"It's a Fine Day" is a song written by English poet and musician Edward Barton. It was originally recorded a cappella in 1983 by Jane, and later by Opus III for whom it was a major international hit in 1992.
|"It's a Fine Day"|
|Single by Jane|
|"It's a Fine Day"|
|"Of All Leaves Were Falling"|
|Label||Cherry Red Records|
Barton wrote the lyrics as a poem when living in the Hulme area of Manchester. It was originally sung unaccompanied by, and credited to, Jane - that is, Jane Lancaster, Barton's girlfriend. They recorded and released it independently, and it was played by radio DJ John Peel. It was then heard by Iain McNay of Cherry Red Records, who obtained the rights to the record and released it more widely on his label in 1983. It reached number 5 on the UK Indie Chart, and later appeared, credited to Jane and Barton, on their eponymous mini-album Jane and Barton. This version of the song appeared on the 2013 indie-pop compilation album Scared to Get Happy: A Story of Indie-Pop 1980-1989.
Jane's unaccompanied vocal version of the song was given a backing track by A Guy Called Gerald in 1992.
|"It's a Fine Day"|
|Single by Opus III|
|from the album Mind Fruit|
|Opus III singles chronology|
The two chief differences from Jane's original were that this version was not recorded a cappella but with a full instrumental accompaniment, and that it used only the first verse and chorus of the original song's lyrics. This version reached number 5 in the UK charts, and number 1 on the US Hot Dance Club Play Chart. In Greece the single peaked at number 1 and at number 2 in Spain.
Billboard wrote about the song: "Quirky dance act has already topped the U.K. pop charts with this near-perfect, radio-friendly ditty. Track is empowered with a potent blend of, ethereal female vocals, a hypnotic hook, and an electro-hip beat. Should have little trouble duplicating its success at several levels here. Look for the act's full-length debut album this summer."
The Gavin Report wrote: "Lead vocalist Kirsty is the only name we know because the producers who put this British Dance sensation together can't legally reveal themselves. Supposedly, Kirsty was singing in her garden while this mysterious group was recording the sounds of birds. A likely story. In any case, it was a fortunate meeting that gave life to this hot track.
Network 40 wrote in their review: "This huge British Dance smash came about when the boys behind the group -- whose identity must remain anonymous for contractual and legal reasons -- were out in the Hertfordshire woods recording bird noises to sample for a new track and stumbled on Classically-trained vocalist Kirsty. Opus III approaches their music committed to a pure English vocal crossed with the backdrop of organic Dance rhythm. The overall effect is a powerful ambient concept of style and character which can't be ignored. Like nothing else out there, this track is simultaneously spacey and driving, bordering on the current Euro-Rave movement."
The music video for "It's a Fine Day" was directed by David Betteridge. It first aired in February 1992. The video features Kirsty Hawkshaw (with her standout shaved head and bodysuit) performing and dancing against a backdrop of what is supposed to be a fine day.
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||14|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||24|
|Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)||16|
|Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)||10|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||18|
|Italy (Musica e dischi)||9|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40 Tipparade)||4|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||51|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||24|
|UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)||5|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play||1|
|U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks||30|
The song was also the basis of Orbital's 1993 track, "Halcyon + On + On", on their second eponymous album - the "la la la" section of the chorus was backmasked and sampled throughout the song. Interestingly enough, a music video for the song featured Hawkshaw, who was the aforementioned vocalist in the song's sample.
A Cantonese-language version of this single, "Can lalalalali at night only," was recorded by Hong Kong singer Yolinda Yan in 1992.
A further version was released in 1998, credited to Miss Jane. This was produced by Italian producers David Carlotti and Carmine Sorrentino. The remake does feature vocals from the original Jane version. Luise Gard provided the on-stage image for the touring version of Miss Jane, but did not contribute to the recordings. Various remixes of this version were issued, including one by ATB.