Stevie Wonder Band

Discussion in 'Music Forum' started by cshadows2887, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. cshadows2887 Mar 11, 2016
    (Last edited: Mar 12, 2016)
    cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Stevland Hardaway Morris (born Stevland Hardaway Judkins; May 13, 1950), known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist. A child prodigy, he became one of the most creative and loved musical performers of the late 20th century. Wonder signed with Motown's Tamla label at the age of 11. and has continued to perform and record for Motown as of the early 2010s. He has been blind since shortly after birth.

    [​IMG]

    Stevie Wonder
    (soul/R&B/funk)
    He started as a boy-wonder for Motown and grew into one of their most ambitious artists. He controlled every aspect of most of his best records, playing almost all the instruments himself and experimenting with sounds, styles and structure in a way few on that label did. He won the Grammy for Album of the Year 3 times and grabbed an Oscar while having maybe the greatest 70s of any artist. His entire run from Signed, Sealed, Delivered through Hotter Than July is just tremendous.

    Recommended Listen:
    Innervisions

    Crash Course:
    1. Innervisions
    2. Songs in the Key of Life
    3. Music of My Mind

    Compilation Replacement: The Definitive Collection

    Signature Songs:
    1. “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)”
    2. “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”
    3. “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”
    4. “Supersition”
    5. “Living for the City


    Personal note: I know a lot of people would have put Fulfillingness’ First Finale or Talking Book in the crash course, and I considered it, but I didn’t feel right not putting a slightly older record in there. Personally, I would have loved to advocate for Signed, Sealed, Delivered, but he has too many great ones.
     
  2. Meerkat

    Officer Hot Prestigious

    This is a great thread I'm so happy this is here
     
  3. Wharf Rat

    Phil bombs not bombs // DRONE not drones Prestigious

    Can't wait for his week
     
  4. sponsor
  5. Wharf Rat

    Phil bombs not bombs // DRONE not drones Prestigious

    cshadows2887 likes this.
  6. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Kick it off by saying that I've been revisiting Music of My Mind on car rides this week (because I obviously know what week is coming) and it may be my favorite of the run. The transitions between sections on "Superwoman" just give me the shivers.
     
  7. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Should I repost the guide in here too? Is it too many clicks to leave it in the other one?
     
  8. Wharf Rat

    Phil bombs not bombs // DRONE not drones Prestigious

    Might as well. Also maybe a link to this thread in the post in the other one
     
  9. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Added to OP
     
  10. Meerkat

    Officer Hot Prestigious

    "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" is pretty much the definition of a classic, great song.
     
    cshadows2887 likes this.
  11. Garrett L.

    mi capi Moderator

    Beginning "Innervisions" now.
     
    cshadows2887 likes this.
  12. Garrett L.

    mi capi Moderator

    First "Innervisions" Impressions: The drumming on this album is impeccable. Musically, the instrumentations on this were so great. It's nice to see what they mean when they reference is influence and craft on the award shows (full admission: I know his biggest songs, but that's about it). He's also a much better vocalist than I ever gave him credit for (again, mostly aware of his later-life live appearances).

    "Visions" and "All In Love Is Fair" were the standouts, the first by a long margin. What a song. I guess my third favorite would be the album closer, it reminds me of the Stevie I'm most familiar with in a lot of ways.

    At the same time, I think I'd have a hard time ever coming back to this regularly to listen to in it's entirety. At times I found myself wondering, "Okay, this sounds great, but is repeating it this many times necessary?" Which, admittedly, has been something I've confronted in quite a few genres and very rarely found compelling.

    In a lot of ways, this sounds like an album that I would listen to with my mom or dad and their friends during an all day cookout/beer event. That's how I've engaged with so many classic albums and I always love the experience, but I also know there are very few albums from those situations I ever added to my personal rotation. My mom is a huge Stevie Wonder fan, and this just makes me remember those memories.

    Definitely going to check out a few more albums of his over this week while lurking this discussion. I feel like I'm giving off the vibe that I'm enjoying this less than I actually am.
     
    ChaseTx and cshadows2887 like this.
  13. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Finding and repeating a groove is kind of a staple of funk. I used to be in that same place, where I thought a lot of it was too long. Maybe I just spent so much time with the genre now where I appreciate a groove. The ideal of funk is to make you dance and if you hit a groove like that you don't stop. And if you're really good, you find subtle inversions and touches to keep mutating the groove.

    Glad you found stuff to appreciate. I'd say you should definitely make Signed, Sealed, Delivered one of the records you get to. It was his last working within the poppier Motown thing before getting ambitious and into his own world, and he perfected the sound. Less funk jams and more soul-pop
     
    ChaseTx and Garrett L. like this.
  14. Garrett L.

    mi capi Moderator

    That first paragraph is definitely good info, @cshadows2887. I know this'll sound weird, but this album seemed very influential on what Justin Timberlake was trying to do on the exitludes on 20/20 Part 1. Which some of those (Pusher Love Girl) do exactly what you're suggesting is the focus of funk do perfectly while others became grating to me.

