Little Wonder (song)

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"Little Wonder"
Bowie littlewonder.JPG
Single by David Bowie
from the album Earthling
Released 27 January 1997
Format CD
Recorded Looking Glass Studio, New York City
Genre
Length
  • 3:40 (single version)
  • 6:02 (album version)
Label
Producer(s)
David Bowie singles chronology
"Telling Lies"
(1996)
"Little Wonder"
(1997)
"Dead Man Walking"
(1997)
Music video
"Little Wonder" on YouTube
"Little Wonder" on YouTube

"Little Wonder" is a song and single by David Bowie, from the 1997 album Earthling. It was the album's biggest hit, reaching number 14 in the UK. At the 1998 Brit Awards, the song was nominated for Best British Video.

Background[edit]

Bowie uses the names of all seven dwarfs in the lyrics.[1] The sampled spoken line "If it's good to ya, it's gotta be good for ya" during the instrumental break, comes from the spoken intro of a live Steely Dan song called "Bodhisattva" from the Citizen Steely Dan box.[citation needed] Two main interpretations to the lyrics are given by James E. Perone, who writes that the song may simply represent some characteristics of Bowie's own personality or, in another case, an alien observing aspects of the life on Earth.[2] The drum break is sampled from The Winstons instrumental, "Amen, Brother", a popular drum solo and sample commonly referred to as the "Amen break".[3]

Versions and remixes[edit]

Title Mix and additional production Duration Additional credits and notes
Album Version Mark Plati 6:02
Edit Mark Plati 3:40
Censored Video Edit Mark Plati 4:09 Released on 2004 Earthling 2 CD.
Ambient Junior Mix Junior Vasquez 9:55 Programmed by Frederick Jorio.
Club Dub Junior Mix Junior Vasquez 8:10 Programmed by Frederick Jorio.
4/4 Junior Mix Junior Vasquez 8:10 Programmed by Frederick Jorio.
Juniors Club Instrumental Junior Vasquez 8:14 Programmed by Frederick Jorio.
Danny Saber Mix Danny Saber 3:06 Cello by David Coleman, sonic hair and make up by John X.
Danny Saber Dance Mix Danny Saber 5:30 Cello by David Coleman, sonic hair and make up by John X.

Track listings[edit]

UK CD version one[edit]

  1. "Little Wonder (edit)" – 3:40
  2. "Little Wonder (Ambient Junior Mix)" – 9:55
  3. "Little Wonder (Club Dub Junior Mix)" – 8:10
  4. "Little Wonder (4/4 Junior Mix)" – 8:10
  5. "Little Wonder (Juniors Club Instrumental)" – 8:14

UK CD version two (limited edition)[edit]

  1. "Little Wonder (edit)" – 3:40
  2. "Telling Lies (Adam F Mix)" – 3:58
  3. "Jump They Say (Leftfield 12" Vocal Mix)" – 7:40
  4. "Little Wonder (Danny Saber Mix)" – 3:06

US CD version[edit]

  1. "Little Wonder (Album version)" – 6:02
  2. "Little Wonder (Ambient Junior Mix)" – 9:55
  3. "Little Wonder (Club Dub Junior Mix)" – 8:10
  4. "Little Wonder (Danny Saber Dance Mix)" – 5:30

European CD version one[edit]

  1. "Little Wonder (Album version)" – 6:02
  2. "Little Wonder (Ambient Junior Mix)" – 9:55
  3. "Little Wonder (Danny Saber Mix)" – 3:06
  4. "Little Wonder (Club Dub Junior Mix)" – 8:10
  5. "Little Wonder (4/4 Junior Mix)" – 8:10

European CD version two[edit]

  1. "Little Wonder (edit)" – 3:40
  2. "Little Wonder (Junior Club Mix)" – 8:10
  3. "Telling Lies (Adam F Mix)" – 3:58

European CD version three[edit]

  1. "Little Wonder (edit)" – 3:40
  2. "Telling Lies (Adam F Mix)" – 3:58

Japanese CD version[edit]

  1. "Little Wonder (edit)" – 3:40
  2. "Little Wonder (Junior Club Mix)" – 8:10
  3. "Little Wonder (Danny Saber Mix)" – 3:06
  4. "Little Wonder (Club Dub Junior Mix)" – 8:10
  5. "Little Wonder (4/4 Junior Mix)" – 8:10

UK 12" version[edit]

  1. "Little Wonder (Junior Club Mix)" – 8:10
  2. "Little Wonder (Danny Saber Mix)" – 5:30
  3. "Telling Lies (Adam F Mix)" – 3:58

European 12" version[edit]

  1. "Little Wonder (Junior Club Mix)" – 8:10
  2. "Little Wonder (Danny Saber Mix)" – 5:30

An additional three promo CD singles were also released.

Production credits[edit]

Producer
Musicians

Live versions[edit]

  • Bowie performed "Little Wonder" as the opening song at his fiftieth birthday celebration concert in New York City on 9 January 1997. This performance was included on the Earthling in the City CD.
  • Bowie played the song live (along with "Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)") on the 8 February 1997 episode of Saturday Night Live.[5]
  • Bowie played the song at the GQ Awards in New York City on 15 October 1997. This performance was later released on the live album LiveAndWell.com in 2000.
  • A live version recorded at BBC Radio Theatre, London, on 27 June 2000 was released on the bonus disc accompanying the first releases of Bowie at the Beeb in 2000.

Cover versions[edit]

  • Haitian Hate Gods – .2 Contamination: A Tribute to David Bowie (2006)

Other releases[edit]

  • The "Danny Saber remix" appeared on the soundtrack for the European release of The Saint as well as the second soundtrack for the movie Hackers. This remix also appeared on the four-track bonus disc that followed the live album LiveAndWell.com in 2000.
  • A video edit was released on a Jukebox 7" release of the single "Dead Man Walking" in 1997.
  • Three remixes, "Censored Video Edit", "Junior Vasquez Club Mix" and "Danny Saber Dance Mix", also appeared on the bonus disc of the Digibook Expanded Edition of Earthling from 2004.
  • The single version has been included on compilation albums: some editions of Best of Bowie (2002), the 3-disc and 2-disc versions of Nothing Has Changed (2014), and the 2-disc edition of Bowie Legacy (2016).

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart 94[6]
Belgium Singles Chart 19[7]
Canadian Singles Chart 59[8]
Finland Singles Chart 10[7]
Netherlands Singles Chart 50[7]
UK Singles Chart 14[9]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Kuipers, Dean (March 1997), "David Bowie: Is There Life on Earth?", Raygun magazine (44) 
  2. ^ James E. Perone, The Words and Music of David Bowie, Greenwood Publishing Group, 30 June 2007, p.119.
  3. ^ Otzen, Ellen (29 March 2015). "Six seconds that shaped 1,500 songs". BBC. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  4. ^ Discogs - Zachary Alford - (profile & discography)
  5. ^ SNL Transcripts: 8 February 1997. Neve Campbell, Host http://snltranscripts.jt.org/96/96l.phtml
  6. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. 
  7. ^ a b c Ultratop: David Bowie - Little Wonder, retrieved 9 April 2015 
  8. ^ Library and Archives Canada: Top Singles – March 17, 1997, 17 March 1997, retrieved 12 February 2016 
  9. ^ Official singles Chart results matching:LITTLE WONDER, retrieved 9 April 2015 

External links[edit]