|Single by The Shadows|
|B-side||"Stars Fell on Stockton" (Welch, Harris, Marvin, Bennett)|
|Label||Columbia Graphophone Company DB 4790|
|The Shadows singles chronology|
Lordan had previously written the hugely successful "Apache" for the Shadows in 1960, and "Wonderful Land" was recorded in May 1961 by the Shadows' original line up of Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch, Jet Harris and Tony Meehan. The strings were added later by producer Norrie Paramor. By the time of the song's release, Tony Meehan had left the group to be replaced by Brian Bennett who co-wrote the B-side "Stars Fell on Stockton". The group was in a period of transition and whilst the song was at No. 1 Jet Harris left to be replaced by Brian Locking.
The instrumental was released in February 1962 and reached number 1 in the UK Chart where it remained for the next 8 weeks. a feat only The Archies, Shadows & Elvis Presley managed in the whole of the '60s - including all the number one singles released by the Beatles. It was also released in the U.S. on the Atlantic Records label but did not reach the Billboard Top 100.
|UK Singles Chart||1|
|Irish Singles Chart||1|
Mike Oldfield version
|Single by Mike Oldfield|
|from the album QE2|
|Released||28 November 1980|
|Mike Oldfield singles chronology|
English musician Mike Oldfield covered "Wonderful Land" on his 1980 Virgin Records album, QE2. Oldfield's version was also released as a single and as the B-side for his "Sheba" single; in some countries, "Wonderful Land" was the A-side. The Shadows later covered one of Oldfield's songs, "Moonlight Shadow".
The video for "Wonderful Land" again shows Oldfield playing various instruments, including a violin, which he has claimed not to be able to play very well. The video is available on the Elements - The Best of Mike Oldfield video.
Hank Marvin and Mark Knopfler version
- Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. pp. 64–5. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 135–6. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Number 1 Singles of the 1960s". EveryHit. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- "I don't know whether I'll do something musically incredible in the next years". Quico Balay - La Voz de Galicia (Tubular.net). 2005-09-30. Retrieved 2008-08-30.