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For the Eric Reed recording, see Pure Imagination (album). For the comic book, see Pure Imagination (comics).
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"Pure Imagination" is a song from the 1971 movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. It was written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley specifically for the movie. It was sung by Gene Wilder (Willy Wonka).
- Michael Feinstein recorded a version of "Pure Imagination" for his 1992 children's album of the same title.
- Lou Rawls recorded a version of "Pure Imagination" for his 1976 album All Things in Time.
- Avant-garde guitarist Buckethead has covered the song several times, including versions on his debut album Bucketheadland (1992), his second album Giant Robot (1994), as well as performing it live.
- Soft rock singer Kenny Loggins covered the song in part of his song "Neverland Melody" from his 1994 album Return to Pooh Corner.
- A cover by the punk band Smoking Popes appeared on their 1997 album Destination Failure.
- In the first season of The Muppet Show, Ben Vereen sings the song to a depressed Muppet named Droop on a rooftop, accompanied by flying creatures.
- Maroon 5 covered "Pure Imagination" in 2004.
- In 2005, MasterCard commissioned an upbeat, alternative-style version of the song for its television commercial "Candy Store." Although it was only 30 seconds long, this commercial jingle version has attracted a great deal of attention from listeners who tried to find out the musical group performing the jingle and purchase a copy of it, only to be told by MasterCard that "Unfortunately, there is no way to get a copy of this song."
- The tune served as the basis for Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps 2005 program "Distorted Imagination".
- Pianist/keyboardist Bradley Joseph arranged a cover version of "Pure Imagination" on his 2005 album, For the Love of It.
- In 2007, Ferraby Lionheart recorded a cover version of the song that was included on his debut album, Catch the Brass Ring.
- The song was parodied (along with the basic premise of the Wonka film) in the Family Guy episode "Wasted Talent".
- In September 2013, the song was featured in a Chipotle short film, sung by Fiona Apple. (US #104)
- Jamie Cullum recorded a cover version for his 2013 album Momentum.
- Bob James covered this song on his 1977 album BJ4.
- The Blenders recorded a version in their signature vocal harmony style (not true a cappella for this track), mashed up with "White Christmas".
- Jackie Evancho covered this song for her song compilation called Songs from the Silver Screen.
- Mariah Carey covered "Pure Imagination" as an urban/R&B remix (B-side) with the remake of "I Still Believe."
- Comedian Russell Brand performed the song at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the Musical covers "Pure Imagination" with Charlie singing with Wonka.
- The Glee Cast covered the song in the episode, "Funeral".
- An orchestral version of the song was played at the 86th Academy Awards in 2014 after Lupita Nyong'o won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
- RedLetterMedia uses the song during their Plinkett Reviews. The character of Harry Plinkett regularly sings the song in a slow, disturbing manner, typically while dragging kidnapped women through his house or putting his cat in the microwave.
- Hat Films parodied the song in their video "Filfy Mods - More Explosives (Willy Wonka Tribute)" and titled the parody "Pure Incineration".
- Transcendental mystic jazz rock band, The New Octaves, covers the song occasionally at live performances.
- Monty Alexander did a jazz cover in his album Pure Imagination (2002).
- Primus covered "Pure Imagination" into their own psychedelic interpretation for their 2014 album, Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble.
- Josh Groban covered the song for his 2015 album, Stages. He also performed the song in a YouTube video with violinist Lindsey Stirling and The Muppets.
- Karmin recorded a cover version of the song titled "Come With Me (Pure Imagination)" for their second studio album Leo Rising.
- The Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps featured the song in their 2015 production "The Spark of Invention."
- Josh Groban performed this at the Royal Variety Show, 2015.
- Well known Belgian jazz musicians Stéphane Mercier (sax) and Jean-Louis Rassinfosse (contrebass) play their version of this tune on Stéphane Mercier's 2013 album Duology.
- EDM producer Fox Stevenson played a cover of this song at the Laundry Day Music Festival in 2016 as a tribute to Wilder, who had passed away four days earlier.
- Roberts, Randall (September 13, 2013). "Fiona Apple covers Willy Wonka in striking new Chipotle clip,". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
- "Fiona Apple - Chart history | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
- "Oscars 2014: Read Lupita Nyong'o's gorgeous acceptance speech that made Cumberbatch cry". 3 March 2014.
- "Primus Visit Wonka's Chocolate Factory With 'Pure Imagination' Cover".