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Fulfillingness' First Finale

Stevie Wonder

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iTunes Review

Stevie Wonder was on a creative roll for much of the 1970s, creating music that was innovative, irrepressibly funky, and substantive. He was incorporating new technology such as the Moog synthesizer and other cutting edge effects into his sound and using them ingeniously. These were not novelties or gimmicks but a new way for him to express his artistic vision, and his mastery of the production process is on full display on 1974’s brilliant Fulfillingness’ First Finale. Here he offers a bit of everything — introspective love ballads, breakup songs, and political numbers such as the biting “You Haven’t Done Nothin,’” a hard-driving funk tune featuring the backup voices of the Jackson 5. The album also contains the moving, gospel-tinged “Heaven is 10 Zillion Light Years Away,” arguably one of the man’s most touching songs (which is saying something), and the timeless groove of “Boogie On Reggae Woman,” complete with a virtuosic harmonica solo by Stevie himself. As was the norm during this period, Stevie played most of the instruments and sang the majority of the vocals, and the result is a cohesive and rich collection of songs that still sounds thrilling. Genius may be an overused term, but it undoubtedly applies to Stevie Wonder, and this album is one of the main reasons why.

Customer Reviews

Soul music at its very best....

In the 70's Stevie Wonder topped the charts with albums like this one. In August of 1973, Stevie was in a serious car accident and ended up in a coma for four days. Nearly a year later, he released this classic LP. He lost his sense of smell after the accident, but not his incredible ability to write brilliant songs. Song by song, each one is not only brilliant, but on a very basic level, they get your foot tappin'. "Boogie On Reggae Woman," is one of my favorite songs ever. I only recently discovered the lost gem of a song, "Heaven is 10 Zillion Light Years Away." Despite the silly title, this song just moves me to tears. Stevie's vocals are so pitch perfect and heartfelt. The melody, bridge and chorus are perfect and wonderfully simple. Stevie won a Grammy for best Album for this effort. Stevie definitely peaked in the 70's and the three albums from Innervisions to FFF to Songs in the Key of Life are evidence that little Stevie Wonder is all grown up now and a musical genius. This is considered one of the best albums of the 70's. It is actually one of the best LPs ever.

Brilliant Composer, Beautiful Album

In a way, I think Fulfillingness' First Finale got lost between the tremendous critical success of Innervisions and the spectacular commercial success of Songs in the Key of Life, but it is undeniably one of Stevie's most flawlessly crafted albums. The simplistic brilliance of every song shows his confidence and complete mastery of his medium. The stylistic diversity of FFF demonstrates the staggering level of control he has over music, effortlessly weaving complex melodies and harmonies and rhythmic patterns into a single musical fabric. Stevie Wonder is a musical genius, and although he has at least ten others that would serve the purpose equally well, this album could easily be the only proof anyone would ever need.

test of time

I won this album from a radio contest in high school - I was a big YES and ELP fan, not really into Stevie - but I listened to it (with huge headphones) alot. 30 years later I was strangely compelled to order the cd and discovered that IT IS MAGICAL. "Creepin'" and "Too Shy To Say" were, and are, favorites, but the entire collection is gold!

Biography

Born: May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, MI

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Stevie Wonder is a much-beloved American icon and an indisputable genius not only of R&B but popular music in general. Blind virtually since birth, Wonder's heightened awareness of sound helped him create vibrant, colorful music teeming with life and ambition. Nearly everything he recorded bore the stamp of his sunny, joyous positivity; even when he addressed serious racial, social, and spiritual issues (which he did quite often in his prime), or sang about heartbreak and romantic uncertainty,...
Full Bio

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