Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions was his 19th album, released when he was just 23 years old. It came right in the middle of a five-year streak among the greatest of all time: Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness’ First Finale, and Songs in the Key of Life. I’m not a Stevie Wonder fanatic — I appreciate more than love his music — but the genius of that run of albums is undeniable.
Wonder defeated Talking Heads in Round One, pulling in a sizable 71% of the vote. Michael Jackson fared even better, defeating Belle & Sebastian with 86%. Poor Belle & Sebastian… a top five band for me, but destined to ride the pine in the broader contest. Continue reading
This isn’t a tough call for me. I appreciate Stevie Wonder’s music more than I like it (don’t tell Michelle Obama!). Talking Heads, on the other hand, works for me on every level.
‘Love having You Around’ is the opening track of Stevie Wonder’s 1972 album Music of My Mind, the first Motown album on which he had full creative control. The record marked Wonder’s first extensive use of synthesizers.
As he would on most of his records, Wonder contributed almost every sound on Music On My Mind. On this track, for example, only the trombone work of Art Baron didn’t come from Wonder himself.
He followed those records with Innervisions, Fulfillingness’ First Finale and Songs in the Key of Life over the next four years.
You could say it was a productive period for Stevie.
Queen B, joined by Ed Sheeran and Gary Clark, Jr., tore through ‘Fingertips,’ ‘Master Blaster’ (Jammin’)’ and ‘Higher Ground’ in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
I’ve never liked Stevie Wonder as much as I feel I probably should. Certainly Songs in the Key of Life deserved consideration for my list of the best 70s albums, but I never gave it a second thought. As much as I appreciate this album, and Wonder’s music in general, I’ve never found it in me to love it.
Today’s Random Weekend selection is a perfect encapsulation of my feelings about Stevie Wonder — it’s brilliant right up until it stops being brilliant and starts being annoying.