|Single by Cat Stevens|
|from the album Tea for the Tillerman|
|Format||7" 45 rpm|
|Label||Island (UK/Europe) |
|Cat Stevens singles chronology|
Stevens developed a relationship with actress Patti D'Arbanville and the two were a pair throughout a period of two years or so. During that time, he wrote several songs about her, including the song "Wild World." The song has struck many critics as being protective and caring[not in citation given]; the artist's expression of love includes words like "Because I never want to see you sad girl, don't be a bad girl".
The song is in the form of the singer's words to his departing lover, inspired by the end of their romance. Stevens later recalled to Mojo: "It was one of those chord sequences that's very common in Spanish music. I turned it around and came up with that theme--which is a recurring theme in my work--which is to do with leaving, the sadness of leaving, and the anticipation of what lies beyond."
Released as a single in late 1970, it peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "Wild World" has been credited as the song that gave Stevens' next album, Tea for the Tillerman, "enough kick" to get it played on FM radio; and Island Records' Chris Blackwell has been quoted as calling it "the best album we've ever released" to that date.
In November 2008, the Tea for the Tillerman CD was re-issued in a deluxe version which included the original demo of "Wild World".
The song has been covered by many artists, with many of the covers becoming hits of their own. Jimmy Cliff's version, released a few months after Stevens released the original version, reached number eight on the UK Singles Chart. Surprisingly, Stevens' version was not released as a single in the UK. Some of the subsequent covers have also been in the reggae style, indicating that they may be covers of Cliff's version, as opposed to direct covers of Cat Stevens' original arrangement. An example of this would be Maxi Priest's version of the song. Recorded and released as a single in 1988, this version also did well on the charts, reaching number five on the UK Singles Chart and No. 25 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
In 1987, Jonathan King accused Pet Shop Boys of plagiarising the melody of "Wild World" for their UK No. 1 single "It's a Sin". He made the claims in The Sun, for which he wrote a regular column during the 1980s. King also released his own cover version of "Wild World" as a single, using a similar musical arrangement to "It's a Sin", in an effort to demonstrate his claims. This single flopped, while Pet Shop Boys sued King, eventually winning out-of-court damages, which they donated to charity.
On July 7, 2007, the song was performed twice at the Live Earth concerts. James Blunt sang it at Wembley Stadium in London, England, while Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) himself sang it in Hamburg, Germany.
|Single by Maxi Priest|
|from the album Maxi|
Lowell "Sly" Dunbar
|Maxi Priest singles chronology|
In 1988, English reggae vocalist Maxi Priest recorded a cover of the song, which was released as the third single from his album, Maxi. The single charted at No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 33 on the Top 40 Mainstream and No. 12 on the Mainstream Top 40. In Europe it was very successful, peaking at No. 3 in Norway, No. 5 in Belgium, Ireland, New Zealand, and the UK, No. 7 in the Netherlands, and No. 8 in Australia.
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||5|
|Canada Top Singles (RPM)||11|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||7|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||7|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||5|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||5|
|US Billboard Hot 100||25|
|Single by Mr. Big|
|from the album Bump Ahead|
|Genre||Pop rock, ballad|
|Mr. Big singles chronology|
In 1993 American rock band Mr. Big released a pop rock ballad cover of "Wild World" on their third album Bump Ahead. The single charted at No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 33 on the Top 40 Mainstream and No. 12 on the Mainstream Top 40. In Europe it was very successful, peaking at No. 4 in Denmark, No. 7 in Austria & Switzerland, at No. 10 in Norway, Sweden & Netherlands and No. 13 in Iceland.
The Gavin Report wrote about the song: "How many ways can a song be interpreted? In the case of Cat Stevens' 1971 smash there are at least three: The Catman's original, Maxi Priest, who gave it a reggae spin, and now Mr. Big's soulful, sensitive approach with a slight rock edge. Lead singer Eric Martin is powerful without overpowering the song."
The music video for "Wild World" was directed by Nancy Bennett.
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||7|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||24|
|Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)||19|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||24|
|Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)||13|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||10|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||11|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||39|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||7|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||59|
|US Billboard Hot 100||27|
|US Billboard Top 40 Mainstream||33|
|US Billboard Mainstream Top 40||12|