Stevie Wonder – Uptight [1965]

What an absolute legend Wonder is, absolutely massive for almost 50 years and still his tracks are regularly featured on everything from commercials to radio. Its no great surprise either, when this was his third single, all the way back in 1965 – when your starting out like this, it sets a hell of a precedent. But Stevie was never going to be a one hit wonder (arf), instead he has one of the greatest soul back catalogues of all time, possibly ever. A track that will stick a big ass smile on your face every time you hear it. Total classic.

From Wikipedia
Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” is a 1966 hit single recorded by Stevie Wonder for the Tamla (Motown) label. One of his most popular early singles, “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” 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, Sylvia Moy and Henry Cosby set about writing a new song for the artist, based upon an instrumental riff Wonder had devised.[2] On the day of the recording, Moy had the lyrics, but didn’t have them in braille for Wonder to read, and so sang the song to him as he was recording it. She sang a line ahead of him and he simply repeated the lines as he heard them. In 2008, Moy commented that “he never missed a beat” during the recording.[3]

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 (Everything’s Alright)” peaked at number-three 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.[4]. An accompanying album, Up-Tight, was rushed into production to capitalize on the single’s success.

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