You Are So Beautiful

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"You Are So Beautiful"
You Are So Beautiful single cover.jpg
1980s UK vinyl re-release
Single by Joe Cocker
from the album I Can Stand a Little Rain
B-side "It's a Sin When You Love Somebody"
Released January 1975
Recorded 1974
Genre Pop, blue-eyed soul, soft rock
Length 2:41
Label A&M
Songwriter(s) Billy Preston, Bruce Fisher
Producer(s) Jim Price
Joe Cocker singles chronology
"Midnight Rider"
"You Are So Beautiful"
"Up Where We Belong"
"Midnight Rider"
"You Are So Beautiful"
"Up Where We Belong"

"You Are So Beautiful" is a song written by Billy Preston and Bruce Fisher. Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys contributed to the song's genesis, but his official credit was omitted. It was first recorded by Preston and made popular by Joe Cocker.

Preston's original version first appeared on his album The Kids & Me (1974) and as the B-side on the 45rpm pressing of his pop hit, "Struttin'". Cocker's producer, Jim Price, created a slowed-down arrangement for Cocker's version, which first appeared on the album, I Can Stand a Little Rain (released later in 1974). In 1975, the Joe Cocker version was released as a single and peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and number 12 on the Adult Contemporary chart.[1] The Cocker version helped the album become successful and was his biggest hit until his duet with Jennifer Warnes, "Up Where We Belong".


Though not officially credited as the song's writer, Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys and Preston spontaneously collaborated on the words and music to the song at a party.[2] Wilson never sought to reclaim his share of the song's authorship.[3] The song's tone has been related to the style of his solo material.[3]

Without instrumental accompaniment, Wilson sang "You Are So Beautiful" as an encore at Beach Boys shows intermittently from 1975 until his death in 1983.[citation needed] A live rendition, circa 1978, and an edited 1983 live rendition both appear in the 1985 film The Beach Boys: An American Band. A live rendition was released on the group's live album Good Timin': Live at Knebworth England 1980 in 2002.

Chart history[edit]

Notable renditions[edit]

In other media[edit]

  • Television programs have used commercial recordings of the song. Seventies-themed sitcom The Wonder Years used a recorded version of the song in Season 6, Episode 16, "Nose," where it played at the end of the episode at a school dance where Kevin's friend Ricky loses a girl with a large nose just as Ricky had come to appreciate her.
  • An episode of Home Improvement ("Jill's Birthday") accompanied the song with a montage of photos of Jill Taylor (Patricia Richardson) in her early age.
  • The song played in Season 5, Episode 9 of Full House.
  • The film Modern Romance (1981) includes an instrumental version of the song in its opening and closing titles, and also uses Joe Cocker's version to underscore its final scene.
  • Joe Cocker's version was also used in the film Carlito's Way (1993) and plays during Gail's apartment scene and over the film's end credits.
  • In the American comedy movie "The Little Rascals" (1994), the song is sung by Alfalfa to Darla on a boat.
  • In 2016, the song appears in the season one finale of Quantico entitled "Yes", first sung by a drunk Caleb Haas (Graham Rogers) and Brandon Fletcher (Jacob Artist) celebrating their graduation, then leading into the Joe Cocker version for the remainder of the scene.


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 58. 
  2. ^ Collins, Ace (2013). Music for Your Heart: Reflections from Your Favorite Songs and Hymns. Abingdon Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-1-4267-7604-5. 
  3. ^ a b Hlavaty, Craig. "The Secret History of 'You Are So Beautiful'". Houston Press. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  4. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2017-05-24. 
  5. ^ "Music: Top 100 - Billboard Hot 100", Billboard 
  6. ^ "Adult Contemporary Chart - Billboard", Billboard 
  7. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, April 5, 1975
  8. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 
  9. ^

External links[edit]