Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Randy Tuesdays #10: The Downtown, Downbeat Guy

Like our very first Randy (Mr. Newman), the last on the list has made a successful career for himself in Hollywood composing scores for films such as Ghostbusters II, Twins, Kindergarten Cop, My Cousin Vinny and Vin Diesel's XXX. He even wrote the theme tune to MacGyver.

Prior to this, back in the 70s, he was a songwriter whose work was recorded by The Carpenters, Barry Manilow, Dionne Warwick and Olivia Newton-John, among others. He also had a big solo hit covering Unit 4+2's 60s hit Concrete & Clay.

But it's his lesser-known "hit" single (it just scraped the UK Top 30 in 1976) which has scarred itself onto my subconscious. To the point that I was truly amazed when so many of you failed to guess his identity. Really! How could you forget...?

10. Randy Edelman

Why do I love Uptown, Uptempo Woman so much? It fits my love of 70s piano balladeering, scratching my Billy Joel itch. It spins a moving, finely detailed yarn like Harry Chapin did so well. It's another Wogan song, I guess. It must be Terry who planted it in my brain. It tells a complete love story, from infatuation through to passion, cooling off to loathing. When the protagonist tries to leave, to avoid a bitter confrontation... that's the day his lady comes home early. Really, it breaks my heart. To me, it's a true story. I feel honest emotion every time I hear it.

I know. I'm weird.

Plus, it's got one of those lyrics that I always amusingly misunderstood as a kid. In the opening verse, when Randy first meets his Uptown, Uptempo Woman in New York, he tells us...

A thousand people crammed in one place
But the only face was you
I grabbed your hand and we raced out
Hardly said a word
I’d only seen you for a minute
But I was roundin’ third

That last line is obviously the popular American romance/baseball metaphor, but I didn't hear it that way as a kid. I thought he actually sang, "But I was round in third" and I always wondered why he couldn't get his car up to fourth gear? Was his gearbox knackered? Was that a metaphor? No, no, don't spoil this song with innuendo too...

All of which brings us to the end of Randy Tuesdays. Thank you for sticking with it. I hope your favourite Randy had their moment of glory. I don't know what I'm doing next... or even if I am doing another one of these for the time being. Haven't made my mind up yet, and I'm going to be shaking things up here from July, probably cutting down the number of posts I wring out every week to give you all a break. We'll see.


  1. I didn't see this Randy coming, but now that you mention it and now that I've listened to it, I am getting vivid Wogan flashbacks.

  2. I totally saw this Randy coming and totally expected this song choice too. I have an excuse however in that I was obsessed with recording chart run-downs at this time (1976) so can remember everything that even touched the outer edges of the Top 30 - Changed days, as now I have no time for such pastimes and the charts as they were don't really exist any more.

    And no, you're not weird, in anticipation that you would choose this song (not much competition to be fair) I had a look at the lyrics over the weekend and like you, feel real emotion. It reminds me of something I wrote about recently - The phenomenon of the 3-month dalliance which starts with a coup de foudre but ends a few months later when the rose-coloured spectacles come off and reality kicks in. The relationships that seem to last are the ones that are slow burners and again this has been touched on over at my place and in the subsequent comments boxes.

    Oh no, another in our little community who is perhaps slowing down for the summer! It's like that feeling at the end of the school term before everyone heads off. I myself have decided to go cold turkey for a while in terms of writing new posts as my addiction to blogging has got out of hand of late (I soon began to realise, the mess I'd gotten in, but as always happens, you're caught in such a trap, you get so used to what's around, you can't find your way back). Hopefully you will just be tweaking though as I love this blog and have learnt so much from it. I got into all this as a naïve fan of mainstream pop music (it started out in innocence, the way that most things do) but thanks to you guys I can't listen to anything now without dissecting the lyrics. Thank you for all of it, The Kenny Wednesdays and The Randy Tuesdays - the week won't be the same without them.

    1. In case anyone thinks I've gone mad, the words in the brackets are of course lyrics from the song which I'm sure the author of this post would get but not maybe obvious. The curse of the comments boxes strikes again!

  3. Aha yes this *was* the Randy that I only thought of at the very last minute last week (you'll just have to take my word) but he was just a name and I couldn't picture him or remember a single song by him. Now that I'm getting to know more about your tastes I can totally see why he's here. And I did remember the song once I heard it, although as you can probably guess it's not my cuppa tea - still, that's all part of the fun.
    Have loved the Kenny Wednesdays and the Randy Tuesdays and I seem to remember there was mention a little while back of a Fred Mondays (maybe Freddie Mondays, has a nice ring to it) so if you decided to do another then it'll always be a pleasure and an education.
    Meanwhile yes there seems to be something in the air and a few of us are slowing things down for a bit but hopefully not for too long? Look forward to anything you decide to do anyway, as at the moment I'm rather enjoying being the equivalent of an armchair traveller for a while when it comes to blogging and enjoying everyone else doing it...

  4. Didn't have that one on my Randy radar

  5. Don't believe I ever heard this song, but he certainly has had an interesting career. A nice way to conclude the Randy roundup.


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