Nov 132016
 

from WILDFLOWER (single)
Written by David Richardson & Doug Edwards

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This week the spotlight is on “Wildflower,” the 1973 hit by David Foster’s early band, Skylark. That sumptuous ballad was the Hitman’s first bite of success on Billboard’s Hot 100.

“Wildflower” was co-written by Skylark’s guitarist, the late, Doug Edwards who passed away just a few days ago, with David Richardson, a friend of Foster’s who wrote a poem that married to Edwards’ inspired music and eventually became the lyrics of that evergreen.

The result of their work was enhanced by a killer arrangement by Foster. “Wildflower” climbed the charts in North America to the Top Ten, selling over a million copies. This gorgeous love song was the reason Foster, his then-wife B.J. Cook and Skylark went to Los Angeles by scoring a contract with Capitol Records. The rest, as they say, was history. Oddly enough, Foster didn’t play a single keyboard note on the song. “Wildflower” was the only track on the whole Skylark album without Foster’s masterful touch on the ivories. He was quoted saying the mood felt better without keyboards on it. The song was based on Edward’s gorgeous guitar wisely blended with a harp, a dramatic orchestral backup and exquisite vocals by Donny Gerrard. Sonically, the final result can be considered a forerunner of those hit power ballads that Foster scored throughout the eighties and the nineties. Foster, remembering Edwards, said that “there was no instrument he couldn’t play, no chord he couldn’t access with ease, no musician he couldn’t make immediately comfortable and sound better than they were, no musical situation around the globe that he didn’t belong in – a true world-class talent before we even knew what that meant.” Foster also said about “Wildflower:” “I don’t know where my career would be today if I couldn’t have hung my hat on that first hit that I was associated with because of Doug, Dave Richardson and B.J. Cook, who got us our record deal. It certainly sped up the process of where I was trying to get to.”

“Wildflower” was covered many times by artists including Johnny Mathis, The O’Jays, Marlena Shaw and Hank Crawford. In 1993, Foster even produced a cover of the song for R&B group Color Me Badd for their Time and Chance cd. You can listen and read about that interesting cover by clicking here.


Listen

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Lead Vocals: Donny Gerrard
Backing Vocals: B.J. Cook
Electric Guitars: Doug Edwards
Bass: Steve Pugsley
Drums: Duris Maxwell

Strings Arrangement by David Foster
Produced by Eirik Wangberg
Production Assistant: David Foster


Lyrics

She’s faced the hardest times
you could imagine
and many times her eyes
fought back the tears
and when her youthful world
was about to fall in
each time her slender shoulders
bore the weight of all her fears
and a sorrow no one hears
still rings in midnight silence
in her ears

Chorus:
Let her cry
for she’s a lady
let her dream
for she’s a child
let the rain fall down upon her
she’s a free and gentle flower
growing wild

And if by chance that I
should hold her
let me hold her
for a time
that if allowed but one possession
I would pick her from the garden
to be mine

Be careful how you touch her
for she’ll awaken
and sleep’s the only freedom
that she knows
and when you walk into her eyes
you won’t believe
the way she’s always paying
for a debt she never owes
and a silent wind still blows
that only she can hear
and so she goes

Chorus (repeat)