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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Talking Book
Talking Book.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 28, 1972 (1972-10-28)
Recorded1972
Genre
Length43:31
LabelTamla
Producer
Stevie Wonder chronology
Music of My Mind
(1972)
Talking Book
(1972)
Innervisions
(1973)
Singles from Talking Book
  1. "Superstition"
    Released: October 24, 1972
  2. "You Are the Sunshine of My Life"
    Released: March 1973

Talking Book is the fifteenth studio album by American singer, songwriter and musician Stevie Wonder, released on October 28, 1972, on the Tamla label for Motown Records. This album and Music of My Mind are widely noted as being the signal recordings of Wonder's "classic period".[2] The sound of the album is sharply defined by Wonder's keyboard work, especially with the synthesizers he incorporated. His use of the Hohner clavinet model C on "Superstition" is widely regarded as one of the definitive tracks featuring the instrument.[3]

Relying less on Motown's head Berry Gordy for musical direction and expression, Talking Book is often considered as the beginning of the turning point in Wonder's career from a youthful prodigy to an independent and experimental artist. Speaking on the album in 2000, Wonder said, "It wasn't so much that I wanted to say anything except where I wanted to just express various many things that I felt—the political point of view that I have, the social point of view that I have, the passions, emotion and love that I felt, compassion, the fun of love that I felt, the whole thing in the beginning with a joyful love and then the pain of love."[4]

Talking Book peaked at number three on the Billboard Top LPs chart and finished at number three on the Billboard 200 Albums Year-End of 1972. The album's first track "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and Easy Listening chart. The album's first single, "Superstition", also reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart. Talking Book earned Wonder his first Grammy Award, with "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" winning Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 16th Grammy Awards. "Superstition" also won Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song.

Reviewing for Rolling Stone in 1973, Vince Aletti regarded Talking Book "ambitious" and "richly-textured", writing that "even at its dreamiest, the music has a glowing vibrancy ... Altogether, an exceptional, exciting album, the work of a now quite matured genius".[5] Talking Book is often included in lists of the greatest albums of all time. It was voted number 322 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000).[6] Rolling Stone ranked it number 59 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[7]

Background

Sandwiched between the release of Music of My Mind and Innervisions, Talking Book saw Wonder enjoying more artistic freedom from Motown. Guest musicians appearing include Jeff Beck, Ray Parker Jr., David Sanborn, and Buzz Feiten. The sound of the album is sharply defined by Wonder's keyboard work, especially with the synthesizers he incorporated, giving a funky edge to tracks like "Maybe Your Baby". His use of the Hohner clavinet model C on "Superstition" is widely regarded as one of the definitive tracks featuring the instrument.[3] His clavinet embellishments on "Big Brother", though, evoke a six-string acoustic guitar, and his note-bending harmonica work touches on some folk and blues influences.

Cecil and Margouleff produced four of Wonder's "classic" albums in all: Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions and Fulfillingness' First Finale, as well as several albums by the Isley Brothers and others. They employed an unusual production technique using multiple layers of instruments such as the clavinet, Fender Rhodes electric pianos, and Arp and Moog synthesizers in place of the string orchestras used in conventional production techniques. This combination is what gives Talking Book and these other three albums their distinctive sound.[citation needed]

The cover depicts Wonder with cornrows, wearing Indian jewelry and a velvet kaftan.[8]

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic5/5 stars[9]
The Austin Chronicle4/5 stars[10]
Christgau's Record GuideA[11]
CreemA–[12]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music5/5 stars[13]
The Great Rock Discography9/10[13]
Los Angeles Times3.5/4 stars[14]
MusicHound Rock5/5[13]
The New Rolling Stone Album Guide5/5 stars[15]
Q5/5 stars[16]

Released after Wonder toured with The Rolling Stones in 1972, Talking Book became a major hit, peaking at number three on the Pop Albums chart in February 1973,[17] and became the first album by Wonder to top the Top R&B Albums chart, where it remained for three weeks.[18] The popular appeal of the recording helped destroy the myth that R&B artists were incapable of creating music that could be appreciated by rock audiences, and marked a unique period for R&B artists (especially Motown artists).[citation needed] Wonder won three awards for Talking Book at the 1974 Grammys: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "You Are the Sunshine of My Life", and both Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song for "Superstition". Incidentally, at the same ceremony, Wonder's next album, Innervisions, won Album of the Year and Talking Book's associate producers[19] Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff won the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical award for their work on that album.[citation needed]

