I Can See Clearly Now

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"I Can See Clearly Now"
Single by Johnny Nash
from the album I Can See Clearly Now
B-side "How Good It Is"
Released June 23, 1972
Format 7" single
Recorded 1972
Genre Pop-Reggae
Length 2:45
Label Epic
Writer(s) Johnny Nash
Producer(s) Johnny Nash
Johnny Nash singles chronology
"Stir It Up"
(1972)
"I Can See Clearly Now"
(1972)
"There Are More Questions Than Answers"
(1972)

"I Can See Clearly Now" is a song written and recorded by Johnny Nash. It was a single from the album of the same name and achieved success in the United States and the United Kingdom when it was released in 1972, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was covered by many artists throughout the years, including a 1993 hit version by Jimmy Cliff, who re-recorded it for the motion picture soundtrack of Cool Runnings, where it reached the top 20 at No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Johnny Nash version[edit]

Music and lyrics[edit]

The song's optimistic lyrics, an unabashedly upbeat tempo in D-major, and a quick, sustained midway crescendo, contrasted against minor key hits popular at the same time, such as "Nights In White Satin", "I'll Be Around", "Witchy Woman" and "Papa Was A Rolling Stone".

Nash recorded it in London with members of the Fabulous Five Inc.

The song's promotional video is set near the White House in Washington, D.C., which at the time of the release was in the beginning stages of the Watergate scandal.

Track listings[edit]

7" single
  1. "I Can See Clearly Now" — 2:44
  2. "How Good It Is" — 2:38
7" single
  1. "I Can See Clearly Now" — 2:44
  2. "Cupid" — 3:30

Chart performance[edit]

After making modest chart advances for a month, the RIAA-certified gold single unexpectedly took only two weeks to vault from No. 20 to No. 5 to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 4, 1972, remaining atop this chart for four weeks, and also spent the same four weeks atop the adult contemporary chart.[1]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart succession[edit]

Preceded by
"My Ding-a-Ling" by Chuck Berry
Billboard Hot 100 number one single (Johnny Nash version)
November 4, 1972 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" by The Temptations
Preceded by
"If I Could Reach You" by The Fifth Dimension
Billboard Easy Listening Singles number one single (Johnny Nash version)
November 4, 1972 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"I'd Love You to Want Me" by Lobo

Jimmy Cliff version[edit]

Reggae singer Jimmy Cliff recorded a cover of the song for the 1993 movie Cool Runnings.[7] It was released as a single in 1994, becoming a comeback hit for him, reaching No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"I Can See Clearly Now"
Single by Jimmy Cliff
from the album Cool Runnings (soundtrack)
B-side "Sweet Jamaica" by Tony Rebel
Released 1993
Format CD single
Recorded 1993
Genre Pop-Reggae
Length 3:16
Label Chaos Recordings/Columbia
Writer(s) Johnny Nash
Producer(s) Paul Henton

Charts and certifications[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1993–1994) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[8] 17
Canada (RPM)[9] 16
France (SNEP)[10] 1
Germany (Media Control Charts)[11] 52
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[12] 39
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[13] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[14] 23
US Billboard Hot 100[15] 18
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[16] 9
US Adult Contemporary Recurrents (Billboard)[2] 2
US Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles (Billboard)[2] 11
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[17] 98
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[18] 7

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1994) Position
France (SNEP)[19] 11
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[20] 66

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
France (SNEP)[21] Silver 285,000[22]

Chart succession[edit]

Preceded by
"It Keeps Raining" by Bitty McLean
New Zealand RIANZ number-one single
January 16, 1994 - February 20, 1994 (6 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Heater" by The Mutton Birds
Preceded by
"Je danse le Mia" by IAM
French SNEP number-one single
June 18, 1994 - July 2, 1994 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"I Like To Move It" by Reel 2 Real feat. The Mad Stuntman

Other covers[edit]

The song also appears in various other films, such as Grosse Pointe Blank, The Break-up, Thelma & Louise, Antz, Deep Blue Sea, Envy, Hitch, Igor (film), Shrek 2's Far Far Away Idol, Viktor Vogel – Commercial Man and Jennifer's Body, as well in a 2009 advertisement for Lipton in the Middle East and Russia. It is also briefly sung by Cheech in the movie Up in Smoke.

It has also been covered by

R&B guitarist Jonathan Butler recorded a cover from his 2010 album, So Strong.[25]

It is also a perennial favorite for several a cappella groups, including The Coats, The Nylons, University of Oregon's On the Rocks, and the European formation "Klapa Sinj & Ida Ajdukovic".

In November 2002, the song was featured prominently in "The Freak", an episode of the NBC police drama television series Boomtown.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  2. ^ a b c d e Billboard Allmusic.com (Retrieved August 9, 2008)
  3. ^ Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved August 9, 2008)
  4. ^ UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved August 1, 2008)
  5. ^ UK Singles Chart (1989 release) Chartstats.com (Retrieved August 1, 2008)
  6. ^ "American single certifications – Johnny Nash – I Can See Clearly Now". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  7. ^ King, Alex P. (2004). Hit-parade — 20 ans de tubes (in French). Paris: Pascal. p. 341. ISBN 2-35019-009-9. 
  8. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Jimmy Cliff – I Can See Clearly Now". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  9. ^ "Canadian RPM - Top Singles - Volume 58, No. 24, December 25, 1993". RPM. 1993. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Lescharts.com – Jimmy Cliff – I Can See Clearly Now" (in French). Les classement single.
  11. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  12. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Jimmy Cliff search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  13. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Jimmy Cliff – I Can See Clearly Now". Top 40 Singles.
  14. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
  15. ^ "Jimmy Cliff Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Jimmy Cliff.
  16. ^ "Jimmy Cliff Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Jimmy Cliff.
  17. ^ "Jimmy Cliff Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Jimmy Cliff.
  18. ^ "Jimmy Cliff Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Jimmy Cliff.
  19. ^ 1994 French Singles Chart Disqueenfrance.com (Retrieved January 30, 2009)
  20. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1994". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  21. ^ "French single certifications – Jimmy Cliff – I Can See" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  22. ^ "Les Singles en Argent :" (in French). Infodisc.fr. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  23. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Imagination". allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved 2008-01-22. "I Can See Clearly Now - Nash" 
  24. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2008-01-22. "Released: 1990 [...] composed by [...] 7. Johnny Nash" 
  25. ^ "So Strong overview". Allmusic.com. 
  26. ^ Graham Yost & Michelle Ashford (writers); Jon Avnet (director) (2002-11-03). "The Freak". Boomtown (TV series). Season 1. Episode 6. NBC.