Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tour Date Number Three: Age Two, Stevie Wonder—Not Just Another Sesame Street Character

Today we travel back to my roots. And we’re talking the very root of my roots here. In order to stave off stark terror, you should breathe a sigh of relief when I tell you that I am sparing you many of the musical influences of my youth. That includes Captain and Tennille and a certain gospel artist named Mary John who makes my mother vomit at the very sound (true story). I could sing every word of “Do That To Me One More Time,” but that doesn’t make it something to build my musical history on, now does it?

This is the very first album I ever laid ears on and the first album I will recommend in its entirety. Stevie Wonder’s (yes I know that’s not his real name) Fulfilingness’ First Finale. It came out in 1974 when I was but two years old. My parents, well, probably mostly my mother, listened to it incessantly and I soon had it committed to memory before I could even understand most of the words. But I did understand the music. Music like his rarely finds its equivalent for me. Every time I hear it I want to get up and moooove. That’s what makes it great. So…my faves. **drum roll** IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER!

Too Shy To Say

You make me smile
You make me sing
You make me feel good everything
You bring me up
When I've been down
This only happens when you're around

And I can't go on this way...
With it stronger every day...
But being too shy to say
That I really love you...

I wanna fly
Away with you
Until there's nothing more for us to do
I wanna be
More than a friend
Until the end of an endless end

And I can't go on this way...
With it stronger every day...
But being too shy to say
That I really love you...

And I can't go on this way...
Feelin' it stronger every day...
But being too shy to say
That I really love you
Ohh.. ooh...
I... do...

Too Shy To Say is the quintessential love song. Simple, passionate, sweet…and it really sums things up nicely if you’re one of those tongue-tied sorts when it comes to love (like me).

Listen to it here.

They Won’t Go When I Go

No more lying friends
Wanting tragic ends
Though they do pretend
They won't go when I go

All those bleeding hearts
With sorrows to impart
Were right here from the start
And they won't go when I go

And I'll go where I've longed
To go so long
Away from tears

Gone from painful cries
Away from saddened eyes
Along with him I'll bide
Because they won't go when I go

Big men feeling small
Weak ones standing tall
I will watch them fall
They won't go when I go

And I'll go where I've longed
To go so long
Away from tears

Unclean minds mislead the pure
The innocent will leave for sure
For them there is a resting place
People sinning just for fun
They will never see the sun
For they can never show their faces
There ain't no room for
the hopeless sinner
Who will take more
than he will give
He ain't hardly gonna give

The greed of man will be
Far away from me
And my soul will be free
They won't go when I go

Since my soul conceived
All that I believe
The kingdom I will see
'Cause they won't go when I go

When I go
Where I'll go
No one can keep me
From my destiny.

As my son used to say (much to my chagrin)… “Dang, boy!” Those are some lyrics. Seriously. If I were to attempt to go into all that was implied by the poetry here I would have to allot at least a week of blogging to it. So…I’ll let you ponder it yourself. I’ve loved this song from the start and then when I knew the words and their meaning I loved it even more. My mother had the sheet music for the album and we played it on the piano and sang…loved it even more. And then, being a child of the eighties, I even liked the George Michael cover of this particular song that was released in September 1990 on his Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 album (though, admittedly, Michael was no doubt invoking the meaning of the song for different reasons).

Listen to it here.

“Heaven is 10 Zillion Light Years Away” is the third place winner, but I can only post so many lyrics before people start getting glassy-eyed and all that. I also really like “Creepin’” and “Boogie on Reggae Woman” for no particular reason. It is absolutely crucial to your musical appetite to have songs that you like for no particular reason.

On another note, I have chosen to start with larger artists whose albums I own (several times over now--cassette, CD, CD, CD, iTunes--what, you never destroyed that many CD's?) and support rather than some of the smaller ones that I also listen to because I have my own internal struggles about how exactly to pass on my likes and dislikes without stealing their music--or by proxy encouraging the theft of their music. I really don’t like using the YouTube links, but, meh. I want you to hear, like, and buy. Where the artist has links/mp3’s on their website I will use that, of course. Some of you, I know, have no problems, but simply put…if someone wanted to come draw off ten or so free barrels of oil from my well, I’d be a bit tweaked at ‘em. So buy the albums and support the artist. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Fulfillingness' First Finale and all of Stevie Wonder's music is available in it's entirety on iTunes (who is not paying me, asking me, or giving me permission to mention them here). To learn more about the artist and his other music go here. To get to his official website go here.


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