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"You Are So Beautiful" is a song written by Billy Preston and Bruce Fisher and produced by Jim Price. Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys also contributed to the song's genesis, but his official credit was omitted. It was first recorded by Preston and made popular by Joe Cocker.

"You Are So Beautiful"
You Are So Beautiful single cover.jpg
1980s UK vinyl re-release
Single by Joe Cocker
from the album I Can Stand a Little Rain
B-side "It's a Sin When You Love Somebody"
Released January 1975
Recorded 1974
Length 2:41
Label A&M
Songwriter(s) Billy Preston, Bruce Fisher
Producer(s) Jim Price
Joe Cocker singles chronology
"Midnight Rider"
"You Are So Beautiful"
"Up Where We Belong"

"Midnight Rider"
"You Are So Beautiful"
"Up Where We Belong"

Preston's version first appeared on his album The Kids & Me (1974) and as the B-side on the 45 rpm pressing of his pop hit, "Struttin'". Jim Price, Cocker's producer, created a slowed-down version for Cocker which first appeared on Cocker's fourth studio album, I Can Stand a Little Rain (released later in 1974). In 1975, Joe Cocker's version was released as a single and helped the album become successful, peaking at number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and at number 12 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.[1]



Though not officially credited as the song's writer, Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys and Preston spontaneously collaborated on the words and music to the song at a party.[2] Wilson never sought to reclaim his share of the song's authorship.[3] The song's tone has been compared to the style of his solo material.[3]

Wilson sang "You Are So Beautiful" as an encore at Beach Boys shows intermittently from 1975 until his death in 1983.[citation needed] A live rendition, circa 1978, and an edited 1983 live rendition both appear in the film The Beach Boys: An American Band (1985). A live rendition was released on the group's album Good Timin': Live at Knebworth England 1980 in 2002.


Chart historyEdit

Notable renditionsEdit

In other mediaEdit

  • Television programs have used commercial recordings of the song. Seventies-themed sitcom The Wonder Years used a recorded version of the song in Season 6, Episode 16, "Nose," where it played at the end of the episode at a school dance where Kevin's friend Ricky loses a girl with a large nose just as Ricky had come to appreciate her.
  • The song was heard in Two and a Half Men Season 4, Episode 23, ("Anteaters. They're Just Crazy-Lookin'"), sung by guest Enrique Iglesias.[12][13]
  • An episode of Home Improvement ("Jill's Birthday") accompanied the song with a montage of photos of Jill Taylor (Patricia Richardson) in her early age.
  • The song played in Season 5, Episode 9 of Full House.
  • The film Modern Romance (1981) includes an instrumental version of the song in its opening and closing titles, and also uses Joe Cocker's version to underscore its final scene.
  • Joe Cocker's version was also used in the film Carlito's Way (1993) and plays during Gail's apartment scene and over the film's end credits.
  • In the American comedy movie "The Little Rascals" (1994), the song is sung by Alfalfa to Darla on a boat.
  • In 2016, the song appears in the season one finale of Quantico entitled "Yes", first sung by a drunk Caleb Haas (Graham Rogers) and Brandon Fletcher (Jacob Artist) celebrating their graduation, then leading into the Joe Cocker version for the remainder of the scene.


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 58. 
  2. ^ Collins, Ace (2013). Music for Your Heart: Reflections from Your Favorite Songs and Hymns. Abingdon Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-1-4267-7604-5. 
  3. ^ a b Hlavaty, Craig. "The Secret History of 'You Are So Beautiful'". Houston Press. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  4. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2017-05-24. 
  5. ^ "RPM Weekly Adult Contemporary April 19, 1975 (Volume 23, No. 8)". Library and Archives Canada. RPM Weekly (archived). Retrieved February 18, 2018. 
  6. ^ "Music: Hot 100 - Billboard Hot 100", Billboard, March 29, 1975, retrieved April 14, 2018 
  7. ^ "Adult Contemporary Chart - Billboard", Billboard 
  8. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, April 5, 1975
  9. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Susan Wong - 511". Allmusic. Retrieved April 29, 2018. 
  12. ^ "Two and a Half Men S04E23 Episode Script - Anteaters. They're Just Crazy-lookin'". Springfield! Springfield!. Retrieved April 22, 2018. 
  13. ^ "Enrique Iglesias Serenades Charlie's Girlfriend - Two and a Half Men". Youtube/Comedy Central U. January 1, 2015. Retrieved April 22, 2018. 

External linksEdit