Stevie Wonder

I don’t wish to unduly alarm anyone, but… have you noticed the date?

A jolly good excuse to include this classic performance from Stevie Wonder, though. Possibly one of the funkiest tunes ever recorded, I feel: ‘Superstition’ from 1973 (and Sesame Street).


Of course, I’m now wondering if you’re superstitious, if you’re a fan of Stevie Wonder (even Sesame Street) and, if so, which of his songs you’re most fond of.

How’s this for a list of five all-time greats: ‘Master Blaster (Jammin’)’, ‘Uptight (Everything’s Alright)’, ‘Sir Duke’, ‘Living For the City’ and ‘For Once in My Life’?

Enjoy the weekend, everyone. Keep those 2008 songs, Later… with Jools Holland appearances and Beatles covers coming in, won’t you?

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour's official blog, The Blog ('Features' previously being its rather naff title), affectionately - or lazily - shortened to 'FEd'.

72 thoughts on “Stevie Wonder”

  1. Songs In the Key of Life stands out for me, I think it was that time that Stevie Wonder was taken seriously as a musician.

    Superstitious? I tell everyone I’m not but drove extra carefully on the way to work this morning just in case.

  2. Hi FEd,

    great video! I’m not superstitious, I like SW but I’m not a fan of Stevie Wonder BUT I remember very well this song because I was 18 (!) and “Superstition” was a pretty track for my discos and teenager summer… So, thank you for the memories.

    A nice week end FEd, to you and all mates
    diana

  3. don’t actually believe in all that superstition rubbish, but love stevie wonder. couldn’t name a fave record though, too many.

  4. Not a huge fan of Stevie Wonder but I did really enjoy his albums up to Innervisions/Talking Book period.

    No denying the huge talent though.

    Don’t think I am a superstitious person.

  5. I like Stevie’s earlier work like Living In the City. I can’t stand his Song in the Key of Life release. Never could see what people saw in that one (really bad pun there…). Maybe it was just so overplayed back in the 70s, especially Sir Duke. For me that song is Sir Puke.

    I much prefer the work of Sly and the Family Stone and some of Stevie’s earlier work has some the same funk to it.

    As for Sesame Street, I grew up on that show. Always watched that and Mister Rogers back-to-back but never got into The Electric Company. In any case, I find these shows much better than later shows like Teletubbies or Thomas the Tank Engine.

    The most stirring Sesame Street episode for me was the one that dealt with Mr. Hooper’s death.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  6. Ahhh… Sesame Street, those were the good ol’ days! (FEd, did they have Sesame Street in the UK?)

    As far as Stevie goes, my favorites are “Isn’t She Lovely”, “For Once in My Life” and “Overjoyed”.

    Have a nice weekend FEd and all!

  7. I must admit that I’m probably more familiar with Sesame Street than I am with Stevie Wonder. Isn’t he the blind pawn shop owner in the Blues Brothers film?

    You mentioning Sesame Street reminded me of a story I heard on the Now show a few years ago. Apparently a DVD of Sesame Street was released, but when people went to buy it in the shops they found that it had a parental warning sticker on it. It turned out that the powers that be had decided it was unsuitable for children because of the cookie monster!

    Apart from the issue of how to spell ‘colour’ and whether it is math or maths, I don’t see how Sesame Street could be bad for children. I always thought it was supposed to be educational.

    Hope everyone has a good weekend. Who is it Liverpool are playing at the weekend FEd? 😀

    1. I was actually thinking about the FA Cup.

      To be fair Liverpool probably should still be in it. After all, ITV never actually showed Everton score against Liverpool whilst the match was being played. :))

  8. I’m not familiar with Stevie Wonder…

    But I think that blind people are often great musicians. Maybe someone who loses their sight has to learn how to make their other senses more sensitive.

    For example, professional qualified piano tuners are generally blind people. Their hearing is sharper.

    As for superstition, I can’t be superstitious since I’m the servant of an all black cat, but I will avoid to cross his path today!

