Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Pure Imagination

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"Pure Imagination" is a song from the 1971 movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. It was written by British composers Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley specifically for the movie. It was sung by Gene Wilder (Willy Wonka). The intro of the song, which also is the musical code for entering the Chocolate Room played by Willy Wonka, is the introduction of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro".


  • Michael Feinstein recorded a version of "Pure Imagination" for his 1992 children's album of the same title.
  • Lou Rawls recorded a version of "Pure Imagination" for his 1976 album All Things in Time.
  • Avant-garde guitarist Buckethead has covered the song several times, including versions on his debut album Bucketheadland (1992), his second album Giant Robot (1994), as well as performing it live.
  • Soft rock singer Kenny Loggins covered the song in part of his song "Neverland Melody" from his 1994 album Return to Pooh Corner.
  • A cover by the punk band Smoking Popes appeared on their 1997 album Destination Failure.
  • In the first season of The Muppet Show, Ben Vereen sings the song to a depressed Muppet named Droop on a rooftop, accompanied by flying creatures.
  • Craig Kilborn parodied the song during a promo for the premiere of his version of The Late Late Show in 1999.
  • Maroon 5 covered "Pure Imagination" in 2004.
  • In 2005, MasterCard commissioned an upbeat, alternative-style version of the song for its television commercial "Candy Store." Although it was only 30 seconds long, this commercial jingle version has attracted a great deal of attention from listeners who tried to find out the musical group performing the jingle and purchase a copy of it, only to be told by MasterCard that "Unfortunately, there is no way to get a copy of this song."
  • The tune served as the basis for Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps 2005 program "Distorted Imagination".
  • Pianist/keyboardist Bradley Joseph arranged a cover version of "Pure Imagination" on his 2005 album, For the Love of It.
  • In 2007, Ferraby Lionheart recorded a cover version of the song that was included on his debut album, Catch the Brass Ring.
  • The song was parodied (along with the basic premise of the Wonka film) in the Family Guy episode "Wasted Talent".
  • In September 2013, the song was featured in a Chipotle short film, sung by Fiona Apple. (US #104)
  • Jamie Cullum recorded a cover version for his 2013 album Momentum.
  • Bob James covered this song on his 1977 album BJ4.
  • The Blenders recorded a version in their signature vocal harmony style (not true a cappella for this track), mashed up with "White Christmas".
  • Jackie Evancho covered this song for her song compilation called Songs from the Silver Screen.
  • Mariah Carey covered "Pure Imagination" as an urban/R&B remix (B-side) with the remake of "I Still Believe."
  • Comedian Russell Brand performed the song at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the Musical covers "Pure Imagination" with Charlie singing with Wonka.
  • The Glee Cast covered the song in the episode, "Funeral".
  • An orchestral version of the song was played at the 86th Academy Awards in 2014 after Lupita Nyong'o won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
  • RedLetterMedia uses the song during their Plinkett Reviews. The character of Harry Plinkett regularly sings the song in a slow, disturbing manner, typically while dragging kidnapped women through his house or putting his cat in the microwave.
  • Hat Films parodied the song in their video "Filfy Mods - More Explosives (Willy Wonka Tribute)" and titled the parody "Pure Incineration".
  • Transcendental mystic jazz rock band, The New Octaves, covers the song occasionally at live performances.
  • Monty Alexander did a jazz cover in his album Pure Imagination (2002).
  • Primus covered "Pure Imagination" into their own psychedelic interpretation for their 2014 album, Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble.
  • Josh Groban covered the song for his 2015 album, Stages. He also performed the song in a YouTube video with violinist Lindsey Stirling and The Muppets.
  • Karmin recorded a cover version of the song titled "Come With Me (Pure Imagination)" for their second studio album Leo Rising.
  • The Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps featured the song in their 2015 production "The Spark of Invention."
  • Josh Groban performed this at the Royal Variety Show, 2015.
  • Well known Belgian jazz musicians St├ęphane Mercier (sax) and Jean-Louis Rassinfosse (contrebass) play their version of this tune on St├ęphane Mercier's 2013 album Duology.
  • EDM producer Fox Stevenson played a cover of this song at the Laundry Day Music Festival in 2016 as a tribute to Wilder, who had died four days earlier.
  • In October 2016, Microsoft used an adapted version of the music, performed by Stephanie Tarling, to announce the Surface Studio, an all-in-one computer made for designers and artists. The music was chosen to impact its philosophy of a place where everyone can be creative.
  • References

    Pure Imagination Wikipedia