The song, “The Only Way Is Up”, was originally recorded by Otis Clay in 1980
Soul/Funk song “The Only Way Is Up” was written by George Jackson (1945-2013) and Johnny Henderson and recorded by American singer Otis Clay (1942-2016) in 1980 for his album of the same name. It was released as a single that same year, but was not a hit anywhere, unlike Clay’s earlier recordings like “Tryin’ To Live My Life Without You” in 1972 and “She’s About A Mover” in 1968.
The song was turned into a pop/dance tune by British producers Coldcut, under the name of ‘The Plastic Population’, in 1988 with singer Yazz on vocals, the same partnership that had produced a top ten hit with “Doctorin’ The House” earlier that year. This time the song was a smash hit and topped the UK singles chart, where it became the biggest seller of the year. It also made number one in six other countries and a top ten hit in a further twenty.
But which version is the best? OTIS CLAY’s original or YAZZ’s cover?
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