- Wonderful World (song)
Name = Wonderful World
from Album =
B-side = "Along the Navajo Trail"
14 April 1960
Format = 7" single
2 March 1959
Genre = Soul
Length = 2:09
Label = Keen Records 2112
Writer = Sam Cooke,
Herb Alpert, Lou Adler
Last single = ???
This single = "Wonderful World"
Next single = "
Misc = Infobox Song
Name = Wonderful World
Recorded = Stax Studios,
Memphis, Tennessee: 1965
Genre = Soul
Length = 3:00
Label = Volt/Atco
Ole Man Trouble"
#"A Change Is Gonna Come"
#"Down in the Valley"
I've Been Loving You Too Long"
#"Rock Me Baby"
You Don't Miss Your Water"
Audio sample? =
"Wonderful World" (sometimes referred to as "(What a) Wonderful World", but unrelated to the
Louis Armstrongsong by that title) was written in the late 1950s by soul musicpioneer Sam Cookealong with songwriters Lou Adlerand Herb Alpert, and first recorded by Cooke in 1959 for Cooke's self-titled debut album. The song was released as a single in 1960, reaching #12 in the U.S.and #27 in the UK. A bouncy love song, the lyrics have the singer disavowing any knowledge gained from books (the song is often referred to informally by its first line, "Don't know much about history"), but affirming the object of his affection "but I do know that I love you". Herman's Hermitshad major hit with an uptempo version of the song (omiting one verse) in the mid-1960s, which reached #4 in the U.S. and #7 in the UK. The Hermits' version was, according to singer Peter Nooneand guitarist Keith Hopwood, done as a tribute to Cooke upon his untimely death.
In 2004, the song was placed 373rd in
Rolling Stonemagazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The song is used in the classic college movie "Animal House" (1978) in the well known lunchroom scene.
Greg Chapmancover of the song was featured prominently in the 1985 film "Witness", "Wonderful World" gained further exposure, particularly in the United Kingdom, where it appeared in a well-remembered 1986 advertisement for Levi's 501 jeans. As a result, the song became a hit in the UK, reaching #2 in re-release. In a 2005 poll by the UK's Channel Four, the song was voted the 19th greatest song ever to feature in a commercial. [cite web|title=Coke theme is top of the pops|work=The Manchester Evening News|url=http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/163/163787_coke_theme_is_top_of_the_pops.html|year=2005|accessdate=2008-04-28]
The original Sam Cooke version of the song comprised the title soundtrack of the 2005 film "Hitch".
The song has been covered by many artists, including the aforementioned Herman's Hermits, Greg Chapman, and
Art Garfunkel(who performed a cover of the song on his 1977album "Watermark", with harmonies by James Taylorand Paul Simon).
It was also covered by
Otis Reddingon his album "Otis Blue". David Brombergcovered the song on the 1975album "Midnight On The Water"
It was covered on the 1980 album "Boys Only" by UK
power popband The Boys.
The track was covered by
Terence Trent D'Arbyas a "B-side" on a rare 7" vinyl EP in the late 1980s.
It was again covered in 2005 by Scottish crooner Jim Diamond on "The Blues Shoe EP".
In August 2008, a parody version of the song was featured in a high-profile political advertisement from the
Barack Obamafor President campaign. The lyrics were altered to satirize John McCain's lack of knowledge on economic issues ("Don't know much about industry..."). Grateful Deadguitarist Jerry Garciacovered this song with The Jerry Garcia Band during live performances; it appears on Pure Jerry series #7 as an encore along with special guest Bruce Hornsby.Joan Baez has also played the song during her live performances. Jesse Malincovered the song on his 2008 covers album On Your Sleeve.
am Cooke version
Greg Chapman version
am Cooke version
* Written by
Sam Cooke, Lou Adler, and Herb Alpert.
* Produced by Sam Cooke.
* Instrumentation by
Rene Hall(arrangement), Adolphus Asbrook(bass), Ronald Selico(drums), and Cliff White(guitar).
* Background vocals by
* Engineering by
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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