Living with…Stevie Wonder…for a week

Innervisions 1973

This’ll be short, I haven’t had much time this week!

For the most part, I’ve always loved Stevie Wonder and his music. His early Motown work is just plain infectious in its sheer exuberance  You just want to smile.  Aside from I just called to say I love you, his grown-up hits are also classics from Happy Birthday to Isn’t She Lovely?  So I was surprised to see his top-ranked album from 1973, Innervisions was for the main part songs that I didn’t really know.

Released in August 1973, Innervisions is firstly a musical phenomenon.  Not only did Stevie Wonder write all of the songs, he also played most of the instruments on each track.  It is atypical Wonder in sound – a mix of that funky 70’s synthesizer, a bit of Cuban, some beautiful ballads on keyboard and guitar and soaring over the top his wonderful voice, a unique instrument in it’s own right.  There are mutliple themes – gritty city life, transcendental meditation, religion, drugs and of course love.  The album feels like it must be played as a whole and so it’s difficult to pick out a standout moment.  Personally I’ll opt for the beautiful love song Golden Lady and the album closer He’s Misstra Know-It-All.  But I’ll reserve the right to change my mind the next time I listen.

One amazing story about this album, is that three days after it’s release Stevie Wonder was caught up in an horrific car crash where he took a blow to the head from a log.  As he lay unconscious in the hospital bed, it seemed that nothing could get through to him until a friend started singing to him

“The first time I didn’t get any response, but the next day I went back and I got right down in his ear and sang Higher Ground. His hand was resting on my arm and after awhile his fingers started going in time with the song. I said yeah! Yeeeeaaah! This dude is going to make it !” [Ira Tucker, from Stevie Wonder’s Biography steviewonder.org]

Everyone knows that Stevie Wonder is blind.  As a result of that accident he also permanently lost his sense of smell, and briefly taste.

Surely a man of tenacity and wonder.

“I’m so glad that he let me try it again
Cause my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin
I’m so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on tryin’
Till I reach my highest ground…Whew!”

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Twotes of the week

@BeauBodOr: Page 2 of Daily Mail: “We reported yesterday that we would launch a corrections column on page 2 of The Mail. This was incorrect.”

@dazpaine: Blackberry users won’t get this joke.

@TwopTwips: CONVINCE visitors you’ve won the Euromillions Lottery by putting your heating on. (via @b_wildered)

@jacques_aih: “Liam Fox’s best man organised 18 visits to foreign heads of state”. Dullest stag do EVER.

@wearebrighton: Gus Poyet, when asked what he would do with Carlos Tevez if he was Mancini: “I’d send him on loan to Brighton for the next 3 months”

@jacques_aih: At any time a sudden compulsion to sing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is only a whim away.

@theJeremyVine: Twenty years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Johnny Cash and Bob Hope. Now we have no jobs, no cash and no hope.

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