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Soul - Released January 1, 2014 | Motown

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Soul - Released January 1, 2014 | Motown

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Soul - Released January 1, 2014 | Motown

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Soul - Released January 1, 1973 | Motown

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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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Soul - Released January 1, 1972 | Motown

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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R&B - Released January 1, 1974 | Motown

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
After the righteous anger and occasional despair of the socially motivated Innervisions, Stevie Wonder returned with a relationship record: Fulfillingness' First Finale. The cover pictures his life as an enormous wheel, part of which he's looking ahead to and part of which he's already completed (the latter with accompanying images of Little Stevie, JFK and MLK, the Motor Town Revue bus, a child with balloons, his familiar Taurus logo, and multiple Grammy awards). The songs and arrangements are the warmest since Talking Book, and Stevie positively caresses his vocals on this set, encompassing the vagaries of love, from dreaming of it ("Creepin'") to being bashful of it ("Too Shy to Say") to knowing when it's over ("It Ain't No Use"). The two big singles are "Boogie on Reggae Woman," with a deep electronic groove balancing organic congas and gospel piano, and "You Haven't Done Nothin'," an acidic dismissal of President Nixon and the Watergate controversy (he'd already written "He's Misstra Know-It-All" on the same topic). As before, Fulfillingness' First Finale is mostly the work of a single man; Stevie invited over just a bare few musicians, and most of those were background vocalists (though of the finest caliber: Minnie Riperton, Paul Anka, Deniece Williams, and the Jackson 5). Also as before, the appearances are perfectly chosen; "Too Shy to Say" can only benefit from the acoustic bass of Motown institution James Jamerson and the heavenly steel guitar of Sneaky Pete Kleinow, while the Jackson 5 provide some righteous amens to Stevie's preaching on "You Haven't Done Nothin'." It's also very refreshing to hear more songs devoted to the many and varied stages of romance, among them "It Ain't No Use," "Too Shy to Say," "Please Don't Go." The only element lacking here, in comparison to the rest of his string of brilliant early-'70s records, is a clear focus; Fulfillingness' First Finale is more a collection of excellent songs than an excellent album. © John Bush /TiVo
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R&B - Released January 1, 1980 | Motown

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Pop - Released October 29, 2002 | UNI - MOTOWN

Few musicians who rose to the top of the pop charts as children matured musically and personally with the grace and accomplishment of Stevie Wonder, and fewer still managed to enjoy a degree of popular and critical success that matched Wonder's in the '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. Narrowing Wonder's massive catalog down to 39 songs is no easy task, but The Definitive Collection does as good as a job as one could hope for; this two-disc set includes practically all of Wonder's biggest hits and signature songs, from 1963's "Fingertips" to 1995's "For Your Love," as well as featuring a number of fan favorites and deep cuts. While the set hasn't been sequenced chronologically, this actually works in its favor, pointing to the stylistic diversity of Wonder's body of work as well as the consistent strength of his songwriting and his restless, imaginative style as a producer and arranger. Between the sheer bulk of Wonder's catalog and his status as one of the most honored pop musicians of his time (essentially everything he recorded in the 1970s is essential, as is most of his catalog from the 1980s), you can hardly call a two-disc set a "definitive collection," but as a (relatively) brief overview of his best-known work and a way into his catalog, The Definitive Collection does an excellent job of reminding us why Stevie Wonder meant so much to so many people, and continues to matter more than half a century after his first hit. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Soul - Released December 8, 1968 | Motown

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Soul - Released January 1, 1985 | Motown

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Pop - Released January 1, 1979 | Motown

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Stevie Wonder broke a three-year silence, one that followed a series of six classic albums released within six years, with this double album, the score/soundtrack to a little-seen environmental documentary directed by Wild Bunch co-screenwriter Walon Green. From the release of Songs in the Key of Life through the release of Plants, Wonder had been active, actually, but only as a collaborator, working with Ramsey Lewis, the Pointer Sisters, Minnie Riperton, Syreeta, Ronnie Foster, and Michael Jackson. Even so, three years was a considerable lag between albums. Anticipation was so high that this release peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 and R&B album charts. It quickly slipped to footnote status; when Wonder’s 1972-1980 albums were reissued in 2000, it was left out of the program. Plants is a sprawling, fascinating album. Though it is dominated by synthesizer-heavy instrumental pieces with evocative titles, there is a handful of full-blown songs. The gorgeous, mostly acoustic ballad “Send One Your Love” was a Top Ten R&B single, while the joyous “Outside My Window” registered in the Top 60. Beyond that, there’s the deep classic “Come Back as a Flower,” a gently lapping, piano-led ballad featuring Syreeta on vocals. Otherwise, there are playfully oddball tracks like “Venus’ Flytrap and the Bug,” where Wonder chirps “Please don’t eat me!” through robotizing effects, and “A Seed’s a Star,” which incorporates crowd noise, a robotized monologue, and a shrieking Tata Vega over a funkier and faster version of Yellow Magic Orchestra. The album is not for everyone, but it suited its purpose and allowed its maker an amount of creative wiggle room that few major-label artists experience. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Soul - Released January 1, 2013 | Motown

