Stevie Wonder – Songs in the Key of Life (1976)

by astro man

Songs in the Key of Life is one of the greatest pieces of recorded music. By the grace of god and the luck of us being alive, the legendary Stevie Wonder released this album in 1976 and music was never the same again. Songs in the Key of Life is considered to be one of Stevie Wonder’s most critically acclaimed album. This album was preserved into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, which called it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Songs in the Key of Life was released under Motown Records, but was recorded in various places like Hollywood and New York. I strongly advise anyone to go and listen to this album. You will be able to recognize the tunes immediately because of the popularity on the radio, a sampling track, movies, television shows, music awards, and etc. An instant classic when this album was released surpassing all expectations. Upon its release it went straight to the top ranking number 1 on the Billboard Pop Album Charts. These consecutive weeks on top of a competitive billboard (Earth, Wind and Fire, Led Zeppelin, and Boz Scaggs) showed that this album was not only popular for the time, but had longevity as well.

This album has a warmth of love, spirituality, faith, and social injustice for the poor. The opening track “Love’s In Need Of Love Today” creates the atmosphere of sincere honesty that Stevie Wonder wanted. With lyrics like “It’s that Love’s in need of love today / Don’t delay / Send yours in right away / Hate’s goin’ round / Breaking many hearts / Stop it please / Before it’s gone too far..”– through these lyrics Stevie Wonder’s voice croons for the love around the world as he plays his Fender Rhodes.

“Have A Talk With God” shows the funky and faithful side of Stevie Wonder. This song uses interesting synth tones intertwined with a harmonica riff the repeats. “Village Ghetto Land” is a mix of the old school with the new. Musically the composition seems like it Stevie took a page right from Johann Sebastian Bach’s book. “I Wish” focuses on an 8 note bass line played on a Fender Rhodes piano. This single hit number 1 on the 100 Billboard chart. “Pastime Paradise” is one of the first songs to use a synthesizer that created the sound of strings. This song has a gospel sound due to the choir singing and has been sampled by many musicians including Coolio and Mary J. Blidge.

“Isn’t She Lovely” is celebrating the birth of his daughter, Aisha. One of Stevie’s more popular song it takes on the thought of happiness and joy that one can feel from the music. My personal favorite is “Another Star” covering a wide range of genres including dance, disco, jazz, and pop. There are also varying types of instruments in this song including a flute during the last section, piano, sax, and trumpet. If you watched the 2014 Grammy’s and Stevie Wonder’s performance with Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”, this song makes an appearance.

I guess there isn’t much else to say other than listen to this fucking album.