About The Song
This song was released on September 29, 1983, on his ninth studio album, An Innocent Man (1983). “Uptown Girl” peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks from November 12 to December 10, 1983. It also reached number one in the United Kingdom for five weeks, his only number-one hit in the country. It was the second-best-selling single of 1983 in the United Kingdom behind only Culture Club’s “Karma Chameleon”, which Joel had knocked off the number-one position on November 1, 1983.
Joel went on to explain that he and Elle parted ways when she went off to Europe, which is around the time he started dating Brinkley. He reworked the lyrics, and by the time he finished the song, it was about Brinkley.
As he explained to Howard Stern, Joel was on vacation in the Caribbean when he was playing the piano, looked up, and saw Elle Macpherson, Christie Brinkley and Whitney Houston (who was more a model than a musician at that point) standing over his piano in wonderment watching him play. Joel thanked his creator for his good fortune, and began dating Elle. His first attempt at the song had the lyrics, “Uptown girls, I’ve been around the world.” The music was more of a classical piece when it started.