At the Close of a Century

( 8 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Brett Johnson
From the cotton-candy sweetness of "Hey Love" to the social commentary of "Living for the City" and "Happy Birthday," the unofficial theme song of the movement to establish a Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday, Stevie Wonder is an icon in the American cultural landscape. Fittingly, Motown Records has released AT THE CLOSE OF A CENTURY, a 70-track box set of his greatest hits. Unlike previously released overviews, CENTURY spans the entire four decades of Wonder's recordings, from 1962 to the mid-'90s. Disc One is stocked with tunes from Little Stevie Wonder's adolescent years, including his first hit, 1962's harmonica-pumping "Fingertips Pts. 1 & 2," and a 1967...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Brett Johnson
From the cotton-candy sweetness of "Hey Love" to the social commentary of "Living for the City" and "Happy Birthday," the unofficial theme song of the movement to establish a Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday, Stevie Wonder is an icon in the American cultural landscape. Fittingly, Motown Records has released AT THE CLOSE OF A CENTURY, a 70-track box set of his greatest hits. Unlike previously released overviews, CENTURY spans the entire four decades of Wonder's recordings, from 1962 to the mid-'90s. Disc One is stocked with tunes from Little Stevie Wonder's adolescent years, including his first hit, 1962's harmonica-pumping "Fingertips Pts. 1 & 2," and a 1967 version of "Until You Come Back to Me That’s What I’m Gonna Do,” later remade by Aretha Franklin. Wonder's early songs alternately snap with enthusiasm "Uptight Everything’s Alright" and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours" and sway with romanticism "My Cherie Amour" and "For Once in My Life". But it was after leaving Motown's sometimes-confining creative reins that Wonder went on to make soul -- and pop -- music history with a string of brilliant albums, beginning with the ambitious 1972 MUSIC OF MY MIND. Wonder ruled the decade from that point on, reaching even higher ground with the follow-up TALKING BOOK 1972, the near-perfect INNERVISIONS 1973, the double-LP masterpiece SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE 1976, and the pop success HOTTER THAN JULY 1980. With period essentials like "Superwoman Where Were You When I Needed You," "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," "Superstition," "Golden Lady," and "Sir Duke," this collection offers a window into Wonder's heightened social awareness as well as his innovations with the Moog synthesizer. Even in his later period, Wonder was adept at keeping his ear on the pulse of popular music, evident with "Part-Time Lover" from the platinum-selling IN SQUARE CIRCLE 1985 and the tepid yet hugely successful movie soundtrack contribution, "I Just Called to Say I Love You." The compilation's finale, "How Come, How Long," a duet with Babyface -- this generation's soulman, with an R&B Midas touch that rivals Wonder's -- symbolizes a metaphorical passing of the torch and is a telling tribute to the enduring legacy of black musicianship at the century's end. On the eve of the new millennium, this must-have collection is right on time.
All Music Guide - John Bush
He's been called one of the most influential performers and songwriters of the century, but until 1999 Stevie Wonder didn't even have a box set to call his own. Such was the reissue campaign at Motown that, until very recently, some of the best pop music of the '60s sounded poorer in reissue form than when it was first played on AM radio. In 1996, the long-awaited Stevie Wonder digital-age hits package Song Review reached the shelves, but it didn't even follow compilation etiquette that is, chronological order. Finally, At the Close of a Century made everything right -- complete with digital remastering, near-perfect sound, complete coverage of his epic career, an attractive design, and copious liner notes and pictures. The box, a four-disc set spanning 1962 to 1996, debuts with "Fingertips, Pts. 1 & 2," the long-unheard seven-minute version of his first hit. The first disc includes every hit that fans can remember, including great-sounding versions of "Uptight Everything's Alright" and "Hey Love," plus plenty of moderate hits they may not remember, like his definitive cover of the Beatles' "We Can Work It Out." Disc two features more than a dozen of his biggest hits, including "Superstition," "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," "Living for the City," "Higher Ground," and "Boogie On Reggae Woman." Disc three begins with no less than nine tracks from Songs in the Key of Life, his standout double album from 1976. Right into the '80s and '90s, Stevie Wonder remained at the top of the charts, with hits like "Rocket Love," "Master Blaster Jammin'," "Happy Birthday," "I Just Called to Say I Love You," and "Part-Time Lover." It took far too long, but Motown finally issued a box set worthy of Stevie Wonder's continuing artistry.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/23/1999
  • Label: Motown
  • UPC: 601215399226
  • Catalog Number: 153992
  • Sales rank: 14,226

