RnB / Jazz Related Soundtracks • United States
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Stevie Wonder was born Steveland Hardaway Judkins (later taking the name of Steveland Morris when his mother married) in Saginaw, Michigan on May 13, 1950. Born premature, baby Steveland was placed in an incubator for oxygen treatment. Sadly, he received too much oxygen, causing him to suffer from premature blindness. Though his family didn't know it then, it was actually his loss of sight that later provided Wonder with a heightened awareness of sounds, evident in his vibrant, colorful music. Even as a child, Wonder was never deterred by his handicap, beginning to learn the piano at the age of seven and mastering both the drums and the harmonica by the age of nine. In 1954, Wonder's family moved to Detroit where Steveland joined his church's choir. The already musically inclined child absorbed this gospel influence and increased even further his musical interest.

While performing for some friends in 1961, Wonder
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STEVIE WONDER albums / top albums

STEVIE WONDER The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie
RnB 1962
STEVIE WONDER Tribute to Uncle Ray album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tribute to Uncle Ray
RnB 1962
STEVIE WONDER With a Song in My Heart album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
With a Song in My Heart
RnB 1963
STEVIE WONDER Stevie at the Beach (aka  Hey, Harmonica Man) album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Stevie at the Beach (aka Hey, Harmonica Man)
RnB 1964
STEVIE WONDER Down to Earth album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Down to Earth
RnB 1966
STEVIE WONDER Up-Tight (aka Blowin' In The Wind) album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Up-Tight (aka Blowin' In The Wind)
RnB 1966
STEVIE WONDER A Place In The Sun album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Place In The Sun
RnB 1966
STEVIE WONDER Someday at Christmas album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Someday at Christmas
RnB 1967
STEVIE WONDER I Was Made to Love Her album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
I Was Made to Love Her
RnB 1967
STEVIE WONDER For Once in My Life album cover 3.54 | 4 ratings
For Once in My Life
RnB 1968
STEVIE WONDER Eivets Rednow album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Eivets Rednow
RnB 1968
STEVIE WONDER My Cherie Amour album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
My Cherie Amour
RnB 1969
STEVIE WONDER Signed, Sealed & Delivered album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Signed, Sealed & Delivered
RnB 1970
STEVIE WONDER Where I'm Coming From album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Where I'm Coming From
RnB 1971
STEVIE WONDER Music of My Mind album cover 4.00 | 8 ratings
Music of My Mind
RnB 1972
STEVIE WONDER Talking Book album cover 4.32 | 12 ratings
Talking Book
RnB 1972
STEVIE WONDER Innervisions album cover 4.60 | 18 ratings
RnB 1973
STEVIE WONDER Fulfillingness' First Finale album cover 4.46 | 10 ratings
Fulfillingness' First Finale
RnB 1974
STEVIE WONDER Songs in the Key of Life album cover 4.80 | 13 ratings
Songs in the Key of Life
RnB 1976
STEVIE WONDER Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants album cover 3.05 | 2 ratings
Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants
RnB 1979
STEVIE WONDER Hotter Than July album cover 3.39 | 4 ratings
Hotter Than July
RnB 1980
STEVIE WONDER Stevie Wonder's Original Musiquarium 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Stevie Wonder's Original Musiquarium 1
RnB 1982
STEVIE WONDER In Square Circle album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Square Circle
RnB 1985
STEVIE WONDER Characters album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
RnB 1987
STEVIE WONDER Fingertips album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
RnB 1989
STEVIE WONDER Jungle Fever: Music From the Movie album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jungle Fever: Music From the Movie
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1991
STEVIE WONDER Conversation Peace album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Conversation Peace
RnB 1995
STEVIE WONDER A Time to Love album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
A Time to Love
RnB 2005


STEVIE WONDER live albums

STEVIE WONDER 12 Year Old Genius album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
12 Year Old Genius
RnB 1963
STEVIE WONDER Stevie Wonder / Martha Reeves And The Vandellas : Tamla-Motown Festival Tokyo '68 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Stevie Wonder / Martha Reeves And The Vandellas : Tamla-Motown Festival Tokyo '68
RnB 1968
STEVIE WONDER 'Live' At The Talk Of The Town album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
'Live' At The Talk Of The Town
RnB 1970
STEVIE WONDER Stevie Wonder Live (aka Live In Person On Tour In U.S.A. aka Live In America) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Stevie Wonder Live (aka Live In Person On Tour In U.S.A. aka Live In America)
RnB 1970
STEVIE WONDER Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
RnB 1995

