T.S.O.L. drop new single "Is This A Wonderful World?” -- their take on the classic “What A Wonderful World”




(Photo Credit: John Gilhooley)

Famed LA-punk band T.S.O.L. has dropped a new single. Entitled “Is This A Wonderful World?” the track serves as their take on the Louis Armstrong classic “What A Wonderful World” complete with string section and amended lyrics. A video (directed by Trevor Ward) premiered on Alternative Press who said "The new TSOL single and its unconventional release are either the least punk thing the band have done in their 41-year history—or maybe the most." The band'’s Jack Grisham spoke with the magazine about the genesis of “Is This A Wonderful World?” telling them, “Its a strange thing when you mimic a piece for comic effect and in the midst of the humor you stop laughing and realize the joke is your life." Read the full Q&A HERE

Listen to T.S.O.L.s’ “Is This A Wonderful World?” here:
Is This A Wonderful World
T.S.O.L. have never shied from political commentary but today’s single marks their starkest message to date. The band’s Jack Grisham explains how this parody of the song came about: “it started as a lark, really. A friend asked if we could do a quick cover of ‘What a Wonderful World” and as we launched in, the words sat uncomfortable on my tongue—Louie, sang about hope amidst the turmoil and I realized that hope had left the building.”  Read the lyrics here:

“Is This A Wonderful World?”
I see seas once green, and soldiers too
I’ve seen them die both serving you
and I say to myself…is this a wonderful world?
I hear words untrue and screams in the night
Once-blessed day is now dark amplified
and I say to myself…is this a wonderful world?
The colors of the rainbow once pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of those travelers you denied
I see you shaking hands saying how do you do
When both of us know that its all about you
I hear babies crying, I’ll watch them grow
They'll hurt much more than I'll ever know
and I say to myself…is this our wonderful world?
Yes, I say to myself…is this our wonderful world?
The demos for “Is This A Wonderful World?” were recorded with programmed strings. For the final version the band brought in Eric Gorfain to adapt a string arrangement. Grisham notes, “I met Eric when I was recording my selection for John Doe and Tom DeSavias new book about early Los Angeles Punk Rock, More Fun In The New World. I played him the track and he said that we needed the real thing and he’d like to do it.” To record the song the band went into the studio with Paul Roesller at Kitten Robot studio in Los Angeles. 

In keeping with the messaging behind their “parody” of “What A Wonderful World,” T.S.O.L. will be giving “Is This A Wonderful World?” away for free -- you can find it HERE.
T.S.O.L. (True Sounds Of Liberty) have been together since 1978, forming in Long Beach, CA and the current line up features 4 original members, Grisham, Ron Emory, Mike Roche and Greg Kuehn as well as newer member Antonio Val Hernandez. The band’s first album - Dance With Me - was released in 1981 and its blend of punk and goth is widely credited for influencing the likes of The Misfits, Offspring, AFI, Alkaline Trio, Avenged, Slayer, among others. They toured heavily and that, coupled with their 1983 critically acclaimed LP Beneath the Shadows, put T.S.O.L on the national map.  They have since released 8 additional albums including 2017’s The Trigger Complex), and a number of EPs.  The Los Angeles Times recently noted, “Even within the fringe community of Southern California punk rock of the late-'70s and early-'80s, O.C.-Long Beach punk band TSOL was an outlier, quickly moving beyond the musical, thematic and sartorial elements that quickly became rigidly codified. Rebelling against all cultural conventions over time has served the long-running band well and continues to breathe life into its music nearly 40 years down the line.”

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