Wild World (song)
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Wild World Song
"Wild World"
Wild-World-cover.jpg
Single by Cat Stevens
from the album Tea for the Tillerman
"Miles from Nowhere" (USA)
"Sad Lisa" (Germany)
Released September 1970
Format 7" 45 rpm
Recorded 1970
Genre Folk rock
Length 3:15
Label Island (UK/Europe)
A&M (US/Canada)
Cat Stevens
Paul Samwell-Smith
Cat Stevens singles chronology
"Father and Son"
(1970)
"Wild World"
(1970)
"Moonshadow"
(1971)

"Father and Son"
(1970)
"Wild World"
(1970)
"Moonshadow"
(1971)
Audio sample

"Wild World" is a song written and recorded by English singer-songwriter Cat Stevens. It first appeared on his fourth album, Tea for the Tillerman, recorded and released in 1970.

Song meaning

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".[1]

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."[2]

Released as a single in late 1970, it peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[3] "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.[4]

In November 2008, the Tea for the Tillerman CD was re-issued in a deluxe version which included the original demo of "Wild World".

Cover versions

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.[5]

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.[6][7]

Chart history

Mr. Big version

"Wild World"
Mr. Big Wild World.jpg
Single by Mr. Big
from the album Bump Ahead
Released 1993
Format
Genre Pop rock, ballad
Length 3:27
Label
  • Atlantic
Cat Stevens
Kevin Elson
Mr. Big singles chronology
"To Be with You"
(1991)
"Wild World"
(1993)
"Ain't Seen Love Like That"
(1994)

"To Be with You"
(1991)
"Wild World"
(1993)
"Ain't Seen Love Like That"
(1994)
Music video
"Wild World" on YouTube

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.

Critical reception

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."[14]

Music video

The music video for "Wild World" was directed by Nancy Bennett.[15]

Charts

Chart (1993) Peak
position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[16] 7
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[17] 24
Canada (RPM)[18] 9
Denmark (IFPI)[19] 4
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[20] 19
France (SNEP)[21] 39
Germany (Official German Charts)[22] 24
Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)[23] 13
Japan (Oricon) 56
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[24] 10
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[25] 11
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[26] 39
Norway (VG-lista)[27] 10
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[28] 10
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[29] 7
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 59
US Billboard Hot 100 27
US Billboard Top 40 Mainstream 33
US Billboard Mainstream Top 40 12

Notable covers

References

  1. ^ "Rob Sheffield's Worst Song of 2013: 'Blurred Lines'".
  2. ^ "Wild World by Cat Stevens Songfacts".
  3. ^ Islam, Yusuf (2008). "Yusuf Islam Lifeline 1970". Yusuf Islam Official Website. Retrieved .
  4. ^ Scoppa, Bud (May 24, 1971). "Easy Does It". Rock Magazine. Retrieved .
  5. ^ Street-Porter, Jane (2 April 2005). "Editor-At-Large: He lured boys. He's a bully. Now he bleats". Independent.
  6. ^ "James Blunt covers Cat Stevens at Live Earth". Rolling Stone. 7 July 2007.
  7. ^ "International Report: Live Earth Hamburg". NME. 7 July 2007.
  8. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  9. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  10. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, April 17, 1971
  11. ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/artist/37679/cat-stevens/
  12. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  13. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 25, 1971
  14. ^ Sholin, Dave. "Singles" (PDF). Gavin Report. Retrieved .
  15. ^ "Wild World (1993) by Mr. Big". IMVDb.com. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "Austriancharts.at - Mr. Big - Wild World" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be - Mr. Big - Wild World" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  18. ^ "RPM (Nov 27, 1993)". RPM. Retrieved .
  19. ^ "Top 10 Denmark" (PDF). Music & Media. 1994-01-08. Retrieved .
  20. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. 1994-01-08. Retrieved .
  21. ^ "Lescharts.com - Mr. Big - Wild World" (in French). Les classement single.
  22. ^ "Musicline.de - Mr. Big Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  23. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (30.09.1993 - 06.10.1993)" (PDF). Dagblaðið Vísir - Tónlist. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 - Mr. Big" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  25. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl - Mr. Big - Wild World" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  26. ^ "Charts.nz - Mr. Big - Wild World". Top 40 Singles.
  27. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com - Mr. Big - Wild World". VG-lista.
  28. ^ "Swedishcharts.com - Mr. Big - Wild World". Singles Top 100.
  29. ^ "Swisscharts.com - Mr. Big - Wild World". Swiss Singles Chart.

External links


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