It's an outrageously good article!  I particularly like David Sanborn's comments about how the band worked and songs evolved.  I'm also glad the article gave credit to Robert Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil for their contributions.  The use of synthesizers on this album literally changed pop music.  In 1972 he released "Music Of My Mind" and "Talking Book" at the age of 21.  Wow!!!

Hard to process-50 years!

Seems like just a couple years ago I was listening to the album when it was NEW.

Talking Book is an essential must have for Stevie Wonder fans.

Intro to "Maybe Your Baby" blasted is great to "feel" the Moog.

Innervisions was the only Stevie Wonder album I ever bought but it's a good one. 

Growing up in Canada I did not listen to much music from black musicians. Today my musical tastes are stuck in the 1970 - 1975 time period with R&B and Soul dominating (with some Zep thrown in).

I have a feeling that the music from that period will still be played 200 years from now.

Stevie Wonder ... to me, he is beyond categories. Anyone who hasn’t listened (carefully) to Songs in the Key of Live and Talking Book is missing works of musical history, US history, and beauty.



Don't forget "Innervisions" -- one of his greatest!  

Listening to his 70's albums is what first drew me into Jazz. 

Great album. Is it better than "Innervisions" or "Songs in the Key of Life"? Doesn’t matter all 3 recordings are in my Top 75 Pop/Rock recordings of the 1970’s. Surprised how few Audiophiles post/listen to great R&B music.

Funny, I was deep in the throes of diligently making an ultimate 40-song playlist of the pre-‘71-contract era (‘66-‘71 - I passed over the ‘62–‘66 era on the grounds of personal taste, basically Uptight through Where I’m Coming From) when I found the NYT article on Talking Book. Weird.  Musta been in the air.

That new contract, guaranteeing him complete creative control, yielded what people refer to as (rightfully) the “classic period.”  While the 5-album run of Music of My Mind through Songs in the Key of Life is (IMO) right there with any 5-album run of anyone’s (perhaps the GOAT) be it Beatles, Dylan, Bowie, or Prince, there are indeed a huge number of stunners from the pre-‘71-contract era, hence my nerdy endeavors to compile the ultimate playlist of that music.

It’s obviously a different situation, and while he is not the prototypical musical “auteur” in that period, he indeed has plenty of writing credits (including gems like ‘Tears of a Clown,’ ‘After You Pick Up the Pieces’ and ‘It’s Christmas Time’ by Smokey & the Miracles, and his ‘67 recording of ‘Until You Come Back to Me’ which Aretha eventually turned into a masterpiece in ‘73) and the best songs/tracks from Stevie/Motown ‘66-‘71 are simply ridiculous.

The last LPs, SignedSealed & Delivered, and Where I‘m Coming From, are tremendous.  ‘71’s Where I’m Coming From was essentially as autonomous as the ‘71-‘76 albums, and is just genius music. ‘70’s Signed, Sealed & Delivered is loaded with Wonder writing credits, is still a typical “Motown-machine-type” album, but is so ridiculously great top-to-bottom that I think it should be considered a Wonder classic in its own right.

Anyone who calls Songs in the Key of Life the greatest pop album ever made will hear nary a complaint from me.