Friday, September 23, 2005

The Wonder Years

Man, I am absolutely obsessing over Stevie Wonder. I'm not talking about the 80's Stevie-- the cheesy Ebony-and-Ivory, I-Just-Called-to-Say-Love-You, make-you-throw up-in-your-mouth-a-little Stevie. I'm talking about the stone-cold Superfunk Master Stevie from the 1970s. The Innervisions, Talking Book, Songs in the Key of Life Stevie, the one-man band who ruled the Funk, Pop and R&B landscapes simultaneously. No one could plug into the Primal Groove like Stevie in his prime. I've been playing the shit out of Stevie recently, and I'm finding shades and emotion and connection in his music like I never have. I've always been a marginal fan; I can't hear "Signed Sealed Delivered" without bursting into a chaotic flurry of white-man dance fever. But I'm grooving to his stuff in an entirely new way. I don't know if it's a lifestage thing or what the fuck is going on, but I love his stuff so much that I get verklempt just thinking about it.

Even back in the day, Stevie could sometimes overdo it. All of the classic albums have at least one cut on them that makes you cringe. But when Stevie erred, he erred by aiming too high. And when he channels the groove in "Sir Duke" or "HIgher Ground" or "Superstition," man, he will knock you on your ass.

You whippersnappers who are too young to have ever actually placed a record on a turntable will have no idea what I'm talking about. Your only connection to Stevie is that Pat Boone funk served up by wankers like Maroon 5. Do yourself a favor and connect with this shit immediately. I know I sound like a WWII-generation old coot arguing that none of this rock 'n roll hooey can touch Glenn Miller or Sinatra. But honestly, no popular music being made today can touch Stevie. You young cats are living through the musical Dark Ages.

If you want to experience the joy that is Stevie, put on the headphones and stream some of this shit:

Songs in the Key of Life
Talking Book

Mr. Fabulous says it'll blow your mind.


At 9:37 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

"If you really wanna hear my views, you haven't done nuthin'... Jackson 5 sing along with me now!"

I still have Fulfillingness and Talking Book (bought around '74, '75) on vinyl. Yes, I am an old geezer.

At 4:28 PM, Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

LOL, if you knew some of the vinyl I have in my collection, you'd laugh your ass off. I do still sometimes enjoy the tactile sensation of placing a needle on a record, I must say.


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