on November 15, 2002
I suppose it is my own fault if I disagree with the material selection...it is a highly subjective matter. Personally I think there is too much of the earliest stuff on it that was made before he hit his mature genius. However, it is inexcusable that the recording quality is so dreadful! There are remastered versions of this material available that sound wonderful, and much of this sounds like a transistor radio. Another rip-off by a record label on us. One wonders if the engineers who put this stuff together have any pride at all in their work. I see no evidence of it here!
on May 30, 2004
This collection is awesome!! Stevie Wonder's music remains timeless. 15 number 1 hits!! Plus 6 more that reigned at the top of the charts! Stevie Wonder's genius cannot be squashed into one CD but they did a GREAT job trying. We all may have our favorites, some have been left out BUT 21 Stevie songs is nothing to complain about. If you grew up with his music, this CD will transport you right back to that time, and leave you overjoyed. A time when EVERYBODY knew all the words to EVERY song, because EVERY cut on the album was great. If you were too young, you still won't be able to keep from groovin' to this CD. Invite some friends & family over. Through the burgers on the grill. Pop in this CD. Feet can't help but move, heads will be boppin', as everyone relaxes to Stevie Wonder's heart and soul he put into his music.
Also, the CD insert is worth reading. A good bit of trivia that they included was how each song rated on the R&B, Pop and Adult Contemporary charts.
on January 28, 2004
Stevie Wonder has had lots of "Greatest Hits" albums, but none for a single disc from start (in 1962) to finish. If you only want one CD of Stevie Wonder, then this is your best option. However, if you already purchased his "4 CD compilation", then you don't need this. Highly recommended for just the casual fan.
on October 16, 2003
So, what can I say about a Stevie Greatest Hits CD? In some ways a lot but in many others, not much. Stevie, like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye and Prince, just has too much to offer to fit in one disk. This definately does include most of his hits but an artist like Stevie is so much more than just the hits. He's about taking chances and busting down doors and barriers. The album includes ballads like Overjoyed which is for sure one of his best and one of the best written in the last 2 decades but yet it doesn't (or can't because of space) include You and I, All Is Fair In Love or the great Lately. It includes social/political songs like Superstition, Higher Ground and Living for The City but can't include Evil, Big Brother, He's Mistra Know It All or the amazing Apartheid (It's Wrong). How about the best lost love song ever, Maybe Your Baby, from Talking Book? For the casual listener or for a beginner to Stevie this is a great disk. If you have to get a greatest hits type of Stevie's work, get this disk. If you can afford better, get At the Close Of A Century. Of course, if you are a real music fan interested in how we got to where we are today in music, and of course where we came from, buy his whole collection. It's an incredible journey well worth the money.
Universal Music has tackled the difficult task of bringing a "The Definitive Collection" featuring the legendary composer, arranger, producer and artist of the last century ~ Stevie Wonder! If you were just starting a collection of this icon, this my friend would be the one to pick up. Inclusive is the twenty-one tracks of a musical journey paved with gold.
But the Wonder's ballads surface with some of the most compelling tracks. Try these on for size ~ "MY CHERIE AMOUR", one of his biggest ballads from 1969, an arrangement and lyrics that just lay there in your heart and simmer ~ "YOU ARE THE SUNSHINE OF MY LIFE", every artist including Sinatra recorded this one, a number one 1972 hit that still holds up today as then ~
"I JUST CALLED TO SAY I LOVE YOU", another number one from 1984 still holds up as a classic that can bring out the romantic in anyone, just listen to Stevie sing the longing lyrics that seems to bring the ache out of your very soul ~ "OVERJOYED", melody and lyrics just keep getting better with each year, take this 1985 ultimate classic---the sandman has come from to far away---they just don't write them like that anymore. This is some rare cues that will tear at your heart.
Of course if its funk that grabs you here goes ~ "PART-TIME LOVER", as Wonder just keeps cranking them out, from 1985 his magic touch just kept the hits pouring out like a golden faucet ~ "SUPERSTITION", was a favorite of my daughter and her pom-pom group in school, you can't select a better song with a beat to die for than this 1972 classic ~ "LIVING FOR THE CITY", talk about getting under your skin, this has all the ingredients of super-strutting down your favorite main street ~ just keep struttin' we now have "YOU HAVEN'T DONE NOTHIN'", a 1974 tune that can take you downtown on the thoroughfare of funk ~ "BOOGIE ON REGGAE WOMAN", another 1974 super hit tells it like it is, listen to funky piano man play this down and dirty.
A collection of this magnitude comes along just once in a great while---if you're a fan or want to maintain your collection on the highest level of musical genre---then this ultimate or may I say "definitive collection"---is a keeper in the career of Stevie Wonder!
