Wonderful Tonight

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"Wonderful Tonight"
Wonderful Tonight cover.jpg
Single by Eric Clapton
from the album Slowhand
B-side"Peaches and Diesel"
ReleasedNovember 1977[citation needed]
RecordedMay 1977
GenreSoft rock, yacht rock[citation needed]
Length3:44
LabelRSO
Songwriter(s)Eric Clapton
Producer(s)Glyn Johns
Eric Clapton singles chronology
"Lay Down Sally"
(1977)
"Wonderful Tonight"
(1977)
"Promises"
(1978)

"Wonderful Tonight" is a ballad written by Eric Clapton. It was included on Clapton's 1977 album Slowhand. Clapton wrote the song about Pattie Boyd.[1] The female vocal harmonies on the song are provided by Marcella Detroit (then Marcy Levy) and Yvonne Elliman.

Background[edit]

On 7 September 1976, Clapton wrote "Wonderful Tonight" for Boyd while waiting for her to get ready to attend Paul and Linda McCartney's annual Buddy Holly party. The song is mentioned in her autobiographical book Wonderful Today.

Critical reception[edit]

Billboard Magazine described "Wonderful Tonight" as "perhaps Clapton's prettiest and mellowest love ballad in some time."[2] Billboard particularly praised Clapton's guitar playing during the interludes.[2] Cash Box said that "Eric’s singing is superbly understated; the guitar work is simple and evocative" and praised "the gentle beat and organ accompaniment."[3]

Personnel[edit]

Performance[edit]

In 1988, Clapton appeared in the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute concert as a guest guitarist for Dire Straits. The group became his backing musicians for a surprise performance of "Wonderful Tonight" during their set.

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Certifications and sales for "Wonderful Tonight"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[21] Gold 45,000double-dagger
Italy (FIMI)[22] Gold 35,000double-dagger
Japan (RIAJ)[23] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[24] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[25] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Cover versions[edit]

Damage version[edit]

"Wonderful Tonight"
Single by Damage
from the album Forever
B-side"I'm Ready"
Released28 April 1997 (1997-04-28)
Length4:01
LabelBig Life
Songwriter(s)Eric Clapton
Producer(s)Steve Mac
Damage singles chronology
"Love Guaranteed"
(1997)
"Wonderful Tonight"
(1997)
"Love Lady"
(1997)

British R&B group Damage covered "Wonderful Tonight" and released it as the fifth single from their debut studio album, Forever (1997), in April 1997. The single peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the band's most successful single to date, and peaking highly in several other territories, which was a first for the band. The song is prominently performed by Richards, with little vocal input from any other members of the band. The music video features the band performing the song in a recording studio with cut scenes of a girl preparing to go on a night out. The B-side, "I'm Ready", launched the career of Craig David, being the first song he had ever written to be released by himself or another artist.

Track listings[edit]

  1. "Wonderful Tonight"
  2. "I'm Ready" (Bromfield, Richards, Simpson, Jones, Harriott, Craig David)
  3. "Wonderful Tonight" (Ethnic Boyz Mix)
  1. "Wonderful Tonight" (acoustic mix)
  2. "Just My Imagination" (Whitfield, Strong)
  3. "Love II Love" (acoustic mix)
  • UK cassette single[28]
  1. "Wonderful Tonight"
  2. "I'm Ready" (Bromfield, Richards, Simpson, Jones, Harriott, David)

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United Kingdom 28 April 1997 (1997-04-28)
  • CD
  • cassette
Big Life [38]
United States 9 September 1997 (1997-09-09) Critique [39]

David Kersh version[edit]

"Wonderful Tonight"
Single by David Kersh
from the album If I Never Stop Loving You
Released14 March 1998
GenreCountry
LabelCurb
Songwriter(s)Eric Clapton
Producer(s)Pat McMakin
David Kersh singles chronology
"If I Never Stop Loving You"
(1997)
"Wonderful Tonight"
(1998)
"Something to Think About"
(1998)

"Wonderful Tonight" was covered by country singer David Kersh in 1998. His version went to number 29 on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1998) Peak
position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[40] 45
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[41] 29

Butch Baker version[edit]

Michael Bublé version[edit]

"Wonderful Tonight" was covered by singer Michael Bublé in 2007 on his album Call Me Irresponsible. That album reached number one on the Billboard 200 charts on 26 May 2007.[42]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chris Smith (2006). Greenwood Press (ed.). The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Rock History: From arenas to the underground, 1974–1980. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-313-33611-9. "the hard-rock pioneer and guitar god also become a soft-rock star in the mid-1970s. He celebrated his sobriety with (... ) the Top 5 hit "Lay Down Sally" and hit No. 16 with the ballad "Wonderful Tonight," both off his 1977 Slowhand album"
  2. ^ a b "Top Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard. 6 May 1978. p. 96. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  3. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. 6 May 1978. p. 18. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Radio2 Top 30 Artiest: Eric Clapton". VRT (in Dutch). Top30-2.radio2.be. Archived from the original on 27 September 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  6. ^ "1050 CHUM – CHUM Charts". Archived from the original on 22 February 2006. Retrieved 24 March 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link). CHUM. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 29, No. 18, July 29, 1978". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  8. ^ Gustave, Heidé. Le Singles Argent de la SNEP (1978) (in French) (43 ed.). Paris: Decovert. 'Wonderful Tonight' spent 17 weeks on the national french singles chart and peaked at number three. It was requested to be certified silver. The certification was awarded on the last week, 'Wonderful Tonight' charted in France.
  9. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Wonderful Tonight". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  10. ^ Oricon International Singles. "Eric Clapton" – Wonderful Tonight.
  11. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Slowhand – Eric Clapton – Awards – AllMusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  16. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 50.
  17. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 30, No. 14, December 30, 1978". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  18. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1988". Ultratop Charts. ultratop.be – Stefan Hung – Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  19. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1988". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  20. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1988". MegaCharts.nl. dutchcharts.nl – Stefan Hung – Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  21. ^ "Danish single certifications – Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight". IFPI Danmark. Retrieved 16 August 2020. Scroll through the page-list below until year 2020 to obtain certification.
  22. ^ "Italian single certifications – Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 8 November 2021. Select "2021" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Wonderful Tonight" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
  23. ^ "Japanese single certifications – エリック・クラプトン – ワンダフル・トゥナイト" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 16 August 2020. Select 1992年3月 on the drop-down menu
  24. ^ "British single certifications – Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  25. ^ "American single certifications – Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  26. ^ Wonderful Tonight (UK CD1 liner notes). Damage. Big Life Records. 1997. BLRDA134.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  27. ^ Wonderful Tonight (UK CD2 liner notes). Damage. Big Life Records. 1997. BLRDB134.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  28. ^ Wonderful Tonight (UK cassette single sleeve). Damage. Big Life Records. 1997. BLRC134.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  29. ^ "Damage – Wonderful Tonight". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  30. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 14 no. 22. 31 May 1997. p. 19. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  31. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Damage". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  32. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 28, 1997" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  33. ^ "Damage – Wonderful Tonight" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  34. ^ "Damage – Wonderful Tonight". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  35. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  36. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  37. ^ "Top 100 Singles 1997". Music Week. 17 January 1998. p. 27.
  38. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 26 April 1997. p. 33. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  39. ^ "New Releases". Radio & Records. No. 1213. 5 September 1997. pp. 39, 45.
  40. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 7891." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 24 August 1998. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  41. ^ "David Kersh Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  42. ^ "Buble Sidesteps Bone Thugs To Claim No. 1"

External links[edit]