To celebrate the great news that I'm going to be able to see one of my all-time favorite artists ever. One of the greatest songwriters of my time. A living legend. A man that has created timeless music that will still be celebrated many generations from now... Stevie Wonder.
It was too hard to pick four favorites, but here are four of many amazing songs in Stevie's catalog.
Here's a song that when you listen to it you would think should be called "Always." I remember when I was going to school in Berkeley and there was a movie called "Best Man" that was being advertised. They used this song in the commercial and we got so many people come into the record store that I worked at (Rasputin's) asking for "Always" when they were looking for this song. The great thing is that many people were introduced to yet another classic Stevie song, but the bad thing was that because it wasn't on the soundtrack I hate to think of all of the many people that were looking for the song and never hunted it down.
Here's another beautiful classic yet elusive song for some. This was used in a nike commercial a while back. If I remember right it was Mary J Blige singing this song while Jordan was jumping for a dunk. What was crazy about the commercial to me is that even if you didn't even know that this was a Stevie Wonder song, you just kind of knew it by how classic it sounded. How someone can have a classic distinctive songwriting sound without all of his songs sounding the same is astonishing in itself.
Here's a great song that separates Stevie from the R&B songwriters of today. In addition to being able to write love songs Stevie could also craft beautiful and catchy songs about political issues. This song was a theme song for the movement to have Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday be recognized as a national holiday. We all know how that story ended because most of us get a holiday around January 15th. Has R Kelly or Ne-yo ever did anything like that for us? Not yet.
Heaven Help Us All
Last but not least here is a vastly underrated Stevie classic. Heart touching lyrics that I don't think that anybody could listen to and not be moved by. Here's the 2nd and 3rd verses of this powerful song.
Heaven help the black man if he struggles one more day
Heaven help the white man if he turns back away
Heaven help the man who kicks the man who has to crawl
Heaven help us all.
Heaven help the boy who wont reach twenty-one
Heaven help the man who gave that boy a gun.
Heaven help the people with their backs against the wall
Lord, heaven help us all.