Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing – Stevie Wonder

I’m not a big fan of Soul music as an over arching genre. My main reason for this is I find very little actual real soul in the contemporary luminaries of the genre. It’s all too glossy. I find it too polished and too slick. Not enough tears and snot for me.

However there are Soul Artists I adore. And Stevie Wonder is one of them. Not liking Stevie Wonder is like not liking the Sun. Stevie Wonder is a giver of life. Not all his stuff granted. I am with Jack Black on that particular cheesy 80’s thing. But still.

Let’s talk Innervisions. Let’s remember Stevie is blind and he calls his album Innervisions. It’s right in the middle of a purple patch of records which encompass Music Of My Mind, Talking Book and Fulfillingness’ First Finale. Albums which to this day are as important to the Soul genre as the first four Black Sabbath albums are to Metal or The Clash and Ramones are to Punk.

So to this song. Almost the final number on Innervisions, there had been a maelstrom of influences and styles on the previous tracks. Even still, what on Earth was going on at the start of this song?

It’s full of plinky plonky jazz tuning and wild street noises. With an odd squeaky noise Stevie rocks on to the mic mid-chat up with some girl. He’s laying his patter out. He’s boasting about his linguistics. It appears Stevie has been all over. Iraq, Iran, he speaks very very excellent Spanish. He’s sort of the Anti-Trump here.

Hey Baby. I’ve been down with everyone your Government fears…Ain’t that sexy?

It’s a manic little intro and then it’s off into one of the all time great smooth soul numbers.

“Everybody’s got a thing but some don’t know how to handle it.”

What a cool opening line. All the conflict and strife in the world just needs a handle on it.

“Don’t you worry about a thing. Don’t you worry about a thing Mama”

Yah haha ha ha! By the time we’ve got two minutes in the ante is up. We’re doing some bigger more soulful vocal reaching things and there’s scat singing filling in the gaps.

Stevie’s piano is filling in some gaps too. The quite frankly incredible band are pumping up slowly and SW is now ‘en route’ towards some big showtime Las Vegas style vocals.

By three minutes it’s a tour de force. When the song does reach it’s end it has become a standard. As in a new standard has been set.

This is where soul music must head from here on out. Innervisions in 1973 changed the way records in this genre would sound forever.

This might have been the inspiration for so much music I loathe, but I can totally see why it was an inspiration.

Don’t sweat it. It’s cool. Me and Stevie. We’re like that.

To get the full Cuban Riddims feel here’s a corking live take to chase the studio version down with

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6 thoughts on “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing – Stevie Wonder

  1. I can’t fully agree with you on soul music being too glossy, but there definitely is that present in some soul music. There’s also more raw soul artists. Stevie Wonder is certainly a favorite of mine as well. Innervisions is great, and Songs in the Key of Life is a favorite. Early Aretha records have that raw quality. Maybe they have a little more rock’n’roll to them than her later material. Also some of the more raw gospel artists like Marion Williams would be a good example. More recent soul artists with that quality are Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Charles Bradley, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Durand Jones & The Indications, and Curtis Harding.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If you like Sharon Jones, then definitely recommend Charles Bradley. He was discovered and produced by the Dap Tones guys, and he’s just got a fantastic story. He spent a lot of years working as a dishwasher/James Brown impersonator at a hotel, and even lived on the street for awhile. He was over 60 when he finally got his chance. You hear it all in his voice.

        Liked by 1 person

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