Characters (Stevie Wonder album)

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Characters
Stevie characters.jpg
Studio album by Stevie Wonder
Released November 6, 1987
Recorded 1987
Studio Livingstone Studios
(London, England)
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 (favorable)[2]
Robert Christgau A−[3]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[4]
MusicHound 3/5 stars[5]
Q 5/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars[7]
Rolling Stone (mixed)[8]

Characters is the twenty-first studio album by American singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder released in late 1987. The album features three singles including "Get It", the Grammy-nominated "Skeletons" and "You Will Know", which both reached number one on the Billboard R&B Singles chart (the former being his final American top 40 hit of his career). Characters would be his final studio album until 1995's Conversation Peace.

Overview[edit]

Although highly anticipated like his last album, 1985's In Square Circle upon its release, the album received mixed reviews from critics, and debuted at number 17 on the US Billboard 200. It became his first album since Music of My Mind not to reach the top ten of the charts.

It also debuted at number one on the Top R&B 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.

Awards and nominations[edit]

The album earned Wonder three Grammy Award nominations in 1988–89. The album's second single, "Skeletons" received two nominations for Best R&B Song and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance at the 30th Grammy Awards. He lost Best R&B Song to "Lean On Me" (Bill Withers) and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance to Smokey Robinson's "Just to See Her" at the ceremony. Characters received a nomination at the 31st Grammy Awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, losing to Terrence Trent D'Arby's debut Introducing The Hardline According To Terence Trent D'Arby.

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). "Wonde's Upbeat 'Characters'". chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert. Consumer Guide Reviews: Characters. The Village Voice. Retrieved 2011-06-27.
  4. ^ Grein, Paul (November 15, 1987). "Record Rack: Good-Time Wonder". articles.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  5. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 1243. ISBN 1-57859-061-2. 
  6. ^ Bradley, Lloyd (January 1988). "Chunky: Stevie Wonder Characters". Q. p. 81. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ David Wild (1988-01-28). "Characters | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  9. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  10. ^ "austriancharts.at Stevie Wonder – Characters" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  11. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 20, 2013
  12. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Stevie Wonder – Characters" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  13. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1987" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  16. ^ "swedishcharts.com Stevie Wonder – Characters" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Stevie Wonder – Characters – hitparade.ch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Chart Stats – Stevie Wonder – Characters" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  19. ^ "allmusic ((( Characters > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Album Search: Stevie Wonder – Characters" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  21. ^ "French album certifications – Stevie Wonder – Characters" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select STEVIE WONDER and click OK
  22. ^ "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr (in French). SNEP. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  23. ^ "British album certifications – Stevie Wonder – Characters". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved February 20, 2013.  Enter Characters in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  24. ^ "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