Hank Marvin featuring Mark Knopfler - Wonderful Land [Single Version]Details

"Recently, Jeff has produced a single (which is still to appear) with Hank Marvin (The Shadows) and Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) to celebrate 40 years of the Fender guitar (strange really, as Jeff is known to have a preference for Gibsons!)."
Andrew Whiteside (1993 - Face The Music fanzine #15)

"Wonderful Land: Well, wonderful if you can get it! Apparently, according to the record company, Polygram, the re-recorded Wonderful Land single featuring Jeff Lynne, Hank Marvin and Mark Knopfler in aid of the Nordoff-Robins Music Therapy Centre, was 'released' on 18th October. Has anyone seen it? Aside from Q and Record Collector, nothing has been mentioned in the music press. It apparently got into the lower reaches of the UK Top 100-- I wonder how? Yet again a release featuring Jeff receives minimal publicity in the UK."
Andrew Whiteside (1993 - Face The Music fanzine #16)

"I suppose it is quite a dilemma trying to decide what to do when you have a few hours to kill before going to see the F.A. Cup Final. Imagine the relief fo Jeff Lynne then-- while most of us would be down the pub, he knocks out a bit of yer quality production, plays acoustic guitar and still has time for the replay! Plus its 'all for charidee, mate!' [sic] The work in question is Hank Marvin's recently released single Wonderful Land, a re-working of The Shadows classic, which also features Mark Knopfler, the whole shebang being engineered by Lynne stalwart Richard Dodd. The single, on the Polydor label, is available in three formats: 7-inch vinyl (remember them ?!) PO 297; cassette POCS 297; and CD PZCD 297. Sadly, very little publicity and distribution meant the single only reached the bottom-end of the Top 100, which seems to be all too common for anything Jeff produces these days. What can you say about Hank Marvin? Probably one of the most influential and talented guitarists of the last few decades and Mr. Lynne gets to produce him! Jeff's crystal-clear production of Mr. Marvin's fluid, ringing, unique guitar-playing on both Wonderful Land and the b-side Nivram, is top-notch, real quality. [...] The single, (with all profits going to the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre-- so find it and buy!), is from Hank's new 16-track album Heartbeat (Polydor 521 232-2), which was released in November. Recorded and mixed by Dick Plant (who, you may remember, engineered On The Third Day), the album is basically a collection of covers of well-known hit singles (a la Shads), with Cliff Richard and Hank's daughter Taklia Marvin helping out with backing vocals on a few tracks. Aside from Wonderful Land, the stand-out track his Hank's own Limited Slip, a pacy keyboard-driven rocker with (at last!) distorted guitar. Recommended. The only question remaining is does Jeff Lynne have any [other] heroes left to produce (the campaign for a Lynne production job on Joe Meek's Telstar begins here!)?"
Rob Caiger (1993 - Face The Music fanzine #16)

"Our first choice was Nivram, which is an obvious choice, as it's a duet. George Martin was going to produce it, but then the dates had to be brought forward, because Mark had to go to the States. George Martin couldn't make the new schedule, so we contacted Jeff Lynne instead. He was in Britain to watch the FA Cup Final, and he said he'd love to do it. We decided to do Wonderful Land as well as Nivram, and taped them both at Abbey Road. The approach to Wonderful Land is very simple. It sounds almost like a live version of the Shadows' arrangement-- but without the strings, and with Mark Knopfler, who's playing some harmony guitar. Nivram is a little different, though. Jeff Lynne's got this terrific echoey thing. I really like the way Nivram turned out. There's this wonderful tape echo on the drums, almost like early Gene Vincent-- Be-Bop-A-Lula or one of those. The atmosphere is a bit different to the original, and Mark and I had the chance to do a solo each. No [it's not the trademark Jeff Lynne sound, with orchestras and choirs]. I don't think any of us really know what to expect from Jeff. His idea was maybe to do Wonderful Land slower, with a slightly more bluesy feel. As it turned out, though, it's pretty much the same tempo as the original. Some people have been surprised it wasn't the very heavy, layered Jeff Lynne production. Clearly he felt it need a simple approach. [The recording came about when] Raymond Hinnett, who's a very find blues guitarist and singer, and Bob Young, who's played harmonica with Status Quo, came up with the concept of the Fender 40th Anniversary. They got backing from EMI to develop it into a TV documentary, and suggested that Mark and I should do something together."
Hank Marvin (1993 November - Record Collector)

"October saw the release of another production job by Jeff when Hank Marvin's single Wonderful Land was in the shops. Well, not actually in the shops, as Polygram tried to make this release into probably their greatest secret! Although no-one was able to spot it in the shops it made the lower reaches of the UK Top 100. We just wonder who was actually able to buy it to get it into the charts? Probably some hype! Anyway: The track was recorded during Jeff's stay in the U.K. when he came over from the states to watch the F.A. Cup Final. The A-side [Wonderful Land] was a re-working of the classic Shadows number with Jeff not only producing but also playing acoustic guitar on it with Mark Knopfler. [...] All artists involved gave their royalties of this Fender 40th Anniversary record in aid of the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

"Another musical veteran with whom Jeff worked was Hank Marvin. He and Mark Knopfler played acoustic guitar on a new version of The Shadows’ classic Wonderful Land on Hank’s 1993 album Heartbeat and the track released as the B-side of the single, Nivram."
John Van der Kiste (August 2015 - Jeff Lynne: Electric Light Orchestra - Before and After)


  • Running Time: 2:26
  • Record Date: 1993
  • Record Location: Abbey Road Studios, London, UK
  • Written By: Jerry Lordan
  • Produced By: Jeff Lynne
  • Engineered By: Richard Dodd
  • Performed By: Hank Marvin (electric guitar), Mark Knopfler (electric guitar, acoustic guitar), Jeff Lynne (acoustic guitar), Brian Bennett (drums), Mark Griffiths (bass)

  • Released On:
    • Wonderful Land 7" single (1993 October 28 — UK — Polydor PO 297)
    • Wonderful Land CD single (1993 October 28 — UK — Polydor PZCD 297)
    • Heartbeat CD album (1993 — UK — Polydor 521232-2)
    • Heartbeat CD album (1997 — UK — Spectrum 554227-2)
    • Guitar Ballads CD album (2004 February 9 — UK — Metro Doubles METROCD528)
    • The Collection CD album (2015 October 4 — Europe — Music Club Deluxe MCDLX209)

  • Top UK Chart Position: - Did not chart
  • Top US Chart Position: N/A