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Anybody releasing a greatest hits album should have hits and lots of them. Actual greatness is optional, but hits are absolutely mandatory. Recently, record companies have been taking 5 singles, 3 remixes and a some “previously unreleased” material from an artist & calling them a greatest hits albums. Their goal almost always to squeeze the last dollar out of bands that have long since split up. Let’s be honest; if you own “The Score” , you already have The Fugees Greatest Hits.

One man who isn’t lacking greatness or hits is Stevie Wonder. He is one the most enduring and influential* artists in the history of music. He has released over 30 albums, so purchasing a compilation is the way most of us will get our hands on his hits. And when it comes to delivering his best songs, “Stevie Wonder~Song Review” gets it more than half right..If the first disk didn’t open with “Part-Time Lover” and the sacchrine “I Just Called To Say I Love You”, I’d say it was perfect.. The list of tracks below speaks for itself. You’d have a hard time finding a cd with two great songs and, starting with ” Superstitiion”, you’ll hear fourteen. In a row.

The second disc starts off just as strong. It features Stevie’s best from the 80’s (“Ebony & Ivory”?, “That Girl”, “Send One Your Love”) and early 90’s (“These Three Words”, “For Your Love”) along with the 70’s classics “I Wish” and “Higher Ground”. Near of the end disk two, the hits stop coming. Instead, there are five relatively obscure, recently released soundtrack singles to round out the album. I loved “The Outsiders” as much as anyone, but could have gone the rest of my life without ever hearing “Stay Gold” again. I would have preferred hearing “Isn’t She Lovely” or “Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)” in those spots. The liner notes of this cd end with the statement “The best of Stevie Wonder is yet to come.” That may be true, but the end of a thirty dollar greatest hits album was not the place to try and prove it.
Even with thirty-one tracks and a total length of two and a half hours, this collection is incomplete. If you really want it all , you’re better off waiting for a box set. Most fans, however, will be more than satisfied with “Song Review”.


* Ja Rule sampled “Do I Do” for “Livin’ It Up in 2002. “I Wish” was sampled in 1999 by The Artist Formerly known as The Fresh Prince for “Wild, Wild West”. “Lately”? Covered by Jodeci in ’93. “Ribbon In The Sky”? Boyz II Men wannabes Intro remade that one same year. “Higher Ground”? Red Hot Chlli Peppers in ’89. “That Girl” was sampled by the “late” Tupac Shakur on the track “So Many Tears”. A vocal interpolation of “Living For The City” was used for “The City” by Wu Tang Clan. “Sir Duke”: A Tribe Called Quest for the track “Footprints”. “Boogie On Reggae Woman”: K-Solo’s “Everybody Knows Me”. There’s more, but I’ll stick to tracks that are included on the album I’m speaking of. If you want to know the full extent of classic soul and r&b’s “influence” on hip-hop and today’s r&b, I encourage you to visit the Encyclopedia Breakannica.

Disk 1
1) Part-Time Lover
2) I Just Called To Say I Love You
3) Superstition
4) Sir Duke
5) My Cherie Amour
6) I Was Made To Love Her
7) Overjoyed
8) Hey Love
9) Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours
10) You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
11) Ribbon In The Sky
12) Master Blaster (Jammin’)
13) Living For The City
14) Uptight
15) Lately
16) Do I Do

Disk 2
1) Send One Your Love
2) Ebony & Ivory
3) All I Do
4) That Girl
5) For Your Love
6) I Wish
7) You Will Know
8) Boogie On Reggae Woman
9) Higher Ground
10) These Three Words
11) Stay Gold
12) Love Light In Flight
13) Kiss Lonely Good Bye
14) Hold On To Your Dream
15) Redemption Song

By Music-Slam.com

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