The Epic 2017 Project #139: 170519
Katrina & The Waves (1985)
Infamous now for taking the UK to the winning slot in the 1997 Eurovision song contest with ‘Love shine a light’, Katrina & the Waves formed back in 1981.
Their biggest commercial success came with this, their third studio album, released in 1985. The majority of tracks were re-mixed and overdubbed versions of songs that had appeared on their first two albums, but “Walking on Sunshine” and “Going Down to Liverpool” were entirely re-recorded versions of songs from their first independently released album.
‘Walking on Sunshine’ became an overnight international success on it’s re-release, but it was originally written by Kimberley Rew for Katrina and the Waves’ 1983 eponymous debut album. The re-recorded version was the second single from the self-titled third album, reaching No.4 in Australia, No.9 in the United States, and No.8 in the United Kingdom. It was the Waves’ first US top 40 hit, and their biggest success in the United Kingdom until “Love Shine a Light” in 1997.
Royalties from airplay and advertisements of “Walking on Sunshine” have been extremely high. Katrina and the Waves kept the publishing rights and the royalties that typically go to the songwriter have been divided among the band members. Estimates are that the song has earned at least $1 million per year for the ten years ending in 2010. According to a former employee of EMI, “Walking on Sunshine was the crown jewel in EMI’s catalog,” and that it was one of EMI’s biggest earners from advertisers.
In August 2015, the song was acquired by BMG Rights Management for £10 million, along with all the other songs written by Kimberley Rew and Katrina and the Waves.