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Uruk-Hai

****The Official Stevie Wonder Thread****

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1 hour ago, wikkidpissah said:

listening to this for the 4th time, i'm reminded - is there anything better than singing to a child?

My HS sweetheart and FWB for over 40 years had 2 sons early w her husband and right about the time she put them in school, got a chance to get into Santa Fe real estate in a big way and was quickly making serious jack. Just when she was a real factor, boom, the rabbit dies (google it). She troubles the new pregnancy out and knows it's going to cost her her spot in the hierarchy bizwise and you're either hot or not in a real estate boom, so decides she's not going to have it. Soon as she decides to terminate she starts having nightmares about her boys dying in all manner of gory accidents. She calls me in Reno so many times during all this that Scary Mary (who knew i'd thrown over a lot of women for brief windows of opportunity w this gal) actually gets jealous and we work out that she really must keep it. It was a girl, she named her Celeste for the universe-calling nature of the circumstance and will easily admit now that, even thought the interruption of her career cost her possibly millions, her BFF daughter is the best thing that ever happened to her.

Celeste was 6yo when i moved back to NM after my Mary died and we became fast friends right away. The big hit then was the Backstreet Boys "Everybody" and i used to call her Celestina so it would be the same syllables as her fave fangirl song (chell-es-TEEEE- nAH.....eat yo DEEE-nAH). And, when i'd come to visit, she'd hop in my lap, tell me about her week and, if she'd been good, i'd sing her "My Celeste Amour" to multiple squeals, nuzzles & kisses. dongitnobettah. Celeste turned thirty last week. Where does it all go?! La-la-LAAAA-laa-la-la....

Edited by wikkidpissah
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Columbus Day dose of StevieJoy™.

Actually, the Signed, Sealed, Delivered album was the first real cogent album for young Mr Morris and worth a listen in toto

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Was going through the non-front page of the FFA and found this thread and checked out Innervisions as well as listening to Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

Nice night.

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17 minutes ago, rockaction said:

Was going through the non-front page of the FFA and found this thread and checked out Innervisions as well as listening to Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

Nice night.

even tho FFF saved my life, if i hadda pick one album, Innervisions would be it. i dont think i've ever marvelled over an album so much in my life. i'd put it on and groan & sigh & shake my head & widen my arms into a "how' gesture to God and just marvel over how that much joy & soul could make so much sense.

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4 hours ago, wikkidpissah said:

even tho FFF saved my life, if i hadda pick one album, Innervisions would be it. i dont think i've ever marvelled over an album so much in my life. i'd put it on and groan & sigh & shake my head & widen my arms into a "how' gesture to God and just marvel over how that much joy & soul could make so much sense.

Yep, though I kinda think of Innervisions and FFF as a double album these days.

(which makes zero sense, I guess, since Stevie was damned near killed in an accident between releases)

I get the songs all confused, as far as which is on each album, except for "Living For The City".

Wonder was working at a higher level than anyone has, before or since. Hell, he gave the world Chaka Khan just because he didn't have enough room on his own records for "Tell Me Something Good".

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I remember when my dad got Songs in the Key of Life and played it constantly in our house for about a month straight.  It won a bucket full of Grammys. Ill always think about my dad when I hear those songs, but my favorite will always be Boogie on Reggae Woman from Fullfillingsness a few years earlier. 
 

https://youtu.be/h8Z_71sF4LU

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31 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

I remember when my dad got Songs in the Key of Life and played it constantly in our house for about a month straight.  It won a bucket full of Grammys. Ill always think about my dad when I hear those songs, but my favorite will always be Boogie on Reggae Woman from Fullfillingsness a few years earlier. 
 

https://youtu.be/h8Z_71sF4LU

The drums and piano in this song kick every kind of ###. So does every other part of it, but I wanted to spotlight those two. Guess who played 'em......

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37 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

but my favorite will always be Boogie on Reggae Woman from Fullfillingsness a few years earlier. 
 

https://youtu.be/h8Z_71sF4LU

Not one of Stevland's more complicated harmonica solos but it fits perfectly into the groove.

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My favorite recording artist. (The Beatles are number two.)

