The test for whether or not an album is a classic has more to do with lasting appeal and endurance than instant impact. In 1973 Stevie Wonder’s “Innervisions” hit hard immediately, first. America was grappling with racism, poverty and a rampant drug epidemic, among other issues. At 23, Wonder was already a seasoned musician with several albums released as a musical wiz kid and as a fresh-faced adult. With a newfound cultural awareness and drive to push society forward, Stevie was fearless in addressing all the aforementioned issues.

Now jump to present day. Songs like “Living for the City” and “Higher Ground” are still ripe anthems, particularly spot-on today in this post Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman era our nation’s in. Critically acclaimed, of-the-moment film “Fruitvale Station” -- about Bay-area Black man Oscar Grant, then 22, being wrongly gunned down by a white police officer -- could have easily been tracked to “Innervisions.”

The album peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart and spent 89 weeks on the chart overall. It spent 2 weeks at No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and 51 weeks on the chart overall.

"Innervisions" is 40-years old today (August 3). True fans marvel through listens as if it was created weeks ago. Its genius is palpable, especially considering that Wonder damn near made the thing by himself. On several cuts, he’s credited for lead and background vocals, keys, synthesizer, harmonica, congas and drums, right on down to handclaps

Track List

  1. Too High
  2. Visions
  3. Living for the City
  4. Golden Lady
  5. Higher Ground
  6. Jesus Children of America
  7. All in Love Is Fair
  8. Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing
  9. He's Misstra Know It All

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