August Artist – Stevie Wonder (Part 1)
This post is part of my Deep Dive Music Project. This month I’m listening to some music by Stevie Wonder. Be sure to check out the Stevie Wonder playlist I have on Spotify. Click the links below to go to other parts in this post
This month I’m going to be listening to some of the discography of legendary singer, songwriter, musician and producer Stevie Wonder.
Stevie Wonder is an artist who I’ve definitely heard a few songs by (see the next section), and I’ve always enjoyed the songs of his I’ve heard, but somehow I haven’t picked up an album of his and listened to it all the way through. And this will be another month I’m sure where I think “why did I wait so long to listen to a Stevie Wonder album?” I think like many people who may only be familiar with a few Stevie Wonder songs the only other thing I really know about him (aside from him being hella talented in music) is that he’s blind, which makes his music playing skills even more impressive.
The Stevie Wonder Songs I Kind Of Know
I was born in 1984 and live in Canada, an English speaking country in the global north. Stevie Wonder has been releasing music since 1962. Many of his songs have been featured in film, tv. He’s a legendary musician and performer so this is just a long winded way of say yeah I’ve heard a few Stevie Wonder songs. These are the ones I kind of know include
- Sir Duke
- Isn’t She Lovely
- My Cherie Amour
- I Just Called to Say I Love you
- Signed Sealed Delivered, I’m Yours
- You Are the Sunshine Of My Life
- I Wish (I mostly know this as the song remixed into “Wild West” by Will Smith)
And there might other Motown songs Stevie Wonder has sung that I’ve familiar with that aren’t on this list.
Before I start diving into the discography for the artists I’ve chosen I want to give a rundown of the impression I get of their music and their work. This may or may not be accurate. The point of this isn’t for me to tell you, “this is definitely what this artist’s music is/will be like” but for me to see if these impressions are correct as I go along. They may or may not be.
Like Johnny Cash, Prince, David Bowie, and Marvin Gaye I have a somewhat understanding of Stevie Wonder’s massive impact in music. And like several artists I’ve featured Stevie Wonder got his start in music early (his first album released on Motown when he was 12). He’s another child prodigy in music that I’m featuring (which wasn’t planned, but I think there’s something to be said for when someone has a natural talent at music and that skill is developed and refined at a young age). He plays several instruments. I believe he’s produced a few of his albums. So I already know this is gonna be a month where I’m blown away by the musical talent of Stevie Wonder, because honestly how could I not be? His music has been an influence on a ton of musicians and artists. Just the check the followers listed for Stevie Wonder on Inflooenz.
With this project I’m always hesitant to say that I know what to expect. For example I thought I knew what to expect with Lana Del Rey and Tori Amos and I was quite surprised with their music. I could say “yeah Stevie Wonder will be lots of soul and funk” but I could be completely taken aback by the music I listen to this month. Just because I’ve heard a couple of Stevie Wonder songs doesn’t mean there aren’t any surprises to be had.
The Albums I’ll Be Listening To
I know Stevie Wonder got his start in Motown as did Marvin Gaye (who I featured previously). However I feel like I got a good feel for that class 60s Motown sound with Marvin Gaye, so I didn’t want to do a repeat of the same thing this month with Stevie Wonder’s music. I should say all of the albums I’ll be listening to were released on Motown (or its subsidiary Tamla) but I think only the first (perhaps the second) on this list might be consider “classic Motown.”
With Stevie Wonder I wanted to focus mostly on the albums he released in the 1970s. I understand this is sort of his seminal period (much how I listened to Prince’s seminal 80s work last October). Stevie Wonder has a pretty long career, but since I wanted to focus mainly on his 70s period I’ve narrowed it to these 7 albums.
Signed, Sealed and Delivered (1970)
Where I’m Coming From (1971)
Music of My Mind (1972)
Talking Book (1972)
Fulfillingness’ First Finale (1974)
Songs In The Key of Life (1976)
If I have time I may listen to another Stevie Wonder album or two, but I’ll definitely be covering the albums listed above. I’m looking forward to listening to the music of Stevie Wonder.
What’s your favourite song or album by Stevie Wonder?