- Number of Discs: 4
- Released: November 23, 1999
- Originally Released: 1994
- Label: Motown
Entertainment Weekly - 12/17/99, p.81
"...Not a dud among them - boxed sets don't get much better than this....in a word, magnificent..." - Rating: A+
Q - 1/01, p.95
Included in Q's "5 Best Re-Issues of 2000".
Q - 5/00, pp.122-35 stars out of 5
- "...The most consistent and intriguing artist America has produced....70 clunker-free tracks....Only the absolute cream is here..."
CMJ - 2/7/00, p.24
"...This remarkable collection contains most of his familiar classics, focusing on material from the 70s....Stevie at his funkiest can rival any singer-songwriter of any era..."
The Source - 3/00, p.258
"...a wonderfully exhaustive crash course on r&b music....this retrospective is a must-have. It's a firm testament to Wonder's unquestionable genius..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 5/00, p.96
"...His career demonstrates [that] genius has no off-switch....his abundant natural gifts were driven by twin urges of innovation and emancipation..."
NME (Magazine) - 3/25/00, p.408 out of 10
- "...The definitive voice of soul rapture....[this is] incontrovertibly fantastic music."
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.Fingertips Pts. 1 & 2
- 2.Uptight (Everything's Alright)
- 3.Nothing's Too Good For My Baby
- 4.Blowin' In The Wind
- 5.A Place In The Sun
- 6.Hey Love
- 7.I Was Made To Love Her
- 8.Until You Come Back To Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)
- 9.I'm Wondering
- 11.You Met Your Match
- 12.For Once In My Life
- 13.I Don't Know Why
- 14.My Cherie Amour
- 15.Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday
- 16.Never Had A Dream Come True
- 17.Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)
- 18.Heaven Help Us All
- 19.We Can Work It Out
- 20.If You Really Love Me
- 21.Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer
- 22.Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)
- 23.I Love Every Little Thing About You
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 2.You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
- 3.You And I
- 4.I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)
- 5.Too High
- 7.Living For The City
- 8.Golden Lady
- 9.Higher Ground
- 10.All In Love Is Fair
- 11.Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing
- 12.He's Misstra Know-It-All
- 13.You Haven't Done Nothin'
- 14.Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away
- 15.Too Shy To Say
- 16.Boogie On Reggae Woman
Tracks on Disc 3:
- 1.Sir Duke
- 2.I Wish
- 3.Knocks Me Off My Feet
- 4.Pastime Paradise
- 5.Isn't She Lovely
- 6.Ngiculela-Es Una Historia-I Am Singing
- 7.If It's Magic
- 9.Another Star
- 10.Send One Your Love
- 11.All I Do
- 12.Rocket Love
- 13.I Ain't Gonna Stand For It
- 14.Master Blaster (Jammin')
- 16.Happy Birthday
Tracks on Disc 4:
- 1.That Girl
- 2.Ribbon In The Sky
- 3.Do I Do
- 4.Love Light In Flight
- 5.I Just Called To Say I Love You
- 7.Part-Time Lover
- 8.Go Home
- 9.You Will Know
- 11.Gotta Have You
- 12.These Three Words
- 13.For Your Love
- 14.How Come, How Long
Includes 96-page full-color booklet.
Personnel includes: Stevie Wonder (vocals, various instruments, harmonica, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Clavinet, keyboards, Moog & ARP synthesizers, drums, cabasa, percussion, vocoder, sound effects); Luther Vandross (vocals); Dean Parks (acoustic & electric guitars); Babyface (acoustic guitar, keyboards, background vocals); Michael Sembello, Buzzy Feiton, Earl Klugh (guitar); Bobbi Humphrey (flute); Greg Phillinganes (piano, keyboards); Herbie Hancock (keyboards); James Jamerson (acoustic & electric basses); Nathan East (bass); Benny Benjamin, Uriel Jones (drums); Lenny Castro (congas); Sheila E. (percussion); Betty Wright, Michael Jackson, Minnie Ripperton, Paul Anka, George Benson, Philip Bailey (background vocals).
Producers include: Berry Gordy, Henry Cosby, Clarence Paul, Don Hunter, Harvey Fuqua.
Compilation producer: Harry Weinger.
Includes liner notes by David Ritz and Leonard Pitts Jr.
Digitally remastered using 24-bit technology by Kevin Reeves.
Personnel: Stevie Wonder (Fender Rhodes piano, drums); Dean Parks, Ben Bridges (guitar, acoustic guitar); Earl Klugh, Michael Sembello (guitar); Ralph Hammer (acoustic guitar); David T. Walker (electric guitar); Hank DeVito (steel guitar); Dorothy Ashby (harp); Bobbi Humphrey (flute); Hank Redd (saxophone, alto saxophone); Bob Malach (saxophone); Raymond Maldonado (trumpet, percussion); Steve Madaio, Larry Gittens (trumpet); Clarence Bell (organ); Greg Phillinganes, Herbie Hancock (keyboards); Malcolm Cecil, Robert Margouleff (ARP synthesizer, Moog synthesizer); James Jamerson (acoustic bass); Dennis Davis, Alvino Bennett, Raymond Lee Pounds (drums); Kwasi "Rocky" Dzidzornu, Lenny Castro, Daniel Ben Zebulon (congas); Sheila Wilkerson (bongos); Yusuf Roahman (shaker); Nathan Alford, Jr., Sheila E., Nathan Watts, Earl DeRouen, Bobbye Hall (percussion); Robert A. Arbittier (computer); Minnie Riperton, The Jackson 5 (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Kevin Reeves.
Arrangers: Clarence Paul; Paul Riser; Stevie Wonder; David Van De Pitte.
The 4-CD set AT THE CLOSE OF A CENTURY is a chronological history of Stevie Wonder's commercial successes. The first CD documents his early Motown years on tracks that emphasize his frenetic singing and superb harmonica playing. The songs taken from MUSIC OF MY MIND, his first fully written and produced effort, show significant vocal development. CDs two and three include material from INNERVISIONS, SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE, and TALKING BOOK, a creative period that is considered Wonder's strongest. It is on these cuts that Wonder uses his most varied production techniques and instrumentation to share his vivid creative spirit.
The fourth disc continues with pop hits recorded during the '80s and '90s, beginning with three songs he recorded for MUSIQUARIUM, and concluding with his duet with Babyface, "How Come, How Long." Disc four should surprise listeners who may remember only "I Just Called to Say I Love You" from Wonder's '80s work. Tracks like "Overjoyed" and "Ribbon in the Sky" make clear that Wonder had far more than one great song during the period. This box set is a great introduction to Stevie Wonder, and even after listening to all four discs in succession, fans will be left wanting more.