Ron Sexsmith is a Canadian singer-songwriter, who despite having a number of famous admirers that have covered his songs, including Elvis Costello, Elton John, Paul McCartney, and Sheryl Crow, has always been slightly under the radar of the mainstream. Georgian-born British singer-songwriter Katie Melua covered this song about a realist's bid for optimism in 2011 for her Secret Symphony album.
A second version of this song featuring duet vocals from Coldplay's Chris Martin appears as a bonus track on Cobblestone Runaway. Sexsmith was unaware of the recording until he heard it on the disc. He explained to UK newspaper, The Guardian January 17, 2013: "I was touring when my record was being mixed in LA and the producer asked Chris to replace my piano part, because I'm a terrible piano player. That's how it started, but he ended up singing on the record. I wasn't around at the time so they couldn't ask my permission. It sort of bothered me that they sent me this CD with 'Gold in Them Hills Remix' written on it and I didn't even know who it was singing. I thought it was me at first, but it didn't sound like me. It took me a while to get anyone on the phone to explain who it was. Obviously the record company were desperate for me to release it once they knew it had Chris Martin on it."
"What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes has endured as one of the most popular songs of the '90s, but it wasn't a huge hit at the time and the band split after one album. Frontwoman Linda Perry went on to write hits for Pink and Christina Aguilera.
George Harrison's 1971 song "Bangla Desh" was the first major charity single. It was part of a concert held to bring relief to the people of Bangladesh, who were fighting for independence and suffering from a famine.