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Stevie Wonder|Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants

Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants

Stevie Wonder

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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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Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants

Stevie Wonder

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1
Earth's Creation (Album Version)
00:04:07

Stevie Wonder, Composer, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
The First Garden
00:02:33

Stevie Wonder, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Voyage To India
00:06:28

Stevie Wonder, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Same Old Story (Album Version)
00:03:45

Stevie Wonder, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Venus' Flytrap And The Bug (Album Version)
00:02:25

Stevie Wonder, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Ai No Sono (Album Version)
00:02:06

Stevie Wonder, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
Seasons (Album Version)
00:02:54

Stevie Wonder, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Power Flower (Album Version)
00:05:30

MICHAEL SEMBELLO, Author - Stevie Wonder, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Send One Your Love (Instrumental)
00:03:05

Stevie Wonder, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
Race Babbling (Album Version)
00:08:53

Stevie Wonder, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
Send One Your Love (Album Version)
00:04:02

Stevie Wonder, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Mixer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
Outside My Window (Album Version)
00:05:30

Stevie Wonder, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Black Orchid (Album Version)
00:03:47

Yvonne Wright, Author - Stevie Wonder, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

14
Ecclesiastes (Album Version)
00:03:43

Stevie Wonder, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

15
Kesse Ye Lolo De Ye (Album Version)
00:03:01

Stevie Wonder, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

16
Come Back As A Flower
00:03:42

Syreeta Wright, Author - Stevie Wonder, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

17
A Seed's A Star/Tree Medley (Album Version)
00:05:42

Stephanie Andrews, Author - Stevie Wonder, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

18
The Secret Life Of Plants (Album Version)
00:04:29

Stevie Wonder, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

19
Tree (Album Version)
00:06:01

Stevie Wonder, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

20
Finale (Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants/Album Version)
00:06:49

Stevie Wonder, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Gary Olazabal, Producer, Associate Producer, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

Chronique

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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