ARP and Moog synths were marked in braille for ease of playing
Soul and Funk
Stevie Wonder had been getting there for over ten years, with Innervisions he hit the mark with a work of genius that few could resist.
In the early seventies former child prodigy Stevie Wonder was cutting winner after winner. Music Of My Mind had I Love Every Little Thing About You in 1971 and Talking Book threw out’ You Are The Sunshine Of My Life and the stunning Superstition in 72. But Innervisions was the motherlode. The whole album sparkles on every front; the songs; the production, even the gatefold cover. And it harboured huge hits that he’s called on to play to this day: Higher Ground, Living For The City and He’s Misstra Know-It-All.
The LP opens with the panned electric piano and jazz-funky vocals of Too High, but sonically that pales against the acoustic beauty of Visions. That segues into the magnificent socially conscious Living For The City that includes dialogue with all voices provided by the artist.
Golden Lady and Jesus Children Of America show Wonder’s emotional side and belief in the power of faith, while real hurt fills All In Love Is Fair which probably has a career-best vocal. It’s all rounded off with the smart-as-a-whip He’s Misstra Know-It-All, a song that criticised Nixon in not such an indirect fashion.
Innervisions proves just how smooth synths could sound and that phat bass was an essential element if you wanted to deliver deep funk. It’s a powerful album on social, sonic and emotional levels.