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Stevie Wonder – All Day Sucker

Artist: Stevie Wonder
Tune: “All Day Sucker”

If you want to get a peek at the genius and humor of Stevie Wonder, check out this gem. This is from Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life. For those of you old enough to remember, this was a double album plus a 45, which had four tracks on it. “All Day Sucker” was on the 45. This isn’t what we usually think of when we think of Stevie Wonder. There is a screaming guitar solo (something like the understated guitar solo on “Maybe Your Baby” from Talking Book). There is a driving drum track with crashing cymbals. This isn’t Stevie. I invite you to listen to the lyrics. They are funny. This lovesick guy would love to get some time with this babe and she is just playin’ him like that screaming guitar.

By |2014-11-18T23:27:17-04:00November 15th, 2014|Music|Comments Off on Stevie Wonder – All Day Sucker

Marvin Gaye – What's going on?

Marvin Gaye was one of the greatest and more unique voices at Motown.

I heard on NPR that Motown arranger David Van De Pitte died recently.  Now, I love music but I can’t tell where one writer’s sound stops and the arranger begins. Van De Pitte was credited with creating some of Motown’s biggest hits.

From the Detroit News:

David Van De Pitte, the arranger who helped Marvin Gaye take jazz, soul and the rumblings of the counter-culture and turn it into the genius of “What’s Going On,” died on Aug. 9 of cancer. The arranger, composer and music director, a longtime Metro Detroiter, was 68.

He is survived by Carolyn Barnett-Goldstein, his partner of 26 years, two daughters by a previous marriage, a brother and a sister.

The work of an arranger isn’t always understood by the general public; they often take a creative but unfinished idea and translate it into musical language, spelling out what each musician is supposed to play.

While early Motown music was simpler, by the time Van De Pitte arrived arrangements were complex and that unseen structure of the Motown sound was part of its appeal.

When an arranger tweaks and advances the music, it’s considered co-writing, and Van De Pitte did that on “What’s Going On.” He was nominated for a Grammy for best arranger for the album in 1971. (more… )

By |2009-09-11T21:08:51-04:00September 11th, 2009|Music|Comments Off on Marvin Gaye – What's going on?
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