STEVIE WONDER demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

STEVIE WONDER re-issues & compilations

STEVIE WONDER Greatest Hits album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits
RnB 1968
STEVIE WONDER Greatest Hits, Volume 2 album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Greatest Hits, Volume 2
RnB 1971
STEVIE WONDER Wonderland: 1963-1974 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Wonderland: 1963-1974
RnB 1974
STEVIE WONDER Original Musiquarium I album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Original Musiquarium I
RnB 1982
STEVIE WONDER Love Songs album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Love Songs
RnB 1985
STEVIE WONDER Down to Earth / I Was Made to Love Her album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Down to Earth / I Was Made to Love Her
RnB 1986
STEVIE WONDER Love Songs: 20 Classic Hits album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Love Songs: 20 Classic Hits
RnB 1986
STEVIE WONDER Essential Stevie Wonder album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Essential Stevie Wonder
RnB 1987
STEVIE WONDER Natural Wonder album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Natural Wonder
RnB 1995
STEVIE WONDER Song Review: A Greatest Hits Collection album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Song Review: A Greatest Hits Collection
RnB 1996
STEVIE WONDER At the Close of a Century album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
At the Close of a Century
RnB 1999
STEVIE WONDER Ballad Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ballad Collection
RnB 1999
STEVIE WONDER Millennium Edition album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Millennium Edition
RnB 2000
STEVIE WONDER The Definitive Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Definitive Collection
RnB 2002
STEVIE WONDER 20th Century Masters: The Christmas Collection: The Best of Stevie Wonder album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
20th Century Masters: The Christmas Collection: The Best of Stevie Wonder
RnB 2004
STEVIE WONDER 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Stevie Wonder album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Stevie Wonder
RnB 2005
STEVIE WONDER Number Ones album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Number Ones
RnB 2007

STEVIE WONDER singles (0)

STEVIE WONDER movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)


STEVIE WONDER Innervisions

Album · 1973 · RnB
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Stevie Wonder was on a roll in the 70s, knocking out one great album after another that placed at the top of the game in RnB, pop and singer/songwriter productions. With so many good albums to choose from, picking the best would be hard, but you couldn’t be too far off if your choice was 1973’s “Innervisions”. Here we have a near perfect Wonder album, with each song being a polished gem that bears the obvious fruits of endless care and toil. When you listen to all the ornate instrumental details, you can hear the immense amount of labor that went into this project, but just let the songs sing and you will be immersed in emotional narratives that cover the spectrum from mournful to celebratory.

“Innervisions” is an eclectic album that ranges from the hard funk of “Living for the City”, to the art balladry of “Visions” and “All in Love is Fair”, to the jazzy abstractions of “Too High”. The music is inventive and became very influential over the years, but likewise, the lyrics are heartfelt and can hit hard in their insights and unflinching truth as Stevie address personal turmoil in relationships, as well as the irrational hatred and fear of his fellow man. Wonder performs almost every instrument on here himself, with some limited help from guests on a few tracks, but the result does not sound stifled as some home recording projects can sound, instead, Stevie by himself sounds like one hell of a hot jam session, no easy task.

STEVIE WONDER Innervisions

Album · 1973 · RnB
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A brilliant soul tour de force from Stevie Wonder and a more than able followup to Talking Book. The full-length album version of Living For the City is of course a particular highlight, and far superior to the radio edits which mildly lose the song's overall narrative, whilst He's Misstra Know-It-All is perhaps the prettiest and most gentle satirical savaging of middle class privilege ever recorded. The less famous tracks on the album also are generally of a high standard, with Stevie going so far as to take a little detour into funk territory on the lively Higher Ground. Overall it justifies its status as a Motown classic.

STEVIE WONDER Songs in the Key of Life

Album · 1976 · RnB
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By wowing the world with two masterpieces in a row, “Innervisions” and “Fulfillingness’ First Finale,” there were few humans on planet Earth in the mid 70s that wouldn’t acknowledge that Stevie Wonder couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate last name. As an aural artist he was literally without parallel. At that point we excused him for taking some well-deserved time off but nobody expected his next album to be over two years in the making because he’d always been so prolific and fast. Rumors about what was taking so long ran rampant at the time and it seemed the new LP would never materialize. Many of his fans feared it would be impossible for even a giant like Stevie Wonder to live up to the enormous hype generated by Motown so when it finally hit the record bins on September 28, 1976 most of us snatched it up, took it home and lowered needle to groove with just a touch of nervous trepidation. Within seconds we realized our worries had been phantoms. The master had done it again. He’d delivered 21 brand new songs (the majority of them instant classics) for us to marvel over and indulge in for decades to come. We simply could not have asked for anything more satisfying.

