Talking Book

“Superstition” is probably my favorite Stevie Wonder song.  I can’t remember the first time I heard it…for all I know it could have been on a rerun of Sesame Street…but I’ve always dug the song’s groove.  It may be the perfect funk song…killer guitar riff, funky drums and bass, an ascending horn line, and a big fat chorus that bleeds right back into the guitar riff.  Not surprisingly, this whole album is pretty funky.  The Boy Wonder is pretty much a one-man band throughout, but there are some great guest appearances, especially Ray Parker Jr.’s guitar (who you gonna call?) on “Maybe Your Baby” and Dave Sanborne’s alto sax solo on “Tuesday Heartbreak”.

Stevie Wonder actually played Cbus just a couple months ago.  And he was in Nashville a day after the Princess and I were passing through on our way to Memphis.  He’s out on tour playing the entire Songs in the Key of Life album (see entry #57), and I would have been interested in seeing it, but I’ve been a bit short on rubles lately, so I guess I’ll have to settle for listening to this CD, which I managed to pick up brand spanking new at the local f.y.e. (how does that chain stay in business?) for the bargain basement price of $6.99.  And it is the 2000 edition that has the transcription of Wonder’s Braille inscription from the original pressing.  Very cool.  Anyhow, the band director at my school actually went to the show here in the Bus and he said that Wonder is still an incredible musician and that he still has that “it” factor when he’s performing live.

Other lists: “Superstition” is #73 and “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” is #287 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  See the entry for Innervisions (#24) for Wonder’s other RS accolades.

My favorite track: “Superstition”

Honorable mention: “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”

A word from the Princess: “Why does this sound like Britney Spears?” (regarding Wonder’s vocals on “Maybe Your Baby”)

Quote: “When you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer.”

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