Last week, I ported over a 4-part series about Steve Wonder’s from my old blog. The posts were about his greatest recording period – the late 60’s and his 1970- 76 “Classic Period”:
As I re-read the posts, I realized two things:
- I never covered his “Commercial Period” (the 1980’s – where he was one of the most commercial artists of the decade).
- I talked about the albums from a technical viewpoint, but not from a personal point of view.
Maybe I’ll write about Stevie’s 1980’s output later on. Today, I’ll cover my favorite Stevie Wonder album; his magnum opus: Songs In The Key of Life. Continue reading “My Favorite Albums: Songs In The Key Of Life”
[Note: This was originally posted on March 9, 2011. I’ve updated the post with new context and footnotes.]Angela Bofill recorded a number of great songs, but none stand the test of time like “I Try”. Recorded in 1979, “I Try” is the gold standard for R&B break-up songs. It’s is her signature song, from her best album (Angel of the Night).
Angela sang all that bitter teenage angst like as if she had a copyright on it.
Angie’s got a lot of heartbreak in her songs. “Song For a Rainy Day”, “Let Me Be The One”, and “Accept Me” are all about rejection and lost love. But those songs, while beautiful in their own way, can’t hold a candle to “I Try”. Recorded in 1979, “I Try” is the gold standard for R&B break-up songs. It’s is her signature song, from her best album (Angel of the Night). It’s her magnum opus. Continue reading “the “REAL” Best Break-Up Songs – #1: Angela Bofill – I Try”
[Note: Originally posted on March 2, 2011. Updated with new context and footnotes.]
I love this song. I absolutely, positively, emphatically love this song. It’s easily one of my top 5 favorite songs EVER.
“Superwoman…” is a song in two parts. The first part is about “Mary”, who wants to leave and become a movie star; the second part (“Where Where You When I Needed You”) has Stevie wondering why his lady hasn’t returned yet.
The truth behind the lyrics are such: The song is about Stevie’s relationship with Syreeta Wright (to whom he was married to for 18 months in the early 70s). Stevie produced much of Syreeta’s music, but she wanted to go off and do her own thing and Stevie wasn’t so into that (supposedly he can be a control freak in the studio). You hear this in the lyrics – “Mary wants to be a superwoman and try to boss the bull around.” Mary is really Rita (Syreeta’s early recording name) and Stevie is “The Bull” (Stevie is a Taurus; he named is production company Black Bull).
Continue reading “the “REAL” Best Break-Up Songs – #2: Stevie Wonder – Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)”
[Note: Originally published on Feb 28, 2011. Updated with footnotes]
Coming in at number three on my list is Bobby Womack’s “If You Think You’re Lonely Now” (from 1981’s The Poet). Unlike the other songs on this list, this ballad has balls (for lack of a better word). Bobby’s tired of his trifling, no-good, gold-digging woman, and walks out. No sad goodbyes, no regrets.
“I’ll be looooong gone (and you’ll never find another man to treat you right)!”
[Note: Originally posted on Feb 24, 2011. Updated with notes and new observations]
I first wrote about this song 8 years ago. I haven’t ported that post over to this platform yet, but to summarize:
- Marvin Gaye had an affair with a 17-year old woman by name of Janis Hunter (his muse for the classic I Want You album).
- Anna (his then wife) filed for divorce and Marvin was forced to pay a large sum of money.
- Marvin was going through the nose candy like Tony Montana; as a result he can’t pay everything.
- The lawyers negotiate an agreement that some of the payment would come from Marvin’s next album.
Continue reading “the “REAL” Best Break-Up Songs – #4: Marvin Gaye – When Did You Stop Loving Me…”