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Fingertips, Pts. 1-2 (6:58)
  2. 2 Uptight (Everything's Alright) (2:56)
  3. 3 Nothing's Too Good for My Baby (2:46)
  4. 4 Blowin' in the Wind (3:08)
  5. 5 A Place in the Sun (2:53)
  6. 6 Hey Love (2:47)
  7. 7 I Was Made to Love Her (2:40)
  8. 8 Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do) (3:03)
  9. 9 I'm Wondering (2:58)
  10. 10 Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day (2:49)
  11. 11 You Met Your Match (2:41)
  12. 12 For Once in My Life (2:51)
  13. 13 I Don't Know Why (2:51)
  14. 14 My Cherie Amour (2:55)
  15. 15 Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday (3:05)
  16. 16 Never Had a Dream Come True (3:14)
  17. 17 Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours (2:40)
  18. 18 Heaven Help Us All (3:14)
  19. 19 We Can Work It Out (3:18)
  20. 20 If You Really Love Me (3:00)
  21. 21 Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer (2:56)
  22. 22 Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You) (8:08)
  23. 23 I Love Every Little Thing About You (3:56)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Superstition (4:28)
  2. 2 You Are the Sunshine of My Life (2:59)
  3. 3 You and I (We Can Conquer the World) (4:39)
  4. 4 I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever) (4:52)
  5. 5 Too High (4:36)
  6. 6 Visions (5:23)
  7. 7 Living for the City (7:23)
  8. 8 Golden Lady (4:59)
  9. 9 Higher Ground (3:42)
  10. 10 All in Love Is Fair (3:42)
  11. 11 Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing (4:45)
  12. 12 He's Misstra Know It All (5:36)
  13. 13 You Haven't Done Nothin' (3:25)
  14. 14 Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away (5:02)
  15. 15 Too Shy to Say (3:29)
  16. 16 Boogie on Reggae Woman (5:14)
  17. 17 Creepin' (4:20)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Sir Duke (3:54)
  2. 2 I Wish (4:13)
  3. 3 Knocks Me off My Feet (3:36)
  4. 4 Pastime Paradise (3:29)
  5. 5 Isn't She Lovely (6:36)
  6. 6 Ngiculela-Es Una Historia-I Am Singing (3:49)
  7. 7 If It's Magic (3:12)
  8. 8 As (7:08)
  9. 9 Another Star (8:22)
  10. 10 Send One Your Love (4:04)
  11. 11 All I Do (5:15)
  12. 12 Rocket Love (4:39)
  13. 13 I Ain't Gonna Stand for It (4:40)
  14. 14 Master Blaster (Jammin') (5:09)
  15. 15 Lately (4:06)
  16. 16 Happy Birthday (5:56)
Disc 4
  1. 1 That Girl (5:15)
  2. 2 Ribbon in the Sky (5:38)
  3. 3 Do I Do (10:30)
  4. 4 Love Light in Flight (6:55)
  5. 5 I Just Called to Say I Love You (4:23)
  6. 6 Overjoyed (3:46)
  7. 7 Part-Time Lover (4:12)
  8. 8 Go Home (5:20)
  9. 9 You Will Know (5:01)
  10. 10 Skeletons (5:24)
  11. 11 Gotta Have You (6:28)
  12. 12 These Three Words (4:55)
  13. 13 For Your Love (5:00)
  14. 14 How Come, How Long (5:11)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Stevie Wonder Primary Artist, Drums, fender rhodes, Moog Bass
The Jackson 5 Background Vocals
Minnie Riperton Background Vocals
Dorothy Ashby Harp
Herbie Hancock Keyboards
Bobbi Humphrey Flute
Earl Klugh Guitar
Bob Malach Saxophone
David T. Walker Electric Guitar
Michael Sembello Guitar
Bobbye Hall Percussion
Tasha Thomas Background Music
Nathan Alford Jr. Percussion
Gloria Barley Background Music
Alvino Bennett Drums
Daniel Ben Zebulon Conga
Ben Bridges Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Lenny Castro Conga
Malcolm Cecil Bass, Moog Synthesizer, ARP
Dennis Davis Drums
Hank DeVito Steel Guitar
Earl DeRouen Percussion
Kwasi "Rocky" Dzidzornu Conga
Sheila E. Percussion
Scott Edwards Bass
Larry Gittens Trumpet
Ralph Hammer Acoustic Guitar
James Jamerson Acoustic Bass
Bhakta Kevin Background Music
Steve Madaio Trumpet
Raymond Maldonado Percussion, Trumpet
Robert Margouleff Moog Synthesizer, ARP
Reggie McBride Bass
Dean Parks Acoustic Guitar, Guitar
Greg Phillinganes Keyboards
Raymond Lee Pounds Drums
Hank Redd Saxophone, Alto Saxophone
Yusuf Roahman Shaker
Willie Weeks Bass
Nathan Watts Bass, Percussion
Clarence Bell Organ
Sheila Wilkerson Bongos
Technical Credits
Babyface Composer
Tom Baird Producer
Paul Bollenback Composer
Johnny Bristol Producer
Malcolm Cecil Engineer
Henry Cosby Composer, Producer
Harvey Fuqua Producer
Berry Gordy Jr. Producer
Don Hunter Producer
Raymond Maldonado Spanish Translation
Robert Margouleff Engineer
Kedar Massenburg Executive Producer
Ronald Dean Miller Composer
Clarence Paul Arranger, Producer
Paul Riser Arranger, String Arrangements
David Van De Pitte Arranger
Stevie Wonder Arranger, Composer, Producer, Executive Producer
Ron Miller Producer
Mickey Stevenson Producer
Vartan Art Direction
Sylvia Moy Composer
Desmond Hunter Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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(8)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Great Buy