    BTW, is it a sign of bad or good fortune when a black cat crosses your path?

    Michèle

    1. Don’t worry Michele. If you cross your black cat’s path immediately after it crossed yours, it cancels out the bad luck. (I just made up that rule to keep you safe.)

    2. You’re too kind, John, but, please, never let that frightening creature in your avatar coss my path! 😛

  9. Sadly, the irony of today’s date is not making things any easier in the part of the world I live (Buffalo NY). The crash of Flight 3407 (last night at around 10pm) is on everyone’s mind here in the Western NY area.

    For those of you who haven’t heard – a commuter plane filled with 48 passengers and crew – nose dived into a home in a rather antiquated hamlet East of Buffalo NY (and in the flight path of the Buffalo airport). Miraculously, only 1 home was destroyed in the crash. However, the names of the victims has not been released (with the exception of Beverly Eckert, a 9/11 widow on her way to celebrate what would have been her late husband’s 58th birthday celebration).

    All in all, a somber day in Western NY. Soon to get all the more somber when the passenger list gets released as what’s usually the case in this smallish area of Western NY there is always 6 degrees of separation from someone.

    Prayers to those we lost today – and their families in grieving.
    Darren 🙁

    1. That’s so sad, Darren. My condolences.

      Earlier this week, not far from where I live, two planes collided, killing both pilots and two teenage Cadets on their first flight.

      You think what might have been, as it happened very near to a busy motorway and a steel works, then you hear of another considerable loss of life.

      There always seems to be something, somewhere, doesn’t there?

    2. Darren,

      I did read about that tragedy. How unfortunate and how fickle fate could be sometimes. Last month 150 people survived the plane incident on the Hudson River and this month 48 people perished in a crash in Buffalo. You just never know.

      From what I have read they did release the names of the crew.

      Very sorry for the loss and condolences to all affected.

      Thanks.

      Andrew

    3. Hi Darren,

      I heard about it. It was a tragedy and I’m so sorry for all those people and their families.

      Alessandra

    4. Darren:

      I’m in Schenectady, some 150 miles away, but today my thoughts and prayers are with you in Buffalo. The images I saw on TV and in the newspaper were truly horrific. Having grown up just a few blocks from the World Trade Center, I know a few things about what it’s like to have a plane crash into your neighborhood. This is a different situation, an apparent accident rather than a terrorist event. But the part about wondering whether someone you know is a victim, and waiting to learn the names, I know what that’s about. And the destruction of a place that you love.

      Darren, I stand spiritually with the citizens of your fine city today. You are not alone.

  10. FRIDAY 13TH. 🙁

    I did be very careful going to get breakfast this morning.

    Hope everyone has a nice Valentine’s Day.

  11. Six Degrees of Separation have hopefully been reduced, if what I found bears fruit.

    Six Degrees of Separation (sounds like a good song title).

    Birthday coming up in a few short weeks for a certain guitar player. And we can not send gifts so we have to put greetings here.

    Have a good weekend all!

    Bev

  12. Yeah man… funky with supreme style, it’s the only thing that can move my body.

    Master Blaster for me please, I can’t have enough of it.

    And I can’t have enough of black cats, I love those little panthers.

  13. I guess the next thread can be, “What is your favorite Sesame Street song?” or “What is your favorite letter or number?”

    One, Two, Three, Four…FOUR! FOUR! FOUR! FOUR!

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  14. Darren ~

    Very sorry to hear this as Buffalo is very near and dear to my heart.

    Excellent people there…

    My condolences to all affected by this horrible incident.

  15. O.K. Back to Stevie…

    I liked “Overjoyed” a lot… even though they forgot to turn off the drip in the sink when they recorded it…

  16. Ooo, I definitely dig Stevie Wonder! 8)

    As and Superstitious are tight songs, certainly, but my favorite is Signed, Sealed, Delivered… Great song to drive down the highway to with your windows rolled down.

