Stevie Wonder - Photo: David Warner Ellis/Redferns/Getty Images
Today we rejoice in the music of one of the true greats, with a playlist selection of career highlightsfrom the hundreds of amazing achievements by Stevie Wonder.
Born Stevland Morris on May 13, 1950, the former 12-year-old genius remains a beacon of positive creativity, as he has reminded awestruck live audiences across North America in recent years. He still plays with the spirit that took him to No.1 for the first time in 1963 on our dynamic first selection “Fingertips.”
Stevie’s next major crossover hit didn’t come until 1966 with the unstoppable “Uptight (Everything’s Alright),” after which our playlist features some underrated entries from 1967. The Top 10 soul hit “Hey Love” was an early example of his increasing vocal prowess. His own version of “Until You Come Back To Me,” later immortalised by Aretha Franklin, wasn’t even released until years afterwards, but it’s another gem. The same year brought a further R&B No.1 in “I Was Made To Love Her.”
From 1969, “I Don’t Know Why” is a great transitional piece as Wonder’s prodigious talents developed even further. The Signed Sealed Delivered album saw him expanding his social conscience on “Heaven Help Us All” and delivering one of the most brilliant of Beatles covers with “We Can Work It Out.”
The pivotal Where I’m Coming From, which in many waysmarks the arrival of the fully-formed Stevie Wonder, included message songs such as “Look Around” and gorgeous ballads like “Never Dreamed You’d Leave In Summer.” Then we move into his peerless series of 1970s album masterpieces and some of their trademark hits. Little more need be said, other than that precious few artists in any genre have ever delivered such a sequence of indelible work.
Later pearls have included the superb 1982 R&B No.1 “That Girl,” one of the four new songs on his Original Musiquarium compilation. The elegant “Moon Blue” comes from his most recent studio album, 2005’s A Time To Love. Stevie released three new studio tracks in 2020 and continues to tantalize us with the promise of a new long player. Meanwhile, these all-time landmarks are plenty to be going on with.