Bill Withers is another one of the great Soul singers. Although he came to the game late, and quit early, he produced some really timeless tunes between the mid-60s and early 80s.
His voice is undeniably his great asset, but his songwriting skills are of a rare calibre too.
My favourite part of “Lovely Day” is when he shifts from the verse to the first part of the chorus. It’s so seamless, and seems like a natural progression. Might seem oddly specific, but there you go.
The song is a classic, sun soaked soul affair. The bassline is a funky waltz, the keyboards ring out with smooth Rhodes tones, the drums swing slowly, and Withers’ singing is buttery as it comes. The horns are subtle and sophisticated in the background, adding a further touch of class to an already beautifully produced song.
Ray Parker Jr., the guy behind the Ghostbuster’s theme, is on guitar here…
The song was released in 1977, and charted in the U.K. and U.S.A. In the U.K. especially, it reached number 7.