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Talking Book Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

56 customer reviews

Price: £5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Biography

Born in Saginaw, Michigan, Stevie Wonder moved to Detroit at an early age and has become one of that city's most famous sons. Blind from birth, Stevie has never allowed that to be an obstacle or handicap. His normal childhood activities of playing games and climbing trees with his friends were suddenly set on a different path when his amazing musical talents were spotted by Bonnie White ... Read more in Amazon's Stevie Wonder Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Talking Book + Innervisions + Songs In The Key Of Life
Price For All Three: £16.98

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 May 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Motown
  • ASIN: B00004S36A
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  DVD Audio  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,483 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)


Product Description

BBC Review

As the second of five consecutive albums which made up Stevie's classic period, Talking Book found Wonder at the top of his game, combining tight song writing with warm electronic arrangements and effervescent vocal performances.

Released in 1972 and sandwiched between the release of Music of My Mind and Innervisions, Talking Book saw the then 22 year-old Wonder enjoying more artistic freedom from Motown, taking over the production reins and playing most of the instruments himself. As a result, the sound of the album is sharply defined by Wonder's exquisite keyboard work, and his use of the Hohner clavinet model C on Superstition became widely regarded as one of the definitive tracks featuring the instrument.

Despite making the majority of Talking Book himself, the album also benefits from the talents of guest guitarists Jeff Beck, Buzzy Feton and Ray Parker, Jr who featured on Maybe Your Baby and Lookin' For Another Pure Love.

Wonder won three awards for Talking Book at the 1974 Grammys with You Are the Sunshine Of My Life winning Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and Superstition picking up both Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song. --David O'Donnell

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Andy Edwards VINE VOICE on 23 Sept. 2006
Format: Audio CD
"Talking Book" was a groundbreaking album, significant on several levels; at the time of it's release it was the first album ever to make such extensive use of new technology in the Moog synthesiser, it elevated Stevie Wonder to a new status with a wider audience as a result and, arguably, it also ushered in an era where Soul music was a dominant genre.

Taken as a whole, the album showcases SW at the peak of his creative powers, and although I feel "Inner Visions" is the more complete album this runs it very close - stand out tracks are, for me the less well known ones like "Maybe Your Baby" and "I Believe" each of which hints at the turmoil in his private life at the time.

If you are a music fan and interested in influential albums then you should have this album - for Soul fans your collection is not complete without it.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By "brad_stone" on 25 Jan. 2005
Format: Audio CD
As relevant and enjoyable today as it was in 1972, Stevie Wonder's 'Talking Book' is a soul classic. One part of the triplet of groundbreaking albums that were 'Talking Book', 'Innervisions' and Songs In The Key Of Life', this edition is an emotional ride as turbulent as Wonder's personal life at the time.
The album kicks off with the hit 'You Are The Sunshine Of My Life', an upbeat love song with an interesting, almost tribal, use of percussion. Next comes the funk, with 'Maybe Your Baby', with baselines looping and melting over each other in a way Steveie Wonder does so well.
The album continues on its journey from chilled out track to track, until an explosion of funk in 'Superstition'. This is probably one of the best tracks the man ever wrote, and is an essential part of understanding his music, the sheer cool that seeps from the speakers almost makes them dance along with you.
The ethnic, earthly influences showing Wonders more spiritual side come across in the upbeat 'Big Brother', before you are taken to emotional depths with the painfully beautiful 'Blame It On The Sun', a heartbroken musical monologue which captures some of his most effective songwriting.
It is hard to fault this album at all, this is a real musical treat, a self assured work of genius from one of the most talented soul performers of all time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. Flint on 18 Jun. 2008
Format: Audio CD
After the superb Music Of My Mind, Stevie kicks things into high gear here with Talking Book. This is one of those albums where an artist is at the top of their game and every song is great. If I was gonna skip one it would maybe be track 2 which does go on longer than it needs to, but who can argue with the quality of songs such as 'You Are The Sunshine Of My Life' , 'You And I', 'Big Brother', 'Tuesday Heartbreak', 'I Believe When I Fall In Love' and of course the mighty 'Superstition'. On this album Stevie shows he can produce beautiful ballads, great funk numbers and biting social commentary. If you get this album you'll have one of the greatest rnb/funk records ever recorded. Not bad for 3 or 4 quid!. Make sure you get the 2000 remaster, better sound quality. Get it and enjoy!.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Greg Farefield-Rose on 30 Aug. 2014
Format: Audio CD
Given complete artistic freedom from the shackles of the Motown production line as well as an array of Arp and Moog synthesisers, the 21 year old Stevie Wonder wasted little time in creating Talking Book. It is still arguably his best album.

On Talking Book, Stevie played most of the instruments ranging from synths to drums and, quite incredibly, what sounds like acoustic guitar on the album's most overtly political track Big Brother. The remainder of the LP focuses more on the loss and gain of love, probably influenced by his separation from Syreeta Wright who somewhat ironically contributed some of the words.

Sides One and Two of the album begin with the most famous songs from the LP. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life stays just the right side of the middle of the road whilst Superstition carries the funk. There is also however much to be gained from the rest of the album with the sublimely arranged Blame It On The Sun possibly Stevie's greatest ever lost-love song. I can remember Evan Dando of the Lemmonheads raving about it in the early 90s - possibly not the most sober musical analyst but he was right! Further highlights include Looking For Another Pure Love which is augmented by some beautifully fluid guitar-work by Jeff Beck and the 70s jazz-funk of Tuesday Heartbreak featuring an equally excellent guest turn by Dave Sanborne on saxophone.

With all but the two most famous songs absent from most Wonder compilations, Talking Book is an essential Stevie purchase. It is very highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barry Deeprose on 8 Sept. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Didn't know anything about early Stevie Wonder so was very surprised to discover his classic period after only hearing stuff from the 80's which I thought was cheesy and boring.Couldn't work out what all the fuss was about, him being a legend etc, then a friend introduced me to Talking Book, all of a sudden I could see his genius, what an inspirational collection of songs, happy, sad, emotional, uplifting, with interesting arrangements quirky synthesiser sounds, great musianship and singing and a loose jazzy vibe.I can now see what an influence he has been and why he has legend status.I have listened to all classic 5 albums and think they are all interesting but consider Talking Book to be his best.
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