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Songs in the Key of Life

Stevie WonderAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (359 customer reviews)

Price: $14.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Image of album by Stevie Wonder


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Born in Saginaw, Michigan, Stevie Wonder moved to Detroit at an early age and has become one of that city's most famous sons. Blind from birth, Stevie has never allowed that to be an obstacle or handicap. His normal childhood activities of playing games and climbing trees with his friends were suddenly set on a different path when his amazing musical talents were spotted by Bonnie White ... Read more in Amazon's Stevie Wonder Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Songs in the Key of Life + Innervisions + Talking Book
Price for all three: $35.98

Buy the selected items together
  • Innervisions $10.00
  • Talking Book $10.99

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 13, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Uni/Motown
  • ASIN: B0000060NA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (359 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,457 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Love's In Need Of Love Today
2. Have A Talk With God
3. Village Ghetto land
4. Contusion
5. Sir Duke
6. I Wish
7. Knocks Me Off My Feet
8. Pastime Paradise
9. Summer Soft
10. Ordinary Pain
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Isn't She Lovely
2. Joy Inside My Tears
3. Black Man
4. Ngiculela - Es Una Historia/I Am Singing
5. If It's Magic
6. As
7. Another Star
8. All Day Sucker
9. Easy Goin' Evening (My Mama's Call)

Editorial Reviews

One of the first albums to debut at No. 1 in Billboard, Songs in the Key of Life was the highest high-point of Stevie Wonder's career. More sprawling than Innervisions and Talking Book, this 2 LP-plus-EP was also less of a consistent stunner than either of those masterworks. That Songs retains an enormous amount of visionary relevance, though, is demonstrated not only in Coolio's borrowing of "Pastime Paradise" as a template for "Gangsta's Paradise," but in the cold-as-ice synthesized string quartet of "Village Ghetto Land." This is Stevie, so naturally that cut's anger is balanced by the ultra-buoyant "I Wish," "Sir Duke," and "Another Star." --Rickey Wright

Product Description

Disc One Volume One 1. Love's In Need Of Love Today 2. Have A Talk With God 3. Village Ghetto Land 4. Contusion 5. Sir Duke 6. I Wish 7. Knocks Me Off My Feet 8. Pastime Paradise 9. Summer Soft 10. Ordinary Pain 11. Saturn 12. Ebony Eyes Disc Two Volume II 1. Isn't She Lovely 2. Joy Inside My Tears 3. Black Man 4. Ngiculela-Es Una Historia-I Am Singing 5. If It's Magic 6. As 7. Another Star 8. All Day Sucker 9. Easy Goin' Evening (My Mama's Calling)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
145 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Classic March 15, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I bought this album for what I'd consider a strange reason: Every week, I watch American Idol, and very often someone sings a Stevie Wonder song. It never sounds very good, and the judges always say "you'll never compare well with the great Stevie..." Knowing some of the major hits, and generally associating him with "I Just Called to Say I Love You" and "Superstition," I decided I must not be getting the full picture. I was thinking of getting a greatest hits comp, but ultimately decided to try a different route: I'd buy two of his masterpieces. I wanted to see the whole picture, rather than just hear the radio hits. So I bought Innvervisions and Songs in the Key of Life. Holy cow did I make the right choice. It took me only one marathon listening session of both albums to hear what I'd been missing all these years.

Many critics and reviewers indicate the album has a slow start, taking a few songs to kick into gear. True, the first songs are slower in pace, but I'd hardly consider it a "slow start." More like: Stevie eases you into a place that you're going to be (and want to be) for a long time (at two LPs and an EP - this really is an epic). With so many songs, I'll only mention a few for brevity's sake: "Sir Duke" is about as danceable a song as I've ever heard while still being substantial. "Black Man" is a history lesson everyone should hear, and examples of important people in American history of many races are mentioned: black, brown, yellow, and white as well. "As" gets under your skin on first listen and never lets go.