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R&B - Released August 7, 1970 | UNI - MOTOWN

Stevie Wonder was beginning to rebel against the Motown hit factory mentality in the early '70s. While he certainly hadn't lost his commercial touch, Wonder was anxious to address social concerns, experiment with electronics, and not be restricted by radio and marketplace considerations. Still, he gave the label another definitive smash with the title track, while sneaking in a cover of the Beatles' "We Can Work It Out" and penning more intriguing tunes like "I Can't Let My Heaven Walk Away" and "Never Had a Dream Come True." © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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R&B - Released November 23, 1999 | UNI - MOTOWN

He's been called one of the most influential performers and songwriters of the century, but until 1999 Stevie Wonder didn't even have a box set to call his own. Such was the reissue campaign at Motown that, until very recently, some of the best pop music of the '60s sounded poorer in reissue form than when it was first played on AM radio. In 1996, the long-awaited Stevie Wonder digital-age hits package Song Review reached the shelves, but it didn't even follow compilation etiquette (that is, chronological order). Finally, At the Close of a Century made everything right -- complete with digital remastering, near-perfect sound, complete coverage of his epic career, an attractive design, and copious liner notes and pictures. The box, a four-disc set spanning 1962 to 1996, debuts with "Fingertips, Pts. 1 & 2," the long-unheard seven-minute version of his first hit. The first disc includes every hit that fans can remember, including great-sounding versions of "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" and "Hey Love," plus plenty of moderate hits they may not remember, like his definitive cover of the Beatles' "We Can Work It Out." Disc two features more than a dozen of his biggest hits, including "Superstition," "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," "Living for the City," "Higher Ground," and "Boogie On Reggae Woman." Disc three begins with no less than nine tracks from Songs in the Key of Life, his standout double album from 1976. Right into the '80s and '90s, Stevie Wonder remained at the top of the charts, with hits like "Rocket Love," "Master Blaster (Jammin')," "Happy Birthday," "I Just Called to Say I Love You," and "Part-Time Lover." It took far too long, but Motown finally issued a box set worthy of Stevie Wonder's continuing artistry. © John Bush /TiVo
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R&B - Released January 1, 1984 | Motown

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Ambient/New Age - Released January 1, 1967 | Motown

With Someday at Christmas, Stevie Wonder applies his inimitable vocal technique to yuletide songs, some familiar, some not, with predictably successful results. In the title song he yearns for a Christmas when "Men won't be boys/playing with bombs like kids play with toys," striking a plaintive tone not usually found on Christmas albums. Although he is hopeful that the day will come, he sings that it may not happen any time soon. The song seems eerily prescient in light of the chaotic year that would follow, Christmas 1967, when this record was released. Other high points include his joyous reading of "Little Drummer Boy," with its steadily building martial beat, and chestnuts like "Silver Bells" and "The Christmas Song," which Wonder delivers with total assurance, as well as a palpable sense of fun. He even brings a measure of soul to more sentimental numbers like "One Little Christmas Tree" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Me." The album ends on an up note in "What Christmas Means to Me," which invokes the bumping bassline of the Capitols' "Cool Jerk" and features a happy harp solo from Wonder. © Rovi Staff /TiVo
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R&B - Released May 4, 1966 | Motown

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R&B - Released January 1, 1969 | Motown

Notable for containing Wonder's then-most recent Top Ten hit, the title track, and its follow-up, "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday," this album otherwise contains contemporary filler like "Light My Fire," plus a peculiar arrangement of "Hello, Young Lovers" from The King and I that makes it sound like "For Once In My Life." © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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R&B - Released August 21, 2007 | UNI - MOTOWN

Issued as an ecological package that is renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable, Number 1's collects Stevie Wonder's biggest hits beginning with 1963's timeless and irresistible "Fingertips, Pt. 2" and running straight through to "So What the Fuss" (which features Prince on guitar) from Wonder's 2005 comeback album, A Time 2 Love. In between are such enduring touchstones as 1965's "Uptight (Everything Is Alright)," the gritty "Living for the City" and the edgy, uplifting "Higher Ground" from 1973's Innervisions, the wise and pop-elegant "Sir Duke" from 1976's sprawling Songs in the Key of Life, and the reggae-tinged "Master Blaster (Jammin')" from 1980. It all adds up to a nearly 40-year survey of a master songwriter and musician whose unerring ear managed to produce and land songs on the charts that drew from every corner of the pop universe, from soul and R&B to funk, jazz, and reggae, all done with joy, hope, and an underlying intelligence and wisdom that are all too rare in popular culture. For a casual collection that provides all the big radio hits from the start of his career to date, this Stevie Wonder set will be all that many listeners will ever need. The wonder (pun intended), of course, is that what's here is just the tip of the iceberg, and there's so much more when one turns to Wonder's actual albums, particularly the ones from the mid- to late '70s. Throw this in the car and keep it there. It'll take you to some nice places, down memory lane and back again, with songs full of heart and soul. © Steve Leggett /TiVo