Monday, July 02, 2007

When you believe in things you don't understand

He's blind. He's won about 80 thousand Grammies and other awards. Plus...He's... BLIND! I dunno I can hardly get from point A-B without bumping into a few things and I'm only slightly short sighted (err, is that the one where you can't see long distances?). Anyway, here's this guy conquering the musical world and he can't even see the notes! Makes me feel a BIT of an underachiever but what else is new?

I think I spent most of my life hating Stevie Wonder. I Just Called to Say I Love You was a big joke in the playground at school and then later on Stevie himself became a butt for all the blind jokes going around. When I was a teen I was more interested in harder edged stuff than Stevie and when I got to uni I was slightly appreciative of his early work but didn't really care much beyond what I'd catch on the radio.

I can't even remember how it turned out that I gave him a chance but it's only happened in the last few years. He's classic: That's all I can say. Most of all I love the 1970s funky stuff (big fan of funk) but also the Motown connection is a huge one for me since I love the Motown records sound too. How could I not notice him before? In my early days I only knew him for that soppy sound he was so famous for in the 80s and never bothered to search below the surface. The motto is, and is true for all facets of life I'm sure - things are not always as they seem and Don't judge a book by it's cover etc. A golden rule for life discovery and maybe discovery in music too.

I have quite a few favourite Stevie songs - Uptight, Signed Sealed Delivered, Superstition, I Wish, Part Time Lover, Master Blaster, For Once in My Life, Higher Ground and also a few NON-favourites like You are the Sunshine of my Life, Ebony and Ivory - Lord what was he thinking!

The three songs I've chosen *always* put a smile on my face though.

1) Superstition - Stevie Wonder

Which has probably the BEST ever base line in a song (I think I've said this before..heh) and a horn section you can almost sing! Amazing, amazing, amazing! Overplayed, yes, but there's a reason for that: It's awesome.

Master Blaster (Jammin') - Stevie Wonder

I'm not a reggae fan. I do not think that Bob Marley is the best thing that ever happened to dread locks. My friend went out with a Reggae DJ (and nut) for many years and even though I respected him I couldn't get into it. Despite this I absolutely LOVE this song. It's a great tribute and a beautiful, soulful and funky song.

Higher Ground - Red Hot Chili Peppers

This song is a masterpiece but it's actually the RHCP version that I love more than Stevie's. The Chilies did everything right to this song. They gave it a harder edge, they sped it up, made it danceable and they added some much needed intensity. Love the lyrics.

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