His decision to open this two-disc-plus-EP set with the subtle but poignant “Love’s in Need of Love Today” was a wise one for it contains everything his loyal followers had been yearning to hear, not least of all Stevie’s incredible voice, and he generously gave us 7 minutes of his unique magic to jump into. He follows with the sincere spirituality of “Have a Talk with God,” presented with an understated funk track augmented by springy synths. Knowing that millions were listening, he urges us to look to our Creator for answers to and help with problems. “Many of us feel we walk alone without a friend/never communicating with the One who lives within/forgetting all about the One who never ever lets you down/and you can talk to him anytime/He's always around,” he assures. Ever unpredictable, Wonder next drops on us “Village Ghetto Land,” a thoughtful piece supported by a string quartet that further displays his uncanny versatility. But all is not frilly peace & love. He reminds us that in the midst of prosperity there are “Families buying dog food now/starvation roams the streets/babies die before they're born/infected by the grief” and that we’re responsible for that dire situation. Suddenly he whisks us away to the land of jazz/rock fusion with the fiery instrumental, “Contusion.” It comes streaking out of nowhere to hit like a hard jab to the chin. To say it’s a pleasant surprise is putting it much too mildly. Guest Mike Sembello’s guitar work sizzles throughout this energy-filled tune.

From that wild ride he segues to the glory that is “Sir Duke” and the general response is something akin to “Holy cow! Is this guy a certified genius or what?” The number’s highly memorable signature horn line and lyrics like “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” make this perhaps the greatest tribute song ever written. On its heels comes “I Wish” with its irresistible funky groove and the unabashed playfulness in Stevie’s sublime vocal. Once again his clever horn arrangement slays. Then, reinforcing his status as one of the best balladeers of the 20th century, he offers up “Knocks Me Off My Feet,” a romantic gem with hardly a peer. He follows that with “Pastime Paradise,” its inspired orchestration layered over a hypnotic R&B feel. It’s only 4 chords but the tune’s captivating arrangement never allows for a dull moment to pass. “Proclamation of race relations/consolation/integration/verification of revelations/acclamation/world salvation/vibrations/simulation/confirmation to the peace of the world” he shouts emphatically. This was groundbreaking stuff. “Summer Soft” starts out tentatively but wastes no time in building into a dynamic, engaging song that modulates higher and higher as it goes along, allowing Wonder’s vocal range to flabbergast all pretenders of all ages. On “Ordinary Pain” an Al Green-styled rhythm suits this simple yet very effective R&B ditty to a tee. Just when you’ve settled in, though, it abruptly evolves into a heavy rockin’ jam where guest soul singer Shirley Brewer vamps with sass for a good three minutes.

“Isn’t She Lovely?” is a lighthearted father-doting-on-daughter love fest possessing an infectious bouncing beat and a harmonica performance that is absolutely stunning. The real-life audio snippets at the end are sweet icing on the cake. For those keeping count, that’s 11 exemplary cuts in a row so when I say that “Joy Inside My Tears” is the first tune to appear that’s only average I do so with humble respect. Its bluesy atmosphere is a nice change of pace, however, and it gives off a sort of Elton John meets Ray Charles vibe that’s far from off-putting. A funkified Latin feel propels “Black Man” like a bullet train and never lets up on the intensity. I love the spirited breakdown in the 2nd half and the enthusiastic school children yelling out various multiethnic contributions to mankind is a brilliant touch. "Ngiculela - Es Una Historia - I Am Singing" is next and you may remark, “A ballad in Spanish? Really?” To which I respond “Why not?” It’s a beautiful composition and the carnivale aura is way cool. “If It’s Magic” sports, of all things, a harp for accompaniment and it proves to not only be a knockout move on his part but more proof that Stevie recognizes no restrictions when it comes to creativity. The song is exquisite. “As” is a smooth, jazzy tune that keeps the album’s impressive momentum rolling along unimpeded. His passionate vocal strikes right at the heart when he belts out words like “We all know sometimes life’s hates and troubles/can make you wish you were born in another time and space/but you can bet your life times that and twice its double/that God knew exactly where he wanted you to be placed.” The Brazilian aura that feeds “Another Star” lightens the mood immediately and, while the composition is a slight step down, Wonder’s soaring voice elevates the track as hot percussion and Bobbi Humphrey’s flute spice things up properly.

