ARTIST: Stevie Wonder
TITLE: 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Stevie Wonder
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Every song on here was a Top 10
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: All of them
LINEUP: Stevie Wonder and Motown’s session musicians
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The best collection of Stevie Wonder’s early Motown hits, without a lot of goop and gunk in the way. It’s still spotty.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The reality is this: until Stevie Wonder got control of his career and wrote most of his own songs, a lot of what he released wasn’t that great. His early singles are pretty forgettable, and it wasn’t until “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” that he had a song that really showed his talent.
Still, his albums were spotty like most Motown fare, and on just a few singles he cooked with gas. Most of them are featured here.
This collection ends around 1971, which was when Wonder really started to write and produce in earnest. I’ll be covering those albums in full, later. As for this, it’s probably the best early Wonder collection if you don’t want to get too deep in the weeds.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: His actual first album for Motown is an instrumental record released in 1962.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A-: I can’t give it any higher because some of the earliest singles aren’t so hot, but the later ones are of quality and distinction.