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Stevie Wonder – Innervisions (1973)

June 29, 2013

[Album 204/1001]220px-Steviewonder_innervisions

“Wish I was there” music moment #9: as a music journalist on a Stevie Wonder-led, blind-folded bus ride in 1973, as part of an Innervisions preview.

Imagine hearing Living for the City in that context.  Already a contender for the best song of ’73, that experience would have made the song all the more poignant.

There’s nothing like hearing a song, one that eventually becomes a favourite, for the first time.  Upon first listen to Living for the City, it was clear there was something special about this track.  As with all great songs, repeated listens only enhance.  While many positive things could (and should) be said about the rest of Innervisions,  this was the 7+ minute track that continues to impress me.

To address potential hypocrisy accusations.  Led Zeppelin gets a hard time about the synthesizer in The Crunge but synth-heavy Innvervisions and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road get glowing reviews?  To that I say, context.

Jay Kay (commonly mistaken for his band name Jamiroquai!) looks terrific in a large hat.  I do not.  Not everyone can ‘pull it off.’

When one comedian tells a joke, it gets a laugh.  Same joke, different comedian: there may be crickets.  Delivery is everything.

You don’t go to a Broncos game to watch Peyton Manning sing the national anthem.  Fans flock to Mile High to witness their favourite QB do what he does best.

What do Stevie Wonder and Elton John do best?  Write great melodies, typically using a keyboard/piano/synthesizer.

Zeppelin does a lot of things remarkably well but the incorporation of a synthesizer, to paraphrase Jay Z, ain’t one!


From → 1970s

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