I Can See Clearly Now

"I Can See Clearly Now" is a song written and originally recorded by Johnny Nash. It was a single from the album of the same name and achieved success in the United States and the United Kingdom when it was released in 1972, reaching number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box charts. It also reached number one in Canada and South Africa. The song has been covered by many artists throughout the years, including a hit version by Lee Towers where it reached the Dutch Top 40 in 1982 charting at No. 19 and another hit version in 1993 by Jimmy Cliff, who recorded the song for the motion picture soundtrack of Cool Runnings, where it also reached No. 18 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

"I Can See Clearly Now"
I can see clearly now (Johnny Nash).jpg
Single by Johnny Nash
from the album I Can See Clearly Now
B-side"How Good It Is"
ReleasedJune 23, 1972
Recorded1971
GenreReggae, soul
Length2:45
LabelEpic
Songwriter(s)Johnny Nash
Producer(s)Johnny Nash
Johnny Nash singles chronology
"Stir It Up"
(1972)
"I Can See Clearly Now"
(1972)
"There Are More Questions Than Answers"
(1972)

Writing and recordingEdit

After Nash wrote and composed the original version, he recorded it in London with members of the Fabulous Five Inc.,[1] and produced it himself. Composed in the key of D major with a I-IV-V chord progression, the song's arrangements and style are both heavily laced with reggae influences. Nash had collaborated with Bob Marley earlier,[2] and his approach drew strongly from Marley's reggae style.

Track listingsEdit

7" single

  1. "I Can See Clearly Now" – 2:44
  2. "How Good It Is" – 2:38

7" single

  1. "I Can See Clearly Now" – 2:44
  2. "Cupid" – 3:30

Chart performanceEdit

After making modest chart advances for a month, the RIAA-certified gold single unexpectedly took only two weeks to vault from No. 20 to No. 5 to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 4, 1972, remaining atop this chart for four weeks, and also spent the same four weeks atop the adult contemporary chart.[3]

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[17] Silver 200,000 
United States (RIAA)[18] Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Jimmy Cliff versionEdit

"I Can See Clearly Now"
 
Single by Jimmy Cliff
from the album Cool Runnings soundtrack
B-side"Sweet Jamaica" by Tony Rebel
Released1993
Recorded1993
GenrePop-reggae
Length3:16
LabelChaos
Songwriter(s)Johnny Nash
Producer(s)Paul Henton
Jimmy Cliff singles chronology
"Samba Reggae"
(1993)
"I Can See Clearly Now"
(1993)
"(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher"
(1994)
Music video
"I Can See Clearly Now" on YouTube

Jamaican reggae singer Jimmy Cliff recorded a cover of the song for the 1993 movie Cool Runnings.[19] It was released as a single in 1993, reaching No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was Cliff's first single to make the Hot 100 in 25 years and is his highest-charting single in the United States. The song reached No. 1 in France, Iceland, and New Zealand. The music video for this version was directed by Academy Award nominated film director, Scott Hamilton Kennedy.[20]

Critical receptionEdit

Larry Flick from Billboard wrote, "Cliff manages to breathe freshness into this oft-covered pop nugget. His laid-back vocal is matched by a relatively faithful arrangement (except for the delicate reggae flavors). Already amassing praise at adult formats, track is a good bet for eventual top 40 success."[21]

ChartsEdit

Sales and certificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
France (SNEP)[44] Gold 250,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[45] Platinum 10,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.

Other coversEdit

The song has been covered by many artists. Among the most notable versions are:

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Stephen Nye. "The Fabulous Five". Trojan Records. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  2. ^ Campbell, Howard (February 3, 2012). "Bob Marley: the American connection". The Jamaica Observer. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications).
  4. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  5. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. November 18, 1972. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  6. ^ Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie Archived June 3, 2009, at WebCite (Retrieved August 9, 2008)
  7. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Flavourofnz.co.nz. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  8. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  9. ^ UK Singles Chart Official Charts Company (Retrieved August 1, 2008)
  10. ^ "Johnny Nash Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  11. ^ a b Billboard Allmusic.com (Retrieved August 9, 2008)
  12. ^ UK Singles Chart (1989 release) Official Charts Company (Retrieved August 1, 2008)
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 16, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Top 100 1972 - UK Music Charts". Uk-charts.top-source.info. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  15. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1972/Top 100 Songs of 1972". Musicoutfitters.com. Archived from the original on April 27, 2017. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  16. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  17. ^ "British single certifications – Johnny Nash – I Can See Clearly Now". British Phonographic Industry.Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type I Can See Clearly Now in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  18. ^ "American single certifications – Johnny Nash – I Can See Clearly Now". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  19. ^ King, Alex P. (2004). Hit-parade – 20 ans de tubes (in French). Paris: Pascal. p. 341. ISBN 2-35019-009-9.
  20. ^ "Kennedy, Scott Hamilton – Environmental Film Festival". Environmental Film Festival. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  21. ^ Flick, Larry (October 2, 1993). "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. p. 75. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  22. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Jimmy Cliff – I Can See Clearly Now". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  23. ^ "Ultratop.be – Jimmy Cliff – I Can See Clearly Now" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  24. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2347." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  25. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2386." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  26. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 2395." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  27. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 11 no. 28. July 9, 1994. p. 17. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  28. ^ "Lescharts.com – Jimmy Cliff – I Can See Clearly Now" (in French). Les classement single.
  29. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Jimmy Cliff – I Can See Clearly Now" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  30. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (14.04.1994 – 20.04.1994)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). April 14, 1994. p. 20. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  31. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Jimmy Cliff – I Can See Clearly Now" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  32. ^ "Charts.nz – Jimmy Cliff – I Can See Clearly Now". Top 40 Singles.
  33. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  34. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  35. ^ "Jimmy Cliff Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  36. ^ "Jimmy Cliff Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  37. ^ "Jimmy Cliff Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  38. ^ "Jimmy Cliff Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  39. ^ "1994 in Review – Sales Charts" (PDF). Music & Media. December 24, 1994. p. 24. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  40. ^ "Tops de L'année | Top Singles 1994" (in French). SNEP. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  41. ^ "Árslistinn 1994". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). January 2, 1995. p. 16. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  42. ^ "End of Year Charts 1994". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  43. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1994". Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  44. ^ "French single certifications – Jimmy Cliff – I Can See" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  45. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Jimmy Cliff – I Can See Clearly Now". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  46. ^ "Home". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved January 22, 2008. Released: 1990 [...] composed by [...] 7. Johnny Nash
  47. ^ {{cite web url=https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106611/soundtrack.