When you play in a bar band…you better know this song. I played it so many times that while I still like listening to the song…I dreaded playing it but it was hard to avoid. Just to add a little fun to it I would add a naughty description in the lyrics…no I won’t repeat here…trying to make the guys laugh. I’d get a wink from some of the slow dancers but no one seemed to mind…it added a little spice to this slower than slow song.
It’s another song inspired by Pattie Boyd. The list is long with Pattie. She inspired a lot of great songs. George Harrison wrote “Something” and “For You Blue” for her, while she inspired Clapton to write this, “Layla,” “Why Does Love Have To Be So Sad,” and “Forever Man.”
Pattie was married to George Harrison when Clapton expressed his love for her in the song “Layla.” Clapton and Harrison remained good friends, and Harrison even played at their wedding in 1979. Eric and Pattie divorced in 1988.
The song peaked at #16 in the Billboard 100, #15 in Canada, #2 in New Zealand, and #81 in the UK in 1977. The song was on the album Slowhand.
Pattie Boyd: “Clapton was sitting round playing his guitar while I was trying on dresses upstairs. I was taking so long and I was panicking about my hair, my clothes, everything, and I came downstairs expecting him to really berate me but he said, ‘Listen to this!'”
A fixture at proms and weddings, Eric Clapton wrote “Wonderful Tonight” in 1976 while waiting for his girlfriend (and future wife) Pattie to get ready for a night out. They were going to a Buddy Holly tribute that Paul McCartney put together, and Clapton was in the familiar position of waiting while she tried on clothes.
On March 28, 1979, the day after they were married, Clapton brought Pattie on stage and sang this to her at his show in Tucson, Arizona.
Clapton released a live version in 1991 recorded in London with the National Philharmonic Orchestra. This is the version that charted in the UK. It is included on his album 24 Nights.
In the time she had taken to get ready Clapton had written this song.
In the 2000 Friends episode “The One With the Proposal,” this plays in the background while Chandler and Monica are dancing. It also shows up in the 1984 Miami Vice episode “One Eyed Jack” and in the 2013 movie Captain Phillips. >>
This was used in the movie The Story Of Us with Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer. The song plays in the background as they eat dinner together at home, even though they had separated.
In 1997 the boy band Damage recorded a cover reaching #3 in the UK. A then unknown Craig David sent in a self-written song called “I’m Ready” for a competition Damage was running, which they used as the B-side.
It’s late in the evening; she’s wondering what clothes to wear.
She’ll put 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.”