is the fifteenth Talking Book studio album by Stevie Wonder, released on October 28, 1972. A signal recording of his "classic period", in this one he "hit his stride." The album's first track, "  You Are the Sunshine of My Life", hit #1 on Billboard 's Hot 100 and Easy Listening charts, then earned Wonder his first Grammy Award, for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The album's first single, " Superstition", also hit #1 on Billboard 's Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles charts. The album was certified Gold in Canada and The US.
Background [ edit ]
Sandwiched between the release of
and Music of My Mind , Innervisions Talking Book saw Wonder enjoying more artistic freedom from Motown. Guest appearances include Jeff Beck, Ray Parker, Jr., David Sanborn, and Buzz Feiten. The sound of the album is sharply defined by Wonder's keyboard work, especially with the synthesizers he incorporated, giving a funky edge to tracks like "Maybe Your Baby". His use of the Hohner clavinet model C on "Superstition" is widely regarded as one of the definitive tracks featuring the instrument. His clavinet embellishments on "Big Brother", though, evoke a six-string acoustic guitar, and his note-bending  harmonica work touches on some folk and blues influences.
Cecil and Margouleff produced four of Wonder's "classic" albums in all:
, Music of My Mind Talking Book, and Innervisions , as well as several albums by Fulfillingness' First Finale the Isley Brothers and others. They employed an unusual production technique using multiple layers of instruments such as the clavinet, Fender Rhodes electric pianos, and Arp & Moog synthesizers in place of the string orchestras used in conventional production techniques. This combination is what gives Talking Book and these other three albums their distinctive sound.
The cover depicts Wonder with
cornrows, Indian jewelry and a velvet afghan.
Reception [ edit ]
Released after Wonder toured with
The Rolling Stones in 1972, Talking Book became a major hit, peaking at #3 on the Pop Albums chart in February 1973, and became the first album for Wonder to top the  Top R&B Albums chart where it remained for three weeks. The popular appeal of the recording helped destroy the myth that  R&B artists were incapable of creating music that could be appreciated by rock audiences, and marked a unique period for R&B artists (especially Motown artists). Wonder won three awards for Talking Book at the 1974 Grammys: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "You Are the Sunshine of My Life", and both Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song for "Superstition". Incidentally, at the same ceremony, Wonder's next album, , won Innervisions Album of the Year and Talking Book's associate producers  Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff won the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical award for their work on that album.
In a contemporary review for
, Rolling Stone Vince Aletti called Talking Book "ambitious" and "richly-textured", writing that "even at its dreamiest, the music has a glowing vibrancy ... Altogether, an exceptional, exciting album, the work of a now quite matured genius". In 2003,  Rolling Stone ranked it 90th on the magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. According to  Robert Christgau, the record found Wonder taking artistic control and breaking through, while  J. D. Considine called it "a pop tour de force". 
Track Listing and Personnel [ edit ]
"You Are the Sunshine of My Life"
(Wonder) – 2:58
Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, Fender Rhodes, drums
Jim Gilstrap – first lead vocal, background vocal
Lani Groves – second lead vocal, background vocal
Gloria Barley – background vocal
Scott Edwards – electric bass
Daniel Ben Zebulon – congas "Maybe Your Baby"
(Wonder) – 6:51
You and I (We Can Conquer the World)" (Wonder) – 4:39
(Wonder) – 3:02
Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, Fender Rhodes, Hohner clavinet, drums, Moog bass
David Sanborn – alto saxophone
Deniece Williams – background vocal
Shirley Brewer – background vocal "You've Got It Bad Girl"
(Yvonne Wright) – 4:56
Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, Fender Rhodes, drums, Moog bass, T.O.N.T.O. synthesizer
Jim Gilstrap – background vocal
Lani Groves – background vocal
Daniel Ben Zebulon – congas
(Wonder) – 4:26
Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, Hohner clavinet, drums, Moog bass
Trevor Lawrence – tenor saxophone
Steve Madaio – trumpet "Big Brother"
(Wonder) – 3:34
Stevie Wonder – lead vocals, Hohner clavinet, drums, harmonica, Moog bass "Blame It on the Sun"
(Wonder, – 3:26
Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, piano, harpsichord, drums, Moog bass, T.O.N.T.O. synthesizer
Jim Gilstrap – background vocal
Lani Groves – background vocal "Lookin' for Another Pure Love"
(Wonder, S. Wright) – 4:44
Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, Fender Rhodes, drums, Moog bass
Debra Wilson – background vocal
Shirley Brewer – background vocal
Loris Harvin (Delores Harvin) – background vocal
Jeff Beck – electric guitar
Buzz Feiten (Howard "Buzz" Feiten) – electric guitar "I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)"
(Wonder, Y. Wright) – 4:51
Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, piano, Hohner clavinet, drums, Moog bass
contain Braille lettering of Wonder's name and the album title, along with a message not transcribed until the 2000 pressing:  
Here is my music. It is all I have to tell you how I feel. Know that your love keeps my love strong.