For most normal songwriter/musicians those 17 tunes would be enough but Stevie saw fit to add another EP’s worth for good measure. An elegant, uplifting intro leads you into “Saturn,” a powerful ballad that contains a thought-provoking message. “Packing my bags/going away/to a place where the air is clean/on Saturn there's no sense to sit and watch the people die/we don't fight our wars the way you do/we put back all the things we use/on Saturn there's no sense to keep on doing such crimes, “ he sings. It’s unusual for Wonder to go nostalgic but when he employs that tactic on “Ebony Eyes” he makes it fresh and entertaining. It’s the kind of thing that the Beatles were so clever at pulling off and he’s up to the task. “All Day Sucker” is an eclectic little song that keeps you guessing what he’ll do next and, while perhaps it’s nothing more than Stevie having some fun in the studio, it’s charming all the same. A lazy jazz melody lets "Easy Goin' Evening (My Mama's Call)" drift by serenely without effort and this coy instrumental is the perfect way to close such a spectacular achievement. Voila!

I heard that 130 different folks contributed to this project and it just goes to show how meticulous and determined Wonder was to make a reality the music he heard in his head and heart for “Songs in the Key of Life.” It was a phenomenal success. It was only the third album in history to debut at #1 and it held that position for 14 weeks. It spent 35 weeks hovering in the top 10 and a total of 80 before it finally slipped from the charts. It garnered the Grammy for album of the year (his 3rd) and was awarded three more in other categories. If not for Steely Dan’s awesome “Aja” I’d deem it the finest specimen of 70s music in existence but being a close runner up to that monumental LP is far from a disgrace. I’m just happy I lived in an era when stellar music like this could suddenly arrive to change my whole outlook on life. This is what a bonafide masterpiece sounds, smells, tastes, looks and feels like.


Album · 1972 · RnB
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While most of us fledgling musicians were still in the process of being intrigued and captivated by what Stevie Wonder had done all by himself on “Music of My Mind” he’d been busy. Real busy. Seven months and twenty five days later he blows us away by releasing yet another astonishing piece of work called “Talking Book.” In the time it takes most artists to get a few basic demos recorded Stevie had completed 10 brand new songs that made everyone stand back in slack-jawed awe. And it wasn’t just as good as its predecessor, it was better. It was starting to dawn on the world at large that Mr. Wonder wasn’t going to stay “Little” any longer and that the planet had a major talent in their midst who was going to have a huge impact on the direction music was to take for the rest of the decade. To paraphrase former NFL coach Bum Phillips, Stevie put a big dent in the door with “Music of My Mind” but he knocked the damned thing down with “Talking Book.”

It certainly didn’t hurt to start the album with one of his greatest compositions ever, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life.” This is one of those songs that will endure forever and it instantly became “our song” for thousands of couples who fell in love in that era (including me and my leading lady at the time). It portrayed Wonder as a constantly growing, self-assured artist and that confidence shines through brightly, thoroughly convincing us that any tentativeness we might’ve heard on the LP that came before this one was only temporary. Stevie was able to recreate the sound of an intimate quartet with only the help of Scott Edwards on bass and some congas to accompany him. “Maybe Your Baby” is next. Its slow, growling funk feel crawls beneath this delightful, engaging track relentlessly and Wonder seems to be reveling in his unfettered freedom to do as he pleases. Nothing complicated about it, just seven minutes of good, clean fun. “You and I” follows and it’s a romantic love song wherein his voice and acoustic piano are constantly surrounded by swirling, intertwining synthesizers, further proving that this still-new instrument in the hands of a professional wasn’t just a novelty. Dave Sanborn tosses in some tasteful alto sax but the highlight of this tune is the incredible purity of Stevie’s voice. It defies description.

