Wonderful Life – Black (1987)

Pentax Digital Camera
           A&M Records AM 402

Black was a pseudonym for Colin Vearncombe of Liverpool. His early career at the beginning of the 80’s had him release tracks on independent labels, then he played on tour with the group The Thompson Twins. He signed to major label WEA in 1984 but after a couple of releases was dropped.

Originally recorded in 1986 and released on Ugly Man Records “Wonderful Life” just made the top 75 in the UK where it came to the attention to major label A&M, and in 1987 it was re-recorded and became a big European hit reaching #8 In the UK, #1 in Austria, #2 in Germany, Switzerland and France. It even made the top 10 in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Some tracks set a mood, or have to be played in a certain atmosphere. This is one such song. Although the genre is described as down tempo synth pop, you can get lost in the melodic nature of the backing and I love the snippet of saxophone. Although said to have been written at Vearncombe’s lowest ebb, the melancholy lyrics for me speak of someone knowing that actually not all is lost and there is a hint of optimism.

“Here I go out to sea again, the sunshine fills my hair
and dreams hang in the air,
Gulls in the sky and in my blue eye
You know it feels unfair, there’s magic everywhere
Look at me standing, here on my own again
Up straight in the sunshine

No need to run and hide, It’s a wonderful, wonderful life
No need to laugh and cry, It’s a wonderful, wonderful life

The sun’s in your eyes, the heat is in your hair
They seem to hate you, because you’re there
And I need a friend, oh I need a friend, to make me happy
Not standing here on my own,
Look at me standing here on my own again
up straight in the sunshine

No need to run and hide, It’s a wonderful, wonderful life
No need to laugh and cry, It’s a wonderful, wonderful life

I need a friend, oh I need a friend, to make me happy, not so alone
Look at me here, here on my own again
Up straight in the sunshine

No need to run and hide, It’s a wonderful, wonderful life
No need to laugh and cry, It’s a wonderful, wonderful life”

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