Gene Wilder, known for a string of wild-eyed, iconic roles in comedies such as Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein in the ’70s and ’80s, died at the age of 83 yesterday. He was best known for his turn as Willy Wonka in the 1971 classic Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, adapted from Roald Dahl’s 1964 book Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. Aside from his comedic timing, Wilder could also sing very well. As Wonka, he sang the magical “Pure Imagination,” and it’s probably the most memorable music number from the film other than the Oompa Loompa songs.
There will surely be more covers of “Pure Imagination” to come out of remembrance, but two of the earliest come from Coldplay and Oberhofer. Coldplay paid tribute to Wilder during their show at the Pepsi Center in Denver last night with an acoustic rendition of the song. Oberhofer injected the tune with some indie rock energy, adding huge drums and ambient sweeps for a soaring rework. Listen to both below along with Wilder’s original.
In a world of pure imagination… R42 pic.twitter.com/R2KD3kA0RK
— Coldplay (@coldplay) August 30, 2016