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Tag: Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder – In Square Circle (1985/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Stevie Wonder – In Square Circle (1985/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 45:50 minutes | 1,9 GB | Genre: R&B, Soul
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Motown

From putting out a couple albums a year to only three studio albums between 1980 and ’85, some might have thought Stevie Wonder’s muse took a vacation. However, between his many cameo appearances, Steve Wonder released „In Square Circle“ in 1985. It was a slight return to the great music he penned in the ’60s and ’70 a playful yet earnest blend of funk and soul but with a more tailored sound. The hit single ‘Part-Time Lover’ best exemplifies that blend. Although the music’s programmed nature is evident, Stevie’s keyboard and drum parts are aces. And of course, he gets a little help from an all-star cast, including Philip Bailey, Deniece Williams, Luther Vandross and Stevie’s own diamond-in-the-rough Syreeta Wright, among others.

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Stevie Wonder – Hotter Than July (1980/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Stevie Wonder – Hotter Than July (1980/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 45:42 minutes | 1,71 GB | Genre: R&B
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Motown

Jam until the break of dawn! Released in 1980, Stevie Wonder’s brilliant Hotter Than July followed up with a bang a film soundtrack that witnessed the end of the legendary artist’s “Classic Period.” And how. Excited after meeting Bob Marley, Wonder embraced reggae’s sunnier feel and colorful look on the album, which yielded four Top Ten singles in the U.K. and three charting singles in the U.S. Hotter Than July remains the peerless composer’s last true masterpiece.

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Stevie Wonder – In Square Circle (1985/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Stevie Wonder – In Square Circle (1985/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 45:56 minutes | 1,07 GB | Genre: R&B
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Although it went platinum, nothing stands as better evidence of how cyclical the pop experience is than the response to In Square Circle. Wonder actually wrote some superb songs, and several, like “Overjoyed” and “I Love You Too Much,” were superior to the hit single “Part-Time Lover.” But that one zoomed to the top spot and became the album’s definitive tune in the minds of many.

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Stevie Wonder – The Jazz Soul Of Little Stevie! (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Stevie Wonder – The Jazz Soul Of Little Stevie! (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 42:20 minutes | 474 MB | Genre: Soul
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © RevOla

Stevie Wonder’s debut album, released when he was 11, is still an amazing musical document, showcasing his skills as a percussionist (drums and bongos), chromatic harmonica player, keyboardist (piano and organ), and composer – and he was prodigious in all four categories. All of these skills are highlighted throughout this record, and Wonder’s youthful, exuberant voice had a maturity suggesting that greatness was around the corner. Perhaps most surprising to contemporary listeners will be the emphasis on instrumentals, which made this a fairly unusual album by Motown standards to begin with. Apart from a few shouts in the background in some of the more free-form tracks, there’s not a vocal to be heard here, yet the sounds are rich and diverse enough that one never misses them. What’s more, a lot of what’s here is extremely sophisticated instrumental music for its time, and the “jazz” reference in the title is not a matter of optimistic convenience or self-aggrandizement – a lot of this is legitimate jazz.

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Stevie Wonder – Up-Tight (1966/2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Stevie Wonder – Up-Tight (1966/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 33:19 minutes | 1,3 GB | Gerne: R&B
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front Cover | © Motown

Released in 1966, this fifth album shows the beginning of Wonder’s development into a mature recording artist. Backed by the Funk Brothers, the album futures such memorable tracks as ‘Nothing’s too Good For My Baby,’ ‘Teach Me Tonight’and of course… the #1 single title track.
Also included on the album are ‘Nothing’s Too Good for My Baby’, another Wonder co-write, and a cover of folk star Bob Dylan’s ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’, which made Wonder popular with crossover audiences, and a cover of the standard, Teach Me Tonight, featuring vocals with Levi Stubbs and The Four Tops.
The album reached No.33 on the Billboard Pop Album charts and No.2 on the R&B Albums charts. On the album, Stevie was backed by the Funk Brothers, the legendary, but uncredited, early period Motown Records studio musicians, creators of the famous, recognisable 60s Motown sound

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Stevie Wonder – I Was Made To Love Her (1967/2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Stevie Wonder – I Was Made To Love Her (1967/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 1:44:57 minutes | 1,09 GB | Gerne: R&B
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front Cover | © Motown

I Was Made To Love Her was Stevie Wonder’s contribution to the musical landscape in the summer of 1967, spawning the title track hit single in the US and the UK, co-written by Wonder. The album contains a handful of other Wonder co-writes along with cover songs by Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Otis Redding and others.

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Stevie Wonder – For Once In My Life (1968/2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Stevie Wonder – For Once In My Life (1968/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 1:44:57 minutes | 1,38 GB | Gerne: R&B
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front Cover | © Motown

For Once in My Life is the ninth (tenth overall) studio album by American singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder on Motown Records, released in November 1968. Then eighteen years old, Wonder had established himself as one of Motown’s consistent hit-makers. This album continued Wonder’s growth as a vocalist, songwriter and producer. It featured songs like the title track, “Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day” and the modest hits “I Don’t Know Why” and “You Met Your Match”. It also marked the debut of the Hohner Clavinet on a Stevie Wonder album, which would become a mainstay on albums to come.

