Wonderful Life (Black song)

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"Wonderful Life"
Single by Black
from the album Wonderful Life
B-side "Life Calls"
Released 19 September 1986 (1st release)
22 August 1987 (2nd release)
Format 7" single, 12" single, cassette single
Recorded Powerplant Studios, London, December 1985
Genre Pop
Length 4:49
Label A&M
Writer(s) Colin Vearncombe
Producer(s) Dave Dix
Certification Gold (BVMI, SNEP)
Black singles chronology
"More Than the Sun"
"Wonderful Life"
(first release)
"Everything's Coming Up Roses"

"Sweetest Smile"

"Wonderful Life"
(second release)

"I'm Not Afraid"

"Wonderful Life" is a song by British singer Black from his 1987 album of the same name. Written by Black himself, the song was released twice as a single and was successful the second time, becoming a top ten hit in Switzerland, Germany, UK, France, Austria and Italy.

Single release[edit]

First released in 1986 by Ugly Man Records, it initially peaked at no. 72 on the UK Singles Chart.[1] The band then decided to re-release the song with a new record company, A&M Records after the success of "Sweetest Smile". The single then reached a higher peak of no. 8 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1987.[2]

Music video[edit]

The music video was shot in black and white around the English seaside resort of New Brighton, Wallasey near Black's hometown Liverpool, and features New Brighton Lighthouse and Promenade. It was directed by Gerard De Thame, husband of Rachel De Thame, and won an award at the NY Film Festival in 1988.[3]

Use in the media[edit]

  • In 1990, the song featured in a UK television advertisement for Cadbury's Strollers.
  • In 1994, it was the soundtrack to a British television advertisement for Standard Life insurance, which rekindled interest in the song. The decision to re-release the track to take advantage of the renewed interest was rather delayed, and this time the song did not appear in the Top 40.
  • In season 4, episode 14 of the U.S. series Queer as Folk (2004), the song eerily accompanies the main character's struggle to finish a 500-mile bicycle tour in spite of a broken collarbone.
  • The song was also used in a French TV advertisement for the Fleury Michon ham,[5] but not sung by Black.
  • It is also used by Romanian music radio station Romantic FM in certain bumpers.
  • The songs music and lyrics were used in a 2010 TV commercial by ZAIN telecommunication company. It was used to promote donation for Palestinian refugees with a slogan: "They live for the hope.. You build."

Formats and track listings[edit]

7" single
  1. "Wonderful Life" – 4:49
  2. "Life Calls" – 3:51
12" maxi single
  1. "Wonderful Life" – 4:49
  2. "Life Calls" – 3:51
  3. "Had Enough" – 4:58
  4. "All We Need Is the Money" – 4:23

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"Küss' die Hand, schöne Frau" by Erste Allgemeine Verunsicherung
Austrian number-one single
1 February 1988 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Pop Goes the World" by Men Without Hats

Cover versions[edit]

Mathilde Santing version[edit]

"Wonderful Life"
Single by Mathilde Santing
from the album To Others to One
Released 5 March 1999
Format CD single
Recorded 1998
Genre Pop
Label Epic
Writer(s) Colin Vearncombe
Producer(s) John Tilly
Mathilde Santing singles chronology
"Wonderful Life"
"Come to Me"

Dutch singer Mathilde Santing recorded her own cover version of "Wonderful Life" on her 1999 album To Others to One. It was released as a maxi single and was used in a television advertisement for Interpolis, a Dutch insurance company.[27] In addition to the album To Others to One, it is also on the albums 20 jaar hits 1981-2001 (Muziek 20 Daagse 2001) and 100 Love Songs [2008].

