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Black "Wonderful Life" (1986) : the story of creating a sad hit

This song, according to Black's fans, sounded equally appropriate both at weddings and at funerals. About why life is really beautiful - in our article.

How Personal Tragedies Helped Colin Wyrncombe Write a Successful Composition

This song was played in almost all discos and school dances of the 80s in the Soviet Union. Perhaps the word "slow", popular in the lexicon of compatriots, appeared precisely because of her. About how Colin Wyrncombe from the Black group was able to win the hearts of the whole world thanks to one composition - in our article.

Biography of Colin Wyrncombe

Colin was born in Liverpool, a rather musical city, studied at a music school, where he played various instruments and tried to sing, and made the first step in his career as a teenager. Then he began to come to the rehearsals of a small, unknown band with a strange name "Epileptic Tits". In his youth, Wyrncombe was inspired by Elvis Presley and the musical Jailhouse Rock.

From session musicians to own name association

1980 became a turning point for Colin - then a group with a definitely "dark" name was born Black, which became his guiding star in music. The goal of the singer when creating the team was his own realization as an author. Wyrncombe felt that his lyrics, if set to music, could definitely become hits. And he decided to act.

Having gathered his acquaintances with whom Colin studied at school, he began to search for his style and sound. Sometimes he turned to session musicians for help, so the group did not have a permanent line-up. The genre features of the group were compared with those who already had some musical experience and some popularity - "The Chameleons" and "The Associates". about their focus on classic pop new wave, popular at that time, was repeatedly said by critics who later evaluated the activities of the group.

Colin Wyrncombe in his youth
Colin Wyrncombe in his youth

The first Black concert was played in 1981, but not for a wide audience, but for a narrow circle. The debut took place at a party of Colin's friends with the song "Human Features». Interestingly, this composition was then released on a record with a circulation of a thousand copies and sold out very quickly, which indicated the growing popularity of the group. Despite this, Wyrncombe continued to perform as a session musician and was a member of the tours of several new wave bands - Thompson Twins and "Wah!".

Colin Wyrncombe
Colin Wyrncombe

In 1982, the lead singer of "Black" met the multi-instrumentalist Dave Dickey, who until the end of the 1980s remained a permanent member of Black, who managed to try himself as a producer and songwriter. From 1982 to 1984, the group tried to actively break into the music show business, but the participants did not succeed in achieving a good result. Although singles were released during this period ("More Than the Sun", which even had an orchestral version, Hey Presto in collaboration with bassist Jimmy Sangster), Colin and his team could not achieve chart success, so they tried to distribute their songs by re-recording them on reel-to-reel tape recorders. But even this did not unite the team: Dave Dickey frankly neglected work, and the tension grew.

1985: a series of bad luck, but "life is beautiful"

An unsuccessful career, growing problems in his personal life, divorce and a car accident - all this left an indelible imprint on Colin's soul. And in music, he found salvation, although it seemed that after six years of failure, "Black" sealed their fate, seen in a gloomy light. But such allegories were left behind when Wyrncombe wrote the composition "Wonderful Life". In an interview, Colin said what led him to write this song:

“Another paradox of life was that my first marriage, which ended with such a bang, pushed me to write a couple of songs that became the most successful of all that I wrote. My ex-wife indirectly influenced the appearance of my hit."

Lyrics Pretty melancholic, the main character is sad about unfulfilled dreams. Many descriptions of nature and references to loneliness, which allows us to conclude that autobiographical composition. With all this, cheerful lines go as a leitmotif in the chorus:

"There is no need to run and hide,
It's a wonderful, wonderful life!
No need to laugh and cry
It's a wonderful, wonderful life!"

It is through the prism of the events that formed the basis of the musical work that the group "Black" was able to reach a new level and gain such popularity, which I could not even guess.

So, thanks to the writing of this song, "Black" in 1986 were able to sign a contract with a well-known record company at that time. Ugly Man Records, which released "Wonderful Life" to a public audience. It was unexpected for the participants that the composition hit the charts: the song hit the top 50 singles on the official UK charts UK Singles Chart. Then Wyrncombe realized that "Wonderful Life" has a huge potential and therefore began to look for new opportunities to realize it. Colin was able to get him a contract offer from the management of the American label A&M Records, who re-released the single in 1987.

Since the song was now aimed at the masses and a wide audience, management decided to release a video for the song, which should have caused even more resonance and helped Wearncombe soar on the charts.

Video directed by Gerrard de Tam: His idea was to build a black and white picture that would emphasize the mood of the song. Filming took place near Colin's hometown - this link to the beauties of Liverpool further supported the idea of the director of the video, which later received the prestigious Golden Lion award at the New York Film Festival.

The commercial success of the composition could not be avoided - the song took eighth place in the UK hit parade, but in Central Europe - second and even first. Then Black released their debut album with the title of their biggest hit. The achievement of platinum status in the UK and Spain showed that the group is just ahead.

Colin Wyrncombe in 2016
Colin Wyrncombe in 2016

Colin Wyrncombe died in a car accident in 2016. Before his death, the author of the hit "Wonderful Life" managed to re-release the track in Catalan! The recording was made for one television program and had charitable purposes. The song with which Colin is associated and with which he remained in the hearts of an audience of millions, managed to collect more than seven million pounds, which speaks of its significance in the world of music.

 “People understand that a great life does not mean the absence of problems. Rather, it means that you know how to deal with them, know how to solve them. "Wonderful Life" is a good song for times when people need a little positivity," Vyrncombe admitted.

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