From 12-year-old multi-instrumentalist prodigy to groundbreaking adult songwriter and producer, Stevie Wonder is one of the handful of pop musicians who just about everybody agrees is possessed of genius. His 1960s recordings were great straight-up R&B, but his visionary '70s albums took pop and R&B where they'd never been before, incorporating electronics, reggae, and incredibly sophisticated melodic and harmonic development.
Japanese only SHM pressing. The SHM-CD [Super High Material CD] format features enhanced audio quality through the use of a special polycarbonate plastic. Using a process developed by JVC and Universal Music Japan discovered through the joint companies'' research into LCD display manufacturing SHM-CDs feature improved transparency on the data side of the disc allowing for more accurate reading of CD data by the CD player laser head. SHM-CD format CDs are fully compatible with standard CD players. Universal. 2009.
Songs in the Key of Life (1976) was the highest high point of Stevie Wonder''s career. More sprawling than Innervisions and Talking Book, this two-LP-plus-EP was also less of a consistent stunner than either of those masterworks. That Songs retains an enormous amount of visionary relevance, though, is demonstrated not only in Coolio''s borrowing of "Pastime Paradise" as a template for "Gangsta''s Paradise," but in the cold-as-ice synthesized string quartet of "Village Ghetto Land." This is Stevie, so naturally that cut''s anger is balanced by the ultra-buoyant "I Wish," "Sir Duke," and "Another Star." The 2000 reissue boasts radically improved remastered sound. --Rickey Wright
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