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Fulfillingness' First Finale Original recording remastered, Original recording reissued

4.8 out of 5 stars 129 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Original recording reissued, March 21, 2000
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Stevie's first #1 pop album was released in the summer of 1974 and featured You Haven't Done Nothin' and Boogie On Reggae Woman .
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 21, 2000)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Original recording reissued
  • Label: Motown Records
  • ASIN: B00004S35Z
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,578 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
To say that Stevie Wonder experienced an "artistic peak" in the early-to-mid 1970s seems like a gross understatement. Here's a guy who, if he had retired after "Signed Sealed and Delivered" would be remembered as a great Motown soul artist, who then took an enormous leap forward into a realm of creativity that combined an avant-garde approach both to rhythm and to electronic instruments, with a naked expressiveness about a wide range of emotions and feelings, from love to grief to political rage. All the while, manufacturing the freshest-sounding melodies and richest harmonies this side of Brian Wilson.
If you haven't explored this music, take your pick from "Music of My Mind," "Talking Book," "Innervisions," this album, or its follow-up "Songs in the Key of Life." They're all equally accomplished, with their moments of sheer ecstasy, and I would say they're all essential listening.
I happen to prefer "Fulfillingess'..." slighly over the others, because for me it hits its emotional targets with songs like "Smile Please," "Creepin'" and "It Ain't no Use," and sets up some deeply funky rhythms with "You Haven't Done Nothin'" "Boogie On Reggae Woman" and "Bird of Beauty." Whereever you start, you won't be sorry.
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Format: Audio CD
In the period of time from 1971-1976, Stevie Wonder could do no wrong. His output during this stretch is truly unassailable, and it isn't likely that any artist of any genre will ever have such a prolific period again. That is probably the reason that Fulfillingness' First Finale, released in the middle of this time frame, doesn't consistently receive the praise that is routinely heaped upon Stevie's other albums from this era. Nevertheless, Wonder's "forgotten child" is a masterful achievement that ranks right up there with the other three classics he recorded at that time.

On FFF, Wonder compiles an eclectic group of songs touching on various topics, but manages to tie them together with a commonality that isn't matched on his previous effort, Innervisions, or his next, Songs in the Key of Life. The most recognizable track to most listeners is the funk/reggae hybrid "Boogie On Reggae Woman" which Stevie whips into a soulful stew with great interplay between the piano, synthesizers and harmonica (all played by Wonder, of course). Then there's the scathing social commentary, "You Haven't Done Nothin'". The best way to describe this track is ludicrously funky. The ambiguously trippy anti-drug song, "Bird of Beauty", is one of the most bizarre tracks in the Stevie Wonder canon, and it is juxtaposed next to one of his most straightforward and plaintive soul numbers, "Please Don't Go".

So, how does he make these seemingly disparate tracks fit together as a cohesive album? It's hard to say, exactly, but it works. Musically, many of the tracks have an ethereal, dreamy quality. Wonder makes use of more backing vocals than usual, adding another texture to several songs, and the harmonica playing is some of his best ever.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Although critics might not agree, I feel that that with the fresh new material and supberb use of exotic and exciting rhythms this is Wonder's finest hour. In the new 24 bit remastering it assumes an intimate immediacy not previously heard. A word of caution, however. Just because you order one with the "original recording remastered" claim it does not mean that you will get the remastered version. The remastered version has a gold label prominantly attached that says "A stevie wonder classic remastered in 24 bit sound". Several times of late I have ordered such recordings here and received only the standard CD version. Of course, you can send them back, but it is a pain in the ***.
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Format: Audio CD
For an album that a)was a Billboard #1 hit b)won tons of Grammies including album of the year,FFF was released on CD in 1988 with not only a shoddy sound but the insert wasn't even a booklet,but a sheet with liner notes but no lyrics on one side and the cover reduced and surrounded with a "Florida Evans" orange border on the other.Now FFF has been remastered with a brighter,crisper sound whereas before it sounded like it was being channeled through an AM radio.Boogie On Reggae Woman staccato synth bassline no longer sounds like a scratched record,while Heaven..sound as transcending as its title promises.Bird Of Beauty benefits the most with its Latin-esque elements sonically at the forefront.Creepin' is more seductive than ever and no longer like a Spooky Tooth clone.FFF's remastering,along with that of his other "Power 70s Albums" is a godsend for us Stevie fans who've had to put up with chopped up album sleeves,lost lyrics and fourth generation master sound.And a special thanks to Harry Weinger for his research(also Kenny Gould)and Kevin Reeves for a remastering job well done.(for my review of the album itself,go down to Stevie's First Finale on this page.
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Format: Audio CD
How much does one really have to say about Stevie Wonder? If you don't already know that he's a genius you've been living under a rock for the last 40 years. "Fulfillingness' First Finale" falls right in the middle of Wonder's most fruitful period or pretty much the entire 1970's! When he says "Sing it loud for your people" in "You Haven't Done Nuthin" you'll surely join in the pure confection. If you don't you must not have a soul because this music is so powerful, moving, romantic and soulful that it would make anyone stand up and testify to the power of Wonder. The songs flow seamlessly from one into the next switching grooves without missing a beat. There's also spectacular guest appearances by The Jackson 5 and backing vocals by the late great Minnie Ripperton. If you don't own this album you should buy it now because you won't buy anything better! It's not the sprawling masterwork that "Songs In The Key Of Life" is (though what is?) but it's just as good an album . It's amazing to think that this music was recorded 31 years ago. It sounds as fresh today as any R&B music you'll hear and like most of Wonder's music it holds up well. Buy it now!
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