My favourite song is the single ballad “Wonderful Tonight”. The lyrics to the song were written by Eric Clapton on 7th September 1976. Eric Clapton is a Grammy Award winning singer, composer and guitarist (Schumacher, 2003). He is one of the most respected artists of the rock era who won three inductions into the rock and roll Hall of Fame. The song appears in Clapton’s 1977 album, Slowhand. It was produced by Glyn Johns. Pattie Boyd was the muse and main source of inspiration to the song.
Clapton wrote it while waiting for his girlfriend and future wife, Pattie, as she tried on her clothes and put on her make up in preparation for a night out. This was in preparation of an attendance to Paul and Linda McCartney’s Buddy Holly Party. Pattie expected him to be cross with her because she took so long trying her outfits and trying to look her best, but all he said to her was to listen to the lyrics and the song. Previously, Pattie had been married to Clapton’s friend George Harrison of the Beatles, who expressed his love for her in his song “Layla”. The two men remained friends and George even performed in their wedding in 1979 (Schumacher, 2003).
The song has featured prominently.Pattie and Boyd’s marriage was short lived as they divorced in 1988. Boyd is recorded to have said that the song always tore her heart. This was so especially after the end of her relationship. She is flattered to have been an object of inspiration to Eric and even to George before him. She wrote an autobiographical book “Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton and me” and went ahead to mention the song in it (Schumacher, 2003). The female vocal harmonies were done by Yvonne Elliman and Marcella Detroit. The song featured in the film Captain Phillips; in Friends Season 6; and in ‘the one with the proposal part 2’ episode on 18th May 2000. It also featured in Ricky Gervais’s radio show. Karl Pilkington, the producer, postulated that the lyrics suggested the point of view of a disabled man in a wheelchair (Schumacher, 2003).
The song, “Wonderful Tonight” went ahead to be recorded by the British R&B/pop group Damage in the year 1977. The recorded song shows the band performing in a recording studio and cut scenes showing a girl preparing for a night out. It was then released as a single in the fifth position from the debut studio of the band “Forever”. On the UK Singles Chart, the song was ranked position three. It was thus termed the band’s most successful single and peaked high in many other territories. Richards prominently performs the song with little vocal input from other vocals (Clapton, 2009).
I chose this song because my father was in a Clapton cover before he passed away. It was also the first song I learnt to play on guitar when a rhythm guitar was needed in the backup player. The song was prominent enough to garner Eric Clapton an opportunity at the Nelson Mandela 70th birthday Tribute Concert in 1988 (Schumacher, 2003). He was invited as a guest guitarist for Dire Straits and the group then went ahead to back him up during a surprise performance of his song in their set. Wonderful Tonight is performed in the Blues style by Clapton. The song is significant for love and romantic settings such as weddings and proms (Clapton, 2009). The link to the song Wonderful Tonight is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUSzL2leaFM
Contemporary Rock Song From Between Years 1990 – 2010
I love the classical rock song“The Shoe Must Go On”performed by aBritishRock Band, Queen (Stuessy & Lipscomb,1990). It appeared as the final track of their 1991 Innuendo Album. The song is credited to the band Queen, but it was mainly written by Brian May (May, Decker & Freed, 1984). It was recorded in the year 1990 as Freddie Mercury made efforts to continue performing during when he was battling with AIDS. At that time though, his illness had not been made known to the public. It was the social media wave that speculated on his illness. It was said that Freddy was very ill during the recording of 1990 and that May was concerned that he was not capable of performing it. However, he went ahead to perform it, and it was excellent on the highly demanding vocals (May, Decker & Freed, 1984).
The song was released on 14th October 1991 as a single in the United Kingdom, six weeks before Mercury’s death on 24th November (Stuessy & Lipscomb,1990). It was first played live during The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert on 20th April 1992 by the three remaining members of the Queen Band. It spent many weeks at the top of the British charts, prominently featuring on film, television and being covered by different artists. The music video consisted of clips from Mercury’s Career from 1981 to 1991 and did not include any new footage shots. It was compiled and edited by DoRo, an Australian Director Team. The producer was Richards in collaboration with the Queen band.
The song is significant in that it has an inspirational message that encourages one to overcome adversity and trials. Like other classic tracks, the song is meant to uplift the spirits. It was written as a testament to the fact that man does have the ability to overcome. The lyrics to the song are mainly allusions and figures of speech that thinly disguise and project tragedy. The song refers to determination and the fierce desire to live. It talks about facing the ends with a smile and not blaming anyone for any tragedies (Queen, 2013).
I chose the song because it clearly reflects facts of life. Though life may become tough, human beings should remain optimistic and persevere in the things they love. It is noted that Freddy lived fully for 45 years. To date, he is an influence on fashion, music and art, and has continually been name-checked as a great influence and point of interest for many musicians such as Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. He is praised for being a forward-thinking individual, for his showmanship and talent, and for his song writing and singing. In a Europe-based survey, the song was selected as a favourite funeral song because it is a life’s reflection of imminent death (Queen, 2013). The link to the song The Show Must Go On is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t99KH0TR-J4
Clapton E. (2009). Wonderful Tonight (Official Live Video). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUSzL2leaFM
May, B., Decker, R., & Freed, M. (1984). Brian May. Cullen Video.
Schumacher, M. (2003). Crossroads: The life and music of Eric Clapton. Citadel Press.
Stuessy, J., & Lipscomb, S. (1990). Rock and roll. Prentice Hall.
Queen. (2013). The Show Go On. Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t99KH0TR-J4
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