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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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!