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Hotter Than July (Remastered) Original recording remastered

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Hotter Than July
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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, May 2, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

This #3 LP (1980) returned to Stevie's straight-up pop-soul roots in the wake of his recent symphonic adventures. Includes his MLK tribute Happy Birthday and the hits Did I Hear You Say You Love Me; Lately , and the smash Master Blaster (Jammin') !
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 2, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Motown Records
  • ASIN: B00004SZWB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,042 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Knyte on April 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I saw 'Hotter Than July' at a record store being sold at a decent price, and noted that it included songs that I recognized by name: "Rocket Love", "Happy Birthday", "Lately", and "Master Blaster (Jammin)". On impulse, I bought it.
I'm glad I did. You see, "All I Do" has been remade into a dance/techno song by a British group called the Cleptomaniacs this year; so when I heard the original - it just made me feel so enlightened. For the record I prefer Mr. Wonder's version, but both versions of "All I Do" are enjoyable.
"Lately" was immortalized by an R&B group named Jodeci in the spring/summer of 1992; and they actually performed the song with Stevie on the Arsenio Hall show - and it was great. "Lately" (for me) is a sad and moving song that is also very beautiful.
It scares me to think that as late as 1980 we still didn't celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday as a national holiday; but hey, at least now I know the words to the whole song besides the chorus. "Happy Birthday" serves as a wonderful finale to the album.
But my favorite song on here would have to be "Rocket Love". My favorite Stevie Wonder songs are the slower, or midtempo songs that seem to just float, and take you on majestic, magic carpet rides. "Send One Your Love", "Superwoman" and "Ribbon In The Sky" do this for me.
But something tells me this isn't his absolute best album (assuming they can be ranked)...and from what I've been able to gather, 'Innervisions' and 'Songs In The Key Of Life' seem to be the top two. At any rate, just know that this disc is a good investment. I'm listening to it right now as I type this. It's on "Lately"...
Thanks for reading.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Scott D. Gribble on January 10, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I'll be the first to admit that it took me a solid 4 or 5 times of listening too it before I really liked it. This album is very much "80's" and is quite different from Wonder's previous masterpieces. It took me a while to get used to this new style Stevie was using, but after that it stands in my mind as a truly great album.

One thing about any of his albums is that they do not lack any depth lyrically, Hotter than July is no exception. He's on point as ever with "Rocket Love" & "Cash In Your Face". Musically this album is more fast paced and jams more so than his previous efforts. "Did I Hear You Say You Love Me", is a great groove and "I Ain't Gonna Stand For It" is a quite impressive track with the inclusion of country elements. "Do Like You" is a solid track, and perhaps the only one I skip is "As if You Read My Mind" (You might not though). What makes this album work more than any other factor is musical gems found on here. "All I Do" & "Master Blaster" are both classics in his catalogue & of course "Lately" is one of his finest (both musically and lyrically). "Happy Birthday" is also essential if only because of its historical value. Despite the strength of some individual tracks it does lack the overall as an album that we've previously come to expect with Wonder. But, what you have is a 45 min run time album that is just full of solid tracks. It's truly a testament to Stevie Wonder that, while many great artists of the 70's collapsed when they tried to adapt to the 80's style (look no further than Led Zeppelin), he was able to still convey his musical genius.

This album is definitely not a masterpiece, nor close to touching the genius of his previous albums. Perhaps it's not his best, but does that take away from it? Are we just too spoiled by his previous efforts? Bottom line: It's still simply a great album and only further adds on to Wonder's legacy. One of the best albums released from the 80's era.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By P Magnum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 29, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Hotter Than July is an aptly titled album as Stevie Wonder turns up the heat on this release. After the experimentation of The secret Journey Through The Life Of Plants, Mr. Wonder returns to his normal form with a collection of funkified numbers. "All I Do" is a fiery song that sieges right into "Rocket Love" that goes up into orbit. "I Ain't Gonna Stand For It" finds Mr. Wonder singing in an almost unrecognizable voice that is more of a growl. "Lately" is a stirring ballad while "Happy Birthday" is dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr. and is an open plea to make his birthday a national holiday, which it was not at the time. In fact, Mr. Wonder was a driving force behind the movement that was successful in getting Dr. King's birthday recognized, which despite the criminally long delay in doing such, was richly deserved. "Master Blaster (Jammin')" was another tribute song, this time to late reggae legend Bob Marley. The song has a dark, funky beat and sounds like it was recorded on some stoop on a hot summer night. Hotter Than July capped off an unbelievable run of albums and while it is not normally mentioned with them, belongs in the same league as his 70's albums.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nse Ette TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 21, 2005
Format: Audio CD
What an amazing CD this is. Originally released in 1980 and still sounding up to date. Not as great as his 70s masterpieces, but hey, still a fabulous outing, with varying musical influences and outstanding songwriting. The album made it to #3 on the Billboard album charts.

The tribute to Bob Marley, `Master blaster (jammin')' is a delightful bouncy Reggae number with great horns and outstanding vocals, which made #5 in the US and the UK top 10.

There's the mid tempo, Disco-tinged, synth driven `All I do' featuring backing vocals from Michael Jackson (repaying the favour for Stevie's `I can't help it' from his `Off the wall' album the previous year) and a great sax break.

`Rocket love' is a tender atmospheric ballad with great `Do do do...', dramatic strings, and lyrics comparing a woman's love to a ride in a rocket. Classic Stevie!

`I aint gonna stand for it' (a UK top 10 and US #11) features backing vocals from the Gap Band (whose vocal styling was clearly inspired by Stevie), and is an upbeat song with faint Country elements in the verses, which connects to the next song, `As if you read my mind' with a great piano bridge. Percussion on this song is outstanding.

Other standouts are the tender much covered piano ballad `Lately' (a UK top 10) featuring an achingly passionate delivery from Stevie, and closing track, the sunny, poppy `Happy Birthday' which was a tribute to Martin Luther king Jr, and was a part of the push to get his birthday declared a national holiday, which it eventually was.

It was a real hot July....
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