Stevie Wonder.  Wonderboy. On May 13, 1950 something very Wonderful happened in the World, and there is no deliberate pun intended. STEVELAND MORRIS a.k.a Stevie Wonder was born. Born prematurely, Stevie went blind as a result of too much oxygen being pumped into his incubator. When his recording of " Fingertips " was released  the world went mad and everyone fell in love with Stevie. Little Stevie Wonder, only twelve years old and sending a big Message to The World : " Have Faith, have Courage,and Love one another " Ahh - out of the mouths of babes. The sweet innocence of that poor blind child, the honesty of performance combined with an almost ferocious groove made " Fingertips " into a musical comet that burned it's way across the The Great Musical Firmament. I may wax lyrical, poetic even, but I most certainly do not exaggerate. I can't possibly hope to do sufficient justice to Stevie's career in what is really a short Summary, but I can give an idea of what He meant and still means to me and to the World. Whenever someone mention's Stevie's name there's always respect in their voice, a reverence even. He is more than an incredible musician. He is a very wonderful human being. Through all of Stevie's work His love of Humanity shines through. He delivers hard opinions  on all kinds of subjects relevant to today's world. Social conditions, economic conditions , racial prejudice, War, all delivered with a tremendous compassion, understanding and Love for this crazy world and it's crazy ways. Stevie is such an incredible, Pure, Total musician and that's where He grabs me. I mean there are no boundaries to his music.


He uses everything in the book and some more, including live musicians, "legit" musical instruments, electronic instruments, classical orchestras, Jazz, Blues, R&B, Soul,Reggae, Rock, bird calls, a baby's laughter, - whatever is required to build his great musical sound picture. And that's what I get from a lot of Sevie's work, a picture. He has that incredible talent for creating a scene, an atmosphere, so that when you've heard the song  you're left with the feeling that you know the people in the song. What the situation was, where it took place, Paul mcCartney has that same wonderful talent. Stevie could condense, encapsulate, a whole string of experiences into a song. He can also produce what I call " Pure " Music.  Music that exists for it's own sake. Great Spirituality shines through in his performances and in the content of his songs. I read a quote from him that says " Whenever I am in the presence of music, when I'm performing it, I feel I'm in the presence of something " Holy".  Again I quote loosely but one can sense the Great Reverence and Humility he feels for His art, for Life.  Love,Faith, Hope, Courage, Compassion, Understanding, giving the other a guy a fair chance in life, these are the Divine truths that underpin Stevie Wonder's music.


And encompassing all of these Great Truths is his firm belief in his Maker. I have never met a " Soul " Singer yet who didn't, the two go hand in hand -God and Soul.  Signing with Motown, 12 year old Stevie Wonder smashed into the charts with the first live performance single in history to reach number one, Numero Uno, - " Fingertips Part 2 " I've seen the Video of that performance and My, Oh My, Oh My, I get shivers just thinking about it, my old ass starts to boogie. he followed this with a string of great hits including " Superstition" "You Are The Sunshine Of my Life" "You Haven't Done Nuthin" " Livin For The City" " Boogie On Reggae Woman" "I Wish" "Sir Duke" "I just Called To Say I Love You" "Part Time Lover"  and more and more and on and on. His Album output is incredible and I must make specific reference to a particular favourite of mine - "Journey through The Secret Life Of Plants". Personally I think this Album was away ahead of it's time. Musically. A lot of people appreciated it but there were many who expressed disappointment concerning the fact that it didn't seem to follow the usual pattern of sounds that Stevie and Motown had been laying down up until then. It was not a "departure" from his previous work, but it was such an enormous leap in Stevies musical development that to many it appeared to be a departure.


The Great Musicality of that Album, The incredible Harmonic Content, The MATURITY of the Man as an Artist were the very things which lot's of people just couldn't recognise. There are Areas of that Album where Stevie delivers with all the feel and musical construction of Igor Stravinski. He was so confident on that Album, and I think it just went over a lot of people's heads. If you didn't get the message first time you heard it, listen to it again. And again, and again. Because that's where the truth is about that Album. I can listen to it over and over again. It's not " listen once through", instant flash in the pan, forgotten by next week music. It has depth to it. It has substance. I'm going to put the Album on right after I finish writing this. Which is now. Stevie Wonder was inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1989. God Bless Him and his wonderful music. (c) joemoretti

all articles (c) JoeMoretti music International