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MOTOWN / UNIVERSAL

Like other albums to follow, Stevie wrote the vast majority of the material on "Music Of My Mind". Compared to his studio work of three years prior, this music feels worlds away in many senses. That which was grand, conventional and bounteous is replaced with a feel that is at once personal, progressive and downscaled. Performing almost entirely solo, Stevie ties overdubs of keyboards, drums, harmonica and his delectable singing into well-woven audio tapestries that make his head an attractive place to spend time in. It's been said of Stevie that 'The man is his own instrument' - these recordings burst with this truth.

After issuing six albums in 39 months, nearly two a year, Stevie Wonder signed a new contract with Motown that let him determine his own release schedule. And then he went into the studio for two years to create the final masterpiece of his classic 70s album series. Released as a double LP with bonus four track EP and songbook in 1976, the album features Wonder's mix of love songs, socio-political offerings and uplifting gems, covering jazz-funk, soul and disco. It includes the singles "I Wish" and "Sir Duke", plus anthems like "Another Star", "As" and "Isn't She Lovely". A triple Grammy winner in the year of its release, "Songs In The Key Of Life" has gone on to be seen as the pinnacle of Stevie's career. Essential.

"Here, My Dear" is a wrenching yet beautifully rendered chronicle of the end of Gaye's first marriage to Anna Gordy Gaye. Released in December 1978, the suite was attacked by critics as indulgent and irrelevant, a misstep in a musical career noted for breakthroughs and artistic bravery. With mixed reviews and no hit singles, the album was not a big seller and failed commercially. Yet in the decades since "Here, My Dear" has become recognized as a masterpiece of romantic anguish. It's also one of Marvin's most influential recordings. Hear it in today's young soul singers and in hip hop's confessional raps. Listen to the many producers who obsess over every note. This is a Marvin gem waiting for you to rediscover it.

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xCD Info: Expanded Edition 2xCD features remastered original LP, plus bonus disc of alternative versions, unheard demo vocals and newly discovered instrumentation. The set is housed in a deluxe digi-pack with a 28-page booklet featuring enhanced original cover art, memorabilia, full lyrics and an essay by Gaye biographer David Ritz.


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RT @cstrecords: UK fans can now preorder the physical editions of Markus Floats' Third Album and T. Gowdy's Therapy With Colour (both out 2…
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