Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Stevie Wonder - Greatest Hits Vol. 2
Genres: Pop, R&B
Stevie Wonder grew up fast, as Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 makes plain. Collecting both Motown assembly-line gems ("My Cherie Amour") and the first flashes of his self-contained '70s funk-rock style ("Signed Sealed Delivered I'm... more »
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Stevie Wonder grew up fast, as Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 makes plain. Collecting both Motown assembly-line gems ("My Cherie Amour") and the first flashes of his self-contained '70s funk-rock style ("Signed Sealed Delivered I'm Yours," a terrific cover of the Beatles' "We Can Work It Out"), this 20-bit remaster disc is a must-own, particularly for Original Musiquarium fans looking for insight into Wonder's artistic growth. It's far from mere research material, though; the cream of this genius's early work is some of Motown's best. --Rickey Wright
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There Are Better Stevie Wonder "Greatest" CDs Available Now
Thomas Magnum | 08/27/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This CD issue of the original Tamla LP 313 of October 1971 was all right nine or ten years ago, but now even the Elvis CD re-issues of his original albums have added tracks. Quite simply, the buying public wants a bigger bang for their buck today, including informative liner notes which are completely lacking in this volume.
Like another reviewer I also wondered at the inclusion, even in the original vinyl LP, of track 10. Not that it was a bad tune, per se, but after all it was the flipside of his interpretation of The Beatles' hit We Can Work It Out which hit # 3 R&B and # 13 Billboard Pop Hot 100 in 1971. The B-side managed only a # 78 Hot 100 and was completely shut out of the R&B charts.
A much better bet, given the time-frame covered, the title of "greatest hits" and the contents of Volume 1, would have been I Don't Know Why, the flipside of My Cherie Amour. Sometimes shown as Don't Know Why I Love You, it made it to # 16 R&B and # 39 Hot 100in 1969 - clearly a "greater" hit than track 10.
There is no denying the massive talent of this singer,song writer and multi-instrumentalist who was rightfully inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame in 1989, and who was the winner of 18 Grammy Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996. But 5 stars shouldn't be awarded solely on the basis of his name.
We're looking at the CD itself here, and there are simply too many flaws to warrant more than three - in my opinion. Spend a few dollars more and get one of the newer 20+ track issues."
Classic Stevie Wonder
Down South | Baton Rouge,Louisiana | 06/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you like early Stevie Wonder, this is a great addition to your collection. Steveland Morris (his real name)simply improved year after year until the point of "Songs in the Key of Life", but this collection of his early songs includes classics that are a necessary part of any collection of the best of R&B, soul, or however you'd like to categorize his music."
...but the best was yet to come
finulanu | Here, there, and everywhere | 02/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album draws most of its material from four LP's: For Once in My Life (which is decent, but most its best moments are collected here), Signed, Sealed & Delivered (which is quite good), My Cherie Amour (an awful cash-in album on the lovely title song with "brilliant" covers of "Light My Fire" and "Hello Young Lovers"), and Where I'm Coming From (which I have never heard, because I've never seen it anywhere). It's a pretty good roundup of his late '60s Motown hits, but for the most part this pales in comparison to what would come afterwards. We'll take "I Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer", a dramatic, heavily orchestrated ballad. I like the song, but compare it to the similar "All in Love is Fair", from his 1973 masterpiece Innervisions. Meanwhile, "Sir Duke" does the big-band thing much better than "For Once in My Life" (which is a good song, just a bit overblown). "You Met Your Match" is superb proto-funk, but compared to "Keep Running", "Superstition', "Higher Ground", "You Haven't Done Nothin'", "I Wish", and "Did I Hear You Say You Loved Me"? Still sounds good, but I'd take any of those others. See, I know this isn't exactly an earth-shattering proclamation, but I think that Stevie was at his best when he wasn't under Motown's thumb, and instead was allowed to make his own decisions about what he did and didn't release - to me, he was the greatest artist of the '70s, putting out three masterpieces (Talking Book, Innervisions, Songs in the Key of Life), and two near ones (Fullfillingness' First Finale, Hotter Than July). It was giving him complete control over the songwriting that made all the difference. But hey, I love pretty much all '60s Motown stuff, and there's a lot of good songs here. I pretty much hate "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday", because it's a big overblown radio-friendly slice of crapola that seems to me like a desperate attempt to appeal to the whitebread pop crowd - not surprisingly, it was off My Cherie Amour, which you might remember had "Hello Young Lovers" on it (and that awful arrangement of "Light My Fire" - stick to the Doors' original, it rules, trust me on that). Never been a huge fan of "Travelin' Man" or "Never Had a Dream Come True" either. They're not BAD, but they're both kinda blah. Still, there are some great ones - "You Met Your Match" (my favorite) and "Never Dreamed", plus "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours" (which has an electric sitar in the intro that actually hasn't dated at all), a great pop ballads in "If You Really Love Me" and "My Cherie Amour", a touch of early funk in "Shoo-be Doo-be..." (which isn't have as dumb as its title suggests), an awesome social awareness number in "Heaven Help Us All" (which even then isn't anywhere near "Hello Jesus Children of America" - okay, I'm done, I swear it!), and I love it when Stevie busts out that harmonica on "For Once in My Life". Plus there's that manic cover of "We Can Work It Out", though the barking backup vocals get annoying. And if you listen all over the place, you can hear synthesizers cropping up, thus pointing in the direction Stevie's music would later go. I don't really listen to this that often, though "Signed, Sealed" and "You Met Your Match" are in regular rotation, since when I want to hear Stevie I generally put on one of his '70s albums (his more recent stuff is pretty cool, too - he hasn't made a REALLY bad album in decades, and a couple, like In Square Circle and Conversation Peace, are very underrated though they don't approach anything he put out in the '70s), but when I do spin it, I enjoy it. Even though I usually skip over all that "Yester"-crap. You know, that might be the worst song he ever did. Though "Light My Fire" comes close.