Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sun's In Your Eyes, The Wind Is In Your Hair.

Those emo kids might think they've cornered the market in bittersweet melancholy but 20 years ago Black (aka Colin Vearncombe) was crafting a lush, beautiful, bittersweet gem by the name of "It's A Wonderful Life".

(And no, don't even mention that dance cover version from some years back! Talk about rob the song of its irony and meaning. The first time I saw a video clip of it I screamed and nearly threw a shoe at the television set.)

Anyhoo, back to the behaviour of sane people. I love this song. I have the album on vinyl somewhere, but haven't played it in many years (and don't even have a turntable anymore). I really should get around to buying this on cd sometime if I can, but in the meantime we can still enjoy it courtesy of YouTube.


John C said...

A really great video too. Which reminds me...I used the shot of singer guy standing by the rollercoaster as reference for a comics panel I was drawing at the time. Was a good low angle.

Can't help but find that song a bit sad these days as it reminds me of the bf I had at the time who liked it a lot. :sigh: Some songs are like that, aren't they?

mrpeenee said...

I always liked this song so much, but never knew he name of it or who sang it. thanks

Jodie Sorrell said...

What else did Black do or were they a OHW?

The Other Andrew said...

John, I agree the video is excellent. BTW - it was only from reading your blog recently that I realised that you did so much illustration work on Jeff Vandermmer's books and for the web. I love your work! It was the look of City of Saints & Sinners that first made me pluck it from the shelf.

And yes, the association with some songs is strong. Small Town Boy by Bronski Beat is one for me, reminds me of my first serious boyfriend. Gary the Welshman, we were together for around 2 years in my very, very early twenties. *le sigh*

MrP, you're welcome.

Jodie, Colin is still releasing and working under his own name and with a band called Dog Tail Soup. He had some lean years, but he's been putting out critically acclaimed albums since this song in 1987. No big hits, but nice work apparently (I haven't heard any of it yet, but I'm going to try and seek some of it out.)

jason said...

gosh...I've never heard of it...or Black, I'm ashamed to say.
It's beautiful!

Snarky Platypus said...

Actually I much prefer the vocals of the Tina Cousins version - for me, this vocalist seems too stilted and distant. I agree that the electro backing of the dance version is quite inappropriate (well except when you're trying to play it at a club obviously). There is a ballad version of the song on Ms Cousins' CD single which works a lot better IMHO - her pleasant, delicate voice suits the mood nicely. I do like the musical arrangement and the video of this version though.

The Other Andrew said...

Jason, glad you like it!

Snarky Platypus, you have mentioned the name of evil! She Who Must Not Be Named! Aaaaargh!!!

Needles to say, I like the original a lot more. :)

John C said...

Oh, thanks Andrew, glad you like the book. Jeff's volume has been very popular, going through several translations. This means I have to rework the title pages every now and then in a foreign language. Always good to hear that one's work is being seen.

Anonymous said...

You may already know...but, as you are talking about Wonderful Life by Black here, I wanted to let you know...

Colin Vearncombe a.k.a. Black has just released a new song two days ago, called “Grievous Angel". Have you heard of it? It is so beautiful, sesitive...and melancholic!

You can download it for free at his site;

Check it out! You may like it as well!