    That was the one I was thinking of doing next. I love his poppier jams.
     
    cshadows2887 likes this.
  15. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Hah I was actually thinking of JT and Prince primarily when I said that. Also even though they're dance and not funk, Daft Punk do it too.
     
    Garrett L. likes this.
  16. troyplaysbass

    reunion tour Supporter

    Starting Innervisions now. I'm sure I've heard singles over the years, but this is my first time listening to a Stevie Wonder album.
     
    cshadows2887 likes this.
  17. Wharf Rat

    Phil bombs not bombs // DRONE not drones Prestigious

    Stevie has been my go-to pop/soul/funk guy for a while now, but with that said, I tend toward the less pop side of those genres most of the time. I've heard the crash course albums probably 5-10 times each? And Innervisions a couple more. Not including when my parents have played them. Beyond that I'm mostly uninitiated, which is a shame.

    The big draw for me is the incredible rhythm section (made up of, uh, Stevie, Stevie, Stevie, and....Stevie) and the crazy innovative and creative synth. I really should put in more time in with him considering the obvious intermingling of influences with these albums and the likes of Head Hunters, Heavy Weather, and the funkier sides of Sun Ra, Donald Byrd and Billy Cobham, all of which I love. I also love his voice and all the different things he does with it - the raspy yells on "Living For The City" for example, which is then immediately contrasted with his kind of restrained airy voice on "Golden Lady" (guess where I'm at in Innvervisions right now heh).

    I'll post more as I go through the rest of the crash course albums again probably, but, Chris, any recommendations for his jazzier side? Presumably mostly in his earlier stuff?
     
    ChaseTx and cshadows2887 like this.
  18. George

    Trusted Prestigious

    Thought I'd check out a new (to me anyway!) album from him, and listened to Conversation Peace from 1995, it's pretty wonderful. It feels like a return to his more "Classic" 70s sound, it's a lot more rhythmic and soulful from some of his 80s stuff, with not that much out and out pop. The tracks are drawn out, with some nice funky grooves and interludes, it feels really alive and vital. I'd recommend this to somebody who's a big fan of the classic 70s stuff, but maybe not too much into "I Just Called to Say I Love You" Stevie.

    I feel there's a few moments where the energy sags a wee bit, but then it soon picks up again! It's great as always to hear Ladysmith Black Mambazo pop up too!
     
    ChaseTx and cshadows2887 like this.
  19. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Honestly I don't know as much of his older side (excited to explore some this week) but what I have heard is more really well performed Motown-style material.

    His 70s run seems to draw in the Jazz influence the most. Especially Songs in the Key of Life.

    I've always anticipated Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants to be more in that direction but haven't listened yet. Another thing I'd like to shoot for this week.

    And it's not jazz but if you want to hear his instrumental prowess, Eivets Rednow is mostly (all? Haven't put it on in awhile) instrumental and focused on his harmonica playing
     
    ChaseTx and Wharf Rat like this.
  20. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    I've always wondered about his later stuff. He obviously still had it in the 90s, as Mulan can attest. Haha
     
    iplaydrums likes this.
  21. troyplaysbass

    reunion tour Supporter

    Really enjoyed my first run through Innervisions. I had no idea he played all of the instruments on a lot of the songs, which makes the grooves all that much more impressive. "Living For the City" and "Higher Ground" were the songs that stood out the most to me, but his voice and playing are awesome all the way through.
     
    ChaseTx and cshadows2887 like this.
  22. George

    Trusted Prestigious

    Was about to post about this too! It's definitely an overlooked album, but it's a mostly good listen. It's long, and a bit weird and experimental, but there are some gorgeous moments on there. It's maybe a bit too new-agey for me to ever love, and it's a long listen (about 90 minutes), but at it's finest, it's a really organic and wholesome sounding album. There's no dirty bass lines or anything ha, but it's a very relaxing, therapeutic listen. Not one I return to regularly, admittedly, but without a doubt a worthy listen.
     
    ChaseTx likes this.
  23. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Like I read that whole post and I have no idea what that would sound like and that is so intriguing to me. This will definitely go on the list for this week! Haha
     
  24. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Just checked out "Venus Flytrap and the Bug" and Whoah that is trippy shit. I am so much more intrigued.
     
  25. Meerkat

    Officer Hot Prestigious

    Speaking of Stevie still having it in the 90s

     
    cshadows2887 likes this.
  26. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    He's one of the only pop stars I can think of who can REALLY play the harmonica. Not just blasting into it like Dylan or grooving one bluesy thing, but like really play. That song is a great example of it
     
    ChaseTx, beachdude42 and Wharf Rat like this.