It is easy to be confused by Stevie Wonder compilations. In the nineties, a double CD was released in America titled Song review, while a single CD was released in Britain with the same title and artwork. More recently, a single CD was released in America titled Definitive collection, so (conversely) a double CD was released in Britain with the same title and artwork. This British double CD is much better than the earlier American double CD titled Song review, which had fewer tracks and missed out some important songs. Indeed, this is the best compilation of Stevie's music that I've seen. Even on two CD's, it is not possible to include every Stevie Wonder recording worth hearing, but all the big hits in Britain and America are here.
You probably have your own favorites. I particularly like You are the sunshine of my life, For once in my life, Yester-me yester-you yesterday, Living for the city, I just called to say I love you, Sir Duke, A place in the sun, Lately and Happy birthday. Other classics (also excellent) include Superstition, I wish, Isn't she lovely, Ebony and ivory (with Paul McCartney), Never had a dream come true, Uptight and so many others.
If you only want one collection of Stevie Wonder music, this is by far the best. If you want to build a collection of his music, this is a great starting point.
on 1 November 2008
This is probably the best compilation album of Stevie's work and that's great but I urge you all to use this as a taster of his work, there is lots of it and if you buy anything before 1980 you will love it if you like this. Unfortunately he's done nothing of real note after the 1970's and that was where his key work was done. The trilogy of talking book, innvervisions and Songs in the key of life are treasures to be explored in their won right and you should all do so, personally although songs in the key of life is seen as his masterpiece it was a double album brain dump of everything he was working on and contains material that is weaker than the shorter talking book and innvervisions, with Innvervisions representing his finest (non compilation) album in my opinion, with perhaps Living for the City my favourite song of Stevie's.
So to conclude a brilliant compliation of the highlights of a genious career which will ease you into the back catalogue and allow you to uncover the gems that lie therein for yourselves.
on 3 February 2003
This collection of Mr Wonder's greatest hits is perfect for any situation, any mood and any person I can think of. Although most of these songs were released decades before I was even born, it is nevertheless my most prized possession at the moment. Stevie is a legend, and it obvious that pretty much every genre of music holds the same view - as you wade through the infamous classics and the lesser-known (to my generation at least) gems, you'll be amazed to discover how many people have sampled Stevie Wonder's music, in varying ways. Who'd have thought that gangster rap and UK garage would cunningly employ Stevie's genius to make him a best-seller a second time round. Ignorant young'uns like myself will say countless times "Oh my goodness, Stevie Wonder wrote that rift/those lyrics/that hook, etc! And there I was thinking it was a new piece of genius"
Listening to this Definitive Collection was a great learning experience for me. The immense respect I already had for Stevie Wonder quadrupled when I heard Fingertips (Parts 1&2). The "13-year-old genius" has remained that way throughout his career, as this CD demonstrates, and he will always have his place amongst the diamonds that emerged from the Motown era and just kept on runnin'!
This album would be a great Valentine's present, if just for the classic, and oh-so-eighties (synthesizer!), "I just called to say I love you"
A must-have for anyone who has a little bit of soul in them.
on 6 April 2009
i'd always been a fan of "some" of the stevie wonder tracks i'd heard over the years and had odd ones on motown samplers and collections and so i searched amazon to find a comprehensive collecton after reading the recent fifty years of motown reviews on his work. This "definitive colection" cd is exactly what it says it is...original versions of every stevie track that you could ever wish to own, in their full glory...if you're a fan you need this collection and if you're a "well i don't know whether i like him that much, or not" fan...then get it and you'll be converted...i was.
on 28 December 2002
Stevie Wonder is perhaps the most influential figure in musical pop culture over the last 50 years. His enthusiasm and energy that he puts into his music is infectious for all those around him or any listeners. His music has been sampled or covered by such a wide range of artists as thug posturing rapper Ja Rule, to the Boy George lead Culture Club.
The reasons why he has influenced such differing artists become apparent when you listen to this album. The music is brilliant.
Wonder's soulful voice leaps and soars through 38 tracks, ranging from supremely catchy pop classics, to sentimental love ballads, and funky slices of soul pie.
Im only 16 and hadnt really heard much of Stevie Wonder before but liked people like Marvin Gaye, and my parents bought me this album. It is one that I love and my parents love - a very rare feat! This truly is music for all generations.
To say Stevie Wonder is a legend would be an understatement and a insult to the man. He is more than that. Buy this album!
on 23 January 2009
Whilst browsing in the recordstore yesterday,I noticed a section devoted to 50 Years Of Motown and my eyes were drawn to the Stevie Wonder CDs on sale.I bought this collection and played it last night.It was joyous,funky,uplifting and on another plane.
I Wish was on it,my favourite Stevie Wonder track,among such gems as
Superstition,Always,and all the classic songs.
As a Motown fan,I was delighted to see the anniversary resurgence of the genre and
can really recommend this 2 CD collection by one of Motown's greatest artistes.
We need more powerful songs in the Noughties like those on this album.
It's funny how many of these songs were familiar to me, despite the fact that I've never actively gone searching for any of Stevie Wonder's songs before. Mind you, one or two of his songs have come on a bit strong to me in their time. I mean, I can't watch a single one of those 'Worst Songs Ever' programmes without encountering 'Ebony & Ivory'; and, of course, there was that awful period in late 1984 when the only way for me to escape the equally awful 'I Just Called To Say I Love You' was to hide under my bedclothes and wait for Wham! to come and send Stevie - and his iron-grip on the top of the UK charts - well and truly packing.
