27 Songs Starting With U

When it comes to the starting letters of song names, the letter U holds the claim to some of the best singles of all time. Moreover, most of these songs were produced by top artists in their respective genres, so read on as we take a look at some top songs starting with U.

1. “U Got the Look” by Prince

Song year: 1987

Prince uses letters and numbers for words, and that can get annoying. But a list like this one starts with “U Got the Look,” or it’s not a legitimate list.

The Purple One’s trademark guitar tone is on full display, as is the overt sexuality that saturated so much of his music throughout his storied career. That’s Sheila E singing with him and playing percussion in competition with a drum machine.

2. “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie

Song year: 1981

Gen Y and subsequent generations sadly know this song more from it being ripped off for Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” in 1990. That doesn’t change the iconic nature of this duet between two of the coolest acts ever.

Supposedly written when Bowie and the members of Queen were drunk, the song’s standout bass riff anchors surprisingly poignant lyrics. It was the band’s second number-one hit and Bowie’s third, and you’ll have trouble thinking of a better collaborative project.

3. “Unchained” by Van Halen

Song year: 1981

Tentatively called “Hit the Ground Running” when David Lee Roth worked on the lyrics, “Unchained” is one of the most rocking Van Halen songs ever. That statement stands whether you’re Team Van Halen or Team Van Hagar.

Eddie’s always stellar guitar work gets punctuated with a flanger pedal which, in the early 80s, was uncommon. So guess what effects pedal started selling well in the early 80s?

4. “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers

Song year: 1965

Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield— aka The Righteous Brothers— didn’t write “Unchained Melody,” nor were they the first (or even the fourth) act to record and score a hit with it. But their 1965 rendition is the definitive one.

It never got higher than number four on the charts back then, but then a spectral Patrick Swayze helped Demi Moore make pottery in 1990’s “Ghost” with the song as a soundtrack, and it shot to number one.

5. “Unanswered Prayers” by Garth Brooks

Song year: 1990

Remember that time you ran into an old flame and thought to yourself, “Holy crap! I’m so glad that didn’t work out because look who this person has become”? That’s the gist of “Unanswered Prayers,” one of Garth Brooks’ most enduring hits.

The saccharine sentiment that God helps by not giving us what we want is schmaltzy, but there’s something to it. We’ve all been glad something in our past didn’t work out the way we’d hoped.

6. “Until the Night” by Billy Joel

Song year: 1979

One of the stronger tunes on “52nd Street,” “Until the Night,” didn’t get the airplay it deserved in the States, but that didn’t stop it from becoming a fan favorite.

Its lyrics describe the feeling we’ve all had, whether in the first flush of love or simply missing a partner: I’ve got to get through what I’m doing at work today, but it will be worth whatever I have to endure. Once the sun goes down, we’ll be together again. Its steady build from quiet and sparse instrumentation to the climax of the chorus gives chills.

7. “Us and Them” by Pink Floyd

Song year: 1973

From perhaps the most seminal album of the 1970s, “Us and Them” takes up almost eight minutes of “Dark Side of the Moon.”

Each verse shows a different kind of separation between people, whether it’s enemies on a battlefield, individuals on opposite sides of a color line, or haves and have-nots.

Like so many great songs, it remains relevant today as we continue to classify people who differ from us as “other.”

8. “Urgent” by Foreigner

Song year: 1981

“Urgent,” the first single from Foreigner’s insanely successful album “4,” is a song about a booty call. The best part about it is that “booty call” wasn’t really a term back then.

Well, no. The best part is the saxophone solo. Or the genuine urgency you can hear in Mick Jones’ voice. Or any number of other parts. This is a terrific song.

The recording features synth work from a then-unknown Thomas “She Blinded Me With Science” Dolby.

9. “Union of the Snake” by Duran Duran

Song year: 1983

Music pioneers Duran Duran ushered in the era of music videos as mini-films telling stories rather than simply showing the band performing. Nick Rhodes broke new ground in the synthesizer world. The band remains arguably the pinnacle of the New Romantic movement.

But some songs are weird, like “Union of the Snake.” Simon LeBon’s lyrics are often odd, so it’s sometimes hard to decipher what a Duran Duran song is about. “Union” is either about tantric sex or the inner battle of good and evil.

10. “Under the Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Song year: 1991

Anthony Keidis wrote the lyrics to “Under the Bridge” while in a depressive episode. He was three years sober, feeling isolated from his bandmates and alone in LA.

The lyrics about him feeling like the city is his only friend show the song as an autobiographical one, with Keidis using the song to detail the devastation drug use can wreak in one’s life.

The song went to number two and has remained one of the Peppers’ most enduring hits.

11. “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel

Song year: 1983

Part of Billy Joel’s retro concept album “An Innocent Man,” “Uptown Girl,” tells the tale of a working-class Joe who lands a high-class beauty who’s blue-blooded and out of his league.

That streetwise New York kid Joel was dating (and would marry) supermodel Christie Brinkley at the time is no coincidence, and she appeared in the music video.

12. “Up Around the Bend” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Song year: 1970

Creedence Clearwater Revival had a huge hit with this song that seems to be about taking a joyride. However, since Viet Nam was raging, and the song came out along with a ton of protest songs, there’s a chance that “around the bend” refers to Canada, and it’s a song about draft-dodging.

Would that change how much fun the song is? Depends on who you are, maybe.

13. “Uninvited” by Alanis Morissette

Song year: 1998

One of the breakout songs from the soundtrack of “City of Angels,” “Uninvited,” was the first single the world heard as a follow-up to Alanis Morrisette’s insanely successful  debut album, “Jagged Little Pill.”

It was well received. The song, complete with a Led Zeppelin “Kashmir” feel, won two Grammys.