Total Time 79:56 on 21 Tracks ~ UTV Records 440-066-164-2 ~ (2002)
on November 19, 2002
Lots of classic Stevie is packed onto this single disc collection, no doubt about that. It's in chronological order, which means "Fingertips" kicks off the set--dating all the way back to 1962! A small handful of his early work is represented, including "I Was Made To Love Her," but this set really picks up steam in the middle with his brilliant work from the 1970's. Songs like "You Haven't Done Nothing," "Living For The City," "Superstition," "Higher Ground," "Sir Duke" and "Master Blaster" (actually from 1981) are all brilliant and rank among the very best pop and soul music from that period. Wonder's work declined a bit after that, and although "Part Time Lover" and "I Just Called To Say I Love You" were huge hits, they don't hold a candle to the great stuff mentioned earlier. If you're a casual Wonder fan and simply want the biggest hits over the course of his long career, this is for you. But a strong case can be made for the brilliant compilation "Musiquarium." Then go back and find a reasonably priced collection of his 1960's work. There won't be any overlap, and you'll have all the essential Stevie without any of his lesser works.
on November 7, 2002
The Soul superstar genius Stevie Wonder has enthralled audiences for over three decades now, with his origanal, well-crafted work that demonstrates a genuine, raw talent. From the breathless, infectious pop of Fingertips, it was clear from an early age he was a gifted singer/songwriter and muscian. Fingertips was a sheer masterpiece! Exciting musical arrangements featuring a fabulously effective interlude from Stevie playing the harmonica, this marked the beginning of the musical legends career. Clearly his Motown work was his most compelling from the R&B/Pop sounds of the vibrant, upbeat Uptight (Everything's Alright) to the more raw Superstition, containing an elements of pulsating funk. Stevie was a masterful ballad writer and he scored several hits in the late 1960's with co-writer Henry Cosby on such strong, passionate ballads such as My Cherie Amour and A Place In The Sun whilst continuing his run of infectious R&B/Pop tunes that carry the traditional Maotown sound on tracks like the fabulous Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours, Yesterme-Yesteryou-Yesterday, I Was Made To love Her and For Once In My Life. Like Marvin Gaye, his work steadily progressed from the formulaic sounds of Motown to more creative and indepth material on tracks such as the startling Superstition, the anthemic Higher Ground and the awesome Living For The City, a severn-minute epic about the perils of ghetto life. His work explored social and political issues that deservedly won wide acclaim from critics. Eventually his work settled into the more middle-of-the-road material like the saccharine, I Just Called To Say I Love You, but he still takes credit for writing and recording some of the most remarkable songs that have comfortably stood the test of time and set standards for many younger contemporaries. This definitive collection is just that - enthralling from beginning to end, it is essential to any casual fan. Recommended!
on November 6, 2002
For the casual fan, this single-disc, 80-minute collection hits nearly all the highlights. [Serious fans will already have the individual albums or 1999's essential At the Close of the Century box set--or at the very least 1996's 31-track Song Review: Greatest Hits.] Since this latest anthology collects only the hits, it begins with Wonder's first No. 1 hit, 1963's "Fingertips (Part 2)," and concludes with "Overjoyed" from 1985's In Square Circle, which also included his last No. 1 hit, "Part-Time Lover."
The tracks are presented chronologically, allowing listeners to hear Wonder's progression from teen pop star to the mature artist that made him one of the most influential artists of the seventies with tracks like "Superstition," "I Wish," "Sir Duke" and "Living for the City," the latter presented in all its 7:25 album length glory.
I don't miss the exclusion of his duet with Paul McCartney on "Ebony and Ivory," but with no fewer than eight Top 10 singles missing from this collection, why include "Hey Love" (the b-side of "Travlin' Man") instead of "A Place in the Sun," "Heaven Help Us All" or "If You Really Love Me"? [Note: There is an import version that adds another disc and 17 songs, but it's a bit pricey.]
All in all, if what you're looking for is a collection of Wonder's biggest hits on a single disc at a great price, this is what you've been waiting for. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
on November 4, 2002
There is definitely something here for everyone who is a Stevie Wonder fan, from the beginning of his career all the way up to his most recent hits. There are old favorites, and perhaps even a song or two that some fans may not have heard more than a few times. Of course, the drawbacks to doing a collection for an artist like Wonder is that producers must make difficult choices about what songs will or will not be included. It would have been easy to dedicate a two CD set to Wonder's work, and still have left some things off that some fans would have missed. I would love to have seen songs like "All in Love is Fair," "Isn't She Lovely" and "Don't You Worry Bout A Thing," included, and I'm sure that other fans could think of other songs they'd like to have seen on this collection. But that slight criticism is softened by the reality that producers were dealing with a finite medium, and some songs simply didn't make the cut. Still, this is a great purchase for anyone who is a Wonder fan or who wants to introduce someone to Wonder's music. It will definitley be a mainstay in my collection. Of course, I may add a few more songs and create my own "Definitive Collection" of Stevie's work.
on November 2, 2002
This is a great single disc collection spanning the career of Stevie Wonder. That being said, how does Motown define "definitive"? In regards to performers I think of definitive as substantial, significant, and representative of the performer's best work. I mention this in regards to two songs on this collection. First--"Hey Love"--a definitive Stevie wonder song? It is a good song and I like it, but it is certainly not definitive. My choice in place of "Hey Love" would be "If you really love me". Second--while I realize it is unavoidable that it was included on this CD since it was one of Stevie's biggest hits--the song "I Just Called to say I Love You" is one of the worst songs ever recorded--by anyone. That it was given life by Stevie is painful. Oh well, I can program my CD player to skip track 19 and no harm done. I am thankful that "Ebony and Ivory" is not included! My choice in place of "I Just called to say I Love You" would be the excellent "Ribbon in the Sky"--definately a definitive Stevie Wonder song! Except for these two minor points, I feel the compilers of this set have done an excellent job with the nearly impossible task of summarizing Stevie's career in a single disc. At over 79 minutes, all disc space is utilized. If you are a serious Stevie Wonder fan you most likely already own most of his CD's or the box set "At the close of a century" (to which I give my highest recommendation!) and may see no point in this single disc. I thought of this but ended up buying it to have in the car--great driving music! For the casual fan, this CD is of great quality and value and highly recommended!