Uptown (The Crystals song)

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Single by The Crystals
from the album Twist Uptown
B-side"What a Nice Way to Turn Seventeen"
Released1962 (1962)
Songwriter(s)Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil
Producer(s)Phil Spector
The Crystals singles chronology
"There's No Other (Like My Baby)"
"He Hit Me (and It Felt like a Kiss)"

"Uptown" is a 1962 single by the Crystals. On the Cash Box Top 100, the song peaked at #10. On the Billboard charts, "Uptown" reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #18 on the Billboard R&B Sides chart.


In 1961, the Crystals recorded "There's No Other (Like My Baby)" with producer Phil Spector. When the Crystals went to record "Uptown" the following year, the group had not received payment from Spector for "There's No Other". After recording "Uptown", the Crystals were not paid by Spector, which led the group to fire their manager Benny Wells and hire the new manager, Daniel Turner.[1]


Before the Crystals recorded "Uptown", La La Brooks replaced Myrna Girrard after Girrard became pregnant.[2] During a retake of "Uptown", Spector brought in Eva Boyd after songwriters Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann convinced him to redo the vocals. Boyd got angry with Spector after having to re-record her vocals for "Uptown" multiple times, which lead to Spector to release the original version with the Crystals.[3]


"Uptown" was originally written for Tony Orlando, but Spector convinced songwriters Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann to give him the song.[4] After acquisition, Spector changed some of the notes to ones that Barbara Alston of the Crystals could sing and modified the lyrics to be about an African American instead of a Latin American.[3] The lyrics in "Uptown" about living in the slums created a "sophisticated and socially conscious" song that laid the framework for later rock and roll songs.[5]


Billboard magazine said that with the flip side "What a Nice Way to Turn Seventeen", both songs had "appeal for both pop and r&b buyers".[6]

Chart performance

In 1962, "Uptown" peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100[7] and #18 on the Hot R&B Sides.[8]

Cover versions

"Uptown" was covered by Anita Lindblom for Fontana and Peter Gordeno for HMV.[15]


  1. ^ Musso 2007, p. 150.
  2. ^ Clemente, John (2013). Girl Groups: Fabulous Females Who Rocked The World. AuthorHouse. p. 70. ISBN 9781477276334. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b Emerson 2005, p. 136.
  4. ^ Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (Updated and Expanded 5th ed.). Billboard Books. p. 119. ISBN 9780823076772. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  5. ^ Musso 2007, p. 149.
  6. ^ "Singles Review". Billboard. 3 March 1962. p. 19. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Hot 100". Billboard. 26 May 1962. p. Cover. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Hot R&B Sides". Billboard. 9 June 1962. p. 45. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  9. ^ "CHUM Hit Parade". CHUM Tribute. 1962-05-28. Retrieved 2020-06-26.
  10. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  11. ^ "Hot R&B Sides". Billboard. 9 June 1962. p. 45. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  12. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, May 19, 1962
  13. ^ Musicoutfitters.com
  14. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 29, 1962
  15. ^ Wedge, Don (2 June 1962). "Form Shadrich Disk Production". Billboard. Retrieved 31 July 2017.