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  1. #1
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Week 26: 50 Albums That Changed Music

    This week finds another outstanding selection after the nice, albeit obvious, choice of James Brown last week. I have no doubt in my mind that this one was influential, and one of the very best that he's recorded. Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life (1976)

    This influenced virtually every modern soul and R&B singer, brimming with timeless classics like 'Isn't She Lovely', 'As' and 'Sir Duke". The 21-tracker encompassed a vast range of life's issues - emotional, social, spiritual and environmental - all performed with bravado and a lightness of touch. No other R&B artist has sung about the quandries of human existence with quite the same grace. Without this...no Alicia Keys, no John Legnd - contemporary
    R&B would be empty and lifeless.


    Perhaps you'll disagree, but I think that Talking Book was his best, and possibly more influential. Along with Innervisions, these three were all recorded during the height of his career in the 1970s. I would rather hear that Stevie Wonder's collective works from the 1970s "changed music" instead of just the one record they used.

    Your thoughts?

    Swish
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  2. #2
    Slowly Growing Deaf salad 419's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I only listened to Innervisions. That's a very nice album.

    I need to aquire more Stevie Wonder. I need to aquire a lot of material.

    I really miss the college days of delivering Pizza. Sounds funny, but driving around all the time listening to music was goodness. I rarely have time to listen, now. But anyway. I like Stevie Wonder. I was told that he made some album early in his career called rednow eivets (sw backwards). I haven't researched it. I guess that'll give me something to do. Has anyone heard or heard of it?

  3. #3
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Registered Member Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    I'm more familiar with Songs in the Key of Life than I am with Talking Book, I think.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
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  4. #4
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    For the second week in a row it seems to be a fairly solid pick.

    With all due respect to Swishy's assertion (and it would be a quite a discussion) wouldn't including "eras" or "collections" start a slippery-slope away from the original topic and lead to a list at least half-filled with "Greatest Hits..." and "Best of..."?

  5. #5
    Color me gone... Resident Loser's Avatar
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    Ditto...

    Quote Originally Posted by Swish
    ...Perhaps you'll disagree, but I think that Talking Book was his best, and possibly more influential. Along with Innervisions..
    ...I like the horn part of "Sir Duke"...the rest of the album is OK, but not IMHO as good as the two collections you've mentioned...

    Saw him as an opening act for the 'Stones @ MSG in the 70s and was really impressed...

    As an OT aside, around the same time, I saw James Brown at some 12hour bandfest at Roosevelt Raceway on LI, along with Chuck Berry and the Jefferson Airplane(Starship?) and some others...JB WAS the hardest working man in show business...the whole cape routine and his moves...priceless...

    jimHJJ(...hit me!!!...)
    Hello, I'm a misanthrope...don't ask me why, just take a good look around.

    "Men would rather believe than know" -Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson

    "The great masses of the people...will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one" -Adolph Hitler

    "We are never deceived, we deceive ourselves" -Goethe

    If you repeat a lie often enough, some will believe it to be the truth...

  6. #6
    Forum Regular BradH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swish
    I would rather hear that Stevie Wonder's collective works from the 1970s "changed music" instead of just the one record they used.
    Exactly. From 1972 to 1974 he released Music Of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions and Fulfillingness' First Finale. I don't see Songs In The Key Of Life as any more influential than that body of work.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
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    I agree that in most cases, not just this one, really influential artists are more important when you look at their body of work instead of one album. But, if you are talking about influential albums, you hafta narrow it down and Songs in teh key of Life is a damn fine record, so I'll not complain.

    We need some more off the wall suggestions. This one and the James Brown were just too solid. Too many cantankerous folks on here to just nod along with solid choices. We need something to agrue over.

    By the way,anybody else think Jamiroquai sounds like Stevie Wonder?

  8. #8
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobody
    By the way,anybody else think Jamiroquai sounds like Stevie Wonder?

    yes. Jason Kay sounds a lot like a young Stevie.

    Leans a tad too much towards '70s disco at times but I do like them.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
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    Wife's a fan, so I hear my share. A little too glossy for me most of the time, but its grown on me.

  10. #10
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Yeah, but how many "off the wall" artists would be....

    Quote Originally Posted by nobody
    I agree that in most cases, not just this one, really influential artists are more important when you look at their body of work instead of one album. But, if you are talking about influential albums, you hafta narrow it down and Songs in teh key of Life is a damn fine record, so I'll not complain.

    We need some more off the wall suggestions. This one and the James Brown were just too solid. Too many cantankerous folks on here to just nod along with solid choices. We need something to agrue over.

    By the way,anybody else think Jamiroquai sounds like Stevie Wonder?
    ...considered among the "most" influential? I was just reading an ariticle with a quote from Michael Stipe who said, upon seeing Patti Smith perform "She made me want to go out, buy a guitar, and become a musician". That my friend, is influence (she was also an earlier choice in this list of 50), and I can't say that little-known musicians could ever have such an effect. With me, it was listening to Jimi Hendrix that made me want to go out and buy a guitar.

    Swish
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
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    I think plenty of "off the wall" artists can be influential. When you hear something out of the ordinary, it can spark an interest.

    That said, I do tend to think far more often than not, a band has to achieve some level of noteriety to be prticularly influential. even examples people like to point to from th epast like the Velvet Underground, The Stooges, and other such groups, like Patti Smith for example, were much more well-financed and publicised than the typical underground bands today that can self-record an album and put it out on a tiny label their buddy runs.

    Then again, some of the most inspiring music to me, and stuff that inspired countless friends of mine I know as well as people across the country to start bands and start those tiny labels and print those crappy 'zines, was the hardcore movement of the early 80s that was one of the earlier examples of many small labels printing stuff to a small fanbase. And, maybe it's just that I still have too many people around me who were into that scene in some way or another, and the places I tend to end up, but I still see its influence all over the place. And, those faces sure are getting younger...so its more than just old farts keeping it going.

  12. #12
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
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    [quote=SwishMichael Stipe who said, upon seeing Patti Smith perform "She made me want to go out, buy a guitar, and become a musician". [/quote]

    who made him want to go out and buy makeup?

    t'wern't Patti

  13. #13
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Registered Member Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobody
    By the way,anybody else think Jamiroquai sounds like Stevie Wonder?
    L, yeah.

    That said, I can think of worse things to do with one's musical career than to spend the entire time sounding like Stevie Wonder.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

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