Song written by Ricky and Marty Wilde. First track of the album Kim Wilde.
The lyric of the song is about the symptom tinnitus: the perception of sound within the human ear in the absence of corresponding external sound.
There are five versions of 'Water on glass': the album version and the 7" single remix (the sound is 'mirrored' when compared to the album version). A live version, recorded in Antwerp, was released on the album Aliens Live in 2019. In 2020, Cherry Pop released three new remixes: the Project K: Project Kim remix, the Eddie Said & Luke Nutley Extended version and the Eddie Said & Luke Nutley Instrumental.
'Water on glass' was released as a 7" single in the UK and Ireland only.
See also this page in the discography.
'Water on glass' was performed live during the Debut Tour in 1982, the Catch Tour in 1983, the Rage to Rock Tour in 1985, the Another Step Tour in 1986, during a concert at Tivoli in Copenhagen (Denmark) in 2003, during live gigs in 2006, the Perfect Girl Tour in 2007, the Snapshots & Greatest Hits Tour in 2012, the tour with Nik Kershaw in Australia in 2013, Christmas gigs in December 2013, Dutch tours in October 2015 and October 2016, the tour with Howard Jones in Australia in 2016, the Dutch tour in November 2017, the Wilde Wild Xmas Show in December 2017 and the Here Come the Aliens Tour and during the Return of the Aliens Tour.
'Water on glass' has been covered by Lynn Sweet.
A spanish version of the song entitled 'Vuelve otra vez' was recorded by the band Macha.
Marty Wilde about 'Water on Glass'
This song is basically about a rare minority of people who continually hear sound in their head. It is a real disease for which there is no cure... a factual thing rather than a fictitious one. It would appear to be a psychedelic song but in many ways it's not, because there's a lot of truth in it. (1)
Kim Wilde about 'Water on Glass'
My father wrote it about tinnitus, a condition in the ear which I have since developed, which is kinda spooky if you think about it. But very livable with, actually. (2)
My dad wrote it after meeting several people with that condition, I guess. He knew about it. That was the sound he imagined that it was like when you had it. He's never had it. I have it mildly. (3)
Highest chart positions
Ireland: 10 (4 weeks)
United Kingdom: 11 (8 weeks)
(1) Kim Wilde Fanclub Introductory Magazine, 1981
(2) Kim Wilde 80er Show, RPR1 (Germany), October 21, 2014
(3) Unsung Heroes podcast, 23 July 2021