This greatest hits album collects Stevie Wonder's first hits from 1963 to 1967.
The only song that really standouts from when he was known as Little Stevie Wonder is the explosive live performance of "Fingertips" which went to number one. The other songs from that time like "Workout Stevie, Workout" try to capture that explosiveness, but don't manage to find it. As he got older and matured, so did his music and the songs started to show off his immense talents.
"Uptight" is a pure classic as is "I Was Made To Love Her". He also started to develop and show a social conscious side with the brilliant "A Place In The Sun" and he takes Bob Dylan's folk anthem "Blowin' In The Wind" and turns it into a call and response, gospel flavored number.
In a career spanning four decades Steveland Judkins Morris has been many things: child star, funk hero, political chronicler, the saviour of Motown Records and depressingly, the instigator of the painfully schmaltzy R&B ballad. Thankfully, this exhaustive "Best Of…", timed to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his first appearance as Little Stevie Wonder, focuses mainly on the 1966-1980 glory years and his transition from incendiary soul man to voice of the 70s. The jackhammer beats, shout-along choruses and wailing harmonica peg "Uptight", "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and "I Was Made To Love Her" as three of the finest anthems of the Motown era, and "My Cherie Amour" as one of its sweetest love songs. But it was when he turned his attention to grinding keyboard grooves and social concerns that Wonder really came into his own
Looking Back to Yesterday is a 1986 compilation album featuring tracks from Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5. As part of Motown's Never-Before-Released series, all songs were previously unreleased (except for "Love's Gone Bad", which was released in 1979 on the Motown compilation Boogie. "I Was Made To Love Her" also appeared on that album, but in an alternate take.) The album was re-released in August 1991 and re-titled Looking Back To Yesterday: A Young Michael.
The material on this disc ranges from the smoky melancholy of "Je vivrai sans toi" ("I Will Live Without You") to the hyperbolic camp of "Celui-là" ("The One") but mainly hovers in the realm of anguished longing. Jessye Norman uses the material to show off the extraordinary range and flexibility of her voice, and slips between a pure, almost boyish sound, and a full-throated luxurious warble with ease. But idiomatically she may not be to everyone's taste: for the most part this is the musical territory inhabited by the Billie Holidays of this world, and Norman's technique puts her at a disadvantage. Michel Legrand in his role as pianist is another matter, however. His carefully nuanced accompaniments flow with improvisatory ease, and inspire some great moments from the bass and drums.
New video from John Legend on his latest single "Made To Love". The song comes off the fourth album of the singer's "Love in the Future", the release of which will be held on September 3.