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1999) Peak
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[28] 6
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[29] 5

Tina Cousins version[edit]

"Wonderful Life"
Single by Tina Cousins
from the album Mastermind
Released 26 July 2005
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2005
Genre Pop
Label Big
Producer(s) Louie Nicastro
Tina Cousins singles chronology
"Wonderful Life"
"Come to Me"

British singer Tina Cousins recorded a cover version of the song for her second studio album Mastermind. This version had moderate success, peaking at number 17 on the Australian Singles Chart and at number 58 on the UK Singles Chart. In 2005, a dance and a ballad of this cover version were used in the Australian miniseries "The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant" on Channel 10. Since 2007, both the dance and ballad versions of Tina Cousins' cover of the song have been used at the Hoyts cinemas in Australia directly prior to the start of a movie. Now only the ballad version is used.[citation needed] In 2008, this song featured in an UN TV spot ad raising awareness of Human Trafficking.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2005) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[30] 17
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[31] 17
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[32] 58

Other cover versions[edit]

Macedonian alternative rock band Arhangel recorded an alternative rock version of the song for their 1993 album Arhangel 2. Former German rock band Hyperchild covered the song for their album "Easily" and released it as a single in 2000. Serbian punk rock band KBO! recorded a version of the song on their 2001 cover album (Ne) Menjajte Stanicu ((Do Not) Change the Station). French Neofolk band Oraison released a cover on their demo tape. Spanish singer Rosa López recorded a Spanish cover of the song entitled "Bella Vida" on her 2008 album Promesas. It was also released as the second single from the album. In 2009, German techno group Scooter sampled the song on their single "The Sound Above My Hair". In 2011 Kim Wilde covered the song in the album Snapshots. In 2011, the song featured on the Christmas album Funny Looking Angels by Smith & Burrows, a collaboration between Tom Smith (Editors) and Andy Burrows (We Are Scientists and ex-Razorlight).[33] Slow Moving Millie covered the song on her album Renditions.

Various other cover versions have been produced, by artists including Seeed, TJ Davis, Tony Hadley, Giuliano Palma & the Bluebeaters, Jono McCleery, Ace of Base, Lara Fabian (2004 A Wonderful Life album), Myslovitz, Carrion, Adelmo "Zucchero" Fornaciari, Csézy, The Hoosiers, Julio Iglesias, Jr., Perturbazione, Rob de Nijs, Perry Rose, and Katie Melua.


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  2. ^ a b "Archive Chart: 1987-09-05" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Gerard de Thame Films". Gerarddethame.com. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Emirates Wonderful Life Dubai on YouTube
  5. ^ "Fleury Michon + Black" (in French). Musiquedepub.tv. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Black – Wonderful Life". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Black – Wonderful Life" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Ultratop.be – Black – Wonderful Life" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Wonderful Life – BLACK" (in Dutch). Top 30. Retrieved 6 June 2014. Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 5 
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  11. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Black – Wonderful Life". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  12. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "I singoli più venduti del 1988" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Black - Wonderful Life search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  15. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Black – Wonderful Life" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  16. ^ "WONDERFUL LIFE – Black" (in Polish). LP3. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  17. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  18. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Black – Wonderful Life". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  19. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1987" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  20. ^ "Single Top 100 over 1987" (PDF) (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  21. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1987" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  22. ^ "Jahreshitparade 1988" (in German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  23. ^ "TOP – 1988" (in French). Top-france.fr. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  24. ^ "French single certifications – Black – Wonderful Life" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select BLACK and click OK
  25. ^ "Les Singles en Or" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  26. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Black; 'Wonderful Life')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  27. ^ "Mathilde Santing Officiële Gambling". Mathildesanting.info. Retrieved 7 October 2008. 
  28. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Matilde Santing And The Oversoul 13 - Wonderful Life search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  29. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Matilde Santing & The Oversoul 13 – Wonderful Life" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  30. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Tina Cousins – Wonderful Life". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  31. ^ "Tina Cousins: Wonderful Life" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  32. ^ "Tina Cousins: Artist Chart History" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  33. ^ Smith & Burrows at the Wayback Machine (archived 3 December 2011). Smithandburrows.co.uk. Retrieved 30 November 2011.

External links[edit]