It’s Stevie Wonder time again, this time with one of his most accomplished and highly regarded album, “Innervisions”. This record is rated #34 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and is also #5 on digitaldreamdoor.com’s Top 10 Greatest Soul Albums of All Time. Like “Talking Book”, Stevie continues to deliver monster hits and further evolve his sound, immersed in the peak of his recording career.
As my son says, this album is “immaculate”, and even if I’m not quite the Stevie Wonder fan he is, this really is my favorite of his albums I have heard so far. It opens with the perfect blend of funk and soul, on “Too High”. When you hear the first notes of this song, you know this record is already ahead of pace of any previous Wonder album. After the soft ballad “Visions”, we have one of his funkiest and most authentic songs, “Living For The City”. The combination of his vocals and keyboard on this song is pretty stunning. Two songs later we have “Higher Ground”, another of his songs like “Superstition”, that has been notably covered by others to include the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Like his best funk-soul blends, the keyboard groove under this track is filthy, and with Stevie’s soulful voice on top, it is easy to see why records like this were such massive critical and commercial successes.
The city-funk groove of “Jesus Children Of America”, the calypso-South Beach feel of “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing”, and the straight piano diss track “He’s Misstra Know-It-All” all stand out as great songs on this album. I can’t recall if I have mentioned this before, but one of my all-time favorite concert memories is taking my son to see Stevie Wonder at Red Rocks, or “Red Rock” as he referred to it as the show. To see my son experience his “bucket list” artist at the best venue on the planet was beyond rewarding, and I only wish I had fully done my homework on all of these albums before, and not after the show. All that said, I love the music of Stevie Wonder, and even more so, I love how much my son connects with an artist who was making music well before I was even born.