My daughter sent me a handful of my old records this week and in the bunch was Innervisions: Stevie Wonder’s 1973 Grammy-winning Album of the Year.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to the album, though I did often. Innervisions was one of a few 8-track tapes that came with us on a week long ski trip in 1977. It’s one of those few albums you could listen to over and over and never tire of. It was a record I bought immediately when I returned home from the trip..
It is that kind of an album.
You can talk about Wonder’s musical genius and ability to play all of the instruments on most of the album, but lyrically Innervisions went to a new level. Wonder got political, questioning religion and his country’s leader and culture.
The socially conscious words on songs like He’s Mista Know-It-All, Jesus Children of America and Higher Ground made you think. Living For The City speaks to the systemic racism that existed then as it does now.
Almost 50 years later, nothing much has changed.
The album might even sound better now.