Reviewing for Rolling Stone in 1973, Vince Aletti called Talking Book "ambitious" and "richly-textured", writing that "even at its dreamiest, the music has a glowing vibrancy" and makes for an altogether "exceptional, exciting album, the work of a now quite matured genius".[5] Writing a few years later in The Village Voice about Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life (1976), Robert Christgau said that "Talking Book is closer to a perfect album", as "a more complex and satisfying delight—a delight that combines the freewheeling energy of Dylan and the Stones with the softer accessibility of a Carole King—is provided by an artist with the ambition to ride his own considerable momentum and the talent to do more than just hang on while doing so."[20] According to his entry in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), the album found Wonder taking artistic control and breaking through, continuing his "wild multi-voice experiments" and writing better ballads without losing "his endearing natural bathos"; Christgau also highlighted "Superstition" as a translation of Wonder's "way of knowledge into hard-headed, hard-rocking political analysis".[11] J. D. Considine, in The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), called the record "a pop tour de force".[15]

Talking Book has frequently appeared in professional rankings of the greatest albums.[21] It was voted number 322 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000).[6] In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it 90th on the magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time,[13] maintained the rating in a 2012 revised list,[22] and re-ranked it number 59 on a 2020 list.[23] Based on such rankings, the aggregate website Acclaimed Music lists Talking Book as the 146th most acclaimed album of all time.[21]

Track listing and personnel

Side one

  1. "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" (Stevie Wonder) – 2:58
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, Fender Rhodes, drums
    • Jim Gilstrap – first lead vocal, background vocal
    • Lani Groves – second lead vocal, background vocal
    • Gloria Barley – background vocal
    • Scott Edwards – electric bass
    • Daniel Ben Zebulon – congas
  2. "Maybe Your Baby" (Stevie Wonder) – 6:51
  3. "You and I (We Can Conquer the World)" (Stevie Wonder) – 4:39
  4. "Tuesday Heartbreak" (Stevie Wonder) – 3:02
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, Fender Rhodes, Hohner Clavinet, drums, Moog bass
    • David Sanborn – alto saxophone
    • Deniece Williams – background vocal
    • Shirley Brewer – background vocal
  5. "You've Got It Bad Girl" (Stevie Wonder, Yvonne Wright) – 4:56
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, Fender Rhodes, drums, Moog bass, T.O.N.T.O. synthesizer
    • Jim Gilstrap – background vocal
    • Lani Groves – background vocal
    • Daniel Ben Zebulon – congas

Side two

  1. "Superstition" (Stevie Wonder) – 4:26
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, Hohner Clavinet, drums, Moog bass
    • Trevor Lawrence – tenor saxophone
    • Steve Madaio – trumpet
  2. "Big Brother" (Stevie Wonder) – 3:34
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocals, Hohner Clavinet, drums/percussion, harmonica, Moog bass
  3. "Blame It on the Sun" (Stevie Wonder, Syreeta Wright) – 3:26
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, piano, harpsichord, drums, Moog bass, T.O.N.T.O. synthesizer
    • Jim Gilstrap – background vocal
    • Lani Groves – background vocal
  4. "Lookin' for Another Pure Love" (Stevie Wonder, Syreeta Wright) – 4:44
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, Fender Rhodes, drums, Moog bass
    • Debra Wilson – background vocal
    • Shirley Brewer – background vocal
    • Loris Harvin (Delores Harvin) – background vocal
    • Jeff Beck – electric guitar
    • Buzz Feiten (Howard "Buzz" Feiten) – electric guitar
  5. "I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)" (Stevie Wonder, Yvonne Wright) – 4:51
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, piano, Hohner Clavinet, drums, Moog bass

Inscription Original pressings[24] contain Braille lettering of Wonder's name and the album title, along with a message only embossed on the album artwork in braille until the 2000 pressing:[25]

Here is my music. It is all I have to tell you how I feel. Know that your love keeps my love strong.

