Change the World

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This article is about the Eric Clapton song. For other uses, see Change the World (disambiguation).
"Change the World"
Single by Eric Clapton
from the album Phenomenon soundtrack
Released July 7, 1996
Genre Soft rock, blue-eyed soul
Length 3:57 (LP Version)
Label Reprise
Writer(s) Tommy Sims, Gordon Kennedy, Wayne Kirkpatrick
Producer(s) Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds
Certification Gold (U.S.)
Eric Clapton singles chronology
"Motherless Children"
"Change the World"
"My Father's Eyes"
Eric Clapton's "Change The World" from Phenomenon soundtrack

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"Change the World" is a song written by Tommy Sims, Gordon Kennedy, and Wayne Kirkpatrick whose best-known version was recorded by Eric Clapton for the soundtrack of the 1996 film, Phenomenon. The song won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Male Pop Vocal performance. Additionally, the song was chosen by the RIAA as one of the Songs of the Century and ranked at No. 270.[citation needed]

The single peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 4 on the Cash Box Top 100 charts in the summer of 1996. It also spent 13 weeks at No. 1 on the adult contemporary chart and remained on that chart for over a year and a half (80 weeks), a feat which was extraordinarily rare at the time.[1] Since then, however, certain songs have remained on the AC chart for extended periods of time, prompting the eventual creation of an Adult Contemporary recurrent chart for songs that have stayed on the chart for many weeks and fallen below a certain threshold. "Change the World" is ranked as the 19th biggest hit of 1996.

Although "Change the World" is best known by Eric Clapton's unplugged acoustic version, an electric performance of the song was featured on Babyface's 1997 live album, Babyface MTV Unplugged NYC, with Clapton on co-lead vocals and electric guitar (Babyface served as the song's producer).

In the song, the performer expresses his desire to communicate his love to an unnamed woman. This love, he fears, will go unrequited without a drastic change in his life.

Previous to the release of Clapton's hit version, the song was recorded by country artist, Wynonna Judd, for her February 1996 album entitled Revelations. Judd, however, did not release her version as a single despite the popularity of Clapton's release.

Track listing[edit]

European CD single[edit]

  1. "Change the World" (LP Version) (3:57)
  2. "Danny Boy" (Non-LP Track) (4:14)
  3. "Change the World" (Instrumental) (3:57)

Charts and certifications[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

Saxophonist Alto Reed covered the song for his debut album Cool Breeze in 1997.[32] The group Fourte! from the Philippines also covered this song on their TV guest spots. Remixed Eurodance versions of the song have appeared on the Dancemania series albums, including the 2000 compilation Dancemania SPEED 4 where an uptempo Eurodance remix of the song by CJ Crew and Blueman is listed. In 2002, saxophonist Gerald Albright covered the song off the album Groovology.[33] In 2004, the song was covered by British musical theatre icon Elaine Paige as part of the new recordings on her "Best of" album, entitled Centre Stage. In their 15th single "Wings of Words", J-pop group CHEMISTRY did their rendition of the song.[34]


  1. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications)
  2. ^ " – Eric Clapton – Change the World". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  3. ^ " – Eric Clapton – Change the World" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  4. ^ " – Eric Clapton – Change the World" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  5. ^ " – Eric Clapton – Change the World" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  6. ^ "RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks" (PHP). RPM 63 (24). July 29, 1996. Retrieved March 28, 2011. 
  7. ^ "RPM 100 Hit Tracks" (PHP). RPM 63 (25). August 5, 1996. Retrieved March 28, 2011. 
  8. ^ " – Eric Clapton – Change the World" (in French). Les classement single.
  9. ^ " – Clapton, Eric Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  10. ^ " – Eric Clapton – Change the World" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  11. ^ " – Eric Clapton – Change the World". Top 40 Singles.
  12. ^ " – Eric Clapton – Change the World". VG-lista.
  13. ^ " – Eric Clapton – Change the World". Singles Top 60.
  14. ^ "Archive Chart: 1996-07-20" UK Singles Chart.
  15. ^ "Eric Clapton Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Eric Clapton.
  16. ^ "Eric Clapton Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Eric Clapton.
  17. ^ "Eric Clapton Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Eric Clapton.
  18. ^ "Eric Clapton Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Eric Clapton.
  19. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 - 1996". Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  20. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1996". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  21. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1997". Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  22. ^ "Accreditation Awards". Australian Fun Countdowns. 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  23. ^ a b Astrid Keil. "The Music Of Eric Clapton" (in German). Retrieved 2015-03-22. 
  24. ^ Astrid Keil: Dänemark. Die Musikindustrie (Limitierte Auflage). No. 32, 2014, p. 24.
  25. ^ "French single certifications – Eric Clapton – Change the World" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  26. ^ レコード協会調べ 1月度有料音楽配信認定 <略称:1月度認定> [Record Association report: February 2014 digital music download certifications (Abbreviation: 2013 Certifications)]. RIAJ (in Japanese). February 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Macao Music Sales (2001-2009)". Record Sales. Retrieved 2015-04-06. 
  28. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 1996-09-29. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  29. ^ "American single certifications – Eric Clapton – Change the World". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  30. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1996". Billboard (BPI Communications Inc.) 109 (3): 61. January 18, 1997. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 7, 2015. 
  31. ^ "CERTIFICACIONES DE VENEZUELA 2013" (in Spanish). Record Sales. Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  32. ^ "Cool Breeze overview". 
  33. ^ "Groovology overview". 
  34. ^ "Gerald Albright - Groovology". 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion
Billboard Adult Contemporary number-one single
August 10 - November 2, 1996
Succeeded by
"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" by Celine Dion