Wonderful Life (Black album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Wonderful Life
Wonderful Life Black.jpg
Studio album by Black
Released 1987
Label A&M
Black chronology
Wonderful Life
Audio sample
"Sweetest Smile"
Professional ratings
Review scores
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.


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
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
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
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




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


  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]