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Posts Tagged ‘Stevie Wonder’

At number 10 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters is Stevie Wonder. Stevie Wonder was born Stevland Hardaway Judkins and, when he burst on to the musical scene in 1962, he was initially known as Little Stevie Wonder. He was hailed as a child musical genius, composing his first songs at the age of 11. Of course, the ‘little’ was dropped as he grew older; but in a career that has spanned six decades he will certainly go down as one of the most important singer-songwriters in 20th Century music.

Some of his best known songs are ‘Uptight (Everything’s Alright)’, ‘The Tears Of a Clown’ (a number one hit for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles), ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ (a song to his new-born daughter), ‘For Once in My Life’, ‘Sir Duke’‘Lately’ (which I blogged about here), and ‘Happy Birthday’, the song he wrote in the campaign to have Martin Luther King’s birthday recognised as a public holiday in the USA (which I blogged about here). His 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life is considered one of the greatest albums of all time.

 

At number 10 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Stevie Wonder.

At number 10 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Stevie Wonder.

 

The song which I’ve decided to include in this blog is ‘Sir Duke’, which was released as a single in 1977 and is possibly the first Stevie Wonder song I remember hearing on the radio. It comes from his album Songs in the Key of Life, and when released it got to number 1 in the USA and to number 2 in the Disunited Kingdom.

 

Music is a world within itself
With a language we all understand
With an equal opportunity
For all to sing, dance and clap their hands
But just because a record has a groove
Don’t make it in the groove
But you can tell right away at letter A
When the people start to move

They can feel it all over
They can feel it all over people
They can feel it all over
They can feel it all over people

Music knows it is and always will
Be one of the things that life just won’t quit
But here are some of music’s pioneers
That time will not allow us to forget
For there’s Basie, Miller, Satchmo
And the king of all Sir Duke
And with a voice like Ella’s ringing out
There’s no way the band can lose

You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people

You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people

You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people

You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
I can feel it all over-all over now people

Can’t you feel it all over
Come on let’s feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
Everybody-all over people

 

Here is a video of this great song. Enjoy!

Which is your favourite Stevie Wonder song?

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I am currently in the United States, and today is Martin Luther King day, a Federal holiday. MLK day is always the third Monday in January, and is to celebrate the birthday and life of one of America’s most important public figures.  King was born on January 15, so the 3rd Monday in January is always near his birthday.

The holiday was made a Federal holiday by President Reagan in 1983, and it was celebrated for the first time as a Federal holiday in 1986 (although some states were already celebrating it). The signing by Reagan creating the MLK day was after many years of campaigning, and the song I have decided to include today by Stevie Wonder was part of that campaign.

Martin Luther King at the March on Washington in 1963, where he gave his famous "I have a dream" speech.

Martin Luther King at the March on Washington in 1963, where he gave his famous “I have a dream” speech.

You know it doesn’t make much sense
There ought to be a law against
Anyone who takes offense
At a day in your celebration
Cause we all know in our minds
That there ought to be a time
That we can set aside
To show just how much we love you
And I’m sure you would agree
It couldn’t fit more perfectly
Than to have a world party on the day you came to be

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday

I just never understood
How a man who died for good
Could not have a day that would
Be set aside for his recognition
Because it should never be
Just because some cannot see
The dream as clear as he
that they should make it become an illusion
And we all know everything
That he stood for time will bring
For in peace our hearts will sing
Thanks to Martin Luther King

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday

Why has there never been a holiday
Where peace is celebrated
all throughout the world

The time is overdue
For people like me and you
Who know the way to truth
Is love and unity to all God’s children
It should be a great event
And the whole day should be spent
In full remembrance
Of those who lived and died for the oneness of all people
So let us all begin
We know that love can win
Let it out don’t hold it in
Sing it loud as you can

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday
Happy birthday
Happy birthday
Happy birthday
Ooh yeah
Happy birthday…

We know the key to unify all people
Is in the dream that you had so long ago
That lives in all of the hearts of people
That believe in unity
We’ll make the dream become a reality
I know we will
Because our hearts tell us so

Here is the video of this wonderful song. Enjoy!

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Today I thought I would share this wonderfully tender song by Stevie Wonder – “Lately”. It is from his 1981 album “Hotter than July” which I have on vinyl and have transferred to mp3 format so that I can listen to it on the move.



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The album also includes the song “Happy Birthday”, which I will blog about in the future, but probably “Lately” is my favourite song on an album which has several great songs. To me it speaks of a suspicion in the songwriter’s mind that his partner is being unfaithful to him, but I know that is not the only interpretation of the song.


Lately, I have had the strangest feeling
With no vivid reason here to find
Yet the thought of losing you’s been hanging
’round my mind

Far more frequently you’re wearing perfume
With you say no special place to go
But when I ask will you be coming back soon
You don’t know, never know

Well, I’m a man of many wishes
Hope my premonition misses
But what I really feel my eyes won’t let me hide
‘Cause they always start to cry
‘Cause this time could mean goodbye

Lately I’ve been staring in the mirror
Very slowly picking me apart
Trying to tell myself I have no reason
with your heart

Just the other night while you were sleeping
I vaguely heard you whisper someone’s name
But when I ask you of the thoughts your keeping
You just say nothing’s changed

Well, I’m a man of many wishes
I hope my premonition misses
But what I really feel my eyes won’t let me hide
‘Cause they always start to cry
‘Cause this time could mean goodbye, goodbye

Oh, I’m a man of many wishes
I hope my premonition misses
But what I really feel my eyes won’t let me hide
‘Cause they always start to cry
‘Cause this time could mean goodbye.

Here is the song, a live version as I could not find the “studio version” on YouTube.




Which is your favourite song on “hotter than July”?

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At number 24 in “Rolling Stone Magazine’s” 500 greatest albums of all time is “Innervisions” by Stevie Wonder.


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Released in August 1973, “Innervisions” is the 16th studio album by Stevie Wonder. I don’t own this album, but I do own three Stevie Wonder albums. I have “Hotter than July”, “Songs in the key of life” and his “Greatest hits” album. So I am a fan of his work, but am not familiar with a large fraction of it.

Here is a video of Stevie Wonder performing “Living for the city”.



Which is your favourite Stevie Wonder album? Which is your favourite song on this album?

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