Black started off as a UK trio including Liverpudlian Colin Vearncombe on vocals, but it soon trimmed down to Vearncombe recording on his own under the group name. In 1985 Vearncombe went through a messy divorce but out of it he wrote this ironically entitled minor key song. It was originally released in 1986 independently on Ugly Man Records peaking at #72 in the UK but it did enough to get Black noticed by A&M Records. They signed them and in June 1987 the single "Sweetest Smile," which was also inspired by Vearncombe's divorce, peaked at #8 in the UK. A&M then re-released "Wonderful Life," and this time it became a massive hit worldwide. The only territory to release the record that didn't have significant commercial success was the USA. The accompanying debut album then achieved over a million and a half sales worldwide.
Colin Vearncombe backstage at the start of Black's 1993 tour, reflecting on this song: "It's another one of life's rich ironies that because my first marriage messed up in a very big way, I ended up writing a couple of songs that were the most successful I've ever written. My ex-wife is indirectly responsible for me having a hit," he says. "It makes me smile," he laughs. (courtesy: Sean McManus)
In 1994 this song was re-released in the UK after its use in a TV advertising campaign for Standard Life insurance. This time it reached #42.
Suggestion credit: Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above
A cover version by Katie Melua was used in a 2015 UK commercial for Premier Inn featuring Lenny Henry.
Colin Vearncombe on the deep irony behind this tune. "I'd been in a couple of car crashes, my mother had a serious illness, I'd been dropped by a record company, my first marriage went belly-up and I was homeless. Then I sat down and wrote this song called Wonderful Life." (Source: Uncut magazine)
Adrian Chan from MalaysiaUpdate : Sadly, Colin Vearncombe died tragically in a car crash on 26th January 2016 at the age of 53.
Eugene from Minneapolis, MnThe U.S. should have never slept on this worldwide smash. However in the early 2000s this song was played at the closing of one of the episodes of "Queer As Folk" - the U.S. version.
Howard from Wakefield, United KingdomOne of the best pop tunes of all time.
Steve from Reading,the album title is also "wonderful life". sorry paul how can you say the rest is filler ? this is a great album i recommend this to anyone
Steve from Reading,this is from their album also titled wonderful life. sorry paul how can you say the rest is filler this is great a variety i recommend this to anyone
Paul Marlo from Perthgreat song.. the rest of the album were just fillers no other quality at all!