Skeletons (Stevie Wonder song)

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"Skeletons"
Single by Stevie Wonder
from the album Characters
Released September 1987-1988
Recorded 1987
Genre R&B, synthpop
Length 5:24
Writer(s) Stevie Wonder
Producer(s) Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder singles chronology
"Get It"
(1987)
"Skeletons"
(1987)
"You Will Know"
(1988)

"Skeletons" is a number-one R&B single by American recording artist Stevie Wonder in 1987 from his album, Characters. The song earned Stevie Wonder two 1988 Grammy Award nominations for Best R&B Song and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, while the album Characters would be nominated the following year for Best R&B Male Vocal Performance.

"Skeletons" went to number one on the Black Singles Chart, and peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 19, becoming the final top 40 hit for Wonder to date.[1] The single also peaked at number 20 on the dance chart.[2]

The song is an soul/R&B jam about lies and deceptions being uncovered. One version features short sound bites from prominent figures such as Col. Oliver North ("I am not ashamed of anything in my professional and personal conduct") and President Ronald Reagan ("The United States has not made concessions to those who hold our people captive in Lebanon") among others. This has remained a popular R&B uptempo song for Stevie Wonder, as well receiving airplay from urban radio stations.

The song was featured in the 1988 action film Die Hard, played when the character Argyle speaks on the phone.

The song was also used in the second trailer of the video game Grand Theft Auto V, as well as appearing on the in-game radio station Space 103.2, reigniting the popularity of the song on sites such as YouTube.

Music video[edit]

The video depicts a very different interpretation of the song. In it, Stevie is sitting on the front porch of his home, in a typical white-picket-fence American neighborhood. As the video progresses, he greets his archetypical neighbors, and we are shown who they are; then we are shown their "skeletons". Karen Black is featured as the "perfect" mother and housewife who is secretly an alcoholic. Next is the businessman, a "pillar of the community" who cross-dresses in private. Then, the "all-American girl next door" is shown to be secretly being molested by her father. Lastly, we are shown the athletic "all-American boy next door" who is actually a cocaine addict.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 636. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 283. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Angel" by Angela Winbush
Billboard Hot Black Singles number-one single
November 28, 1987 – December 5, 1987 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"System of Survival" by Earth, Wind & Fire