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Thread: Stevie Wonder

  1. #101
    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    In fairness, he was referring to the hits, eve though it's still not true.
    I’m thinking the poster in question had only ever heard “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” It’s definitely unfair to judge Stevie based on that, he had well and truly jumped the shark by that point.

    I personally thought that he was pretty good up to and including the underrated Hotter Than July, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    There is an edit of 'Isn't She Lovely' which just has the song, not the baby splashing around (who I assume is his daughter!) or the long outro. It's on this, as are a few other single edits/mixes. This song was not actually released as a single, though...in the UK someone rushed out a bland single to capitalise on demand and had a big hit with it.
    A couple of years back, I did finally hear the David Parton version of “Isn’t She Lovely” that was a hit in the UK (Youtube makes this kind of thing so easy), and remember it being pretty lame.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    Early Stevie Wonder (up to and including Where I'm Coming From) is a minefield on CD. The best collections in terms of track selection are these:

    https://www.discogs.com/Stevie-Wonde...elease/1732008 (Back to front track selection, but the most expansive of the period, except...)
    https://www.discogs.com/Stevie-Wonde.../master/183119 (Bizarrely 'Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer' was not on Essential, but it is on this, as are a couple of other songs not on Essential- 'Hey Love' was another)

    Personally I can do without the 'little' period, before 'Uptight', but there we go.
    Funny what the CD era dredged up; a lot of his early albums remained OOP, yet we suddenly got the Eivets Rednow album of easy-listening harmonica instrumentals, which had heretofore been ridiculously obscure.

    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    Indeed.

    To some folks, "progressive" is confined strictly to "symphonic rock" I guess.
    Some of them seem to be under the misapprehension that Asia was a progressive rock band. I personally find Stevie, at his best, to be more progressive.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  2. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    I’m thinking the poster in question had only ever heard “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” It’s definitely unfair to judge Stevie based on that, he had well and truly jumped the shark by that point.
    .

    He still had at least two great singles in him, "Part Time Lover" and "Skeletons". Plus the Jungle Fever soundtrack, which is pretty solid.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    Funny what the CD era dredged up; a lot of his early albums remained OOP, yet we suddenly got the Eivets Rednow album of easy-listening harmonica instrumentals, which had heretofore been ridiculously obscure.
    Funnily enough Where I'm Coming From is quite rare on CD. It didn't get the remastered treatment, instead they started with Music Of My Mind.

    Worth noting that he must also have one of the most tightly controlled archives in music. No outtakes from this period have ever come out on CD, so no deluxe editions etc. And no live material from this period has ever been released either.

  4. #104

  5. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    Some of them seem to be under the misapprehension that Asia was a progressive rock band. I personally find Stevie, at his best, to be more progressive.
    You'll hear no argument from me there.

  6. #106
    Quote Originally Posted by bRETT View Post
    He still had at least two great singles in him, "Part Time Lover"
    Although that song was written and first recorded in 1979. The 1985 version is a re-record. The original has not surfaced.

  7. #107
    Quote Originally Posted by bRETT View Post
    He still had at least two great singles in him, "Part Time Lover" and "Skeletons". Plus the Jungle Fever soundtrack, which is pretty solid.
    I’d say “Part Time Lover” is more “good” than “great,” but we’re all allowed to our own opinions. I need to re-listen to “Skeletons,” as I’m not remembering it with clarity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    Jean Luc Ponty covered As from Stevie Wonder.
    Cheese-o smooth jazz with vocoder. I’ll stick with Stevie’s version, thanks. (For the record, Mystical Adventures might otherwise be my favorite of JLP’s solo albums; I otherwise have not been impressed with his solo output.)

    Quote Originally Posted by yesstiles View Post
    Although that song was written and first recorded in 1979. The 1985 version is a re-record. The original has not surfaced.
    ...rather proving the point of JJ88’s post above.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  8. #108
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post

    Worth noting that he must also have one of the most tightly controlled archives in music. No outtakes from this period have ever come out on CD, so no deluxe editions etc. And no live material from this period has ever been released either.
    Unless you count this--pretty much the funkiest moment ever in children's television.


  9. #109
    Quote Originally Posted by profusion View Post
    Unless you count this--pretty much the funkiest moment ever in children's television.

    OH damn, I Remember seeing that on TV when I was a kid. For what it's worth, the guitarist playing the red ES-335 is Ray Parker Jr.

    One of the cool things about Sesame STreet back in the 70's and early 80's was they'd have all these different musical performers come on, they had Buffy Saint Marie on, they had Jose Feliciano, Ray Charles, Itzhak Perlman, etc. And they'd all played live, no miming!

    As a contrast, during the 90's, when REM appeared on the show, they lip synched a re-written version of Shiny Happy People, retitled Shiny Happy Monsters or something similarly stupid.

    I also recall, there was a gag they did where Stevie is trying to teach Grover how to sing. Stevie plays a note on his ARP 2600, then Grover attempts (and fails) to hit the note. They do this about two or three times before Grover realizes maybe singing isn't his forte in life.

  10. #110
    BTW, did you know Stevie actually wrote Superstition for Jeff Beck, as a thank you for playing on Talking Book? Jeff said he was futzing around in the studio, playing drums (which he only does when no one else is around), and Stevie came in and told him to keep playing and sat down behind his electric piano and they started jamming and Stevie wrote the song right there and then. Then Berry GOrdy heard the demo, and said "You've gotta release that yourself", so Stevie's version came out and trampled all over the BB&A version.

