Wonderful Life (Black album)

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Wonderful Life
Wonderful Life Black.jpg
Studio album by Black
Released 1987
Genre
Label A&M
Producer
Black chronology
Wonderful Life
(1987)
Black
(1987)Black1987
Audio sample
"Sweetest Smile"
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]

Wonderful Life is the debut album of English singer Black (the stage name of Colin Vearncombe), released in 1987. It peaked at #3 on the UK Albums Chart in September of that year.

Three of the songs were co-written with Vearncombe's friend and musical collaborator, keyboardist Dave "Dix" Dickie.

Background[edit]

In 1985 Vearncombe wrote the minor key song "Wonderful Life". It was released independently through Ugly Man Records, and got Black noticed by A&M Records who signed Vearncombe and launched his international career. Vearncombe said:

By the end of 1985 I had been in a couple of car crashes, my mother had a serious illness, I had been dropped by a record company, my first marriage went belly-up and I was homeless. Then I sat down and wrote this song called 'Wonderful Life'. I was being sarcastic.[2][3]

Vearncombe suffered from the feeling of being a one-hit wonder, however, saying later:

Once you have had a hit, it's hard to write another song without having that in the back of your mind. For a long time, I would find myself hearing, 'I like it but it's not Wonderful Life'.[4]

At first, the single "Everything's Coming Up Roses" flopped, but the follow-up, "Sweetest Smile" became a UK top-10 hit. The third single, a re-release of "Wonderful Life", was a massive hit worldwide. The album of the same name, released in 1987, had similar success, reaping commercial and critical acclaim.[5][6]

When interviewed in 2013 for superdeluxeedition.com, Vearncome was asked if the album had turned out how he wanted and if the record company had forced producers on him. He replied:

No, we were very, very lucky. You see I’d already been through the mill with Warners and stuff, and then I’d been homeless. There wasn’t much you could scare me with. I was actually homeless when I wrote "Sweetest Smile" and "Wonderful Life," but I was couch-surfing, and nothing touches you when you’re that age. For a while you can get away with it.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Colin Vearncombe unless otherwise noted.

Side A
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Wonderful Life" 4:46
2."Everything's Coming Up Roses" 4:04
3."Sometimes for the Asking" 4:09
4."Finder" 4:12
5."Paradise"Colin Vearncombe, Dave Dickie4:51
Side B
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
6."I'm Not Afraid"Colin Vearncombe, Dave Dickie5:00
7."I Just Grew Tired" 4:15
8."Blue"Colin Vearncombe, Dave Dickie3:38
9."Just Making Memories" 4:26
10."Sweetest Smile" 5:19
Total length:44:40
CD Bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
11."Ravel in the Rain"Colin Vearncombe, Dave Dickie3:47
12."Leave Yourself Alone" 4:32
13."Sixteens" 3:56
14."It's Not You Lady Jane"Colin Vearncombe, Dave Dickie3:25
15."Hardly Star-Crossed Lovers" 2:51
Total length:63:11

Personnel[edit]

Musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Recorded at Powerplant Studios (London), Square One Studio (Bury).
  • Engineered by Stephen Boyce-Buckley, and Pink Studio (Liverpool).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Black: Wonderful Life – Review at AllMusic
  2. ^ The Daily Telegraph, [paper only] (28 Jan 2016), p.27
  3. ^ Roche, Barry (Feb 3, 2016). "Funeral of singer 'Black' to take place in Co Cork". The Irish Times.
  4. ^ Daily Telegraph, ibid., p.27
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ [3]

External links[edit]