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Stevie Wonder – Talking Book (1972) [Japanese Limited SHM-SACD 2011 # UIGY-9064] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Stevie Wonder – Talking Book (1972) [Japanese Limited SHM-SACD 2011 # UIGY-9064]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 43:26 minutes | Scans included | 1,75 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 866 MB

After releasing two “head” records during 1970-71, Stevie Wonder expanded his compositional palate with 1972’s Talking Book to include societal ills as well as tender love songs, and so recorded the first smash album of his career. What had been hinted at on the intriguing project Music of My Mind was here focused into a laser beam of tight songwriting, warm electronic arrangements, and ebullient performances — altogether the most realistic vision of musical personality ever put to wax, beginning with a disarmingly simple love song, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” (but of course, it’s only the composition that’s simple). Stevie’s not always singing a tender ballad here — in fact, he flits from contentment to mistrust to promise to heartbreak within the course of the first four songs — but he never fails to render each song in the most vivid colors. In stark contrast to his early songs, which were clever but often relied on the Motown template of romantic metaphor, with Talking Book it became clear Stevie Wonder was beginning to speak his mind and use personal history for material (just as Marvin Gaye had with the social protest of 1971’s What’s Going On). The lyrics became less convoluted, while the emotional power gained in intensity. “You and I” and the glorious closer “I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)” subtly illustrate that the conception of love can be stronger than the reality, while “Tuesday Heartbreak” speaks simply but powerfully: “I wanna be with you when the nighttime comes / I wanna be with you till the daytime comes.” Ironically, the biggest hit from Talking Book wasn’t a love song at all; the funk landmark “Superstition” urges empowerment instead of hopelessness, set to a grooving beat that made it one of the biggest hits of his career. It’s followed by “Big Brother,” the first of his directly critical songs, excoriating politicians who posture to the underclass in order to gain the only thing they really need: votes. With Talking Book, Stevie also found a proper balance between making an album entirely by himself and benefiting from the talents of others. His wife Syreeta and her sister Yvonne Wright contributed three great lyrics, and Ray Parker, Jr. came by to record a guitar solo that brings together the lengthy jam “Maybe Your Baby.” Two more guitar heroes, Jeff Beck and Buzzy Feton, appeared on “Lookin’ for Another Pure Love,” Beck’s solo especially giving voice to the excruciating process of moving on from a broken relationship. Like no other Stevie Wonder LP before it, Talking Book is all of a piece, the first unified statement of his career. It’s certainly an exercise in indulgence but, imitating life, it veers breathtakingly from love to heartbreak and back with barely a pause.

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Stevie Wonder – Innervisions (1973) [Japanese Limited SHM-SACD 2011 # UIGY-9068] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Stevie Wonder – Innervisions (1973) [Japanese Limited SHM-SACD 2011 # UIGY-9068]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 44:19 minutes | Scans included | 1,78 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 883 MB

When Stevie Wonder applied his tremendous songwriting talents to the unsettled social morass that was the early ’70s, he produced one of his greatest, most important works, a rich panoply of songs addressing drugs, spirituality, political ethics, the unnecessary perils of urban life, and what looked to be the failure of the ’60s dream — all set within a collection of charts as funky and catchy as any he’d written before. Two of the highlights, “Living for the City” and “Too High,” make an especially deep impression thanks to Stevie’s narrative talents; on the first, an eight-minute mini-epic, he brings a hard-scrabble Mississippi black youth to the city and illustrates, via a brilliant dramatic interlude, what lies in wait for innocents. (He also uses his variety of voice impersonations to stunning effect.) “Too High” is just as stunning, a cautionary tale about drugs driven by a dizzying chorus of scat vocals and a springing bassline. “Higher Ground,” a funky follow-up to the previous album’s big hit (“Superstition”), and “Jesus Children of America” both introduced Wonder’s interest in Eastern religion. It’s a tribute to his genius that he could broach topics like reincarnation and transcendental meditation in a pop context with minimal interference to the rest of the album. Wonder also made no secret of the fact that “He’s Misstra Know-It-All” was directed at Tricky Dick, aka Richard Milhouse Nixon, then making headlines (and destroying America’s faith in the highest office) with the biggest political scandal of the century. Putting all these differing themes and topics into perspective was the front cover, a striking piece by Efram Wolff portraying Stevie Wonder as the blind visionary, an artist seeing far better than those around him what was going on in the early ’70s, and using his astonishing musical gifts to make this commentary one of the most effective and entertaining ever heard.

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Stevie Wonder – Hotter Than July (1980) [Japanese Limited SHM-SACD 2011 # UIGY-9075] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Stevie Wonder – Hotter Than July (1980) [Japanese Limited SHM-SACD 2011 # UIGY-9075]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 45:48 minutes | Scans included | 1,85 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 937 MB

Four years after the pinnacle of Stevie Wonder’s mid-’70s typhoon of classic albums, Hotter Than July was the proper follow-up to Songs in the Key of Life (his Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants concept record was actually a soundtrack to an obscure movie that fared miserably in theaters). It also found Wonder in a different musical climate than the one that savored his every move from 1972 to 1977. Disco and new wave had slowly crept their way into the mainstream record-buying public, and hindered the once-ample room for socially and politically charged lyrics. However, Wonder naysayed the trends and continues to do what he did best. Solid songwriting, musicianship, and production are evident in the majority of Hotter Than July. Wonder also carries on his tradition of penning songs normally not associated with his trademark sound, from the disco-tinged “All I Do” (originally planned to be released by Tammi Terrell almost ten years previously) to the reggae-influenced smash “Master Blaster (Jammin),” which went straight to the top of the R&B charts. While admittedly there are a few less-than-standard tracks, he closes the album on an amazing high note with one of the most aching ballads in his canon (“Lately”) and a touching anthem to civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King, Jr. (“Happy Birthday”). While most definitely not on the same tier as Innervisions or Songs in the Key of Life, Hotter Than July is the portrait of an artist who still had the Midas touch, but stood at the crossroads of an illustrious career.

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