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Uptight (Everything's Alright)

"Uptight (Everything's Alright)" is a 1965 hit single recorded by Stevie Wonder for the Tamla (Motown) label. One of his most popular early singles, "Uptight" was the first Stevie Wonder single to be co-written by the artist.

The single was a watershed in Wonder's career for several reasons. Aside from the number-one hit "Fingertips", only two of Wonder's singles had reached the Top 40 of Billboard's Pop Singles chart, ("Workout, Stevie Workout" reached # 33 in late 1963 and "Hey Harmonica Man" reached # 29 Pop in the Summer of 1964) and the fifteen-year-old artist was in danger of being let go. In addition, Wonder's voice had begun to change, and Motown CEO Berry Gordy was worried that he would no longer be a commercially viable artist. As it turned out, however, producer Clarence Paul found it easier to work with Wonder's now-mature tenor voice, and he and Sylvia Moy set about writing a new song for the artist, based upon an instrumental riff Wonder had devised.

The resulting song, "Uptight (Everything's Alright)", features lyrics which depict a poor young man's appreciation for a rich girl's seeing beyond his poverty to his true worth. A notable success, "Uptight" peaked at number-two on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in early 1966, at the same time reaching the top of the Billboard R&B Singles chart for five weeks. An accompanying album, Up-Tight, was rushed into production to capitalize on the single's success.

"Uptight (Everything's Alright)" continues to be popular on oldies radio.

Cover versions and soundalikes

In 1967, Bill Cosby incorporated "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" into "Little Ole Man' for his "Silver Throat: Bill Cosby Sings" album. In 1989, The KLF's spinoff project Disco 2000 released a disco-pop cover version of "Uptight," sung from the girl's perspective by female singers. In 2006, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' cover of "Uptight" appeared in a Chase Manhattan Bank commercial.

The Oasis song "Step Out" was left off their 1995 album "(What's the Story) Morning Glory?" due to its obvious similarity to "Uptight" and the ensuing argument over royalties and threatened legal action. However, the song was later released by Oasis as a B-Side to their hit single "Don't Look Back in Anger". Interestingly for this release, the songwriting credit was changed from 'Noel Gallagher' to 'Gallagher/Wonder/Cosby/Moy'.

In 1983, Culture Club's "Church of the Poison Mind" has a similar opening to this song. Kid 'N Play's song "Hype", from the 1988 album "2 Hype", utilizes a bass-heavy interpolation of this song's chorus and melody. Also, the Disney Channel did a DTV music video of the song, set to clips mostly from the Donald Duck cartoon Donald's Double Trouble.


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