"Wonderful Land" is an instrumental piece which was released as a single by The Shadows in 1962. It stayed at #1 in the UK for more weeks than any other single during the whole of the 1960s.

It was recorded in May 1961 by The Shadows' original line up of Hank MarvinBruce WelchJet Harris and Tony Meehan. The strings were added later by producer Norrie Paramor. By the time of the song's release Tony Meehan had left the group to be replaced by Brian Bennett who co-wrote the B side "Stars Fell on Stockton". The group was in a period of transition and whilst the song was at No 1 Jet Harris left to be replaced by Brian Locking.


 [hide*1 Charts


The instrumental was released in February 1962 and reached number 1 in the UK Chart where it remained for the next 8 weeks. It stayed at #1 in the UK for more weeks than any other single during the whole of the 1960s - including all the number one singles released by The Beatles.[1] It was also released in the U.S. on the Atlantic Records label but did not reach the Billboard Top 100.



UK Singles Chart 1
Irish Singles Chart 1

Cover versions[edit]Edit

"Wonderful Land" has been covered by a number of artists including Mike OldfieldMark Knopfler and Tony Iommi. Iommi's version appears on Twang! - A Tribute to Hank Marvin & The Shadows.

Mike Oldfield version[edit]Edit

[1][2]Oldfield's "Wonderful Land".

English musician Mike Oldfield covered "Wonderful Land" on his 1980 Virgin Records album, QE2. Oldfield's version was also released as a single and as the B-side for his "Sheba" single; in some countries, "Wonderful Land" was the a-side. The Shadows later covered one of Oldfield's songs, "Moonlight Shadow".

The video for "Wonderful Land" again shows Oldfield playing various instruments, including a violin, which he has claimed not to be able to play very well.[2] The video is available on the Elements - The Best of Mike Oldfield video.

Hank Marvin and Mark Knopfler version[edit]Edit

Two guitarists, Hank Marvin (of The Shadows) and Mark Knopfler (of Dire Straits) recorded a version of "Wonderful Land" on the 1993 album Heartbeat, produced by Jeff Lynne.

Preceded by

"Rock-A-Hula Baby" b/w "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley

UK number one single by The Shadows

22 March 1962 (for 8 weeks)

Succeeded by

"Nut Rocker" by B. Bumble and the Stingers

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