— Stevie

Additional personnel

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification
United Kingdom (BPI)[36] Gold

See also

References

  1. ^ Perone, James E. (2012). The Album: A Guide to Pop Music's Most Provocative, Influential, and Important Creations, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. x. ISBN 978-0313379062. Wonder integrated soul, funk, rock, torch song, and jazz on his 1972 album Talking Book and his 1973 album Innervisions.
  2. ^ Some observers count six classic albums, some count five, and others count four.
    Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2001). All music guide: the definitive guide to popular music (4 ed.). Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 447–448. ISBN 0-87930-627-0. Stevie Wonder came into his own with Music of My Mind, but Talking Book is where he hit his stride...
    Cramer, Alfred William (2009). Musicians and composers of the 20th century. 5. Salem Press. p. 1645. ISBN 978-1-58765-517-3.
    Brown, Jeremy K. (2010). Stevie Wonder: Musician. Black Americans of Achievement. Infobase Publishing. p. 57. ISBN 978-1-60413-685-2.
  3. ^ a b Chesterton, George (October 5, 2012). "In Praise of the Clavinet". New Statesman. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  4. ^ "Text-Only NPR.org : The Story Of Stevie Wonder's 'Talking Book'". text.npr.org. Retrieved 2019-12-31.
  5. ^ a b Aletti, Vince (January 4, 1973). Talking Book by Stevie Wonder | Rolling Stone Music | Music Reviews. Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved on 2011-04-19.
  6. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (2006). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 131. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.
  7. ^ "Talking Book ranked 59th greatest album by Rolling Stone magazine". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  8. ^ "#90: Stevie Wonder, "Talking Book" (1972)". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  9. ^ AllMusic review
  10. ^ Moser, Margaret (May 19, 2000). "Review: Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: W". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 9, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 1973). "The Christgau Consumer Guide". Creem. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  13. ^ a b c d "Talking Book". Acclaimed Music. Archived from the original on September 27, 2015. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  14. ^ Hilburn, Robert (April 1, 2000). "Motown Releases Remind Us of Stevie Wonder's Impact". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  15. ^ a b Considine, J. D. (2004). "Stevie Wonder". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 885–87. ISBN 0743201698. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  16. ^ Q. London: 123. August 2000.CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  17. ^ "1973 Albums - Month By Month". Super Seventies Rocksite!. Retrieved 2014-05-05.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Talking Book - Stevie Wonder". AllMusic. 1972-10-27. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  19. ^ https://cdn.discogs.com/ofvTaRQttmX09WDhkEkGfAbLmi4=/fit-in/600x600/filters:strip_icc%28%29:format%28jpeg%29:mode_rgb%28%29:quality%2896%29/discogs-images/R-174477-1261227531.jpeg.jpg[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ Christgau, Robert (November 8, 1976). "Stevie Wonder Is a Masterpiece". The Village Voice. Retrieved December 18, 2020 – via robertchristgau.com.
  21. ^ a b "Talking Book ranked 146th greatest album". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  22. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time". Rolling Stone. 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  23. ^ "Talking Book ranked 59th greatest album by Rolling Stone magazine". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  24. ^ "Stevie Wonder - Talking Book". Discogs. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  25. ^ "Stevie Wonder - Talking Book". Discogs. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  26. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 19, No. 16" (PHP). RPM. 1973-06-02. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
  27. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Archived from the original on 2013-05-07. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
  28. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1973" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
  29. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4871310779.
  30. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Stevie Wonder - Talking Book". Archived from the original (ASP) on 2014-05-07. Retrieved 2014-04-24.
  31. ^ "Stevie Wonder > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  32. ^ a b "Allmusic: Talking Book: Charts & Awards: Billboard Albums". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  33. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1973 par InfoDisc" (in French). infodisc.fr. Archived from the original (PHP) on 2012-10-27. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  34. ^ "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1973". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  35. ^ "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1974". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on 2012-12-31. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  36. ^ "British album   certifications – Stevie Wonder – Talking Book". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Talking Book in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 January 2021, at 07:28
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