Cat Stevens

COVER vs ORIGINAL: ‘Wild World’

The song, “Wild World”, was originally recorded by Cat Stevens in 1970

“Wild World” was written and performed by Yusuf Islam (b,1948) and better known as Cat Stevens in 1970. It was a track on his fourth studio album “Tea For The Tillerman” and released as a single, peaking at No.11 in America. Oddly, it was never released in the UK, but did eventually chart at No.52 in 2007, after Stevens performed it at a Live Earth concert along with James Blunt.

Two significant versions of the song exist since, the first came from British reggae performer Maxi Priest in 1988, the most successful of all, which made the top five in the UK and No.25 in America, while charting top ten across Europe as well as in Australia and New Zealand.

The second came in 1993 from US rock band Mr. Big (remember “To Be With You”?). Their version was a mid-charting hit in many territories including their home country, where it peaked at No.27 and a lowly No.59 in the UK. It did, however, break the top ten in six European countries.

But which version is the best? CAT STEVENS’ original, MAXI PRIEST’s reggae version or MR. BIG’s 90’s cover?

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