CLASSICS: MOTOWN RARITIES
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles was another awesome group that laid down hit after hit back in the day. But right now, I’d like to write about a great song called “More Love,” which was released about two months before I was born in 1967. Along with Mr. Robinson’s good looks, he has a unique falsetto, unlike any male singer I’ve ever heard! His distinct & recognizable voice is so smooth that he can damn near serenade any one or anything. Add music to that voice and he’ll at least have your head popping (at bear minimum). Now, here is the interesting part, about the end of July in 1967, the song peaked at 23, and stayed in the top 100 for only 11 weeks. The reason why this is so interesting to me, is because it did not do nearly as well (in comparison to their other mega hits), yet it is one of the most memorable songs of their career. Go figure?!?!? However, this does prove one thing…. It proves that music is of the heart, and not of the stats! Do you want to know another tidbit? The song was so popular that Kim Carnes recorded her version of More Love in 1980, and it too became a hit with it peaking at #10, and stayed on the charts for 19 weeks. I absolutely loved how Kim started the song off with the stringed instruments. The song itself is just a beautiful medley.
I feel extremely fortunate to be one of the very few to still own this classic masterpiece. Stevie has got a lot of great music on this album. But I think the song that is most remembered (in my opinion, then again he has just so many), “For Once In My Life.” What a wonderful classic song to sing, or play for someone you really care about. The words just say it all. The album was released under the label of Motown, and in 1968, this song hit the number 2 spot on the music charts, and stayed on the top 100 for 14 weeks. Considering how popular this song was, I was pretty shocked that it did not stay on the charts longer. Another popular song on the same album is called “Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day.” This song peaked at #9, and stayed on the charts for 13 weeks. Check this album gem on Spotify’s Web Player.
I love Stevie Wonder, and he is most definitely one of the greatest living performers of our time. It is such a pleasure to hear him sing, he always gave us his all, and has always projected his voice. This was a young man that definitely was not scared to sing. Every time I think of Stevie, I can’t help but to think if Stevie and Jose Feliciano were young today, and if Ray Charles was still with us as a kid, the way that the music industry is now, I’d doubt that these phenomenal artists would have ever been given a chance at stardom. What do you think? Today’s musical culture is so lost, that in the next few decades, kids will probably tell you there were no such thing as successful blind performers!
But, let’s talk about this particular album released by Stevie. The Complete Stevie Wonder (2015), is truly the MOST complete musical album of any artist I’ve ever seen. This will make you realize just how much he has contributed to the music community. The album has a whopping 48 disc collection! Starting from his earliest work to his present. It has just about all of his greatest hits, and some never heard before recordings. When I saw this collection, I thought to myself, Damn, maybe Stevie Wonder was the hardest working man in show business?! I don’t ever recall even James Brown label releasing an album trilogy this huge! You Stevie fans will definitely enjoy this album. He sings all kinds of music, jazz, R&B, his music label even included some of his christmas singles. This collection is jaw dropping. I don’t think the average person would have been able to afford this collection if we saw it in a store. Do you see why music streaming like Spotify and Napster are so important? The average cost of a single CD today is about $18.99 x 48 = $911.52, but you can download and listen to all of these songs for just $10 a month (and everything else in it’s 36m+ library and additional access to their international around the world music) with @320 highest quality. That’s 9 years worth of unlimited Napster for the full value of Stevie’s collection. Or you can sign up for a FREE Spotify account, and listen to the entire collection FREE on your PC (and in random shuffle mode on your Smartphone). I don’t remember if the free version of Spotify has a limit on skips for on-demand listening; or they may hit you with more commercials; but who cares, your getting it free! Honestly, I’m not going to go in to all the songs I like because they’re just too many; and I’m sure true Stevie fans feel the same way. Check out the album on Spotify.