Speakers Corner has just re-released "Songs in the Key of Life on 3 disc, 180 gram LPs.
It's absolutely "wonder"ful! It's insanely priced at $65.00, but well worth it in my opinion.
I kinda forgot all of the great songs he had done...
Innervisions in my favorite.
His tune "Visions" is so soulful and meaningful.
Part of his "vision" has come true.
He sure hasn't missed any meals lately.
Maybe he shares Aretha's dietary consultant.
Have to say amen too the greatness of Stevie. Seeing him perform on some of the past elections coverage has made me want to dig out of his old LPs as well. Happy listening.
Audiofeil-Stick to the subject. Your comment is idiotic. When you make the same impact Aretha and Stevie have made, criticize. Until then, close your pie hole!
I've been a fan of Stevie the Wonder Man for decades. Hell, the 1st time I saw him he played 2nd billing to the Stones at the garden (Ya-Ya period!). Forgetting his amazing longevity, voice, virtuosity, and performing skills, I believe decades from now his songwriting ability will be what he's most remembered for, truly genius. BTW, y'all need to stop talking about him in the past tense, have any of you heard his last release, 'A Time 2 Love'? It's the best he's done in a long time!
Check this out:
one of the most prolific singer songwriters of the 1970's, in IMHO, Music of My Mind, Innervisions, Fulfillingness First Finale, Talking Book, and Songs In The Key Of Life, one after the other quite a string.
So glad to read that someone here decided to bring up Stevie Wonder. His music sounds great today as it always did in the past. And the remasters are very good. The tag "genius" has been used for others but he is real one. "Music of My Mind," "Innervisions," Songs in the Key of Life," and "Talking Book," all merit a serious listen. His double live disc is also a masterpiece. Never forget that he could and often did play all the instruments on his recordings, plus lead vocal, wrote and produced the songs, and all this as a blind person. Although he doesn't look very good today, it's silly to berate an unsighted person who has overcome his disability to make a significant contribution to the world of music, and society as a whole.
This Elton John commentary about Steve Wonder for Rolling Stone is interesting: http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/5939219/the_immortals__the_greatest_artists_of_all_time_15_stevie_wonder
Ssw him last night on the Grammys! Stevie Wonder was the best artist of the 70's and certainly one of the musical greats of our times. I just listened to Songs in the Key of Life last week, first time in years and I forgot hopw great this collection of music was and still is!!
In an effort to reconcile Audiofeil's comments with others in a productive and educational way, you can see both Mr Wonder's talent and girth in the PBS special "We Love Ella".
Coincidentally, I was listening to "If its Magic" and "As" last night on my PC based desktop system.
To my ear, those two tracks are so different, but transition from one to the next in a very beautiful and flowing way - the type of magic that you can find throughout that album even after years of listening.
Songs in the Key of Life definitely helped me to become an audiophile and learn to calibrate turntables and speaker placement. Musicquarium is also a classic. The Secret Life of Plants was also interesting, with similarly layered sounds, voices and instruments.
The earlier stuff I also like, but IMO had a grittier and less layered sound, both in terms of music and the quality of the recordings.
My vote is also in the "genius" camp.
At some point in the last presidential campaign someone asked Obama about his favorite music. He mentioned a handful of artists, but he absolutely effused about Stevie Wonder and specifically mentioned the string of albums from "Music Of My Mind" through "Fullfillingness First Finale". It's an amazing string of pop albums that only a few other artists have ever matched. And if you don't believe me, go ask the President of the United States!
I messed up. Yes Onhwy61 what an oversight on my part to not mention "Fulfillingness First Finale" along with Stevie Wonder's other great recordings.
I have been in the concert space for three decades and my favorite performance of all time was a private show Stevie played for a Bay Area software company in 2000. Despite telling the audience that he might "cut it short due to a bout of the Flu", he then proceeded to play a 4 hour concert. A living treasure without equal; the Duke Ellington of my generation, and a truly inspiring musician I never tire listening to.
