Uptight (Everything's Alright)

Album: Up-Tight (1965)
Charted: 14 3
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  • Stevie Wonder was clearly a genius, and proved it in 1963 with his #1 hit "Fingertips (Part 2)," which was taken from an impromptu live recording. Motown Records put plenty of promotion behind him (getting him appearances in the movies Muscle Beach Party and Bikini Beach), but they couldn't get his talent to come across in a studio recording.

    With the top Motown producers passing on Stevie, it was looking bleak until he started working with Sylvia Moy and Henry Cosby. Moy had Stevie play her different song ideas he had come up with, but wasn't impressed with any of them. Pressing to make sure he didn't have anything else, Wonder reluctantly played her something he had been working on: a ditty where he sang, "Everything is alright, uptight." Moy likes what she heard and helped him develop the song along with Cosby. The song went to #3 in the US and from that point forward, Wonder was a regular at the top of the charts.
  • In this song, Wonder is in bliss because he has found the girl of his dreams. He's dirt poor, but it doesn't matter because he's in love. Loggins & Messina expressed a similar sentiment in their 1972 track "Danny's Song."
  • Wonder received his first songwriting credit for his work on this track. Just 15 years old it marked his first UK hit and his first US Top-10 since his days as "Little Stevie Wonder." In his teenage years, Wonder honed his craft under the tutelage of the Motown staff, and in 1969 he negotiated a deal that made him one of the first artists to write, produce, arrange, and perform his own songs.
  • In 1972, Wonder was the opening act for The Rolling Stones on their North American tour. Stevie and The Stones didn't interact much offstage, but near the end of the tour, Wonder would join the band on stage to perform a medley of this song and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," which became a highlight of the performance. "We did it once and it was so exciting that we decided to just keep it in," said Wonder.

Comments: 7

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1966 {March 27th} "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" by the Jazz Crusaders entered Billboard's Top 100 chart for a one week stay at position #95...
    Seven weeks earlier on February 6th, 1966 the original version of "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" by Stevie Wonder peaked at #3 {for 2 weeks} on the Top 100...
    The Jazz Crusaders had one other Top 100 record, "Way Back Home", it reached #90 in 1971.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer: www.legacy.com
    Sylvia Moy, the creative Motown songwriter who brought Stevie Wonder hits at a time when he needed them the most, died Saturday, April 15, 2017, of complications of pneumonia in Dearborn, Michigan, according to multiple news sources. She was 78.
    Moy was the first female songwriter and producer for recording artists at the Detroit-based Motown Records group.
    Sylvia Rose Moy was born Sept. 15, 1938, on Detroit's northeast side. In 1963, the legendary singer Marvin Gaye and songwriter Mickey Stevenson spotted Moy performing at a nightclub. She soon was hired at Motown to record and produce records, but the label needed songs for its ever-growing stable of artists, so she honed in on that task.
    Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr. credited Moy with persuading the label not to drop Little Stevie Wonder, whose voice was changing as he went through puberty. In Gordy's autobiography, "To Be Loved," he told Moy he'd keep Wonder in the Motown fold if she'd come up with a hit song for the young artist.
    That song was "Uptight (Everything's Alright)," which Moy co-wrote with Henry Cosby and Wonder. Moy didn't know how to write a song in braille, so she sang her lyrics into his headphones a line at a time during the recording process.
    The song proved a success in early 1966, peaking at No. 3 on Billboard's Pop Singles chart. "Uptight" also shot to No. 1 on the magazine's R&B Singles chart and stayed there for five weeks.
    Moy went on to write and/or produce more Wonder hits including "My Cherie Amour," "I Was Made To Love Her," and "Never Had a Dream Come True." She also co-wrote hits for other artists including the Isley Brothers, Gaye, Kim Weston, and Michael Jackson.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 9th 1966, "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" by Ramsey Lewis entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #74; and three weeks later on October 30th, 1966 it peaked at #49 {for 1 week} and spent 5 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #30 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    During the year 1966 Mr. Lewis had five other records on the Top 100 and they were all covered versions; "Hang On Sloopy", "A Hard Day's Night", "Hi-Heeled Sneakers", "Wade in the Water", and "Day Tripper"...
    And also in 1966 three other versions of "Uptight" made the Top 100; Stevie Wonder {the original, peaked at #3}, Nancy Wilson {#84}, and the Jazz Crusaders {#95}...
    Ramsey Lewis will celebrate his 80th birthday come next May 27th {2015}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 6th 1966, "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" by Stevie Wonder peaked at #3 (for 2 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on December 12th, 1965 at position #100 and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 4 of those 14 it was on the Top 10)...
    And on January 16th, 1966 it reached #1 (for 5 weeks) on Billboard' R&B Singles chart...
    Three covered versions have charted; Jazz Crusaders (#95 in 1966), Nancy Wilson (#84, also in 1966) and Bill Cosby with "Little Old Man (Uptight - Everything's Already)" (#4 in 1967)...
    Mr. Wonder, born Stevland Hardaway Judkins, will celebrate his 64th birthday come next May 13th (2014).
  • Jerome from New Orleans, La@ John in Nashville. I read the same thing years ago about this song saving Stevies career.Who knows if he would have re-surfaced elsewhere.I'm glad we didnt have to find out. I love Stevie.
  • Dave from Scottsdale, AzBill Cosby recorded a version of this in 1967 called "Little Old Man" which was this song re-worked. The chorus was identical but the verses were a recitation about a man Bill found sitting on the railroad tracks who had a series of calamities befall him.
  • John from Nashville, TnThis song saved Stevie Wonder's career at Motown. After "Fingertips", Wonder hit a rough spot in terms of hit records and some Motown employees suggested that he was fininished as a hitmaking artist.
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