“Under Pressure” From “Uncle Albert” For Some “Uptown Funk”! These “U” Songs Feature Utopia! Queen! David Bowie! Paul McCartney! U2 As Well!


Time To Dance To The Tune Of “U”!

David Bowie and Freddie Mercury gave us one of the greatest songs that began with the letter “U”, so let’s get going there and see where this musical letter of the alphabet takes us!

“Under Pressure” by David Bowie and Queen

An unlikely collaboration at the time, ad the stories of how it came together are fascinating – but come together it did, in one of the greatest songs of our generation…

David Bowie and Queen created an instant classic – still as revered today as when they created it in 1982 – here is the video, thanks to Queen’s official YouTube channel:

I found a great story about the recording of this song, with great quotes from Queen’s Brian May – see my story here:

https://johnrieber.com/2016/01/16/david-bowie-meets-queen-the-brilliant-wine-fuelled-madness-of-under-pressure/

Next up is a great group, formed by Todd Rundgren, that played progressive rock in the 70’s then transitioned to great power pop in the 80’s:

Utopia – “I’m Looking At You (But I’m Talking To Myself)”

I could have chosen so many different Utopia songs from their catalog, but I chose one of their ballads, performed by Todd, a great pop song with plaintive lyrics:

“I’m looking at you but I’m talking to myself
Looking straight at you but I’m talking to myself
Talking to myself ’cause I still can remember
Words that didn’t sound so well planned
What is wrong with me?
You don’t have to pretend to understand…”

Here they are, live in 1982, with Todd on lead vocals:

I’ve posted stories about many of Utopia’s albums, but this self-titled effort from the early 80’s is a gem – you can see more videos from the album here:

https://johnrieber.com/2016/06/30/todd-rundgrens-utopia-2-a-neglected-80s-power-pop-classic-kasim-sultans-departure-and-return/

Time to get modern, with one of the most popular performers today:

“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson, featuring Bruno Mars

Many people think of this as a Bruno Mars song, but it’s actually from Mark Ronson’s 2015 album “Uptown Special” – it was #1 for 14 straight weeks, thanks to the Bruno Mars collaboration – giving it that swagger he is known for, as he sings at the top of the song:


“This hit, that ice cold
Michelle Pfeiffer, that white gold
This one, for them hood girls
Them good girls, straight masterpieces
Stylin’, wilin’
Livin’ it up in the city
Got Chucks on with Saint Laurent
Gotta kiss myself I’m so pretty”

Here is this terrific music video:

What’s amazing is that someone took this funky beat and edited classic movie dance numbers all over it – and it works! See it here:


https://johnrieber.com/2017/10/06/a-you-tube-find/

You can’t talk about music with the letter “U” without bringing in U2 – they’ve earned their spot as one of our era’s most enduring and popular bands…


U2 – “Pride (In The Name Of Love)”

This classic song was from their album “The Unforgettable Fire” and was written about Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Early morning, April four
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love
What more in the name of love?”

An inspiring song that has become one of their classics: here is the band performing it:

Finally, Paul McCartney recorded one album that was credited to both him and wife Linda:

“Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey” by Paul and Linda McCartney

It was after the breakup of The Beatles, and history has suggested that Linda’s name was used in order to get some money from the album sales, since Paul was in heavy litigation with the other former members of the band.

Here’s a great video filled with vintage shots of Paul, Linda and the kids on their farm during recording:

“RAM” has become one of Macca’s masterpieces, but it was also attacked by John Lennon – see that story here:


https://johnrieber.com/2012/08/20/macca-ram-on-paul-mccartneys-masterpiece-john-lennons-fury-a-beatles-c-c-c-catfight/

Let me know your favorite “U” songs!



Categories: 70's Music, Art, Awards, Books / Media, Classic Rock, Hollywood, Independent Cinema, London, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Music, New York, Obscure Music, Talent/Celebrities, Todd Rundgren, TV Show, Uncategorized

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7 replies

  1. I also mentioned Bruno in ‘U’, and my top choice was ‘Unfinished Sympathy’, by Massive Attack.
    But I just CANNOT stand U2, especially the awful ‘Bono’, a man I absolutely despise. Sorry, John.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Pete, I have a “love / hate” relationship with U2, more hate than love, but that song is terrific so I included it…here is why the most recent Grammy Awards were so awful: Lourde, nominated for Album of the Year, was not allowed to sing a solo number on the show – U2, who just released a crap album and weren’t even nominated, were on the show 3 times! Epic fail!

  2. Love everything here in your post today. I’ve seen the Bruno Mars mashup with classic dancers. Really cool.

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