Good timing on the bump because I was seriously just telling somebody, about an hour ago, when she asked what I was going to do with the rest of my day, that I was probably going to go home and listen to 1970s Stevie Wonder -- from Music of My Mind to Hotter than July.

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Not a baiting question (well, maybe....) but, why when "singer-songwriters" of the '70s are discussed, is Wonder never in the conversation? We always get Joni, James Taylor, Paul freaking Simon, Carole King, various CSNY dudes......but never Stevie. He was more topical than all of them and at least AS personal as any. He outsold, out-Grammy'd, and got more critical respect than all of them combined. He was doing the same things they were, but better and more of it.

Any thoughts?

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15 minutes ago, Uruk-Hai said:

Not a baiting question (well, maybe....) but, why when "singer-songwriters" of the '70s are discussed, is Wonder never in the conversation? We always get Joni, James Taylor, Paul freaking Simon, Carole King, various CSNY dudes......but never Stevie. He was more topical than all of them and at least AS personal as any. He outsold, out-Grammy'd, and got more critical respect than all of them combined. He was doing the same things they were, but better and more of it.

Any thoughts?

Best I got is all those people are solo with a guitar rather than a piano. Fits a paradigm. Besides King. Hmmm...

You probably know the answer better than I do.

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2 minutes ago, rockaction said:

Best I got is all those people are solo with a guitar rather than a piano. Fits a paradigm. Besides King. Hmmm...

You probably know the answer better than I do.

That's the thing, though - they may have been billed as solo but they really weren't. Carole King worked with a lyricist. Simon wrote his stuff, but his best records featured full bands and back up singers (who he ripped off). James Taylor's best songs were covers (with a good band), which I think was a good thing but doesn't do much for his orthodox critical standing and he had nothing at all to say on the #### he wrote himself. And Joni was loopy as hell, but used a ton of respected jazzbos.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Uruk-Hai said:

That's the thing, though - they may have been billed as solo but they really weren't. Carole King worked with a lyricist. Simon wrote his stuff, but his best records featured full bands and back up singers (who he ripped off). James Taylor's best songs were covers (with a good band), which I think was a good thing but doesn't do much for his orthodox critical standing and he had nothing at all to say on the #### he wrote himself. And Joni was loopy as hell, but used a ton of respected jazzbos.

No justice, no peace? 

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1 hour ago, Uruk-Hai said:

Not a baiting question (well, maybe....) but, why when "singer-songwriters" of the '70s are discussed, is Wonder never in the conversation? We always get Joni, James Taylor, Paul freaking Simon, Carole King, various CSNY dudes......but never Stevie. He was more topical than all of them and at least AS personal as any. He outsold, out-Grammy'd, and got more critical respect than all of them combined. He was doing the same things they were, but better and more of it.

Any thoughts?

uuhhhh......strumming & racism?

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57 minutes ago, Uruk-Hai said:

That's the thing, though - they may have been billed as solo but they really weren't. Carole King worked with a lyricist. Simon wrote his stuff, but his best records featured full bands and back up singers (who he ripped off). James Taylor's best songs were covers (with a good band), which I think was a good thing but doesn't do much for his orthodox critical standing and he had nothing at all to say on the #### he wrote himself. And Joni was loopy as hell, but used a ton of respected jazzbos.

 

 

Hey, leave Joni out of this.

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First Saturday of Wondervember dose of Stevie. Dunno why and dunno if you can hear it, but this is the song that convinced me that Stevie was taking music somewhere all his own. Music of My Mind & Talking Book had laid the groundwork, but this Innervision kickoff had me thrilled by discovery for some reason. It's what i think of when i think of the Wonder. Enjoy, but careful....

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I had something written up yesterday to bump this thread with, but double-secret deleted it and had to move on. I've been derelict in my duties here. I'm out of the country in a week, but have some ideas for posts when I get back.

Thanks for keep it going, @wikkidpissah

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Our Saturday dose this week pays tribute to the Greatest Singular Musical Performance of All Time thread.

My personal Top 5.

