Hotter Than July

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ganda Suthivarakom
Arguably his last great album, HOTTER THAN JULY was the follow-up to Stevie Wonder's two groundbreaking double albums: 1976's magnum opus SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE and 1979's sprawling, ambitious JOURNEY THROUGH THE SECRET LIFE OF PLANTS. While not as musically adventurous as those releases, HOTTER THAN JULY successfully combined the pop sensibility of Wonder's early Motown years with the political candor he'd recently developed. The album sizzles with both romantic and political passion. Wonder celebrates black leadership on the sensual, reggae-splashed homage to Bob Marley,"Master Blaster Jammin'," and the exultant "Happy Birthday," a plea to make Martin Luther ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ganda Suthivarakom
Arguably his last great album, HOTTER THAN JULY was the follow-up to Stevie Wonder's two groundbreaking double albums: 1976's magnum opus SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE and 1979's sprawling, ambitious JOURNEY THROUGH THE SECRET LIFE OF PLANTS. While not as musically adventurous as those releases, HOTTER THAN JULY successfully combined the pop sensibility of Wonder's early Motown years with the political candor he'd recently developed. The album sizzles with both romantic and political passion. Wonder celebrates black leadership on the sensual, reggae-splashed homage to Bob Marley,"Master Blaster Jammin'," and the exultant "Happy Birthday," a plea to make Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a nationally recognized holiday. These political send-ups mesh with soulful, synth-based love songs such as "All I Do" and the Jodeci-covered tearjerker "Lately." After HOTTER THAN JULY, Wonder wrote several brilliant singles, but this album remains, by far, his most consistent and engaging post-'70s collection.
All Music Guide - Rob Theakston
Four years after the pinnacle of Stevie Wonder's mid-'70s typhoon of classic albums, Hotter Than July was the proper follow-up to Songs in the Key of Life his Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants concept record was actually a soundtrack to an obscure movie that fared miserably in theaters. It also found Wonder in a different musical climate than the one that savored his every move from 1972 to 1977. Disco and new wave had slowly crept their way into the mainstream record-buying public, and hindered the once-ample room for socially and politically charged lyrics. However, Wonder naysayed the trends and continues to do what he did best. Solid songwriting, musicianship, and production are evident in the majority of Hotter Than July. Wonder also carries on his tradition of penning songs normally not associated with his trademark sound, from the disco-tinged "All I Do" originally planned to be released by Tammi Terrell almost ten years previously to the reggae-influenced smash "Master Blaster Jammin," which went straight to the top of the R&B charts. While admittedly there are a few less-than-standard tracks, he closes the album on an amazing high note with one of the most aching ballads in his canon "Lately" and a touching anthem to civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King, Jr. "Happy Birthday". While most definitely not on the same tier as Innervisions or Songs in the Key of Life, Hotter Than July is the portrait of an artist who still had the Midas touch, but stood at the crossroads of an illustrious career.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/2/2000
  • Label: Motown
  • UPC: 601215736328
  • Catalog Number: 157363
  • Sales rank: 3,572

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Stevie Wonder Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Harmonica, Keyboards, Vocals
Michael Jackson Vocals
Betty Wright Vocals
Bob Malach Saxophone
Bill Wolfer Vocals
Rick Zunigar Guitar
Stephanie Andrews Vocals
Delores Barnes Vocals
Shirley Brewer Vocals
Ben Bridges Guitar, Sitar
Alexandra Brown Vocals
Eddie "Bongo" Brown Percussion
Charles Collins Vocals
Dennis Davis Drums
Hank DeVito Steel Guitar
Earl DeRouen Vocals
Larry Gittens Trumpet
Susaye Greene Brown Vocals
Marva Holcolm Vocals
Kimberley Jackson Vocals
Trevor Lawrence Saxophone
Eddie Levert Vocals
Melody McCully Vocals
Dennis Morrison Vocals
Jamil Raheem Vocals
Hank Redd Saxophone
Paul Riser Strings
Isaiah Sanders Keyboards
Nolan Andrew Smith Trumpet
Mary Lee Whitney Vocals
Walter Williams Vocals
Charlie Wilson Vocals
Angela Winbush Vocals
Syreeta Wright Vocals
Nathan Watts Vocals
Technical Credits
Gary Olazabal Engineer
Paul Riser Arranger
Harry Weinger Reissue Producer
Stevie Wonder Arranger, Producer, Audio Production
Mathieu Bitton Reissue Design
Al Harper Illustrations
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