Thursday, May 10, 2012

Reason #3 Why Stevie Wonder is a Musical Genius

Reason #3 - If enough people believe it's true, it must be!

A quick word of background:  The idea of this series of blog posts comes from a good friend who was compiling a list of "Musical Geniuses of the 20th Century" and sought my input.  When I volunteered that, in my opinion, Stevie's presence on the list was mandatory, she was skeptical.  I know, right?!?  She's otherwise a nice, sane, well-educated person ;-) Since my friend clearly didn't take me at my word, I figured I'd give a brief catalog of 3rd party sources that buttress my opinion on the matter.  So, who believes Stevie is a genius?

Allmusic Guide
 - The comprehensive online music database and blog (and possessor of *millions* of CDs at their Michigan headquarters) says that Stevie is:
"…a much-beloved American icon and an indisputable genius
 not only of R&B but popular music in general"

NPR, who concluded their "NPR 100" series with Stevie's album Talking Book.  The objective of the NPR 100 is no less than to present the stories behind 
"100 of the most important American musical works of the 20th century, across all styles and genres"

The Guardian, the London newspaper, who have the following to say about Stevie's album Songs in the Key of Life
"This influenced virtually every modern soul and R&B singer… No other R&B artist has sung about the quandaries of human existence with quite the same grace."

Rolling Stone Magazine , the notoriously Rock-centric publication, who rank 4 of Stevie's albums among their "500 Greatest Albums of All Time".  The albums:
  • Innervisions
  • The Music of My Mind
  • Songs in the Key of Life
  • Talking Book
By way of reference, these are the Artists with the most albums making Rolling Stone's List

  • Bob Dylan - 10
  • The Beatles - 10
  • The Rolling Stones - 8
  • The Who - 7
Other Artists, according to one source, Stevie has written 131 songs for artists such as:
  • Luciano Pavarotti
  • Julio Iglesias
  • Neil Diamond
  • The Beach Boys
  • Quincy Jones
  • James Taylor
  • Jeff Beck
  • Marvin Gaye
  • Diana Ross
  • and many, many others
Music Nerd General Consensus, my proof?  The excellent 33 1/3 Book series has a volume on Songs in the Key of Life (volume 42, in case you're curious)

I'm only an expert in my own mind, but it bears repeating that
I think he's a genius too.

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