His prodigious musical output slowed dramatically after Musiquarium. He kept recording here and there, but definitely nothing to rival the magnitude of the albums that preceeded this greatest hits compilation.
And to think Musiquarium came out in 1982, when he was 32-33 years old. Amazing.
An underrated album is "Fullfillingness' First Finale". Incredible album and an absolute joy to listen to.
I purchased the remastered albums that came in the cardboard sleeves-they are definitely cool and were limited edition releases if I'm not mistaken.
But they didn't remaster "Where I'm Coming From" or "Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants". I've never heard either album, just the hit song from "Secret" included in Musiquarium called "Send One Your Love" and the harmonica instrumental version he did of the song "Alfie" which was on the "where I'm coming From" album.
And he did a duet with a female vocalist whose name I forgot. The song is called "Used to Be". Another great song that seems to have been forgotten.
I grew up listening to Stevie, Earth Wind and Fire and The Commodores.
Great music from an era that will never be duplicated.
Early 60's Stevie's "Contract on Love" with the background singers The Temptations before they made it big. Lately we heard Signed, Sealed and Delivered everywhere.
Truly, great music.
Stevie Wonder is one of my favorites and Songs In The Key of Life is a personal desert island disc. The Speakers Corner re-release is excellent and definitely an improvement over the original. Well worth the money. He had one of the greatest 15-20 year runs of any recording artist of the popular era. A couple LP's worth seeking out but not yet mentioned:
Talking Book (1972):
Sure "You Are The Sunshine of My Life" is a silly love song, but it's a GREAT silly love song. This LP also has the hit "Superstition" and "Blame It On the Sun", one of the all time great songs of regret. The album closes with "I Believe When I Fall In Love" which was the closing song for the movie 'High Fidelity'.
Hotter Than July (1980):
"Rocket Love", "Master Blaster", "Lately" and the MLK tribute "Happy Birthday". One of the best albums of the early 80's.
I Was Made To Love Her used to tear me up on the jukebox as a teen.Whenever Steve gets his groove on look out.I just listened to Songs In The Key... Ordinary Pain tells the truth.Would also recommend Donny Hathaway "Extension Of A Man" to those who enjoy Mr. Wonder.
Michael Fremer gave a very "lukewarm" review of the Speaker's Corner reissue of "Songs..." over on his Musicangle site. Glad to hear that others are enjoying their copies, though.....
Stevie's song, "Lately" was incredible poetry, (1981/1982 off the Master Blaster album) was notable, very notable. He sings the first verse, then the bridge, then swells to one full octave above the previous, without employing his falsetto. What an incredible talent. Loved his "Songs in the Key of Life."
I remember an interview upon the release of that album, from Time Magazine, I think, in which he said, "I hope you like the album, but it was so rewarding to do it, that's my real enjoyment."
If I'm not mistaken, he performed EVERY instrument on that album HIMSELF.
Stevie's the man!
What does Michael Fremer know? He is a gnome with a turntable for all I know.
Stevie is without equal in the 1970s for consistently great music that will stand the test of time.
One of the Jazz instructors at a college that I used to attend got into a bit of hot water with some of the other faculty members when he suggested that "Stevie Wonder wrote a melody as good as anything Mozart ever did....."
Great artist!! His 1960's song Hey Love is a favorite of mine.
Nice to see all the love for Stevie but I have a question. The majority of the posts understandably all refer to Stevie in the past tense, I mentioned Stevie's latest, 'A Time 2 Love', and NO ONE else has spoke about it. Why not? If you dig Stevie, if you recognize his genius, why wouldn't you support his latest effort (it's outstanding btw). If you dig Stevie, and you're NOT listening to his current work, who ARE you listening to that's taken his place? I'm curious and would really like to know, maybe I'm missing something.
Excellent point Chazro, he's still around creating music.
Why is it that we start to discard performers after they get so 'white hot' in their careers? Do they fade as creators of music, composers, or do we become immune to them and their works?