Monday, September 1, 2014

Song of the Day: Stevie Wonder - Uptight (Everything's Alright) (1965)

Of every fact in the entire history of recorded music, this is the one that makes me feel the most creatively inadequate: Stevie Wonder wrote and recorded this song when he was 15 years old. Fifteen!!! When I was fifteen, I was still playing with Magic cards and figuring out ways to sneak peaks at my mom's boyfriend's Playboys. But I guess you don't get the last name "Wonder" for nothing.

Anyway, this is my favorite Motown single (narrowly edging The Four Tops' "Reach Out (I'll Be There)"), and in my top 10-15 favorite singles of all-time. It's just so goddamn joyous and infectious, I find it literally impossible to listen to without cranking it up and playing air-everything--drums, horns, guitars, Stevie's head-bob, etc. If the title of "Happiest Song Ever" were to be bestowed upon something, this track would be a prime contender.

Stevie's recordings from the seventies, when he gained total creative control of his output and started writing about social issues, are critically considered the cornerstone of his legacy, and I won't argue with that. But personally, I prefer his Motown assembly hits from the mid-to-late 60's, because at their best, they sound like this.

This was originally written and posted on Facebook on May 22, 2014

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