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Talking Book by Stevie Wonder ranked # 90 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums list.
Talking Book, an album by Stevie Wonder released on October 27, 1972, is regarded by some fans as one of the best crossover records of all time. It was the second of five consecutive albums widely hailed as his "classic period", along with Music of My Mind, Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale, and Songs in the Key of Life.
Released after Wonder toured with the Rolling Stones in 1972, Talking Book became an immediate hit. 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). Its cover depicts Wonder with manicured corn rows, Indian jewelry and a velvet afghan.
Sandwiched between the release of Music of My Mind and Innervisions, Talking Book saw Wonder enjoying more artistic freedom from Motown, taking over the production reins and playing most of the instruments. Featured guest appearances include guitar heroes Jeff Beck, Ray Parker, Jr. and Buzzy Feton (Howard "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. His swinging clavinet and harmonica embellishments on "Big Brother", though, defy categorization.
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, in the same ceremony, Wonder's next album, Innervisions, won Album of the Year.
- You Are the Sunshine of My Life
- Maybe Your Baby
- You and I (We Can Conquer the World)
- Tuesday Heartbreak
- You've Got It Bad Girl
- Big Brother
- Blame It on the Sun
- Lookin' for Another Pure Love
- I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)
100 Greatest Albums of All Time
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