Stevie Wonder – Innervisions

After writing my last post, I really wanted to write about Stevie Wonder’s Album Innervisions. Innervisions was the second in a four-album stretch that is unmatched in my opinion. (Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness’ First Finale and Songs in the Key of Life)

Too High – This is a song about drug abuse. It ends with a great dueling harmonicas solo.
Visions – This is now a classic introspective slow tune. It is about equality and fairness. The simplicity of the music with two guitars and a stand-up bass. This may be Stevie’s best vocal track.
Living for the City – There is nothing that I really need to say about this song. I would point out that this is the first tune that I can remember having a great bass line but no bass. Stevie is playing the bass line with a synthesizer. It is also the first song I can remember that has that interlude with the man in the song getting thrown in jail. The social statement that this song is making can’t be missed.
Golden Lady – This is a very interesting tune. Stevie starts out with a dramatic piano intro which dissolves into a very light bass line with Stevie playing the high hat. This is a nice smooth love song. It is clearly a forerunner to some of the sappy tunes that he would go on to produce in about another decade.
Higher Ground – This is kind of a religious tune. It has a great infectious groove that is played on the synthesizer. It is about doing better and getting to your higher ground. I truly love this tune.
Jesus Children of America – This is definitely a religious tune. Like several other tunes on this album, Stevie discusses drug abuse and false idols that don’t really relieve the pain or enrich the spirit. The mood changes in this tune are fabulous. It is the vocals, the words, that I truly love in this tune. “Tell me, Junkie. If you are able, Are you playing your cards on the table? Are you happy when you stick a needle in your vein?” The tune by the end has a gospel feel without being a gospel tune. This is one of my favorite Stevie Wonder tunes of all time.
All in Love is Fair – Great love song. This is basically Stevie, a bass line, a piano and drums. (Stevie is playing everything except the bass) Stevie’s vocals are so pure.
Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing – To me, one of the great things about Stevie is that he has never been afraid to be playful. This tune is fun, light and easy to shake your booty to.
He’s Missta Know-It-All – This tune seems a little out of place on this album. It is a nice tune about guys who are too slick. The music is okay. To be honest, I don’t understand why this tune on this album. It just seems a little out of place.

Stevie plays almost all of the instruments and sings all of the vocals.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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