Uncut - 2/04, p.864 stars out of 5
- "The cream of Stevie, cherry-picked here from a mightily impressive history, is rich with sunshine and peachy goodness."
Personnel includes: Stevie Wonder (vocals, various instruments); Luther Vandross (vocals); Malcolm Cecil, Robert Margouleff (programming); Gloria Barley, Lani Groves, Jim Gilstrap, The Jackson 5 (background vocals).
Producers include: Berry Gordy, Henry Cosby, Clarence Paul, Stevie Wonder, William "Mickey" Stevenson.
Compilation producers: Harry Weinger, Jeff Moskow.
Recorded between 1963 & 1985.
Includes liner notes by Scott Regan.
Personnel: Stevie Wonder (vocals, harmonica, piano, keyboards, programming); Malcolm Cecil, Robert Margouleff (Moog synthesizer, programming); Charles Brewer, John Fischbach (programming); Gloria Barley, Jim Gilstrap, Lani Groves (background vocals).
Liner Note Authors: Scott Regen; Harry Weinger; Scott Regan.
Arrangers: Clarence Paul; Stevie Wonder.
Missing in action for much of the 1990s, Stevie Wonder is a living legend whose consistent creative output is sorely missed. THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION provides a snapshot overview of Wonder's stellar legacy starting back in 1963 as a teen musical prodigy with the exuberant "Fingertips Part 2." This jubilant tune, showcasing Wonder's much-touted facility on the chromatic harmonica, is a powerful harbinger of things to come. Along the way are classics that find this Michigan native going from being a one-man Motown hit machine to a young artist whose vision eschewed singles-based sensibilities for album-long artistic statements.
Wonder's '60s gems include "I Was Made to Love Her," "For Once in My Life," and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours." Of course, his '70s work is just as stunning, particularly socially conscious numbers like "Higher Ground" and "Living for the City." Equally stellar if less political are this legend's tributes to Duke Ellington ("Sir Duke"), Bob Marley ("Master Blaster [Jammin']"), and Caribbean music in general ("Boogie on Reggae Woman"). THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION is an excellent primer for both die-hard fan and passing admirer of Stevie Wonder's genius.