Nevertheless, one brief look at the playlist for this 2-disc set at the supermarket was more than enough for me to abandon any pretence of trying to follow a sensible shopping list and to find room instead in my sad-single-person's-trolley for 36 individual works of Stevie Wonder's undoubted musical genius: plus 'Ebony & Ivory' and 'I Just Called To Say I Love You'. The collection was put together in 2002, which did give me some pause - especially at this sort of price. Ah, but the very convenient way in which both 'I Just Called To Say I Love You' and 'Ebony & Ivory' have been quarantined together there, nice and early in the proceedings, did strike me as a very handy way of killing two birds with one fast-forward button. And there were just so many other songs on here that I'd heard of that I simply couldn't resist buying it.
The sleeve notes are interesting, although they're nothing like as comprehensive as I would've liked. There are some cracking pictures of Stevie Wonder through the years, they're great. And there's an impressive gallery containing fifteen little snapshots of his albums. But the actual listing of the tracks themselves does not give any indication as to precisely which album each one hails from. That's going to make it a bit inconvenient should I decide to dig a little deeper into the Stevie Wonder back-catalogue. Quite apart from which, it would've been interesting!
The music quality is excellent and, because the songs are not arranged in chronological order, it means you are never very far away from an absolute classic. For reasons that I'm sure I'd be best served never to dwell upon, I seem to have taken a particular shine to 'Never Had A Dream Come True'. It's a beautifully arranged piece of music, but I can't quite figure out whether the lyrics are more depressing than a page from the script of 'EastEnders' or whether they are, in fact, giving losers in love everywhere a little bit of hope. I certainly don't feel especially 'hopeful' when I hear it... it makes me want to bawl my eyes out.
And yet, I can't stop playing it.
Hm... with a masochistic streak like that, maybe I SHOULD give 'Ebony & Ivory' a go?
I haven't even looked at, let alone wanted to buy any other compilation of the great Stevie Wonder's excellent and substantial body of work.
I bought it when it came out in 2002 and each time either disc gets played, I'm always a bit gobsmacked how brilliant the productions are, as is the sound quality, which shows any hi-fi off to its best and leaves me asking why I don't listen to him far more often.
I often say that about a whole host of my favourite music acts, but of course, time gets in the way, but that mustn't detract from the fact that, what with Mr Wonder having just performed for the Queen at her Diamond Jubilee mega-gig, he is still a hugely respected and major force in popular music.
As such, there are no second-rate fillers here, along with all the hits that you just keep recognising from the list on the back. 'Superstition' must remain the most effective track ever to induce 'itchy feet' in all but the dead, the celebratory anthem Happy Birthday or the swinging soulful ballads For Once in My Life, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours and My Cherie Amour. Or perhaps, You Are the Sunshine of My Life or the super-cool Masterblaster (Jammin'). Or the duets, such as his Ebony & Ivory, with Paul McCartney?
These are just a few stand-out tracks, for me at least and show the huge variety of styles that Stevie has successfully (& commercially) recorded over the years and proves that he never sits on his laurels for too long.
It's also a quality set; the two CDs sit either side of a stuck down nice colour booklet that's in the middle.
You don't have to be of a certain age, or generation to appreciate his magic, most of his songs were before my time, yet they still stand up as being some of the very best, of any era.
I once had what I thought was the Definitive Collection by Stevie Wonder but it was in white packaging. I can't remember if there were one or two CDs with it! That's the album I thought I'd ordered. I wanted it back in my collection. But this is different, although I think most of what I had in the other compilation features here, as well as many other songs. Here are 38 definitive tracks from this special singer who I grew up with. The gorgeous early tracks I loved throughout my life are on it, like We Can Work It Out, (Stevie's cover of the Lennon/McCartney hit). I'm Wondering is there on second disc - A Place In The Sun; Blowin' In The Wind (org, Dylan). Send One Your Love thrilled me by its presence. Pastime Paradise was a record I adored. And of course, many of the other classics are also included.
CD1 has more of the big ones, like I Wish, MasterBlaster Jammin', Heaven Help Us All, If You Really Love Me, (have I got your attention yet?!) For Your Love is there, Sir Duke; I Wish and that's just a few of the many gems. I'm thrilled to have got this today. A booklet is included with the discs, which is well worth a read whilst listening. That's tonight sorted. The wind can howl as loud as it likes. I'm snuggling in to listen to these beautiful albums.
on 31 October 2014
Stevland Hardaway Morris (born May 13, 1950, as Stevland Hardaway Judkins), known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist. A child prodigy, he has become one of the most creative and loved musical performers of the late 20th century. Wonder signed with Motown's Tamla label at the age of 11 and continues to perform and record for Motown as of the early 2010s. He has been blind since shortly after birth.
Among Wonder's works are singles such as "Superstition", "Sir Duke", "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" and "I Just Called to Say I Love You"; and albums such as Talking Book, Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life. He has recorded more than 30 U.S. top ten hits and received 22 Grammy Awards, the most ever awarded to a male solo artist, and has sold over 100 million albums and singles, making him one of the top 60 best-selling music artists. Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday a holiday in the United States. In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart's 50th anniversary, with Wonder at number five.