When one is called upon to define musical genius, few would have any difficulty associating Stevie Wonders' creativity with the term. His ability to "see" the world's ugly inhabitants as well as the world's beautifulness and then transcribing what he has "seen" is nothing short of genius. My first contact with this genius was back in the early 70's. Even though I remembered such songs as "Fingertips", "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Sylvia", it wasn't until the release of Where I'm Coming From and Music of My Mind that I came to realize that in the embodiment of Stevie was exactly "where I was coming from". It was like he was writing words from my mind and putting them to music.
Stevie represented, during that time period, my emotional self. He represented in the words that he wrote the human encounter's that I would make during the coming decades. These words as they related to his personal life, mirrored to some extent, my life. The struggle to live and love poetically prosed. His genius was the wave that I rode. It was the wave that many of us rode.
When he introduced the albums Talking Book and Innervisions, he rose the wave to another level. He was now speaking of the people's struggle to be free. To be treated as human beings. To be respected as human beings. He was articulating the ideologies of Malcolm, Gil, et al; through the genius of his writings.
I would be remiss if I did not mention another example of his genius.
Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants which had to have
been his most ambitious work ever, was not well received by the general
populace, due in large part because it was off the beaten path. But Stevie
knew where he was going, and so did I.. Journey was a preface to
our current environmental predicament. It was eloquently phrased with reminders
that we must stop taking the things that give us life for granted. Of the
many albums that Stevie has produced over the many years, I have found
that Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants was his best work