My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Songs in the Key of Life is eighteenth studio album by Stevie Wonder. It was recorded from 1974 through 1976 and was released in September of 1976. This is a double album that was also released with a bonus four song E.P. The album is considered one of the best of all time in most lists that compile such things and was hugely influential on the R&B artist that would follow in the albums footsteps.
What I think: I have never listened to this album before. I probably would have, but I was kind of saving it for this project. It’s a shame in a way, because in a word it’s amazing. The energy throughout the whole thing just floors me, it’s a perfect level of excitement and mastery that flows throughout. Even in the socially conscious songs, that energy is there, and pointed in the right direction.
I put this on and the first track “Love’s in Need of Love Today” just blew me away. It’s one of the most perfect songs that I’ve ever heard. From there there are some minor peaks and valleys until you get to “Sir Duke” which is one of my, say, top thirty songs of all time. I’m a sucker for horns and this song perfects their use. Highlights the rest of the way are prevalent, but… screw it, I was going to list individual songs. In the end though, I’m just going to end up listing most of them so just give it a listen. The last thing I want to say is that “Saturn” on the bonus E.P. is an amazing song, and I don’t see how it didn’t make the official album.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? It feels wrong just now listening to such a masterpiece, but I did get to enjoy hearing it for the first time and for the rest of my life. This is an easy no doubter, have you noticed how many times I’ve used variations of the word “perfect”, I was going to pull out the thesaurus, but I felt it fitting.
Rating (Out of 5) 5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (293/377)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 77%