. Parks passed away on October 21st, 2010 at the age of 60...
    May she R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 28th 1977, Alan O'Day performed "Undercover Angel" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    Two months earlier on March 27th it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #98; and on July 3rd it peaked at #1 (for 1 week) and spent almost a half-year on the Top 100 (25 weeks, and for 7 of those 25 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    On July 9th it reached #1 (for 2 weeks) on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart...
    He had one other Top 100 record, "Started Out Dancing, Ended Up Making Love", it peaked at #73 on the chart...
    R.I.P. Mr. O'Day (1940 - 2013).
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxWhen it was out, I called it 'Undercover Airhead.' And it deserved such a barb.
  • Grant from Port Pirie, AustraliaWhat about 'Skinny Girls', a great 80's song, made it to # 11 in the Australian charts, very catchy tune. quintessential 80's.
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiI love this song.It's on one of my cds.
  • Paul from Kennewick, WaReminds me mof my first ever summer love-hope you're doing good Claudette, wherever ya are!That was in a different era, but it's still one of my Top 10, but oddly enough, I never could find a copy of the .45.
  • Mary from Phoenix, AzI always loved this song as a kid (although I never knew what the lyrics meant). To me, at 7 years old, it was just a good song to listen to! I still have the 45 somewhere.
  • Greatnorthwestguy from Cottage Grove, OrWow I just purchased the 1997 and 2001 versions on I-tunes and the female back up singer must be Dolly Parton.
  • Drew from B'ham, AlI forgot about "Come Sail Away". I never knew about "Angel" by Aerosmith. It seems ironic, Aerosmith of all bands, to use the word "angel". As for Styx, I'm not the least bit surprised.
  • Dale from Santa Fe, NmAndrew, the Styx song "Come Sail Away" mentions angels. Aerosmith has a song titled "Angel" etc.
  • Andrew from Birmingham, United StatesThis song sounds like someone mixing the disco beat and Golden 50's lyrics. I mean think about it: "Undercover Angel". About "You Sexy Thing" by Hot Chocolate, the same thing. I haven't otherwise heard Rock-genre lyrics include the word "angel" any later than the early '60s. I always thought that the Tokens were the last Rock-genre group whose lyrics included the word "angel".
  • Jeannie B. from Rochester, NyI just heard "Undercover Angel" on the radio. Who is the girl singing backup with Alan? Sounds a lot like Dolly Parton....
  • Dave from Oak Park, MiSome "K-Tel Big-Hits by Various-Artists of The Day" record, advertised on late-night TV, featuring this song, had O'Day dub "Midnight TENNESSEE" over "Midnight FANTASY"... It was played in a completely different key, too!

    Thought, then, the song was more of an "undercover woman-spy song", than, of course what it's really about...
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