3 August 2013

3rd August - Stevie Wonder's Innervisions

Artist – Album: Stevie Wonder – Innervisions
Released:  3rd August 1973
Sounds Like: A true visionary

Much like the fact that it’s difficult to compare music from different genres, it can be even more problematic to judge albums that have differing aspirations. After all, some records are composed purely to make you dance, and it hardly seems fair to weigh them up next to albums made to push the boundaries of music, or served to make some commentary on the state of the world. For one, those albums with superior motives are more likely than not just be a bit naff – difficult to listen to and tiresome. Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions, however, is an exception to this rule, as he effortlessly supplies an album laden with weight of the world’s ills and yet one which is somehow an unbridled pleasure to listen to.

Little Stevie’s got his back up about a lot of things on this album, from the dangers of dope in ‘Too High’ to the perils of urban life in the epic ‘Living for the City’ – which, unlike on the single version, contains a mini-drama in the middle, where Wonder assumes multiple personalities and acts out the unfortunate circumstances that befall those that lack the requisite savvy in the streets. The political acrimony surrounding Richard Nixon’s occupation of White House gets covered on ‘He’s Misstra Know-It-All’, and Tricky Dicky gets his biggest kicking from a black artist this side of 2009 comedy Black Dynamite. There are some more tender moments though, with the beautiful ‘Golden Lady’ the best of many splendid ballads.   

Innervisions is the 29th perfect score in Albumaday... history, although, along with In the Aeroplane over the Sea, Doolittle, Odessey & Oracle and Pet Sounds, it belongs in the absolute top echelon of those 10 out of 10s. Thanks to a bit of forward thinking, I also know that the next album to join this most exulted company is not too far away... Don’t go anywhere folks!

Albumaday... rating:  10/10

1.       Too High – 4:36
2.       Visions – 5:23
3.       Living for the City – 7:22
4.       Golden Lady – 4:58
5.       Higher Ground – 3:42
6.       Jesus Children of America – 4:10
7.       All in Love Is Fair – 3:41
8.       Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing – 4:44
9.       He’s Misstra Know-It-All – 5:35

Listen to ‘Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOz3p6k5O2g

Also released on the 3rd August:
1979: AC-DC – Highway to Hell
Also released on the 3rd August:
1979: Talking Heads – Fear of Music

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