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Number 1's: Stevie Wonder

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Editors’ Notes

Despite its title, Number 1’s actually excludes a couple of Stevie Wonder’s #1’s from the Sixties ( “Blowin’ In the Wind,” “Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day”) and a few from the Eighties (“Ebony & Ivory,” “Go Home,” “You Will Know”) just to be able to fit in all of the stone-cold classics from Wonder’s Seventies era. The compilation disproportionately favors the Seventies, mistakenly giving the impression that Wonder’s Sixties period was just a prelude to his later triumphs rather than its own distinct body of work, but other than that, collecting his #1’s seems like the most reasonable way to distill Wonder’s remarkably deep and diverse career onto one disc. The crisp remastering job brings out new details in lesser-known Seventies works like “You Haven’t Done Nothin’” and “Boogie On Reggae Woman,” which are just as good as standards like “Superstition” and “I Wish.” Even more surprising is “Skeleton,” an overlooked #1 from 1987 that (along with the 1995 bonus track “So What the Fuss”) proves that Wonder is the rare old-timer willing to engage hip-hop’s musical innovations rather than deride them.

Customer Reviews

Close, But Not Quite

This collection serves as a pretty good representation of Stevie Wonder's solo #1's on the Billboard r&b and pop charts. However, to make this collection really complete, "So What's The Fuss" and "Overjoyed" need to go and the two missing r&b #1s "Blowin' In The Wind" and "Shoo Be Doo Be Doo Dah Day" need to be here. Then the collection would be accurate.

Timeless Gems

Stevie's music covers a lot of ground, both in genre and appeal, and this collection covers all the high points over his long career. A few of these have been played to death by Top 40 and Oldies radio, but there are still timeless gems here that upon new listening continue to fill your ears with funktastic rainbows of musical flavor. The first couple of tunes are naturally a bit musty smelling from living in Motown's party basement for almost 40 years, but I think that's simply due to the technology limitations of the time. I would love to hear Stevie remake versions of his oldest material to enliven it and bring it to a new audience. But the majority of the material here is strong and as fresh and filled with groove as the day I remember first hearing it on the radio when I was a wide-eyed kid. Stevie seemed to always be completely accessible to the average ear, and yet he was able to imbue his songs with enough political and social sentiment to satisfy listeners who searched for deeper meanings. Stevie is a wondrous musician and storyteller, making music that anyone can enjoy. This is a beautiful collection, particularly for the newest Stevie Wonder fans. It gives a good jumping-off point for diving deeper into his many albums of fun, stirring and beautiful music.

Stevie Wonder is the Best!

Hey! I'm a white guy in my 40's and I can guarantee that this album is one of the greatest single combinations of hits anywhere. Every song sends me back to a time of fun and love. Every song urges me on to reminisce with my beautiful wife. Every song makes me love my family more. You cannot beat the phsycological uplifting this album will give you. God Bless Stevie. He's a wonderful man!

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