  17. Always have been a fan of Stevie’s. I’ve read that he initially wrote “Superstition” for Jeff Beck, who then told Stevie, “You should record this song”. Thankfully, he did record it, plus, Stevie wrote the very beautiful “‘Cause We Ended As Lovers” for Jeff, who played some of the most extraordinary guitar on that piece. It all worked out very well, didn’t it?

    Have a great weekend and Valentine’s Day, everyone!

    Cheers;
    Bill C

  18. …knock on wood, I’m not superstitious. 😛

    Taki

    Who believes in nothing but the good in man (I know, I’m a dreamer, don’t try to wake me up!)

  19. Stevie Wonder is great “Superstition” is a superb tune that Stevie Ray Vaughn later took to new heights. I’m not sure if Mr. Wonder also wrote Wall of Denial but if he did kudos for that as well.

    Also “Higher Ground” is one of the best, most funkadellic, songs ever written.

    Later the Red Hot Chilli Peppers did an excellent job at that one. It says a lot about the influence of an artist when so many other high profile others want to perform YOUR material.

    Stevie Wonder belongs in the musical annals as one of the greatest to ever write a song, plus he did Sesame Street! That is bonus points right there.

    To Darren, my condolences as well, what a tragic ordeal for everyone involved.

    Thank you very much indeed, good night to you.

  20. What’s a Stevie Wonder list without ‘Isn’t She Lovely?’ This is the first song I remember hearing as an infant.

    Nice work on the new place Fed. I’ve been lost in the rabbit holes of Facebook after it seemed like you and Mr. Gilmour fell off the face of the earth. I found a bunch of old friends there, but I missed this place a lot.

    P.S. How does one go about uploading their profile picture to this site? Thanks.

    Beware of out of place goal tenders, projectiles and other unlucky things on this Friday. Superstition helped to make my day.

    1. Thanks very much for the compliment, Erik.

      If you go to gravatar.com, you’ll see just how easy it is to have a custom image appear alongside all of your comments here.

      You look like a bemused ninja-crab at the moment.

    2. Hey, alright, it worked! Thank you. Well, I’m afraid I don’t look too different from the ‘Bemused Crab.’ You should see me in the morning with this head-cold, talk about crabby.

  21. stevie wonder is great. i bet david would do a great “apple of my eye” and follow it with apples and oranges.

    one of my favorite beatles connections is concerning the cover of piper at the gates of dawn, the photographer got the lens for the shoot from one george harrison, who didn’t want it.

    pretty cool huh?

    cheers.

  22. We Brazilians aren’t that superstitious regarding Friday 13ths. But it’s fun to notice how year after year Halloween has been ‘growing’ over here. Results of globalization, possibly.

    At least this time around we didn’t get a lot of “You can’t turn on your computer today. There are lots of viruses on Friday 13th”, like we used to until a few years ago. It was kinda stupid, but still funny to see how people ‘adapted’ the date with hi-tech creepiness. 😛

  23. I can’t say to be a fan of Stevie Wonder, but I liked the video.

    I’m not superstitious, I don’t believe in black cats or unlucky numbers, but I become a little ritual when I have to do something important, as an exam or things like that. I think it’s a way to concentrate more than a superstitious behaviour.

    However, here in Italy we have 17 as unlucky number, instead of 13, so I’m not in danger today! 😛

    Good weekend to everybody,

    Alessandra

  24. I would like to add that Valentine’s Day is Rudders’ birthday also. Where can that dude be hiding these days? :/

    Highest Ground by Stevie is one of my favourites by far and Jesus Loves the Children? Can’t remember the title for sure. Excellent.

    Have a good weekend all.

  25. Ahhh, Sesame Street, what memories. For reasons unknown to me at the time, one of my neighbours back in the mid 90s decided to nickname me “Big Bird”. Of course, his 3 kids all joined in and I now can’t remember what my real name is!

    Stevie Wonder, I didn’t really buy any albums much when I was younger, although I loved Ebony and Ivory with McCartney, and perhaps “Master Blaster” and a few others already mentioned.

