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"Lovely Day" is a song by American soul and R&B singer Bill Withers. Published in 1977 (see 1977 in music), the song was written by Withers and Skip Scarborough and appears on Withers' 1978 album Menagerie.
Released as a single in late 1977, "Lovely Day" peaked at #6 on the Billboard R&B chart and at #30 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US in early 1978. It also made the Top 10 in theUnited Kingdom, where the song reached #7 on the British single chart.
Withers' version of "Lovely Day" has been re-released as a single in the United Kingdom at least twice since the song's first chart run; in 1987 the original version charted again at #92, while a version done by Ben Liebrand, named the "Sunshine Mix", made the British Top 10 in 1988, rising to #4. This remix resulted in renewed enthusiasm for the Withers original, which incurred a surge in airplay into the early 1990s and came to firmly overshadow the radio presence of Liebrand's version. Public interest was again piqued in 1995, when "Lovely Day" was used in adverts for Tetley tea.
Producer Clarence McDonald also arranged the original 1977 version of the song and played keyboards. Guitars were played by Ray Parker, Jr., Jerry Knight played bass, and Russell Kunkelplayed drums.
Towards the end of the song, Withers holds a note for 18 seconds. This is believed to be the second-longest note in UK chart history; Morten Harket of a-ha's 20-second note in "Summer Moved On" is the longest. Withers' note is sustained in chest voice, whereas Harket utilizes the falsetto range. The former remains the longest in any Top 40 hit in the United States.
Covers and samples[edit source | edit]Edit
"Lovely Day" has been covered and sampled numerous times since Withers' original recording. These alternate versions of the song span many different musical genres, including R&B, pop, jazz, gospel, dance, and rap.
One of the more notable versions of this song was performed by The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. featuring Michelle Visage and was included on the Whitney Houston's soundtrack to the 1992 film The Bodyguard. This mostly rap version was titled "It's Gonna Be a Lovely Day", and it reached #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #44 on the Billboard R&B chart, in addition to spending three weeks atop the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in December 1992 and January 1993. This version also reached #16 on the UK Singles Chart.
Other uses of the song include:
- 1978: American jazz guitarist Wilbert Longmire, cover version from his album Sunny Side Up
- 1979: British jazz fusion group Morrissey–Mullen, cover version from their album Cape Wrath
- 1983: British pop group Central Line, cover version from their album Breaking Point (this version reached #81 on the UK Singles Chart)
- 1985: Italian singer, Mike Francis, cover version from his 1985 album Features.
- 1992: British entertainer, Des O Connor, cover version from his Portrait album.
- 1993 S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. lovely day
- 1994: American gospel group Out of Eden, cover version from their album Lovin' the Day
- 1998: American gospel songwriter Kirk Franklin, cover version from his album The Nu Nation Project (titled "Gonna Be a Lovely Day")
- 1998: American rap duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, sampled original song on their track "Lovely Daze" from their greatest hits album
- 1999: British Jazz-funk band Shakatak, cover version from their album Magic.
- 1999: American rappers Too Short, Ant Banks and Rappin' 4-Tay, sampled original song on their track "Playa's Holiday" from Banks' album Derty Werk
- 2000: Finnish rapper Seremoniamestari covered original song on his track "Ihana päivä" from the album Omin sanoin
- 2000: The original song appears at the beginning of the 8th episode named "The Whole Truth" in the first season of the TV series "Ed".
- 2002: British DJ's Brancaccio & Aisher, sampled the The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. cover on their track "It's Gonna Be...(A Lovely Day)" (this version reached #40 on the UK Singles Chart as well as hitting #1 on both the US BillboardHot Dance Club Play chart and the UK Official Dance Chart)
- 2002: American contemporary gospel group Take 6, cover version from their album Beautiful World
- 2003: American R&B singer Luther Vandross featuring rapper Busta Rhymes, cover version from Vandross' Grammy Award-winning album Dance with My Father
- 2004: American rappers Twista and Anthony Hamilton, sampled original song on their track "Sunshine" from Twista's album Kamikaze
- 2006: American pop band Maroon 5, cover version from the soundtrack to the Luke Wilson film Hoot (this version features backing vocals by Bill Withers & Kori Withers)
- 2006: American jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour, with American pop singer Taylor Dayne and South African singer Zamajobe instrumental cover version from his album Smoke & Mirrors
- 2006: New Age/Contemporary jazz French keyboardist Philippe Saisse covered the song with his "Philippe Saisse Acoustique Trio" from the album "Body and Soul Sessions."
- 2007: American R&B singer Diana Ross, cover version from her album I Love You
- 2007: American rapper Swizz Beatz, sampled original song on his track "Take a Picture" from the album One Man Band Man
- 2007: American rapper Z-Ro, sampled original song on his track "A Lovely Day," which features Lil' Flip & Big Shasta. The song was on Z-Ro's album King Of Tha Ghetto: Power
- 2008: Drummer Russ Kunkel and his group Chateau Beach covered the song from the 2008 album "Rivage."
- 2008: Bassist Michael Manson presented his version from the album "Up Front."
- 2009: American saxophonist Elan Trotman covered the song from his album "This Time Around."
- 2010: American rapper LL Cool J, sampled original song on his track "LLovely Day."
- 2010: This song featured in the film 127 Hours during the scene where James Franco (Aron Ralston) on the second day of his horrific ordeal, makes a pulley to release the rock trapping his arm. This song also features in thesoundtrack of the movie.
- 2010: American R&B singer and jazz saxophonist Walter Beasley recorded his own version of Lovely Day on the album Backatcha.
- 2011: R&B Singer Jill Scott covered this song on the album The Original Jill Scott from the Vault, Vol. 1, one of her last recordings with Hidden Beach Recordings.
- 2012: British Post hardcore band Enter Shikari covered this song in a live session over uStream
- 2012: A cover version of the song by Elizabeth Mitchell (musician) is used in a UK advert for DFS (British retailer)
- 2012: American musician R. Kelly heavily sampled the original song on the track, "Feelin' Single" from the Write Me Back album.
- 2013: Contemporary Christian artist The Katinas covered the song in their 2013 album Love Chapter.