I've been meaning to get to one of these Wonderfull events since I first heard about it years ago back in NYC and for some stupid reason I just have never been able to make it, but this time I'm gonna break the curse and get my ass down to Mezzanine this weekend. And in honor of that I have some of my favorite Stevie Maravilha (his Brazilian nickname) deep cuts and cover tunes for your listening pleasure. Also, check out P-R-O-P-S radio for a killer set of Wonderfullness. Not much on commentary here and no albums covers (too many songs here and it's busy here at work), so just hit play on the yahoo media player and Stevie and friends take you on a trip through music of Stevie's mind . . .
Stevie Wonder - Christmas Greeting
Couldn't pass this one up given the time of year. I want a whole album of keyboard based Christmas funk from 'Lil Drummer Stevie.
Stevie Wonder - Love a Go-Go
This is one of the first album track/deep cuts that I sought out and as a result was even further inspired by the breadth and depth of Stevie's genius. I think this was big in the UK/Norther Soul thang . . .
Syreeta - I Love Everything About You
Possibly my favorite Stevie version ever . . . and all-time favorite song. period. when I first got this album I listened to this one track on repeat for two days straight. seriously.
Tamiko Jones - Creepin'
Who woulda thought you could fuck with Stevie & Minnie dueting on the original version? I'm not saying it's better, but its damn good!
Ray Charles - Living For the City
The most recent Steviania acquisition . . . so dope. Nobody (aside from Stevie) does Fender Rhodes so nasty and raw as "The Genius".
Ellen McIlwaine - Higher Ground
By far those most left-field cut here . . . you can't deny Ms. McIlwaine's mastery of this song. The way she does it, you can imagine that she wrote it. For me, this speaks to the universality of Stevie's tunes.
Main Ingredient - Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing
Main Ingredient have a long history of doing Stevie tunes, but this has got to be my favorite.
Stevie Wonder - Signed, Sealed, Delivered (Live)
A somewhat rare early-seventies live recording from an Jazz/R&B festival from 1974. I posted the whole album awhile back, but have since taken the songs down.
Sister Sledge - As
I can't say this holds a flame to the original, but it's such a great song that I could tolerate some less than perfect cover versions. This one is from the Sisters Sledge right before their Chic-produced breakout album. This one was recorded in Germany with the masterminds behind Silver Convention, Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay.
Laso - Another Star
Here we have a latin instrumental take on another Songs in the Key of Life classic. Laso was a Joe Bataan side project that sounds very much like an MFSB or Vince Montana release from the same time. New York Latin Disco, Yeah!
The Gary Byrd Experience - The Crown (Instrumental)
I feel a bit like a racist posting the instrumental version of this song and by default ommitting the social-conscious lyrics of Prof. Gary Byrd, but honestly his rap sucks and the best part about this song is the "Good Times"-esque bass line and Stevie's one verse about 1/2 way in. He just kills it!
Stevie Wonder - All I Do
Thanks to my brother Charlie for hipping me to this tune early on. I honestly thought Stevie was done with Songs in the Key of Life until I heard this joint. This is some superb soulful mid-tempo disco. I forgot to bring it, but I also love the previously unreleased version of Syreeta doing this tune from back in the late 60s in a straight-up Motown cookie-cutter formula (and I don't mean that in a bad way) cause it sounds like a totally different song in that style, tempo and from a female perspective.
Stevie Wonder - Heaven is 10 Zillion Light Years Away
My favorite sleeper Stevie track from Fullfillingness First Finale. This is the kind of religious music I can get down to.