“Tuesday Heartbreak” is jazzy R&B bejeweled with wah-wah clavinet that not only gives it charisma but clearly distinguishes it from the other songs. No one, and I mean no one, sounded anything like this in the early 70s. “You’ve Got it Bad Girl” has a smooth Motown groove bathed in an aura of relaxing jazz inflections that allows it to glide like a sailboat on a sea of glass. Wonder’s underrated drumming coyly plays around the beat at times yet he never loses the essential focus. And then there’s “Superstition.” This song indiscriminately perked up everyone’s ears when it came oozing out of both the AM and FM radio bands. It was not to be denied. For the uninitiated this was a wake up call to the fact that this R&B virtuoso could ROCK with the best of ‘em. His arresting, incessantly rhythmic clavinet never lets up for a moment and the punchy horns add hot punctuation marks and energy. Talk about kicking down doors!

Borrowing from Monty Python, “and now for something completely different” is in order for the next number, “Big Brother.” A subtle blend of guitar, percussion, synthesizer and harmonica make for a great change of pace at this juncture as he firmly clarifies once again that he knows no boundaries in his creativity and no genre is off limits to him. The tune’s biting political observations are as relevant today as they were then. “Your name is big brother/you say that you got me all in your notebook/writing it down everyday/your name is I'll see ya/I'll change if you vote me in as the prez/the President of your soul/I live in the ghetto/you just come to visit me 'round election time,” he sings. “Blame it on the Sun” follows and it’s a gorgeous heartbreak ballad that serves as a demonstration of Stevie’s ever-maturing composing skills. The arrangement of the background chorale is superb and the words are fluently poetic. “Where is my spirit?/I'm nowhere near it/oh yes, my love has gone astray/but I'll blame it on the sun/the sun that didn't shine/I'll blame it on the wind and the trees/I'll blame it on the time that never was enough/I'll blame it on the tide and the sea/but my heart blames it on me,” he cries.

“Looking for Another Pure Love” is next, a silky jazz-coated tune that’s slightly hypnotic. Jeff Beck provides a cool guitar solo that fits the mood perfectly but, again, it’s Wonder’s one-of-a-kind voice that elevates and transforms the track, drawing it out of the realm of the ordinary. He closes the disc with the impressive “I Believe.” After a dreamy intro Stevie leads the listener to a strong, catchy hook line but don’t let that discourage you into thinking this is blatantly commercial pop material. It’s way too eclectic to be burdened with that dubious label. What it is is just one fine song from any angle you choose to hear it from and the funky detour at the end is a nice surprise. One line in particular really captures how so many of us felt about Mr. Wonder at that point, “I'm so glad that I found someone to believe in again.” After losing Hendrix, Joplin and Morrison (along with the sad breakup of the Beatles), Stevie restored our faith that music would not only recover but continue to expand and challenge us for years to come.

If this gifted artist had stopped right here this would be his unquestioned shining gem of an album that any musician would die to have in his or her catalogue of work but, in retrospect, Stevie Wonder was just getting warmed up. His next three projects were relatively immaculate epiphanies of modern music that were so spectacular as to be able to overshadow the importance of what he did for us all with “Talking Book” and that’s nothing short of amazing. It just goes to show how a genius can alter the course of musical history just by being stubbornly true to himself and his art. And what this LP did as far as further melding jazz influences into popular culture is beyond measure. John Q. Public, humming merrily to “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” never knew what hit him.

STEVIE WONDER Fulfillingness' First Finale

Album · 1974 · RnB
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
“Fulfillingness’ First Finale” is one of the finest albums by one of the finest pop artist/writers in the modern (post rock-n-roll) era. No creative stone is left unturned in the production of these tunes, and each one stands alone as its own unique fine polished gem. From a songwriting perspective, you would be hard pressed to find an album with more inventive chord changes and harmonic surprises at every turnaround. Stevie was already a master of the creative chord substitution before he put together “Finale”, but on here he pushes himself to new heights and unveils chord voicings that will have a major impact on pop, jazz and fusion for decades to come. All is not music theory though as Wonder matches these creative changes with lyrics that are often reflective and longing for a love that is always just out of reach and slipping away.

The other plus on here is the production. Following in the footsteps of folks like Brian Wilson and Jimmy Hendrix who pioneered the idea of a studio as a musical instrument, Wonder uses a wide variety of instruments and techniques to give every song its own unique color. Of particular interest is Wonder’s use of early analog synthesizers, which in the early 70s were still difficult to use in conventional tonal ensembles. Throughout this album you can hear these primitive electronic beasts adding background parts, counter melodies and tonal shadings giving the album an almost kitsch-like exoticism.

One of the best albums from a decade full of great albums, songwriting dos not get much better than this and it doesn’t hurt that Stevie also has one of the more likable singing voices of his time as well.

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