Fri. Jul. 20, 2018

Stevie Wonder – Love’s In Need Of Love Today

This Beat Is Mine! (*) Stevie Wonder – Love’s In Need Of Love Today (Gordy)

The tragic events which have occurred last Friday in Paris have brought me back to the souvenir of a reality which has been ours 10 years before in Madrid Atocha. And, in the meantime the vibrant and evergreen ‘Love’s In Need Of Love Today’.
So much violence, so many deads and wounded people around, so much sadness, and still the same question: why???

We are Paris, Sharm el-Sheikh, Istanbul, London, and so many other places around which have been affected by terrorism. But we are first and foremost the world, the definition of which is certainly not dictatorship, enslavement, obscurantism, darkness and hate. But freedom, equality, light and love! ‘Love’s In Need of Love Today’!
With my deepest thoughts to the victims of that ongoing curse and their families…

This Beat Is MineThis Beat Is Mine (*)
Once in a week (on Wednesdays), we leave you at the command of IDMW
For this to happen, nothing’s more easy… What you’ve just got to do is drop us a line while using our contact form and let us know about your favorite piece of music (*), along with a review explaining what it suggests you and why people should dig it. And the best of it will be given a publication with your credit the week after.

With warm thanks to Madrid-based correspondent, Pablo Oraya, for this week’s suggestion…

Gladly welcoming yours to be published next Wednesday. On your marks!

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Overview
Quite a child prodigy, Stevie Wonder had mastered harmonica, keyboards and drums by the age of 10. He would sign to Motown the year after with the help of a neighbour – Johnnie Glover – whose cousin was Ronnie White of The Miracles.

1962 saw the release of ‘I Call It Pretty Music’ which marked his debut as Little Stevie Wonder, with a certain Marvin Gaye on drums. International recognition would come 4 years later though with ‘Uptight’. A cut which he co-wrote with singer / songwriter and producer Sylvia Rose Moy. Another standout track from their collab being ‘My Cherie Amour’ from the 1969 album of the likes…

By 1971, Wonder signed a new deal with Motown. Thus allowing him to have more artistic freedom on his recordings. He soon after released ‘Where I’m coming From’ which established him on the Rock scene. And also led him to be the opening act for The Rolling Stones tour with Bohannon and Ray Parker, Jr. among his back up musicians.

It’s most likely during this period that Wonder started to become fascinated by the Moog synthesizer. Something one could firmly feel on the memorable ‘Superstition’ or ‘Living For The City’ for instance. The albums ‘Talking Book’ (1972), ‘Innervisions’ (1973) and ‘Songs In The Key Of Life’ (his biggest success ever) standing as absolute manifestos. Meanwhile spanning classics such as ‘You Are The Sunshine Of My Life’ and ‘Superstition’. But also ‘Higher Ground’, ‘Living For The City’ and ‘Don’t You Worry About A Thing’. Not to mention ‘Love’s In Need Of Love Today’, ‘I Wish’. These in addition to ‘Pastime Paradise’, ‘Joy Inside My Tears’, ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ and ‘Another Star’ to name some more.

Wonder opened the 80’s in the same vein with ‘Hotter Than July’. An album which contributed to add extra classics to an already impressive collection. From ‘All I Do’ to ‘I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It’. But also ‘Master Blaster’. Not to mention ‘Happy Birthday’, a campaign song for Dr Martin Luther King‘s birthday (Jan. 15) into an American national holiday.

Extra hits would follow on his double album, ‘Original Musiquarium’ in 1982. An effort that saw him sharing the bill with Jazz trumpeter Dizzie Gillespie, on ‘Do I Do’. The following years bringin’ ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’ and ‘Don’t Drive Drunk’ from the ‘Women In Red’ album. Not to mention ‘Part Time Lover’ (from ‘In Square Circle’ in 1985).
Other cuts of his worth the listen including ‘Make Sure You’re Sure’ from the ‘Jungle Fever’ OST and its title track. Then ‘What The Fuss’ from ‘A Time 2 Love’, his last studio album released back in 2005.

As writer or producer, Wonder has been working with countless artists from Whitney Houston, to Dionne Warwick. But also Jermaine Jackson, Third World and Gary Byrd among others.

He’s also been duetting with Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. And jamming also along with The Trammps (‘Soul Bones’) with his harmonica. Then Chaka Khan (‘I Feel For You’) and Eurythmics.

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