5. Rahsaan Roland Kirk playing 5 instruments at once at Lenny's on the Turnpike in 1968

4. John Bonham's Moby Dick 20-minute barehanded drum solo (he collapsed in a bloody heap at the end), Montreal, 1970

3. Every time i saw Prince play

2. Joe Cocker & Leon Russell & friends. Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour April 1970. I had what i thought was a heart attack of ecstacy during this show. When I could think clearly, i turned to my pal and said "We gotta, right?" and we thumbed to wherever they played for ten days, even tho we were still in our sophomore yr in HS.

1. Stevie Wonder, opening for and playing with the Rolling Stones, summer of '72. Some crazee ####, the delivered sound of joy, str8 to your ears from heaven, babies. Enjoy -

Edited by wikkidpissah
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3 hours ago, wikkidpissah said:

Our Saturday dose this week pays tribute to the Greatest Singular Musical Performance of All Time thread.

My personal Top 5.

5. Rahsaan Roland Kirk playing 5 instruments at once at Lenny's on the Turnpike in 1968

4. John Bonham's Moby Dick 20-minute barehanded drum solo (he collapsed in a bloody heap at the end), Montreal, 1970

3. Every time i saw Prince play

2. Joe Cocker & Leon Russell & friends. Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour April 1970. I had what i thought was a heart attack of ecstacy during this show. When I could think clearly, i turned to my pal and said "We gotta, right?" and we thumbed to wherever they played for ten days, even tho we were still in our sophomore yr in HS.

1. Stevie Wonder, opening for and playing with the Rolling Stones, summer of '72. Some crazee ####, the delivered sound of joy, str8 to your ears from heaven, babies. Enjoy -

AWESOMENESS

Edited by Maggot Brain

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You gotta cut Steve off quick, because if he starts rolling he talks your ears off.

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a little diversion for today's Saturday blast of Stevie. as I and others keep pounding on y'all, the Music of my Mind thru Songs in the Key of Life albums Wonder put out the first five or so years of the 1970s may be the greatest creative run not only a musician but perhaps any artist has had. albums were more momentous then, but a new Stevie was a junkie fix of pharma-grade elation & elevation. 

then it went quiet. and in the days before online info bombardment, quiet was pretty damned quiet. apparently Stevie wanted to mess with synths and someone asked him to do the soundtrack to a documentary. he did, mostly instrumentals of course, and what vocals were on it largely explained the text. the filmmakers described what was on onscreen and Stevie found sumn for it.

but imagine youre a fan, a listener who has come to need every boost of Joy this master can offer and has gone without for several years. Stevie made this album, so Motown owned it, and Motown released it pretty much without telling anybody what it was. just Stevie is all. greedy consumer rushes to the store first day, brings it home and must listen to this, then this, then this before hearing Stevie Wonder's glorious voice lifted in song. "Huh?!", "Are you frikkin' kidding me?!?!", "WTF?!?!?!" was about my reaction chain upon my first listen. a lot of people jumped off the S.S. Wonder like it was the Titanic right then & there but Stevie didn't betray nobody. maybe he was out of stuff, wanted to explore, he certainly owed us nothing, but he became a poster boy for musical burnout for reasons that weren't his fault. we mighta talked into a "#### it" period and that was wrong.

Listening back, though, the instrumentals are pretty interesting, sumn should probably be posted in the FFA "synth" thread. The first, "Earth's Creation" is a pretty good e-proximation, almost a Gustav Holst-level piece for our planet's early days. #2, "The First Garden" is a lovely, lovely tune - to this day the thing i play when i see a keyboard in a room.

And the third instrumental of Secret Life of Plants provides a rare opportunity. My favorite part about being Catholic as a kid was that my mother had determined that the Passion of the Christ happened from noon to three on Good Friday and would sit me & my sis down and order us to close our eyes and think upon precisely how Jesus suffered for our sins for that period of time. Rather preposterous and the best way to get me not to do sumn is to order me but, for some reason, i really used to get into this, imagining being there for the Stations of the Cross (i later got a feeling that Mel Gibson's dad made him do the same thing). Did not heighten my religiosity in the least, but i honestly do believe it had that effect on my powers of imagination to this day.

When i hear #3 on SLoP (an unfortunate acronym disappointed fans freely used backinaday), Journey to India, it provides a lazy opportunity to wonder how Wonder thinks, how a blind man sees in order to tell. That's what i do on the odd occasions i listen to this album - consider the imageless chaos that young Mr. Steveland Morris ordered into such telling joy. And i finally enjoy the record.

