Stevie Wonder has enjoyed a career like no other.
From boy genius to child star, from teenage sensation, to a grown up Wonder, he has been an international superstar for most of his life. His universal appeal as one of music’s most influential and enduring artists is endorsed by every possible accolade and award. Those honours bestowed on him, acknowledge more than just his countless musical achievements though, they also highlight a huge array of humanitarian causes and social justice campaigns, that he has led and fought in his efforts to bring about a better world, and usually through that most accessible of mediums; music. Close to sixty years on from his ‘Little Stevie’ days, he is still an international concert draw, with a major catalogue of hit singles and Grammy award winning albums, still included in his shows, and all still at his ‘Fingertips’. Over recent years the ground breaking studio albums have slowed, maybe suggesting he has nothing left to prove, that in turn may suggest there is little more to tell, except that is not entirely true.
Lifelong fan and chronicler of Wonder’s life, Mick Hutchinson in his first publication, ‘That Sounds Like Stevie’ sheds some new light on over fifty years of Wonderful music; but, this time, there is a slight twist. For running alongside that illustrious solo career of sell out tours, major awards, and the many many recognisable hits, sits another large and largely unchronicled collection of songs, that capture properly and in detail his role as a writer, producer, arranger, vocalist, and highly sought after session musician for other people, and often on tunes that are not that well known. With close to 400 tracks of music included, ‘That Sounds Like Stevie’ digs deep into Stevie’s musical history, and dips into every conceivable genre of popular music. Having played and performed both with and for all the legends, the superstars, and just as importantly many ‘unknowns’, this anthology also covers how Stevie’s music has supported the careers of hundreds of other performing artists, with most usually having a Stevie story or two to tell about that experience, many of their Stevie experiences are also captured in this collection.
This is the first time that Stevie Wonder’s additional or ‘other’ recording work has been brought together in an anthology of this kind, and presented in such detail. It is also the first time that the stories behind a number of those tracks of music have been brought to life, enabling them to take their rightful place in this remarkable ongoing musical journey. That musical journey still continues on, showing no signs of stopping, and as Stevie prepares to enter his seventh recording decade those recordings with others are sure to continue. ‘That Sounds Like Stevie’ helps to fill a void so far missing in the written word about Stevie Wonder’s career, and is a must read for all Stevie and music lovers alike, who wish to appreciate the extended work of a living legend, and his never-ending celebration of song.