3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
20 years on
petershelleyau from Sydney, Australia
1 May 2003
This Classic Albums episode reunion of Stevie Wonder and the musicians who
contributed to his 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life feels overlong and
somewhat self-indulgent, which isn't a surprise since Wonder co-produced.
We get to-camera interviews with Wonder, Berry Gordy, Herbie Hancock,
Jones, Gary Byrd, Coolio, Aisha Morris and Yolanda Simmons, and engineers
John Fischbach and Gary Olazabal. We also see period photographs, live
performancs of "Sir Duke" and "I Wish", and as well as deconstruction of
other songs like "Isn't She Lovely", "If It's Magic", "Pastime Paradise",
"Saturn", "Village Ghetto Land", and "Black Man". "I Wish" is actually
deconstructed so much that you may not want to hear it again for a while,
particularly as Wonder's music doesn't have the depth of great art.
the borrowing of "Pastime Paradise" as template for Coolio's "Gangster's
Paradise" is probably the most interesting subject, complete with footage
from the video clip featuring Michelle Pfeiffer.
The album is placed in the perspective of Wonder's career, being a concept
album that took 3 years to produce and delivered 1 year later than
to Motown, and it's success led to Wonder's renewal of contract with the
label. We get to see Wonder performing on drums, which is unusual, but
unfortunately his to-camera interviews are undermined by the bumps on his
Quincy Jones is pompous speaking of Wonder as an artist who is a
of God's creativity, and director David Heffernan uses slow motion, freeze
frame, and hand-held camerawork.
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