Characters (Stevie Wonder album)

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Characters
Studio album by Stevie Wonder
Released November 6, 1987
Recorded London, England, U.K, 1987 at Livingstone Studios
Genre R&B, quiet storm, soul, synthpop, dance-pop
Length 48:37 (vinyl)
61:33 (CD)
Label Motown
Producer Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder chronology
In Square Circle
(1985)
Characters
(1987)
Jungle Fever
(1991)
Singles from Characters
  1. "Skeletons"
    Released: July 1987
  2. "You Will Know"
    Released: March 1988
  3. "Get It"
    Released: May 1988
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[1]
Chicago Tribune (Positive)[2]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[3]
Robert Christgau A−[4]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars[6]

Characters is the Grammy-nominated twenty-first studio album by American singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder, released by Motown Records on November 6, 1987 (see 1987 in music) in North America. Although highly anticipated like its predecessor, In Square Circle (1985) upon its release, the album received mixed reviews from critics, and debuted at number 17 on the US Billboard 200, becoming his first album since Music of My Mind not to reach the top ten of the charts. In the UK, the album debuted at number thirty-three on the UK Albums Chart, being his lowest charting album in comparison to his previous efforts.

It debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for seven weeks, and spawned six singles including "Get It", "Skeletons" and the ballad "You Will Know" that had attained Billboard R&B chart success.

Overview[edit]

This album was Stevie Wonder's first to miss the Top Five on the Billboard charts, and yielded the hit R&B singles: Skeletons, Get It (featuring Michael Jackson who, at the time, was riding high with the success of his Bad album), and the R&B ballad, You Will Know.

Awards and nominations[edit]

The album earned Wonder three Grammy Award nominations, one for the album itself, in the category of Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.

To promote the album, Wonder performed a one-hour "Characters" special on MTV, in which he also performed unreleased material as well as a duet with Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Stevie Wonder except where noted.

Side one
  1. "You Will Know" - 5:00
  2. "Dark 'n' Lovely" (Gary Byrd, Wonder) - 4:39
  3. "In Your Corner" - 4:30
  4. "With Each Beat of My Heart" - 5:28
  5. "One of a Kind" - 5:10
Side two
  1. "Skeletons" - 5:24
  2. "Get It" (featuring Michael Jackson) - 4:31
  3. "Galaxy Paradise" - 3:52
  4. "Cryin' Through the Night" - 5:48
  5. "Free" - 4:12
CD Bonus tracks
  1. "Come Let Me Make Your Love Come Down" (featuring B.B. King & Stevie Ray Vaughan) - 5:20
  2. "My Eyes Don't Cry" - 7:05

Personnel[edit]

  • Michael Jackson – Performer
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan- Performer
  • B.B. King- Performer
  • Gary Olazabal – Engineer, Associate Producer, Mixing
  • Stevie Wonder – Arranger, Keyboards, Vocals, Producer
  • Recorded at Livingstone Studios, London, England, U.K

Charts[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. Characters (Stevie Wonder album) at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-06-27.
  2. ^ Van Matre, Lynn (November 15, 1987). "Wonder`s Upbeat `Characters`". chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ Grein, Paul (November 15, 1987). "Record Rack: Good-Time Wonder". articles.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. Consumer Guide Reviews: Characters. The Village Voice. Retrieved 2011-06-27.
  5. ^ David Wild (1988-01-28). "Characters | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  8. ^ "austriancharts.at Stevie Wonder – Characters" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  9. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 20, 2013
  10. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Stevie Wonder – Characters" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  11. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1987" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  14. ^ "swedishcharts.com Stevie Wonder – Characters" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Stevie Wonder – Characters – hitparade.ch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Chart Stats – Stevie Wonder – Characters" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  17. ^ "allmusic ((( Characters > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Album Search: Stevie Wonder – Characters" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  19. ^ "French album certifications – Stevie Wonder – Characters" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select STEVIE WONDER and click OK
  20. ^ "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr (in French). SNEP. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  21. ^ "British album certifications – Stevie Wonder – Characters". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved February 20, 2013.  Enter Characters in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  22. ^ "American album certifications – Stevie Wonder – Characters". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 20, 2013.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH