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At The Close Of A Century [4 CD Box Set] Box set, Original recording remastered

4.8 out of 5 stars 178 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Finally there's a boxed set that covers his ENTIRE career with 70 tracks drawn from singles, soundtracks and 20 albums. Notes, photos and a discography, too! Includes Fingertips Parts 1 & 2; Uptight (Everything's Alright); Blowin' in the Wind; A Place in the Sun; Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day; For Once in My Life; My Cherie Amour; Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday; Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours; If You Really Love Me; Superstition; You Are the Sunshine of My Life; Higher Ground; Living for the City; Master Blaster (Jammin'); I Just Called to Say I Love You every Top 10 hit!

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At the Close of a Century may seem a rather portentous title for a box set, even one showcasing the work of such a formidable writer-performer as Stevie Wonder. Consider, though, that these discs appear a few months before Wonder's 50th birthday and that he's already spent 36 years making records; he has more right than most to get a little highfalutin when invoking temporal milestones. Despite various retrospectives over the years, Close is the first to cover the arc of Wonder's entire career. By the end of the first disc we've heard his early Motown hits and watched him develop into the masterful artist who'd go on to stack up landmark album after landmark album in the '70s. (Aretha Franklin's Wonder-penned hit "Until You Come Back to Me" is here in a rare version by the composer.) The string of LPs from Talking Book (1972) to Hotter Than July (1980) provides gem after gem on the two middle CDs--with all of 1973's Innervisions save one cut represented--while post-"Master Blaster" winners such as "That Girl" and "Overjoyed" are the meat of the final disc. Add a smart booklet of essays, photos, and a discography, and this handsome package starts to look like a sharp addition to the collections of even hard-core Stevie buffs. --Rickey Wright
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 23, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: November 23, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set, Original recording remastered
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Motown Records
  • ASIN: B00003002I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,598 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Even at four discs and 70 songs, this sprawling 36-year career retrospective will not be all things to all people. It goes without saying that a favorite track or two will be missing from everyone's list of personal favorites. However, it's hard to argue with the quality of the music.
Disc one provides us with his early Motown sides. [If there is a legitimate criticism of this box set, it's here. Of his first five albums, only "Fingertips-Pt 2" is included. In fact, his only solo singles missing are from this period: "Workout Stevie, Workout" from 1963 and "Hey Harmonica Man" from 1964. The now out-of-print Looking Back (which I have on LP) does a better job of covering his 1963-1971 period over the album's 40 tracks.] The music on this disc is all the more amazing when you stop to remember Stevie was only 22 when "Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)" charted in 1972--his 22nd Top 40 hit.
Discs 2 and 3 (1972-1980) cover what are arguably Wonder's peak years when he released classic albums like Talking Book (3 tracks), Innervisions (8 tracks--all but "Jesus Children of America"), Fulfillingness' First Finale (5 tracks), Songs in the Key of Life (5 tracks)and Hotter Than July (6 tracks). The Seventies were an incredibly fertile and creative period.
Disc 4 represents something of a decline--at least by the high standards Wonder set for himself in the Eighties. Sure, there were still hits, including a pair of No. 1's: "I Just Called to Say I Love You" and "Part-Time Lover," but he was no longer perched on the cutting edge.
Since my collection already includes the 3-LP Looking Back and the 2-LP Originial Musiquarium (which At the Close of the Century duplicates except for the glaring omission of "Front Line") , I've been waiting for the opportunity to add some Stevie Wonder to my CD collection. This set is nearly perfect. ESSENTIAL
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Format: Audio CD
I've always been a fan of Stevie's, but never knew where to start in my acquisition of his music. Everyone has their favorite album that you "must buy first" (Innervisions, Talking Book, Songs in the Key, etc.) and his career spans decades. In addition, the (abnormal) abundance of greatest hits packages were always missing a few classics.
Finally, this box set was issued and let me tell you it was worth the wait. This has every great song from the early Motown (Signed,Sealed; For Once in My Life, My Cherie Amour, etc.) through the seventies (Superstition, Higher Ground, Sir Duke, I Wish, Isn't She Lovely, Master Blaster, etc., etc,) and to the most recent tunes (Do I Do, Overjoyed, etc.)
You might think that buying a 4 CD box set as a "starter" album of an artist is a tad excessive, but this is a special case. Other reviewers say that there is a lack of B-sides and rarities, but I wasn't looking for those. Others say you have to buy the original albums, but that is a timely and expensive venture. "At the Close of the Century" is perfect how it is. Song after song of great Stevie songs. I love it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Box sets are supposed to be comprehensive. There are not very many individuals who could do such a set of works without some filler. Not so here. Amazingly, Stevie Wonder's set, aptly titled to reference the past century (since he has recorded in most of it) even at four discs could have added a fifth or a even a sixth without losing a single step. With the same number of discs as the two volumes of Original Musicquarium, this set seems to span a longer time, and still include more hits.
It starts as it must with the joyous songs which made Little Stevie Wonder the young legend: "Fingertips", "Uptight" and "Shoo-Be-Do-Be-Doo-Da-Day". Then some more mature love songs like "I was Made to Love Her" and "My Cherie Amour", and then serious works from Fulfillingness First Finale and the masterpieces of Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life. It also includes his later works from Hotter Than July and thereafter.
Listening to all this make you realize just how much great music Wonder has recorded over an incredible four or five decades. Sadly, though, the inescapable conclusion which I reached is that most of the best of his body of work came earlier. It would be unfair of us to expect every album to be an Innerisions or a S.I.T.K.O.L. It is kinda sad, though to listen and learn that he has not come up much of late which is as good as the music of the sixties and seventies.
It is a great set by any standards. Unless your library has each and every Stevie Wonder album, this is a worthwhile purchase.
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Format: Audio CD
IT'S ABOUT TIME! After settling for compilations that either a)focus on 60s era Stevie or 70s & beyond-era b)omit song to make room for tired favorites,a box set finally to quench a long thirst.Kudos for not including vault material(the kind that should stay in the vault),hopefully to be released on another compilation for us die-hard fans,and spare the casual listener(one of the biggist headaches when puchacing box sets). Now the gripes.Though it covers every era of Stevie's illustrious career,as well as include a majority of every hit,it still leave off essential songs including "Blame it on the Sun"(Talking Book )"Keep on Running"(Music of my Mind ),Summer Soft(SITKOL)Black Orchid(JTTSLOP)Free(Characters) "Make sure you're sure(Jungle Fever),Ebony & Ivory and "Whats That You're Doin'(McCartney'sTug of War)and the one off single 1990s Keep Our Love Alive.INNERVISIONS & SITKOL are over-represented(jut add Jesus Children of America and you have the whole INNERVISIONS album)and "Blowin' in the Wind"is in its truncated version. In all the fact that there's finally a box set,is enough reason for rejoice,and shows that the title of genius bestowed upon him 37 years ago is well justified
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At The Close Of A Century [4 CD Box Set]
This item: At The Close Of A Century [4 CD Box Set]
Price: $36.99
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com


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