In a just world, last night’s Grammy Awards telecast would have been dedicated largely to celebrating the 50th anniversary of Motown Records. Instead, we got ‘treated’ to Stevie Wonder playing with the Jonas Brothers. Ugh.
So in an effort to remedy (in whatever small way I can) this musical travesty, I’m presenting not just one of Stevie’s or Motown’s greatest albums, but one of the greatest albums of any genre — 1973’s Innervisions.
Innervisions was not released on the regular Motown label but rather on Tamla, the company Berry Gordy started in 1959 that morphed into Motown. The album was a monster commercial and artistic triumph for Wonder, who picked up the first of his three Grammys for Album of the Year.
As for the album art, the cover illustration is by Efram Wolff, who produced art for many albums on the 1970s. The imagery is unmistakable here – Stevie is an oracle of sorts, and depsite his physical blindness he can see clearly the problems of the world. This outlook is reflected in the album’s lyrics, which take on a distinct politically and socially conscious theme.
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