Additional personnel [ edit ]
Weekly charts [ edit ]
Year-end charts [ edit ]
Certifications [ edit ]
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
^ Perone, James E. (2012). The Album: A Guide to Pop Music's Most Provocative, Influential, and Important Creations, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. x. ISBN 0313379068. Wonder integrated soul, funk, rock, torch song, and jazz on his 1972 album Talking Book and his 1973 album Innervisions.
^ Some observers count six classic albums, some count five, and others count four.
Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2001). (4 ed.). Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 447–448. All music guide: the definitive guide to popular music ISBN 0-87930-627-0. Stevie Wonder came into his own with Music of My Mind, but Talking Book is where he hit his stride...
Cramer, Alfred William (2009). Musicians and composers of the 20th century. 5. Salem Press. p. 1645. ISBN 1-58765-517-9.
Brown, Jeremy K. (2010). Stevie Wonder: Musician. Black Americans of Achievement. Infobase Publishing. p. 57. ISBN 1-60413-685-5.
^ Chesterton, George (October 5, 2012). "In Praise of the Clavinet". New Statesman . Retrieved . October 26, 2013
^ AllMusic review
^ Moser, Margaret (May 19, 2000). "Review: Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale". The Austin Chronicle . Retrieved . September 26, 2015
^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Stevie Wonder". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 0899190251 . Retrieved . September 26, 2015
^ Christgau, Robert (March 1973). "The Christgau Consumer Guide". Creem . Retrieved . September 26, 2015
^ a b c d "Talking Book". Acclaimed Music . Retrieved . September 26, 2015
^ Hilburn, Robert (April 1, 2000). "Motown Releases Remind Us of Stevie Wonder's Impact". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved . September 25, 2015
^ . London: 123. August 2000. Q
^ a b Considine, J. D. (2004). "Stevie Wonder". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. . The New Rolling Stone Album Guide Simon & Schuster. pp. 885–87. ISBN 0743201698 . Retrieved . September 25, 2015
^ "1973 Albums - Month By Month". Super Seventies Rocksite! . Retrieved . 2014-05-05
^ "Talking Book - Stevie Wonder". AllMusic. 1972-10-27 . Retrieved . 2012-01-12
^ Aletti, Vince (January 4, 1973). Talking Book by Stevie Wonder | Rolling Stone Music | Music Reviews. . Rolling Stone Wenner Media. Retrieved on 2011-04-19.
^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 19, No. 16" (PHP). RPM. 1973-06-02 . Retrieved . 2014-04-29
^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Archived from the original on 2013-05-07 . Retrieved . 2014-04-29
^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1973" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it . Retrieved . 2014-04-29
^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4871310779.
^ "norwegiancharts.com Stevie Wonder - . Archived from Talking Book" the original (ASP) on 2014-05-07 . Retrieved . 2014-04-24
^ "Stevie Wonder > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart . Retrieved . 2014-04-28
^ a b "Allmusic: . allmusic.com Talking Book: Charts & Awards: Billboard Albums" . Retrieved . 2014-04-28
^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1973 par InfoDisc" (in French). infodisc.fr. Archived from the original (PHP) on 2012-10-27 . Retrieved . 2014-04-28
^ "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1973". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on 2012-12-04 . Retrieved . 2014-04-28
^ "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1974". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on 2012-12-31 . Retrieved . 2014-04-28
^ "British album certifications – Stevie Wonder – Talking Book". British Phonographic Industry. Enter Talking Book in the search field and then press Enter.
External links [ edit ]