    I’m only superstitious when I see two magpies, if I see only 1 then I think it’s a load of nonsense. 😉

  26. I love Stevie. 🙂

    I don’t think any artist makes me smile so much!

    …and I loved Sesame Street too. Although it seems to be restricted to the USA nowadays, which is disappointing because I’m sure kids today could learn a lot from Big Bird and co. I have good memories of watching Sesame Street when I was younger! My favourite “sketch” was the one involving Grover in a restaurant with an impatient customer… Anyone else remember these?! Haha!

  27. I remember the early years of Stevie Wonder and the parties my sister used to throw growing up. Living for the City would be my all time favourite with Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours a close second. Sir Duke is one that brings back memories and who can forget My Cherie Amour? For Once in my Life is another hit that has many many memories.

    They found my truck….. I go get it next Weds., then I’ll be afoot no more!

    1. I’m not superstitious at all, but they are all out there and they’re watching us… bwahaha! :))

  28. What a wonderful vid and jam. Thanks for sharing, FEd.

    I used to have a room mate who became obsessed with ‘Superstition’ and played it over and over and over again. So this song always makes me think fondly of him.

    I’ve always liked Stevie Wonder. He reminds me of my older brother, who is also blind, funky, fun and musically talented (maybe not quite as musically talented as Stevie). 😉

    The Classic Albums DVD for Songs In The Key Of Life is actually what turned me on to that album. And, when I started to really get into high-end audio playback gear in ’98 the first album I played to test drive my new speakers was Songs In The Key of Life. ‘I Wish’ and ‘Sir Duke’ were my favorites at the time.

    Thanks for letting me share. Have a LOVEly weekend, all.

  29. What a great piece of music!

    I would like to share this photo of Richard and my father, taken in 1978 in Rhodes. They used to meet at Rhodes harbour from Wednesday to Saturday, because my father worked on cruise ships, he’s a photographer. At night they developed films and went out together. It’s a very nice memory with many nice anecdotes.

    Hope everyone is fine there! Have a nice weekend!

    I don’t know how to send it, can you help me Fed, please?

  30. Didn’t Lou Reed do a sanitized version of “Walk On The Wild Side” on Sesame Street? Or am I remembering something that never existed?

  31. I have read somewhere that “Superstition” was originally composed by Jeff Beck, but Steve Wonder put his name on it and made a lot of money. I’m not sure if it is true, but soon after Stevie Wonder wrote a composition “Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers” which is outstanding track on Jeff’s 1975 “Blow by Blow” album. It was such a way to say “I’m sorry, Jeff” and I really like that one (the piece, not the way).

    I’m not a fan, I do not have any records of Stevie Wonder, as far as I remember “I’ve Just Called To Say I Love You” was big hit here back in the 80s in Poland.

  32. Hi Fed, everyone.

    Got the opportunity to come here again after a long while. Two thumbs up for the video and one more thing:

    Remember That Night is such piece of art that occupies my mind a few hours a day. The new material on it, On an Island, has been a huge influence on me, musically.

    I tried to learn some acoustic guitar. Never possible. I was there that night and enjoyed it so much (I have always been a fan) and inspired me so much. I got a whole new different idea about sound, music, performance, composition (Oh man, I miss Richard every night). Those 2 nights that I saw the performance (first in Toronto, same year) and watching this DVD, with a little bit more of attention to the “On an Island” part of it, I experience the most amazing flow of feelings. I have easily watched the entire On an Island part more than 100 times in last one year I know, too many times.

    But listen, here it comes, every night I capture a new thing in it. The way David bends, slides and plays with the pickups, the vibrato, and the pedals, during the solo part of The Blue, the way Richard rolls all over the instrument, these are incredible! Every piece, every single note is linked to the entire piece that it blows my mind away. How possible?

    And I have learned so many things, so many. I have learned so much that I can easily claim I have never learned anything in my life, at this pace, with this precision and with this much understanding.

