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This article is about the 1972 album. For other uses, see Talking Book (disambiguation).

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Untitled

Talking Book is the fifteenth album by Stevie Wonder, released on October 28, 1972. A signal recording of his "classic period", in this one he "hit his stride."[2] The album's first track, "You Are the Sunshine of My Life", hit #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 and Easy Listening charts, then earned Wonder his first Grammy Award, for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The album's first single, "Superstition", also hit #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles charts.

Background[]

Sandwiched between the release of Music of My Mind and Innervisions, Talking Book saw Wonder enjoying more artistic freedom from Motown. Guest appearances 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 swinging clavinet and harmonica embellishments on "Big Brother", though, defy categorization.

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 & 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.

The cover depicts Wonder with cornrows, Indian jewelry and a velvet afghan.

Reception[]

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Released after Wonder toured with the Rolling Stones in 1972, Talking Book became a major hit, peaking at #3 on the Pop Albums chart in February 1973,[4] and became the first album for Wonder to top the Top R&B Albums chart where it remained for three weeks.[5] 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[6] Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff won the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical award for their work on that album.[citation needed]

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, Vince Aletti called 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".[7] In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it 90th on the magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[8] According to Robert Christgau, the record found Wonder taking artistic control and breaking through,[9] while J. D. Considine called it "a pop tour de force".[10]

Track listing[]

All songs produced, arranged and written by Stevie Wonder except where noted.

No.TitleLength

Inscription[]

Original pressings[11] contain Braille lettering of Wonder's name and the album title, along with a message not transcribed until the 2000 pressing:[12]

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

— Stevie

Personnel[]

Side one[]

  1. "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" (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" (Wonder) – 6:51
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, Hohner clavinet, drums, Moog bass
    • Ray Parker Jr. – electric guitar
  3. "You and I (We Can Conquer the World)" (Wonder) – 4:39
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, piano, T.O.N.T.O. synthesizer, Moog bass
  4. "Tuesday Heartbreak" (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" (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" (Wonder) – 4:26
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, Hohner clavinet, drums, Moog bass
    • Trevor Laurence – tenor saxophone
    • Steve Madaio – trumpet
  2. "Big Brother" (Wonder) – 3:34
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocals, Hohner clavinet, drums, harmonica, Moog bass
  3. "Blame It on the Sun" (Wonder, Syreeta Wright) – 3:26
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, piano, drums, Moog bass, T.O.N.T.O. synthesizer
    • Jim Gilstrap – background vocal
    • Lani Groves – background vocal
    • Uncredited – guitar
  4. "Lookin' for Another Pure Love" (Wonder, S. 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)" (Wonder, Y. Wright) – 4:51
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, piano, Hohner clavinet, drums, Moog bass

Personnel[]

  • Malcolm Cecil - Programming, Engineer, Associate Producer
  • Robert Margouleff - Engineer, Associate Producer, Photography
  • Austin Godsey - Engineer, Recording
  • Joan Decola - Recording
  • George Marino - Mastering

Charts[]

Certifications[]

Region Certification
United Kingdom (BPI)[23] Gold

See also[]

  • List of number-one R&B albums of 1973 (U.S.)

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 0313379068. 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 1-58765-517-9.
    Brown, Jeremy K. (2010). Stevie Wonder: Musician. Black Americans of Achievement. Infobase Publishing. p. 57. ISBN 1-60413-685-5.
  3. Chesterton, George (October 5, 2012). "In Praise of the Clavinet". New Statesman. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  4. "1973 Albums - Month By Month". Super Seventies Rocksite!. Retrieved 2014-05-05.
  5. "Talking Book - Stevie Wonder". AllMusic. 1972-10-27. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  6. 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
  7. Aletti, Vince (January 4, 1973). Talking Book by Stevie Wonder | Rolling Stone Music | Music Reviews. Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved on 2011-04-19.
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named AM
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Christgau81
  10. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Considine
  11. http://www.discogs.com/Stevie-Wonder-Talking-Book/release/174477
  12. http://www.discogs.com/Stevie-Wonder-Talking-Book/release/3566301
  13. "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 19, No. 16" (PHP). RPM. 1973-06-02. Retrieved 2014-04-29. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  14. "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. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1973" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
  16. Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4871310779.
  17. "norwegiancharts.com Stevie Wonder - Talking Book". Archived from the original (ASP) on 2014-05-07. Retrieved 2014-04-24. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help); Cite has empty unknown parameter: |DUPLICATE_accessdate= (help)
  18. "Stevie Wonder > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2014-04-28. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Allmusic: Talking Book: Charts & Awards: Billboard Albums". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  20. "Les Albums (CD) de 1973 par InfoDisc" (in French). infodisc.fr. Archived from the original (PHP) on 2012-10-27. Retrieved 2014-04-28. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  21. "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1973". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2014-04-28. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)[dead link]
  22. "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1974". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on 2013-12-31. Retrieved 2014-04-28. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)[dead link]
  23. [[[:Template:Certification Cite/URL]] "[[:Template:Certification Cite/Title]]"] Check |url= value (help). British Phonographic Industry. URL–wikilink conflict (help) 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[]

Template:Stevie Wonder

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