20. Me For You, You For Me
In 1991, Stevie was again distracted from his proposed studio project
when he was approached by Spike Lee to compose music for is
forthcoming film Jungle Fever.
Stevie worked day and night to make the deadline for June release.
The album based on the theme of interracial love and substance abuse
starred Wesley Snipes and Samuel L Jackson.
It seemed only natural that two great artists
like Spike Lee and Stevie Wonder would work someday together. The
result is a great album from Stevie. After
Characters from four
years earlier, this album seemed reinvigorated and the music is top
notch. Fun Day lives up to its name as the song has a bouncy, airy,
carefree feeling to it and it floats along like a nice summer day.
Queen Of Black and
Each Other's Throat are funky workouts that have
some great keyboard action.
These Three Words has become a grass
roots classic extolling the virtues of expressing your love for
others, instead of keeping it locked up.
Gotta Have You
the first single is a fiery song with Stevie's vocals in great
shape. The most original song of the bunch is probably
Make Sure You're Sure,
a slow jazzy piece which has Stevie backed up with a small piece
jazz combo. The performance is so natural you would think it would
have led him to doing a jazz album by now.
The Jungle Fever
track explores some world beats thereby achieving with music what he
is saying with the lyrics - there can be harmony among peoples of
I Go Sailing
has a similar theme to
Birds of Beauty,
exploring the mind, turning within to achieve peace.
Stevie's pronouncements of the ills of drugs while bringing in a
hint of spirituality with a pulsating synthesized guitar rhythm. The
final track was Lighting
Up The Candles,
a song performed seven years earlier at Marvin Gaye's funeral
finally made an album slot.
showed that Stevie had maintained his relevance over the years.
his usual generous manner, he worked with Diana Ross on her upcoming
album. Writing and producing the song,
The Force Behind The
producing his 1972 ballad,
Blame It On The Sun
for her. The new Stevie song was so important to her that she
re-titled the album from its original Change Of Heart.
Behind The Power returned Diana back to the number one position.
the time 1995 came around, Stevie announced the release of
now re-titled from
It generated enormous anticipation and expectation both from fans
and the music industry. The final product was a strong and solid
album-by any standard.
Taboo To Love as
well, For Your
Love should have
been a top 10,
Rain Your Love Down
is Classic Stevie,
Take The Time Out
is very good, and
is high quality. The message in the songs are undeniable and
ranks right up there with some of his best:
All for one, one for all
There's no way we'll reach our greatest heights
Unless we heed the call
Me for you, you for me
There's no chance of world salvation
'Less the conversation's peace
Stevie shows off his best on
a jazzy number featuring Anita Baker and
Edge of Eternity a good
up-tempo track on par with hi work in the 80's.
My Love Is With You
is a musical drama, definitely effective at telling it's story about
gang wars and gun crime.
Sorry is a heartfelt but somewhat weaker
track with Robert Margoulef doing the engineering. So all in all, an
excellent album from Stevie, incorporating many elements of the then
hip hop craze but not falling prey to its excesses.
Hot on the heals of
Conversation Peace, Motown
released a live album of Stevie performing during his recent Natural
Wonder tour. Out in time for Christmas 1995
Natural Wonder was
Stevie's first live album since
Live at The Talk Of The
Town in1970. The concert shows were recorded in Japan and Israel
using an orchestra conducted by Dr. Henry Panion III. The quality of
the recording is excellent, and shines a new light of Stevie's gems.
It aptly shows off his amazing voice, great instrumentation and
supreme song writing. The album contains all the big hits including
great versions of
Living For The City,
Superstition, Higher Ground,
My Cherie Amour, I Wish, and Master Blaster (Jammin').
He also serves up lesser known songs like
Village Ghetto Land, Another Star, Stay Gold (Theme from The
He does a nice tribute to the late Stevie Ray Vaughan in
Stevie Ray Blues
and a couple new songs,
Dancing to The Rhythm
and Ms. & Mr.
Though he was then 45, he belts out the
classics with the same gusto and vocal clarity as he demonstrated in