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Soul - Released January 1, 1973 | Motown

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At 23 years of age, Stevie Wonder’s music is in its innovative stages in Innervisions, released on August 3, 1973. Playing all kinds of instruments, featuring musicians such as Jeff Beck, Ray Parker Jr., David Sanborn and Buzz Feiten, and touching on a range of themes from drugs, ghetto, spirituality, politics, racism and of course love with a big L, Michigan’s musical genius manages to create the ultimate fusion of soul, rhythm’n’blues, funk and pop. The sound of his synthesisers was unprecedented at the time and works well with this spiritual soul music that is full of crazy melodies. Innervisions provides the perfect soundtrack for difficult times in America, like in Living for The City where Stevie recalls the trials and tribulations of a young black man from Mississippi who went to New York for a job he would never get, before ending up behind bars (to make his 7-minute composition even more realistic, he incorporates street recordings, siren sounds and arrest-dialogues). With He’s Misstra Know-It-All, Stevie takes a thinly-veiled dig against the incumbent president, Richard Nixon. This album is the perfect addition to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On released two years earlier as we leave the blues behind and embrace the broken American dream instead. It’s also very personal for Stevie Wonder, who has the original Innervisions cover engraved in braille, “This is my music. It’s all I have to say to you and all that I feel. Know that your love helps mine to stay strong”. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Soul - Released January 1, 2014 | Motown

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Pop - Released January 1, 1979 | Motown

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Soul - Released January 1, 1985 | Motown

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Soul - Released January 1, 1973 | Motown

When Stevie Wonder applied his tremendous songwriting talents to the unsettled social morass that was the early '70s, he produced one of his greatest, most important works, a rich panoply of songs addressing drugs, spirituality, political ethics, the unnecessary perils of urban life, and what looked to be the failure of the '60s dream -- all set within a collection of charts as funky and catchy as any he'd written before. Two of the highlights, "Living for the City" and "Too High," make an especially deep impression thanks to Stevie's narrative talents; on the first, an eight-minute mini-epic, he brings a hard-scrabble Mississippi black youth to the city and illustrates, via a brilliant dramatic interlude, what lies in wait for innocents. (He also uses his variety of voice impersonations to stunning effect.) "Too High" is just as stunning, a cautionary tale about drugs driven by a dizzying chorus of scat vocals and a springing bassline. "Higher Ground," a funky follow-up to the previous album's big hit ("Superstition"), and "Jesus Children of America" both introduced Wonder's interest in Eastern religion. It's a tribute to his genius that he could broach topics like reincarnation and transcendental meditation in a pop context with minimal interference to the rest of the album. Wonder also made no secret of the fact that "He's Misstra Know-It-All" was directed at Tricky Dick, aka Richard Milhouse Nixon, then making headlines (and destroying America's faith in the highest office) with the biggest political scandal of the century. Putting all these differing themes and topics into perspective was the front cover, a striking piece by Efram Wolff portraying Stevie Wonder as the blind visionary, an artist seeing far better than those around him what was going on in the early '70s, and using his astonishing musical gifts to make this commentary one of the most effective and entertaining ever heard. © John Bush /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2005 | Motown

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Pop - Released January 1, 2005 | Motown

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R&B - Released January 1, 1985 | Motown

Although it went platinum, nothing stands as better evidence of how cyclical the pop experience is than the response to In Square Circle. Wonder actually wrote some superb songs, and several, like "Overjoyed" and "I Love You Too Much," were superior to the hit single "Part-Time Lover." But that one zoomed to the top spot and became the album's definitive tune in the minds of many. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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R&B - Released January 1, 1995 | Motown

Beginning in the mid-'80s Stevie Wonder's albums didn't catch the public's attention, and Conversation Peace did not change that, although it wasn't for lack of trying. Wonder's gift for melody is still in place, and he incorporates understated hip-hop rhythms into his music well, yet he isn't able to make music that fit into the rigid play lists of '90s urban contemporary radio. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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R&B - Released January 1, 2005 | Motown

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Pop - Released January 1, 2005 | Motown

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Pop - Released January 1, 2005 | Motown

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Pop - Released January 1, 2005 | Motown