Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight
Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE (born 30 March 1945) is a prominent English guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and founder of Crossroads, a substance abuse recovery facility. He is singular for being inducted three times into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo performer, as well as a band member of The Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton ranked fourth in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and #53 on their list of the “Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time” In 2010, Clapton ranked 4th on Gibson’s Top 50 Guitarists of All Time.
Stylistically, Clapton’s guitar playing is heavily rooted in the blues, but he has innovated in a wide variety of genres including blues-rock (with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and The Yardbirds) and psychedelic rock (with Cream). Most of Clapton’s singles have not been blues songs. “Tears in Heaven” was a melodic ballad, and his version of Bob Marley’s reggae “I Shot the Sheriff” helped popularise Bob Marley and broaden the appeal of reggae. Two of his most successful recordings were the hit love song “Layla”, which he played with the band Derek and the Dominos, and Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads”, which has been his staple song since his days with Cream.
“Wonderful Tonight” is a song written by Eric Clapton. It was included on Clapton’s 1977 album Slowhand and released as a single the following year. Clapton wrote the song about Pattie Boyd, and it is mentioned in her autobiographical book Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me.
On 7 September 1976, Clapton wrote “Wonderful Tonight” for Boyd while waiting for her to get ready to attend Paul and Linda McCartney’s annual Buddy Holly party. Of “Wonderful Tonight,” Boyd would say: “For years it tore at me. To have inspired Eric, and George before him, to write such music was so flattering. ‘Wonderful Tonight’ was the most poignant reminder of all that was good in our relationship, and when things went wrong it was torture to hear it.”
In 1988, Clapton appeared in the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute concert as a guest guitarist for Dire Straits. The group became his backing musicians for a surprise performance of “Wonderful Tonight” during their set.
The song appeared in a 2005 SBC commercial.
The song has had two cover versions released by country music singers: Butch Baker took a rendition to #66 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts in 1989, David Kersh’s version went to #29 on the same chart in 1998. “Wonderful Tonight” was also covered by British pop group Damage. It was released as a single in 1997 and reached #3 on the UK Singles Chart.
by Eric Clapton
It’s late in the evening; she’s wondering what clothes to wear.
She puts on her make-up and brushes her long blonde hair.
And then she asks me, “Do I look all right?”
And I say, “Yes, you look wonderful tonight.”
We go to a party and everyone turns to see
This beautiful lady that’s walking around with me.
And then she asks me, “Do you feel all right?”
And I say, “Yes, I feel wonderful tonight.”
I feel wonderful because I see
The love light in your eyes.
And the wonder of it all
Is that you just don’t realize how much I love you.
It’s time to go home now and I’ve got an aching head,
So I give her the car keys and she helps me to bed.
And then I tell her, as I turn out the light,
I say, “My darling, you were wonderful tonight.
Oh my darling, you were wonderful tonight.”
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