    I have been looking for collections from some of the classic artists. This is definitely one of them. This is the most comprehensive collection of Stevie Wonder songs I've found thus far. I've enjoyed listening to it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Definitive Stevie

    Loved it sooooo much bought it for a friend's birthday and he absolutely loved it!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    LONG TIME COMING

    IT GIVES US THE VERY BEST FROM THE BEGINNING OF HIS CAREER TO THE PRIME IF ANYONE IS A TRUE MUSIC THEY WILL GO PICK UP THIS CD STEVIE IS A INFLUENCE ON JUST ABOUT EVERY ARTIST ESPECIALLY MYSELF I WANT WRITE,PRODUCE,ARRANGE SING JUST LIKE HIM

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An absolute must for any lover of the Wonder!

    This set of CDs will bring back memories! Stevie is THE poet of our times and truly a musical genius. I can't recommend this set highly enough. Worth every penny!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Greatest.

    No man who has been blessed with the gift of sight could begin to have as much vision as Mr. Steveland Morris. With a career that spans at least twenty five years, Stevie Wonder has managed to make songs that every one on earth can relate to. If I could choose the soundtrack to the story of my life, all the songs would come from this collection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THIS GOES IN MY TIME CAPSLE FOR Y2K......... THE BEST OF THE BEST! BROUGHT BACK SO MANY GREAT MEMORIES. OVER 5 HOURS OF GREATNESS, HOW CAN YOU MISS??

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome

    I Love it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    the Wonder Years of music

    what can one say? this is the one and only Stevie Wonder! his music is so very essential to everybody going into the next century (Y2K). the lyrics are meaningful, the melodies are delightful, and the harmonies are beautiful. Stevie Wonder has written songs that deal with everything from America's racial problem (Love's In Need of Love) to matters of the heart (These Three Words). the man is a god-send! in biblical times there was David, in our time we have Stevie Wonder. let's honor and cherish him while we still have him in our presence.

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews