Picks and Pans Review: The Essential ... Stevie Wonder
TALKING BOOK (1972)
Featuring some sublime love ballads ("You and I"), this also finds him getting righteously funky ("Superstition") and political ("Big Brother").
From utopian dreams ("Visions") and romantic fantasies ("Golden Lady") to gritty urban depictions ("Living for the City"), Wonder displays real imagination and insight.
SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE (1976)
His magnum opus, this double disc showcases the breadth of Wonder's genius. It was his third in a row to win the Album of the Year Grammy—and rightly so.
HOTTER THAN JULY (1980)
The last of his truly masterful albums, it includes "Happy Birthday," the rousing anthem of Wonder's crusade to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a national holiday.