10 best Stevie Wonder songs

By SSPDaily editionJan 19, 2024 17:00 PMEntertainment
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Best Stevie Wonder songs
Best Stevie Wonder songs. Source: www.un.org

Steven Hardaway Morris (real name Judkins; May 13, 1950), known as Stevie Wonder, is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer. He is considered a pioneer and influential musician in the genres of R&B, pop, soul, gospel, funk, and jazz.

Singer's Room writes, "Wander is an orchestra man. In the 1970s, using synthesizers and other electronic musical instruments, he changed the way modern R&B was conceived. Wonder went on to contribute to the development of these genres, creating his records as coherent, consistent, and socially relevant phenomena with complex compositions."

Blind from birth, Wonder was a prodigy. At the age of 11, he signed a contract with Motown's Tamla label, where he received his professional name, Little Stevie Wonder.

Here are the 10 best songs by this artist, according to Singer's Room.

"Superstition"

"Superstition" was released on October 24, 1972 by Tamla as the lead single of Steve Wonder's fifteenth studio album Talking Book (1972). Its lyrics describe popular superstitions and their negative consequences.

"Superstition" peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 in January 1973 and on the soul singles chart. It was Wonder's first number one single since "Fingertips, Pt. 2" in 1963.

In November 2004, Rolling Stone magazine included this song in its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time at number 74. In 2010, it was ranked 73rd, and in 2021, 12th.

At the 16th Grammy Awards, this composition helped him won two Grammys: "Best Rhythm and Blues Song" and "Best Male R&B Vocal Performance."

"Sir Duke"

"Sir Duke" is a song from Wonder's 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life. Released as a single in 1977, "Sir Duke" topped the US Billboard Hot 100 and Black Singles charts, and reached number two on the UK Singles Chart, becoming his biggest hit to date.

The track was recorded in tribute to the great musician and jazz legend Duke Ellington, who died in 1974. The lyrics also mention Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

"I Wish"

"I Wish" was released in late 1976 as the lead single of the album Songs in the Key of Life (1976). The song, written and produced by Wonder, tells the story of his childhood in the 1950s and 1960s and how he would like to go back and relive it.

"I Wish" hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Soul Singles chart. At the 19th Grammy Awards, Stevie Wonder received the award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

"Higher Ground"

"Higher Ground" is a funk song that first appeared on the 1973 album Innervisions. "Higher Ground" reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the US Hot R&B Singles chart.

Wonder wrote and recorded this track in May 1973 in just 3 hours. The album version of the song contains an additional verse and is 30 seconds longer than the single version.

In the UK, "Higher Ground" took 29th place in the UK Singles Chart.

"Living for the City"

"Living for the City" is a 1973 single by Wonder from his album Innervisions. It peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on the R&B chart.

635 Rolling Stone ranked the song 104th on its 2004 list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The plot of "Living for the City": a young black man from the South of the United States, facing discrimination, travels to New York in the hope of finding a new life. However, when he gets there, he is immediately accused of a crime, arrested and sentenced to ten years in prison.

In the process of working on the composition, Wonder played all the instruments, and Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff helped him with the recording and synthesizer programming.

In his book Stevie Wonder (2002), Tenley Williams believes that this was "one of the first soul hits to include both a political message and sampling of street sounds - voices, traffic and sirens - mixed with music."

"You Are the Sunshine of My Life"

"You Are the Sunshine of My Life" is a single by Stevie Wonder, released in 1973. The song won the musician a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and was nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

"You Are the Sunshine of My Life" became the second single (after "Superstition") from the 1972 album Talking Book, which remained at number one on the R&B album chart for three weeks.

Rolling Stone ranked this song at number 183 on their list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" and Billboard called it "a soft, haunting ballad with standout electric piano and great production work."

"Isn't She Lovely"

"Isn't She Lovely" is a song from Wonder's 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life. The lyrics refer to the birth of his daughter Aisha Morris. In the process of creating the track, Wonder collaborated with poet and studio owner Burnetta "Bunny" Jones.

"Isn't She Lovely" opens the third side of the album Songs in the Key of Life and begins with the sound of the first cry of a child recorded during a real birth. The final part of the song features Wonder giving Aisha a bath when she's all grown up, combined with a lengthy solo on chromatic harmonica.

All the instruments that sound in "Isn't She Lovely" are played by Wonder, except for some keyboards played by Greg Phillinganes.

"For Once in My Life"

"For Once in My Life" was written by Ron Miller and Orlando Murden for Motown Records' Stein & Van Stock and first recorded in 1965.

There are various versions of its early performance, but the most famous and successful is Stevie Wonder's arrangement, recorded in 1967. Wonder's version, released on Motown's Tamla label, became a top three hit in the United States and the United Kingdom in late 1968 and early 1969.

"Master Blaster (Jammin')"

"Master Blaster (Jammin')" (1980) is the lead single from Wonder's nineteenth studio album Hotter than July (1980). It was a worldwide hit, lasting 7 weeks at number one on the US Billboard R&B singles chart. In 1980, "Master Blaster (Jammin')" reached number 5 on the Billboard pop singles chart, number 2 on the UK singles chart, and number one in New Zealand.

"Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)"

"Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)" is a soul composition by Stevie Wonder, released in June 1970 as a single on the Tamla label, a Motown company. It spent 6 weeks at number one on the US R&B chart and peaked at number three on the US pop chart. The same year, the track appeared on the album Signed, Sealed & Delivered.

For 20-year-old Wonder, this composition became a series of "firsts": "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)" was the first single that Wonder produced on his own, as well as the first single featuring his female backing band, which included Sirita Wright, who co-wrote the song and later married Wonder.

In addition, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)" earned W0nder his sixth Grammy Award nomination.

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