  11. #111
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    I'd narrow that down to 72 (Talking Book) to 76 (Key Of Life), but even there, there is some pure dreck (sunshine of my life, for ex)

    Though, I honestly don't remember of Secret Life
    I'm with you. A string of five albums that are about as perfect as you can get...there's not a single note of filler on these albums.

    Secret Life of Plants has some magical moments, but ended that wonderful string of five albums. After that, Hotter Than July is very good (with some great moments); ditto In Square Circle.

    Thanks for putting them in my head...gonna load my high res versions of them on my DAP, along with my other fave soul/R&B artist from the '70s, Earth, Wind & Fire, whose string starting with That's the Way of e World through All 'n' All is equally exceptional. Those that came before are very good, and show where the group would get with TtWotW. From I Am forward, they became a bit inconsistent, though every album has plenty to recommend, at least (for me) up to 1983's Powerlight.

    Along with Sly & the Family Stone, my trifecta of great R&B/Soul, though I'm also a big fan of Marvin Gaye, some Isaac Hayes, The Meters, Otis Redding, James Brown, Bill Withers, Bobby Womack, Donny Hathaway, Sam Cooke, Staple Singers (and solo releases, we
    especially Mavis), Tower of Power, War...the list goes on.
    Last edited by jkelman; 10-30-2018 at 03:03 PM.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  12. #112
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    BTW, did you know Stevie actually wrote Superstition for Jeff Beck, as a thank you for playing on Talking Book? Jeff said he was futzing around in the studio, playing drums (which he only does when no one else is around), and Stevie came in and told him to keep playing and sat down behind his electric piano and they started jamming and Stevie wrote the song right there and then. Then Berry GOrdy heard the demo, and said "You've gotta release that yourself", so Stevie's version came out and trampled all over the BB&A version.

    And Beck was none too pleased over the latter, so Stevie gave him two songs for Blow by Bow as a peace offering. Though as I only learned recently, "Cause We've Ended as Lovers' was already recorded with lyrics by Syreeta.

  13. #113
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by profusion View Post
    Unless you count this--pretty much the funkiest moment ever in children's television.
    whoah... that was smoking hot

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    OH damn, I Remember seeing that on TV when I was a kid. For what it's worth, the guitarist playing the red ES-335 is Ray Parker Jr.
    Ray Parker Jr. laid down some excellent lead Guitar behind the vocal on Talking Book's Maybe Your Baby. I had to go to the liner notes after keying in on the Guitar part of that piece recently
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  14. #114
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    I'm with you. A string of five albums that are about as perfect as you can get...there's not a single note of filler on these albums.

    Secret Life of Plants has some magical moments, but ended that wonderful string of five albums. After that, Hotter Than July is very good (with some great moments); ditto In Square Circle.

    Thanks for putting them in my head...gonna load my high res versions of them on my DAP, along with my other fave soul/R&B artist from the '70s, Earth, Wind & Fire, whose string starting with That's the Way of e World through All 'n' All is equally exceptional. Those that came before are very good, and show where the group would get with TtWotW. From I Am forward, they became a bit inconsistent, though every album has plenty to recommend, at least (for me) up to 1983's Powerlight.

    Along with Sly & the Family Stone, my trifecta of great R&B/Soul, though I'm also a big fan of Marvin Gaye, some Isaac Hayes, The Meters, Otis Redding, James Brown, Bill Withers, Bobby Womack, Donny Hathaway, Sam Cooke, Staple Singers (and solo releases, we
    especially Mavis), Tower of Power, War...the list goes on.
    Right on! Don't forget Chi-Lites.

  15. #115
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    Stevie in his prime was untouchable. Wish he could have kept it there for another five years.

  16. #116
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    Cheese-o smooth jazz with vocoder. I’ll stick with Stevie’s version, thanks. (For the record, Mystical Adventures might otherwise be my favorite of JLP’s solo albums; I otherwise have not been impressed with his solo output.)
    At least it's not George Michael's version, which is all that ever gets played on UK radio these days. I'm sure I even heard it described as 'George Michael's "As"', which fairly raises my dander.

  17. #117
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    for Stevie fans...
    I made a mix of all the instrumental pieces from Secret Life of Plants
    check it out

    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

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    Thank you for sharing. I don’t think I’ve ever heard any of the album, and this was nice to listen to on the first Saturday I’ve had off from work in a couple months.

  19. #119
    I'll always Love Stevie Wonder! Not only did he make some of my favorite albums of all time (during his 1972 thru 1976 peak years) but he's still one of the best Live Acts ever. Stevie continues to be a great singer (and keyboard player) and he always surrounds himself with great players & singers when he does concerts.

  20. #120
    Quote Originally Posted by Halmyre View Post
    At least it's not George Michael's version, which is all that ever gets played on UK radio these days. I'm sure I even heard it described as 'George Michael's "As"', which fairly raises my dander.
    Never heard his version, but could it possibly be worse than his rendition of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”? That is a complete and utter travesty.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  21. #121
    Maybe you could post that instrumental mix again I missed it.

  22. #122
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    here ya go
    Quote Originally Posted by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER View Post

    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

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