Song of the Day #3,280: ‘Higher Ground’ – Stevie Wonder vs. Michael Jackson

Fate has arranged the Montauk Madness bracket in a way that led to today’s spetacular Motown Showdown, pitting Stevie Wonder against Michael Jackson.

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

Song of the Day #3,246: ‘Knocks Me Off My Feet’ – Stevie Wonder vs. Talking Heads

I’m curious to see how this vote goes. Stevie Wonder, an unquestioned musical genius and living legend, against Talking Heads, one of alternative music’s most innovative and influential bands.

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.

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Song of the Day #3,159: ‘Love Having You Around’ – Stevie Wonder

stevie_wonder‘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.

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Song of the Day #2,402: ‘Stevie Wonder Tribute’ – Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran & Gary Clark, Jr.

beyonce_stevieWhat better way to close out the week than with a 9-minute performance by Beyoncé from this week’s Stevie Wonder tribute show?

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.

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Song of the Day #1,450: ‘Ordinary Pain’ – Stevie Wonder

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.

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Song of the Day #325: ‘Superstition’ – Stevie Wonder

stevieOK, now I’m going to blow your mind.

Stevie Wonder was just 22 years old when he released Talking Book, the critically-acclaimed album that contained ‘Superstition.’ No, that’s not the part that should blow your mind. This is: It was his 17th album!

Seventeen albums in ten years, starting as a boy of 12. And he followed up Talking Book with a trio of albums as well-reviewed and well-loved as any ever recorded: Innervisions, Fulfillingness’ First Finale and Songs in the Key of Life. Then he turned 26.

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