Lovely Day (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Lovely Day"
Lovely Day - Bill Withers.jpeg
Single by Bill Withers
from the album Menagerie
B-side"It Ain't Because of Me Baby"
Released21 December 1977
Format7" (45 rpm)
Length3:46 (single version)
4:15 (album version)[citation needed]
Songwriter(s)Bill Withers
Skip Scarborough
Producer(s)Bill Withers
Clarence McDonald
Bill Withers singles chronology
"Make Love to Your Mind"
"Lovely Day"
"Just the Two of Us"

"Lovely Day" is a song by American soul and R&B singer Bill Withers. Written by Withers and Skip Scarborough, it was released on December 21, 1977 and appears on Withers' 1978 album Menagerie.

The song is notable for Withers' sustained note towards the end, which at 18 seconds long, is one of the longest ever recorded on a song.


Released as a single in late 1977, "Lovely Day" peaked at #6 on the Billboard R&B chart and at #30 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US in early 1978.[1] It also made the Top 10 in the United Kingdom, where the song reached #7 on the British single chart.[2]

"Lovely Day" has been re-released as a single in the United Kingdom at least twice since the song's first chart run; in 1987 the original version charted again at #92, while a version done by Ben Liebrand, named the "Sunshine Mix", made the British Top 10 in 1988, rising to #4.[2] This remix resulted in renewed enthusiasm for the Withers original, which incurred a surge in airplay into the early 1990s and came to firmly overshadow the radio presence of Liebrand's version. Public interest was again piqued in 1995, when "Lovely Day" was used in adverts for Tetley tea and again in 1999 for a Gap commercial directed by Hype Williams.

Producer Clarence McDonald also arranged the original 1977 version of the song and played keyboards. Guitars were played by Ray Parker Jr., Jerry Knight played bass, and Russ Kunkel played drums.[3]


Toward the end of the song, Withers holds a note for 18 seconds. This is believed to be the second-longest note in UK chart history; Morten Harket of A-ha's 20-second note in "Summer Moved On" is the longest. Withers' note is sustained in chest voice, whereas Harket utilizes the falsetto range. The former remains the longest of any Top 40 hit in the United States. Some[who?] claim Freddy Curci of the band Sheriff holds the final falsetto note of "When I'm with You", a number one song in the U.S. in 1989, for about 20 seconds, although his voice seems to transform into a sound effect, created in the studio.


Chart performance[edit]

The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. version[edit]

"It's Gonna Be a Lovely Day"
Lovely Day (song).jpg
Single by The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. featuring Michelle Visage
Songwriter(s)Bill Withers
Skip Scarborough

The song was covered by The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. featuring Michelle Visage and was included on the soundtrack to the 1992 film The Bodyguard. This mostly rap version was titled "It's Gonna Be a Lovely Day". It reached #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart[1] and #44 on the Billboard R&B chart, in addition to spending three weeks atop the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in December 1992 and January 1993.[13] This version also reached #17 on the UK Singles Chart.[14]


"Lovely Day" has been covered and sampled numerous times since Withers' original recording. These alternate versions of the song span many different musical genres, including R&B, pop, jazz, gospel, dance, and rap.

Charting versions[edit]

British pop group Central Line covered the song on their 1983 album Breaking Point; this version reached #81 on the UK Singles Chart.[15]

Other recorded covers[edit]

Other artists who have covered the song include:

Live covers[edit]

Samples and interpolations[edit]

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

  • 1986: Ford Escort TV commercial in the UK
  • 1996: Opel Astra Turbodiesel TV commercial in Spain [27]
  • 2000: The original song appears at the beginning of the 8th episode named "The Whole Truth" in the first season of the TV series "Ed"
  • 2006: School for Scoundrels
  • 2010: The song is featured in the film 127 Hours during the scene where James Franco (Aron Ralston) on the second day of his horrific ordeal, makes a pulley to (unsuccessfully) release the rock trapping his arm. This song also features in the soundtrack of the movie.[28]
  • 2016: The song is featured towards the end of the animated film The Secret Life of Pets, when all of the pets return home in time to greet their owners.
  • 2016: The song was used in season 13 episode 18 of animated sitcom American Dad!
  • 2017: The song is featured towards the end of the 2nd episode named "Make Them Birds Fly" in the first season of the FX crime drama TV series Snowfall.
  • 2017: The song is used multiple times in the second season premiere of the CBS law drama Bull, titled "School for Scandal".
  • 2017: The song is featured in the Australian McDonald's "Go Full Summer" ad campaign.[29][30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  2. ^ a b "Bill Withers - Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Bill Withers - Menagerie (Vinyl, LP, Album)". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Songs from the Year 1978". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  7. ^ a b "lovely+day | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Lovely Day". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  9. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  10. ^ "Top 100 1978 - UK Music Charts". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  11. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1978". Retrieved 2010-12-31.
  12. ^ Scaping, Peter, ed. (1991). "Top 100 Singles: 1988". BPI YearBook 1989/90. London, England: British Phonographic Industry. pp. 64–65. ISBN 978-0-9061-5410-6.
  13. ^ "Dance Songs: Top Dance Music Chart". Billboard. 1992-12-26. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  14. ^ "Soul System - Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Central Line - Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Body and Soul Sessions overview".
  17. ^ "The Body and Soul Sessions - Philippe Saisse".
  18. ^ "Rivage overview".
  19. ^ "Up Front overview". Allmusic.
  20. ^ "March 2008".
  21. ^ "Elan Trotman - This Time Around".
  22. ^ "Elan Trotman".
  23. ^ Gail Mitchell (2011-04-05). "Hidden Beach Slates New Jill Scott Album For Spring". "Billboard Magazine".
  24. ^ "Girls Trip (2017) - Soundtrack - IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  25. ^ "Justin Timberlake Opens 2017 Oscars With Lively 'Can't Stop the Feeling!' Performance: Watch". Billboard. February 26, 2017.
  26. ^ "Brancaccio &Aisher : Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  27. ^
  28. ^ Grimm, Becca (2010-10-29). "Sigur Rós, Bill Withers, Many More Featured on 127 Hours Soundtrack". Paste Magazine.
  29. ^
  30. ^

External links[edit]