Monday, November 30, 2009

Albums We Missed, Because We Weren't Born Yet -- Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life (plus live download)

Last month I posted about Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline (click here) -- highlighting a poem, of sorts, about Bob Dylan as written by Johnny Cash (who was also featured on the album). With that poem in mind, I tried to scan through my vinyls to discover other gems which you may have missed if you bought the album off itunes.

What I found was the opening passage to a 24-page lyric booklet for Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life. The album was listed as the 56th greatest album of all time by Rolling Stone, and I am convinced it is the greatest album name ever conceived. I have the collector's album from 1976, and I'm not sure if this opening passage was included in the standard release; but, since the standard album did not contain the lyric booklet, I'm guessing not.

If you didn't already know, Stevie Wonder's birth name was Stevland Hardaway Judkins (later changed to Morris), and this opening passage, written by Stevland, gives nice insight into his Stevie Wonder alter-ego.

Opening Remarks to Songs in the Key of Life (an excerpt):
"I've never considered myself an orator nor a politician, only a person who is fortunate enough, thanks to all of you, to become an artist given a change to express the way he feels and hopefully the feelings of may other people. It is to me a fact that Stevie Wonder is that temporary someone of myself even though we have come to know each other very well and realized because of who he is, the many doors that have been opened may have been closed to myself, Stevland Morris. It is important that you do note permanently in your mind that I do take not a second for granted. For I do believe it is that Stevie Wonder is the necessary vehicle on which Stevland Morris must be carried on his mission to spread love mentalism. In every album that I have and shall do, it is not my goal for that to be better than that and the next to succeed the others, but only that I do and give the best I can at the time of my doing and giving and that only happens because of the dis- or satisfaction that made me want to be a better someone..."
-- Stevland

MP3: DOWNLOAD Stevie Wonder -- Live in London (1/31/1974) (click here).

This solid bootleg includes: Intro-Contusion, Higher Ground, Mary Wants to be a Superwoman, To Know You is to Love You, Signed Sealed and Delivered, Visions, Dont You Worry 'Bout a Thing, Living for the City, You are the Sunshine of my Life, Superstition, Encore Jam.

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