    To be continued…

  33. I saw Eddie Murphy impersonate Stevie when I was young. Now whenever I see Stevie, I think about that skit and laugh. I loved those early SNL shows.

    1. You are so right Saint Nike about Eddie Murphy acting like Stevie on SNL. I too think of him when I see anything about Stevie Wonder. Eddie had every move Stevie did and it was so funny. I miss the old Saturday Night Live players of the 70s!

      BarbaraP

  34. Continued…

    This has helped me understand so many things and terms and gain lots knowledge in music. And I have rarely learned so man things from a piece like this. I enjoy it so much and if I ever want to think of a good piece of advice, I have something nice to offer: lights, camera, the motion, the performance. Rick says in the documentary that he likes two players. “B B King and David. David is an amazing player and a vocalist. Every night I hear him playing the note and it really is the very first time he has played it that way.” I see how possible now, pppfffff…

    I always have this DVD with me in my back pack and laptop.

    Thank you.

    If I ever hear that there ever will be a night, a small tour, like the last one, with this and old and new material (new material is better, the past is gone, let’s look to the future – “still long to go…” – although it wont be the very same without our missed ones)… that day, that hearing, would be one of the most amazing news that I’ve ever heard in my entire life. Go ahead every one, 3D, every one. Let’s make music, maybe in few years I can play along with you – with this speed, that wouldn’t be impossible. 😉

    Cheers.

  35. Love most of Stevie Wonder’s music. However, who could ever imagine a number like that being played on a present day children’s TV programme? It just wouldn’t happen now – for a start, the producer wouldn’t allow a song to go on for so long. I was 12 when this went out, but sadly, we never got Sesame Street in the UK back then.

    Looking at the video, you’ve just got to love that kid at the back in the red top – he’s so into the groove; in a world of his own, LOL!

  36. My favourite Stevie Wonder songs are ‘Living for the City’, ‘He’s Misstra Know-it-All’, ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ and ‘Another Star’ (which I’m listening to as I write). The full length versions in all cases, I hasten to add. You can’t beat a good lengthy number (as Gilmour/Floyd fans probably agree!).

  37. Superstitious – No, but I can’t help but go through the motions. I touch wood, I throw salt over my shoulder, I do it because everyone else does it!

    I loved Stevie Wonder stuff all the way back from the sixties, I sort of lost touch with what he was doing during the eighties but I love all the songs people have mentioned.

    Anyone mentioned Yester me, Yester you, Yesterday? Living Just Enough For The City?

    Sesame Street – yes, good children’s programme (have a look at James Blunt on Sesame Street on YouTube).

    Fed, I’ve enjoyed this topic (not that I don’t enjoy all your topics), I’ve enjoyed playing some Stevie Wonder and reading about Sesame Street. Remember the Muppets and the two elderly hecklers in the balcony? They were great. 😀

    Belated Birthday Greetings Zureen. Rudders, where are you ? Your wit is missed.

    ash X

  38. I am not a fan of Stevie Wonder; I can’t explain why but his music was sure very popular in Hong Kong and “Superstition” was among the few most played songs on the radio. I remember Stevie Wonder did a song with Paul McCartney called “Ebony and Ivory” that captured my attention with its beautiful concepts; yet, it didn’t do anything for me neither.

    In regards to “superstitions”, for Chinese, we were brought up to follow many beliefs and customs in return for happiness, health, good fortune, prosperity, to rid the evils etc.; that being said, I am afraid the way I do things may have a lot of influences by such beliefs and customs, so I would say I am pretty superstitious.

    Thank you and have a great week all!

  39. There is a very long list of musicians I’ve tried going waaaaaaaaaaaaay back to the 70s and Stevie Wonder is on it. I think it was Songs in the Key of Life I bought, in Singapore funnily enough. Double album? Can’t remember. What I do remember is that, like a hundred other artistes or more, I listened to the album once, got rid of it and went running gratefully back to Pink Floyd.

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