Stevie Wonder – Talking Book

Stevie Wonder – Talking Book

AMG review:  After releasing two “head” records during 1970-71, Stevie Wonder expanded his compositional palate with 1972’s Stevie Wonder – Talking Book to include societal ills as well as tender love songs, and so recorded the first smash album of his career. What had been hinted at on the intriguing project Music of My Mind was here focused into a laser beam of tight songwriting, warm electronic arrangements, and ebullient performances — altogether the most realistic vision of musical personality ever put to wax, beginning with a disarmingly simple love song, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” (but of course, it’s only the composition that’s simple). Stevie’s not always singing a tender ballad here — in fact, he flits from contentment to mistrust to promise to heartbreak within the course of the first four songs — but he never fails to render each song in the most vivid colors. In stark contrast to his early songs, which were clever but often relied on the Motown template of romantic metaphor, with Stevie Wonder – Talking Book it became clear Stevie Wonder was beginning to speak his mind and use personal history for material (just as Marvin Gaye had with the social protest of 1971’s What’s Going On). The lyrics became less convoluted, while the emotional power gained in intensity. “You and I” and the glorious closer “I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)” subtly illustrate that the conception of love can be stronger than the reality, while “Tuesday Heartbreak” speaks simply but powerfully: “I wanna be with you when the nighttime comes / I wanna be with you till the daytime comes.” Ironically, the biggest hit from Talking Book wasn’t a love song at all; the funk landmark “Superstition” urges empowerment instead of hopelessness, set to a grooving beat that made it one of the biggest hits of his career. It’s followed by “Big Brother,” the first of his directly critical songs, excoriating politicians who posture to the underclass in order to gain the only thing they really need: votes. …. –by John Bush


Stevie Wonder – Talking Book Tracklist

  1.  You are the Sunshine of My Life 2:51
  2.  Maybe Your Baby 6:51
  3.  You and I 4:38
  4.  Tuesday Heartbreak 3:02
  5.  You’ve Got It Bad Girl 4:57
  6.  Superstition 4:26
  7.  Big Brother 3:34
  8.  Blame It on the Sun 3:26
  9.  Lookin’ for Another Pure Love 4:44
  10.  I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be for Ever) 4:52

Stevie Wonder - Talking Book

Licence YouTube standard

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