|Single by Cat Stevens|
|from the album Tea for the Tillerman|
|B-side||"Miles from Nowhere" (USA)
"Sad Lisa" (Germany)
|Format||7" 45 rpm|
|Cat Stevens singles chronology|
Stevens developed a relationship with actress Patti D'Arbanville and the two were a pair throughout a period of two years or so. During that time, he wrote several songs about her, including the song "Wild World." The song has struck many critics as being protective and caring[not in citation given]; the artist's expression of love includes words like "I wouldn't want to see you sad girl, don't be a bad girl".
The song is in the form of the singer's words to his departing lover, inspired by the end of their romance. Stevens later recalled to Mojo: "It was one of those chord sequences that's very common in Spanish music. I turned it around and came up with that theme—which is a recurring theme in my work—which is to do with leaving, the sadness of leaving, and the anticipation of what lies beyond."
Released as a single in late 1970, it just missed becoming Stevens' first hit in the United States, peaking at #11 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart. "Wild World" has been credited as the song that gave Stevens' next album, Tea for the Tillerman, "enough kick" to get it played on FM radio; and Island Records' Chris Blackwell has been quoted as calling it "the best album we've ever released" to that date.
In November 2008, the Tea for the Tillerman CD was re-issued in a deluxe version which included the original demo of "Wild World".
The song has been covered by many artists, with many of the covers becoming hits of their own. Jimmy Cliff's version, released a few months after Stevens released the original version, reached number eight on the UK Singles Chart. Surprisingly, Stevens' version was not released as a single in the UK. Some of the subsequent covers have also been in the reggae style, indicating that they may be covers of Cliff's version, as opposed to direct covers of Cat Stevens' original arrangement. An example of this would be Maxi Priest's version of the song. Recorded and released as a single in 1988, this version also did well on the charts, reaching number five on the UK Singles Chart and #25 on the US Billboard Pop Singles Chart. In 1993, the band Mr. Big released a cover of the song as a single, charting at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100, #33 on the Top 40 Mainstream #33 and #12 on the Mainstream Top 40.
In 1987, Jonathan King accused Pet Shop Boys of plagiarising the melody of "Wild World" for their UK #1 single "It's a Sin". He made the claims in The Sun, for which he wrote a regular column during the 1980s. King also released his own cover version of "Wild World" as a single, using a similar musical arrangement to "It's a Sin", in an effort to demonstrate his claims. This single flopped, while Pet Shop Boys sued King, eventually winning out-of-court damages, which they donated to charity.
On July 7, 2007, the song was performed twice at the Live Earth concerts. James Blunt sang it at Wembley Stadium in London, England, while Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) himself sang it in Hamburg, Germany.
- 1970: Jimmy Cliff
- 1971: Claude François (Fleur sauvage)
- 1971: Barry Ryan
- 1971: Bette Midler
- 1971: José Feliciano
- 1971: The Ventures
- 1971: Franck Pourcel (Instrumental version)
- 1971: Sacha Distel
- 1987: Jonathan King
- 1988: Maxi Priest
- 1989: SNFU
- 1993: Mr. Big
- 1994: Wise Guys
- 2001: Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
- 2003: Skye Sweetnam (Billy S. - B-side)
- 2004: John Waite
- 2007: Skins cast. Lead by Mike Bailey
- 2007: James Blunt
- 2008: Blue Lagoon
- 2010: Ronan Keating (Feat. Marvin Priest)
- 2012: Andy Allo
- 2013: Garth Brooks
- "Rob Sheffield's Worst Song of 2013: 'Blurred Lines'".
- "Wild World by Cat Stevens Songfacts".
- Islam, Yusuf (2008). "Yusuf Islam Lifeline 1970". Yusuf Islam Official Website. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
- Scoppa, Bud (May 24, 1971). "Easy Does It". Rock Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-28.
- Street-Porter, Jane (2 April 2005). "Editor-At-Large: He lured boys. He's a bully. Now he bleats". Independent.
- "James Blunt covers Cat Stevens at Live Earth". Rolling Stone. 7 July 2007.
- "International Report: Live Earth Hamburg". NME. 7 July 2007.