I Wish (Stevie Wonder song)
|Single by Stevie Wonder|
|from the album Songs in the Key of Life|
|B-side||"You and I"|
|Length||3:37 (Single edit)
4:12 (Album version)
|Stevie Wonder singles chronology|
"I Wish" is a hit song by Stevie Wonder. It was released in 1976 as a single and included on the album Songs in the Key of Life. Written and produced by Wonder, the song focuses on his childhood from the 1950s into the early 1960s. The single hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and soul singles chart.
The song evolves around an eight-note bassline composed on a Fender Rhodes electric piano, which is repeated throughout the whole song (but not the 'bridge' section) (although the specific octave of the bass line does change). The key of the piece is D♭ Major / B♭ Minor, although the bridge of the piece is slightly different yet still in the same key. The key is more commonly known as Eb Dorian (2nd mode of Db major). The bridge section chords are Bb, C, Fm, Abm, Bb, C, Fm, Bb - in the key of Eb Dorian these equate to V, VI, ii, iv, V, VI, ii, V. The keyboard part consists of a simple II - V progression (if you think of Db major as the key) during the chorus and verse: E♭ minor 7th (third inversion) and A♭ 7 (first inversion). The progression is a simple i-IV progression in Eb Dorian if you're thinking modally. Stevie Wonder also created a multi-layered synthesizer part which runs through the song's entirety using an Arp 2600. Throughout the chorus and verse, this varied minor pentatonic scale (which can be played using just the black keys on a keyboard) is repeated and adds depth to the song. This piece has a syncopated horn section, as well.
For the television series Classic Albums, Wonder recreated a small section from the song to demonstrate how he composed and arranged it. He played the keyboards and drums himself, and used most of the musicians that appeared on the original recording.
In popular culture
- Will Smith sampled "I Wish" for his 1999 hit "Wild Wild West".
- The song is heavily referenced in the movie Happy Feet.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 636.
- Wonder, Stevie; Beus de Jung; Nick de Grunwald (1977). "Documentary: The Making of Songs in the Key of Life pt. 8". Video documentary of the making of Songs in the Key of Life. Isis Production. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
- "Will Smith feat. Dru Hill and Kool Moe Dee's Wild Wild West sample of Stevie Wonder's I Wish". whosampled.com. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
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