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Stevie Wonder Ends ’73 In Style

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Stevie Wonder ended the calendar year of 1973 as he’d begun it: on top of the US R&B singles chart. In January, ‘Superstition’ spent three weeks at the top, then ‘Higher Ground’ served a week in September. On the final Billboard chart of the year, for December 29, he closed out 1973 in style, as ‘Living For The City’ reached No. 1.

Those two last-named Motown singles helped to make Innervisions another landmark Stevie Wonder album. While ‘Higher Ground’ had a spiritual theme, ‘Living For The City’ was a gritty street tale that spoke of the urban reality for many downtrodden black people of the day, who saw Stevie as a spokesman for their generation just as they did his labelmate Marvin Gaye.

Living For The City sheet music

Every instrument you hear on the track was played by Stevie himself, brilliantly abetted by the studio wizardry of Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff. British jazz man Cecil – often undervalued in his own country for his key role in Wonder’s superb sequence of 1970s albums – joined forces with New Yorker Margouleff to work with Stevie, from 1972’s ‘Music Of My Mind’ album onwards. They proved to be the perfect foil for his inarguable genius, in the sequence of groundbreaking albums that also included Talking Book, Innervisions itself and Fulfillingness First Finale.

The story of a poor black boy from “hardtime Mississippi” – who goes to New York and experiences racism, pollution, corruption and imprisonment – rang all too true. The song reached the top in its eighth week on the R&B chart, and it was a pop No. 8 and a top 20 single in both the UK and Germany.

Stevie Wonder’s Innversions is available on vinyl or through from Google Play or iTunes, or buy it on Amazon. Explore our dedicated Stevie Wonder Artist Page

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Susan

    April 14, 2015 at 1:01 am

    Awesome show in Nashville last week! We loved everything about it! So touching to sing to (and see!) your daughter!

  2. Shannon Martin

    April 14, 2015 at 1:45 am

    Track No. 9 “He’s Misstra-Know-It-All” was left off the list and it’s one of my favorite Wonder songs about, erudite, con-artist, know-it-all, who will steal and lie “who know’s his lie is a mile.” A would love to know the back story. And BTW, Love is in Need of Love Today taught me how to speak, because I was I was only three the melody is mid-tempo and the lyrics are so clear. Three years old don’t say: “We all must take precautionary measures.” Hahahaha!!

  3. Marilyn Ruben

    April 14, 2015 at 11:53 am

    What about his other songs? Didn’t “Part Time Lover” make the list? Or “Ribbons in the Sky?” ‘Or ” I Just Called to Say I Love You!” Those were my favorites, and they are on my CD of his Best Songs! Your list is NOT the only list!

  4. Angela Thomas-Braxton

    April 14, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    In my opinion “AS” is at the top of my list…. It telss us how we evolve around the universe and it reminds us how we have no control over our destiny because our life experiences are moving us in the directions that we are meant to go. It tells how our fate is formed through our Karma, our social climates and through our environment….So as Stevie cited….”So make sure when you say you’re in it but not of it, your’re not helping to make this a place sometimes called Hell.” I love you Stevie and I love all the songs in the key of life.. I hope it is my destiny to see you in concert one day….
    God bless you and your family too.
    Sincerely
    Ms.Braxton

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