Lovely Day (song)
||This article should be divided into sections by topic, to make it more accessible. (January 2015)|
|Single by Bill Withers|
|from the album Menagerie|
|B-side||"It Ain't Because of Me Baby"|
|Format||7" (45 rpm)|
3:46 (single version)
|Bill Withers singles chronology|
"Lovely Day" is a song by American soul and R&B singer Bill Withers. Published in 1977 (see 1977 in music), the song was written by Withers and Skip Scarborough and appears on Withers' 1978 album Menagerie.
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. It also made the Top 10 in the United Kingdom, where the song reached #7 on the British single chart.
"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. 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.
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 Russell Kunkel played drums.
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 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.
Weekly singles charts
"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.
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 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. This version also reached #16 on the UK Singles Chart.
Other recorded covers
Other artists who have covered the song include:
- 1978: American jazz guitarist Wilbert Longmire, on his album Sunny Side Up
- 1979: British jazz fusion group Morrissey–Mullen, on their album Cape Wrath
- 1985: Italian singer, Mike Francis, on his 1985 album Features.
- 1992: British entertainer, Des O Connor, on his Portrait album.
- 1994: American gospel group Out of Eden, on their album Lovin' the Day
- 1998: American gospel songwriter Kirk Franklin, on his album The Nu Nation Project (titled "Gonna Be a Lovely Day")
- 1999: British Jazz-funk band Shakatak, on their album Magic.
- 2002: American contemporary gospel group Take 6, cover version from their album Beautiful World
- 2003: American R&B singer Luther Vandross featuring rapper Busta Rhymes, cover version from Vandross' album Dance with My Father
- 2006: American pop band Maroon 5, on the soundtrack to the Luke Wilson film Hoot (this version features backing vocals by Bill Withers & Kori Withers)
- 2006: American jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour, with American pop singer Taylor Dayne and South African singer Zamajobe, instrumental cover version from his album Smoke & Mirrors
- 2006: New Age/Contemporary jazz French keyboardist Philippe Saisse with his "Philippe Saisse Acoustique Trio" on the album Body and Soul Sessions.
- 2007: American R&B singer Diana Ross, on her album I Love You
- 2008: Drummer Russ Kunkel and his group Chateau Beach on the 2008 album Rivage
- 2008: Bassist Michael Manson, on the album Up Front
- 2009: American saxophonist Elan Trotman, on his album This Time Around.
- 2010: American R&B singer and jazz saxophonist Walter Beasley on the album Backatcha.
- 2011: R&B Singer Jill Scott, on the album The Original Jill Scott from the Vault, Vol. 1.
- 2012: Elizabeth Mitchell, used in a UK advert for DFS (British retailer)
- 2013: American band Robert Glasper Experiment, on the deluxe edition of their album Black Radio 2.
- 2013: Contemporary Christian artist The Katinas, on their 2013 album Love Chapter.
- 2014: English rock band alt-J, as a bonus track on their album This Is All Yours.
Samples and interpolations
- 1998: American rap duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, sampled original song on their track "Lovely Daze" from their greatest hits album
- 1999: American rappers Too Short, Ant Banks and Rappin' 4-Tay, working as the supergroup TWDY, sampled the original song on the track "Players Holiday"
- 2000: Finnish rapper Seremoniamestari sampled the original song on his track "Ihana päivä" from the album Omin sanoin
- 2002: British DJ's Brancaccio & Aisher, sampled the The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. cover on their track "It's Gonna Be...(A Lovely Day)" (this version reached #40 on the UK Singles Chart as well as hitting #1 on both the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart and the UK Official Dance Chart)
- 2004: American rappers Twista and Anthony Hamilton, sampled original song on their track "Sunshine" from Twista's album Kamikaze
- 2007: American rapper Swizz Beatz, sampled original song on his track "Take a Picture" from the album One Man Band Man
- 2007: American rapper Z-Ro, sampled original song on his track "A Lovely Day," which features Lil' Flip & Big Shasta, on the album King Of Tha Ghetto: Power
- 2010: American rapper LL Cool J, sampled original song on his track "LLovely Day."
- 2012: American musician R. Kelly heavily sampled the original song on the track, "Feelin' Single" from the Write Me Back album.
- 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".
- 2010: This song 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.
- Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
- 1978 UK chart info at chartstats.com
- 1988 UK chart info at chartstats.com
- Musicians credited at discogs.com
- Longest note in UK Chart history at everyhit.com
- 1983 cover version UK chart info at chartstats.com
- 1992 Hot Dance Club Play chart info at billboard.com
- 1992 cover version UK chart info at chartstats.com
- "Body and Soul Sessions overview". Allmusic.com.
- "The Body and Soul Sessions - Philippe Saisse". JazzTimes.com.
- "Rivage overview". Allmusic.com.
- "Up Front overview". Allmusic.
- "March 2008". SmoothViews.com.
- "Elan Trotman - This Time Around". Smooth-jazz.de.
- "Elan Trotman". thesmoothjazzride.com.
- Gail Mitchell (2011-04-05). "Hidden Beach Slates New Jill Scott Album For Spring". "Billboard Magazine".
- 2002 cover version UK chart info at chartstats.com
- 2002 Hot Dance Club Play chart info at billboard.com
- Grimm, Becca (2010-10-29). "Sigur Rós, Bill Withers, Many More Featured on 127 Hours Soundtrack". Paste Magazine.
- Withers original single info at discogs.com
- 1988 "Sunshine Mix" info at discogs.com
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
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|Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single (The S.O.U.L.S.Y.S.T.E.M. featuring Michelle Visage version, "It's Gonna Be a Lovely Day")
December 26, 1992 - January 9, 1993
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|Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single (Brancaccio & Aisher version)
April 27, 2002
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