If I could stress one thing about this album, it would be this: These songs are ABOUT something. It's not funk music about wanting to get funky. It's not R&B about sex. Sure, sex and dancing are in there.
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71 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Album July 26, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Stevie Wonder spent almost three years working on this album and the time was well spent. The music is probably the most personal and outspoken of his career. He sings about his childhood in songs like "I Wish" & "Easy Goin' Evening", his heroes in "Sir Duke", the birth of his daughter in "Isn't She Lovely" and while "Contusion" is an instrumental the title is a reference to the life-threatening auto accident he was involved in. Mr. Wonder has always been a strong voice for the civil rights movement and the struggles for his race's equality and he expresses his feelings on those matters in "Village Ghetto Land", "Pastime Paradise" & "Joy Inside My Tears". He also gives us a history lesson in "Black Man". "Love's In Need Of Love Today" and "Have A Talk With God" are pleas for togetherness and understanding. Mr. Wonder could always write great love songs and they are here as well in the forms of "Ebony Eyes", "As", "Knocks Me Off My Feet" and others. As I've just mentioned, the album broaches many diverse subjects, but it all comes together in the end. Usually on double albums, there is filler, but not here. Every song serves a purpose and help create a cohesive musical statement. Stevie Wonder has been called a musical genius and this album is further proof that the title is an appropriate one.
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91 of 103 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A huge, successful mix of styles & sounds December 10, 1999
Format:Audio CD
The [then] eargerly-awaited double-album opus "Songs In The Key Of Life" - believe this or not - is considered over-rated and over-produced to some of the most hardcore Stevie fans today. In truth, it really is an impressive statement, like earlier albums in the Wonder catalog, Stevie masters many kinds of music without ever losing his own identity. "Songs In The Key..." boasts many elements; most prominent are funk jams & delicate ballads, but there's also acid-rock, swing, latin, gospel, even Hare Krishna chants. As usual, Stevie has an exceptional gift for lyrics and this album makes no exception. There's destitude horror in "Village Ghetto Land", historical declarations in "Black Man", and biblical wailing in "As". "Joy Inside My Tears" acheives in greater effect what Stevie's "Superwoman" did 4 years earlier, it combines happiness & sadness in the same space. It's as if you can hear Stevie laughing & crying at once when this track plays. The very-familiar "Isn't She Lovely" is a beautiful valentine to his wife & daughter. "Another Star" is the epitome of 70's jazz/soul/funk, it mixes lighting voices, wailing horns, rapid percussion & Stevie's beating piano. The album is so varied that it may not have an immediate, exciting appeal to the ears. Like other brilliant music, sometimes it takes several listenings to decipher what it's all about.
Some of the tracks extend themselves to 7 or 8 minutes, but you don't really notice, you could go on singing La-La-La forever. There really is a lot to swallow at once. Once again he repeatedly seems to be reaching for truth. It's as if he's always saying - of all things a blind person could say - "With love, there is always light at the end of the tunnel". It is a landmark album.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WONDER-FUL! June 21, 2005
Format:Audio CD
This album is Stevie Wonder's Magnum opus; a delightful, intricate musical delight, which is still a powerful lesson in music today.

Released way back in 1976, where it performed the (then) rare feat of debuting atop the Billboard 200 album charts. It spun off two hot 100 no.1 singles; the horn laden 40s big band sounding `Sir Duke', and the nostalgic, funky `I wish', as well as `As' and `Another star' which both made the top 40.

It also won the Grammy for album of the year (Stevie's third win in that category) and three others: one for best male r&b vocal for 'I wish' best male pop vocal for the album, and best producer for Stevie.

Not to talk of the cover versions and samples inspired by this album over the years: George Michael & Mary J Blige ('As'), Coolio ('Gangsta's Paradise' samples 'Pastime paradise'), Tevin Campbell ('Knocks me off my feet') Mary J Blige ('Time' samples `Pastime paradise') to name a few.

Stevie Wonder paved the way for future soul vocal styling as utilized by people like Charlie Wilson (GAP band), Aaron Hall (Guy), Boys II men to name a few, and the Neo soul pack.

What can I say about this masterpiece that hasn't been said already? I wouldn't call this just soul music. More than that, it's more of psychedelic soul, with sprinklings of jazz, rock and pop. With lyrics that touched on everything from love, life, death, war, sadness, and joy. Lyrics that were way ahead of their time, still relevant today.

The delightful `Ebony eyes' has a faint Beatles feel to it. A real pop gem!

`Saturn' is a pop epic with lyrics even more relevant today. It's about wanting to leave earth with all her troubles for a fantasy utopia on Saturn.
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Ordinary Pain
Yep, that sounds like the song that you're talking about.
Dec 14, 2006 by D. Lee |  See all 7 posts
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