14. “Uncle Tom's Cabin” by Warrant

“Uncle Tom's Cabin” by Warrant

Song year: 1991

Unrelated to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel of the same name, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” tells a surprisingly disturbing tale about a kid and his uncle witnessing two cops disposing of a couple of bodies.

It might have civil rights connotations, but then again, Warrant was a glam metal band, so that might be a stretch.

15. “Under My Thumb” by The Rolling Stones

Song year: 1966

No matter how well-crafted a rock song “Under My Thumb” is, and it’s a good piece of music, it will forever be associated with the disastrous Altamont Speedway Free Festival in 1969, as the  Stones were playing it when drunken Hell’s Angels murdered 18-year-old Meredith Hunter.

It’s one of the band’s most popular songs from those years. However, it received a fair share of criticism from feminists who didn’t appreciate its theme revolving around having women under your thumb. In response, Jagger stated the lyrics were satirical.

16. “U. N. I. T. Y.” by Queen Latifah

Song year: 1994

More substantial than simply a girl-power anthem, “U. N. I. T. Y.” addresses the overall treatment of women in society as second-class citizens. Queen Latifah takes issue with domestic violence, getting catcalled on the street, and the saturation of rap lyrics with the dreaded B-word.

Her message of unity has an underlying, we’re-not-gonna-take-it-anymore vibe.

17. “Ugly” by Fishbone

Song year: 1985

For a band of brilliant musicians, Fishbone occasionally dabbles in sophomoric lyrics, but that doesn’t make “Ugly” any less fun. Based on a childhood rhyme, the song employs Fishbone’s unique blend of ska, funk, and soul and a shin-kicking horn section.

The ugly guy in the song may not have an alibi, but listeners routinely enjoy the heck out of this one.

18. “Un-break My Heart” by Toni Braxton

Song year: 1996

Songwriter Dianne Warren has written a slew of hits for a murderer’s row of great singers. For all the beauty of the song’s melody and Toni Braxton’s voice, the lyrics are ridiculously sad as the narrator mourns the death of her beloved.

It went to number one because everybody loves a sad story. Not to mention it’s also a great piece of music.

19. “Under the Boardwalk” by The Drifters

Song year: 1964

It seems like everyone’s covered this song— from Bruce Willis to the Rolling Stones— but The Drifters’ version is the classic one.

With a sense of yearning for something better, the song’s lyrics tell of a guy who wants to get away somewhere private, perhaps to wallow in self-pity. Despite the overall downer feel, the song went to number one.

20. “Underneath the Streetlight” by Joni Mitchell

Song year: 1983

An upbeat song about love, Joni Mitchell’s “Underneath the Streetlight” sounds a bit dated due to its early-80s production techniques, but her voice and songwriting skills can’t be overshadowed.

She paints a picture of the hustle and bustle of the city at night, and alongside it all, she declares her love.

21. “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole

Song year: 1951

Nat King Cole’s simple, straightforward love song became his signature piece in the 1950s, spending time in the Top 20 of Billboard’s Best-Selling Single charts back in the days when Billboard’s charts were very different from today’s.

Cole’s daughter Natalie recorded a “virtual duet” of the song with him after his death, and that single dominated the charts in 1991.

22. “Under African Skies” by Paul Simon

Song year: 1987

Paul Simon’s luminous album “Graceland” is shot through with all things Africa, including the vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The singers were relative unknowns until Simon used them on his album.

Ladysmith doesn’t appear on “Under African Skies,” but Linda Ronstadt does. Only Paul Simon could bring these disparate elements together.

23. “Ultraviolet (Light My Way)” by U2

Song year: 1991

By Bono’s admission, “Ultraviolet (Light My Way)” is an unsettling song. From “Achtung Baby,” one of U2’s 947 well-crafted albums, the song uses the invisibility of ultraviolet light as a metaphor for things that can interfere with a relationship.

The takeaway? It’s hard to confront directly something you can’t see. And because it’s a U2 song, you can make an argument for the lyrics having religious underpinnings.

24. “Until” by Sting

Song year: 2001

Sting made a name for himself fronting The Police, a punk-meets-reggae band that never stopped growing musically. “Until,” though, is a lilting waltz of a love song from a film called “Kate and Leopold.”

It’s about being together forever, and it won Sting a Golden Globe to go on the shelf with all his other awards.

25. “Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed” by David Bowie

Song year: 1969

David Bowie’s father died at the age of 56 while Bowie was playing at a music festival. “Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed” came from Bowie’s shock and sadness of the loss.

The artist later spoke of only going home when he needed to do laundry. While that engendered feelings of guilt in Bowie after his father’s death, it helps frame the song’s lyrical content.

26. “Up on Cripple Creek” by The Band

Song year: 1969

“Up On Cripple Creek” tells the story of a long-haul trucker returning to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to see Bessie, a woman to whom he often returns for love and comfort.

At the song’s end, the narrator mentions going back home to “big mamma,” which is either the wife he’s running around on, or it’s his rig, and he just means he needs to get back on the road. Either way, it’s a fun listen from one of the best bands of the 1970s.

27. “Until” by The Bee Gees

Song year: 1979

As the B-side of the Bee Gees’ smash hit “Tragedy,” “Until” got a lot of exposure. After all, we still bought 45s back then, and at some point, most of us turned the record over and played that other song.

It couldn’t be more opposite of “Tragedy.” It’s got spooky synth sounds, a languid beat, and a few of the group’s trademark falsetto harmonies.

Best Songs Starting With U, Final Thoughts

From recognizable melodies to relatable lyrics, all of these songs offer something distinct. So regardless of the occasion or your music preferences, there’s bound to be a song starting with U to your liking.

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