Edited by wikkidpissah
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i saw @Uruk-Hai back on the board yesterday and thought he might do the Wonderdose™ today, so i'll go to my fallback, the Stevie song i sing best. 

Singing along w Stevie is like watching a Scorsese flick - even when he does one that's not just flaming from the start but one that the average home baritone can endeavor to follow, 3/4 of the way thru he goes into Steviemode mode and leaves you in the dust. Blame It on the Sun won't dust you and is a good mental health song as well. Dig -

Edited by wikkidpissah
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On 10/12/2019 at 7:25 PM, Uruk-Hai said:

Not a baiting question (well, maybe....) but, why when "singer-songwriters" of the '70s are discussed, is Wonder never in the conversation? We always get Joni, James Taylor, Paul freaking Simon, Carole King, various CSNY dudes......but never Stevie. He was more topical than all of them and at least AS personal as any. He outsold, out-Grammy'd, and got more critical respect than all of them combined. He was doing the same things they were, but better and more of it.

Any thoughts?

I might be wrong about this, but even though singer/songwriter is a pretty straightforward title and probably meant just that initially, the group that is frequently categorized as such all had a similar chill-out, easy-listening vibe that dominated the conversation and came to represent that grouping more so than the definition did. The name stuck even if it didn't always make sense.

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22 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

i saw @Uruk-Hai back on the board yesterday and thought he might do the Wonderdose™ today, so i'll go to my fallback, the Stevie song i sing best. 

Singing along w Stevie is like watching a Scorsese flick - even when he does one that's not just flaming from the start but one that the average home baritone can endeavor to follow, 3/4 of the way thru he goes into Steviemode mode and leaves you in the dust. Blame It on the Sun won't dust you and is a good mental health song as well. Dig -

The way he writes and sings his vocal melodies makes him almost impossible to cover. He doesn't go up or down just to prove he can do it, either - it ALWAYS works within the song - but it knocks the listener off balance every time.

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6 minutes ago, Despyzer said:

I might be wrong about this, but even though singer/songwriter is a pretty straightforward title and probably meant just that initially, the group that is frequently categorized as such all had a similar chill-out, easy-listening vibe that dominated the conversation and came to represent that grouping more so than the definition did. The name stuck even if it didn't always make sense.

I hear you, but it never made sense to me until I got older and started to realize the way record store aisles and radio formats really worked. 

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In spite of his resume, it does seem like he's one of the most underappreciated artists of all time. 

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On 9/8/2019 at 9:44 AM, Uruk-Hai said:

Nobody has more great Sunday Brunch records than Stevie. This one is trickier than the smooth-jazz opening might appear. The chord changes are odd and the vocal melody - always Wonder's strength, as they go off in all sorts of interesting directions - is one of his best. 

Knocks Me Off My Feet

 

I call them Black Wedding Songs.  Ribbon in the Sky is more popular, but I love Knock Me Off My Feet unreservedly.  Both ridiculous Stevie vocal performances.

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1 minute ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

I call them Black Wedding Songs.  Ribbon in the Sky is more popular, but I love Knock Me Off My Feet unreservedly.  Both ridiculous Stevie vocal performances.

At least one pasty white guy here had "Knocks Me Off My Feet" played at his wedding. The song outlasted the marriage, thankfully for all concerned.

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1 hour ago, Uruk-Hai said:

I hear you, but it never made sense to me until I got older and started to realize the way record store aisles and radio formats really worked. 

That label seems limiting for Stevie.  I mean, Prince wrote his own stuff too.  But when you're also a great musician, and a distinctive vocal talent (Stevie even more than Prince on that count), the songwriting kind of gets lost in all the other things.

 

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Just now, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

For the record, Dontcha Worry Bout a Thing is indisputably my jam.   I also think Stevie's cover of We Can Work it Out is one of the best covers of anything, ever.  

I bought that single in a kinda/sorta general store in Deale, MD when it came out. We were really poor and my mother gave me a choice between a record and a comic book. I was REALLY into comics then, but made the better choice.

Agree 100% on "We Can Work It Out". He out-Beatles the Beatles

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