Isn't She Lovely

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"Isn't She Lovely?"
single by Stevie Wonder from the album Songs in the Key of Life
Released 1976
Recorded 1975
Genre R&B
Length 3:20 (Radio edit)
6:34 (Album version)
Label Motown
Writer(s) Stevie Wonder
Composer(s) Stevland Morris
Producer(s) Stevie Wonder

"Isn't She Lovely" is a Non-Us single by Stevie Wonder, from his 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life. In it he celebrates the birth of his daughter, Aisha. There are three verses, each ending with the phrase "isn't she lovely, made from love" (or "so very lovely..."). The recording opens with the sound of a baby crying, and the outro features Aisha as a baby. The radio edit leaves out the crying baby sounds at the beginning and has a much shorter outro.

Nathan Watts said in an interview that he originally recorded a bass track for the song, but Wonder replaced it with his own keyboard bass for the final version.

Stevie Wonder performed this song live for Queen Elizabeth II at her Diamond Jubilee Concert on 4 June 2012, with lyrics modified to refer to the Queen.[1]

The album[edit]

The song, musically constructed over basic chord changes, is considered an example of the fusion of fundamental jazz and pop elements. Although the song was very popular and has received much radio airplay, it did not chart on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 because Stevie Wonder would not allow it to be released as a 45 RPM single despite being asked to do so by Motown. The song did make the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts as an "album cut", entering the AC Top 40 on January 8, 1977, staying there for five weeks and peaking at #23.[2]

Personnel[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

  • A cover version by vocalist David Parton was a UK number four hit in 1977.[3] It was the 54th biggest hit of the year.[4]
  • A cover version by singer Freddy Cole (younger brother of Nat King Cole) was included in his 1995 album Always.
  • American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken performed a cover of the song on a 2005 episode of the show Scrubs.
  • In November 2012, an acoustic version sung by cancer victim Jimmy Higham and his friend and colleague John Walmsley made number 41 on the UK Singles Chart.[5] The song was released and proceeds of its electronic sales went to raise money for a bursary fund set up in Jimmy Higham's memory at Wellington College, Berkshire where he had worked as a member of staff. This version caused the original version to penetrate the UK Singles Chart at number 94.[6]

Chart history[edit]

Artist UK U.S. Billboard Australia
Singles Chart Hot 100 AC Year-end (1976)
Stevie Wonder 94[6] 23[2] 116[7]
David Parton 4[3]
Jimmy Higham & Jon Walmsley 41[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sir Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Sir Elton John and Madness Lead Queen's Diamond Jubilee". WCBS-FM. 5 June 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Top Adult Songs 1961-2006 A/K/A Top Adult Contemporary Songs 1961-1993 - Joel Whitburn". 
  3. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 419. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ "Top 100 1977 - UK Music Charts". Uk-charts.top-source.info. Retrieved 2016-08-19. 
  5. ^ a b "Jimmy Higham & Jon Walmsley". The Official Charts Company. 
  6. ^ a b "The Official Charts Company - Isn't She Lovely". The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Steffen Hung. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2016-08-19. 

External links[edit]