In Square Circle

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In Square Circle
Stevie Wonder In Square Circle CD cover.JPG
Studio album by Stevie Wonder
Released September 13, 1985
Recorded 1985
Studio Wonderland Studios
(Los Angeles, California)
Genre R&B, soul, funk, adult contemporary
Length 43:33
45:56 (CD version)
Label Tamla
Producer Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder chronology
The Woman in Red
(1984)
In Square Circle
(1985)
Characters
(1987)
Singles from In Square Circle
  1. "Part-Time Lover"
    Released: 1985
  2. "Go Home"
    Released: 1985
  3. "Overjoyed"
    Released: 1986

In Square Circle is a 1985 studio album released by American singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder (his twentieth overall). The album features the hits "Part-Time Lover", "Go Home" and "Overjoyed" (which was left off Wonder's 1979 album Journey through the Secret Life of Plants and re-recorded for this album). The album won Wonder the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance at the 28th Grammy Awards (his fourth award in the category, and his 13th Grammy overall).

In Square Circle broke into the Top 5 on the Pop Albums chart and spent 12 weeks at #1 on the Top R&B Albums chart.

"Go Home" was performed during the 1986 Grammy Awards ceremony as part of a synthesizer jam with Thomas Dolby, Herbie Hancock, and Howard Jones.[1] It was also performed, along with "Overjoyed," on the May 7, 1983, episode of Saturday Night Live, which Wonder hosted.[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written, produced and arranged by Stevie Wonder.

Side one
  1. "Part-Time Lover" – 4:09
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, synthesizers, drums
    • Luther Vandross – lead vocal, background vocal
    • Syreeta Wright – background vocal
    • Philip Bailey - background vocal
    • Keith John - background vocal
    • Melody McCully, Billy Durham, Peter Byrne, Renee Hardaway, Darryl Phinnessee - background vocal
  2. "I Love You Too Much" – 5:30
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, synthesizers, drums, percussion
  3. "Whereabouts" – 4:17
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, synthesizers, drums, percussion
    • Keith John - background vocal
    • Darryl Phinnessee - background vocal
    • Deniece Williams - background vocal
    • Howard Smith - background vocal
  4. "Stranger on the Shore of Love" – 5:01
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, synthesizers, drums, harpsichord, accordion
  5. "Never in Your Sun" – 4:07
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, synthesizers, drums, percussion, harmonica
Side two
  1. "Spiritual Walkers" – 5:12
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer, drums, percussion
    • Edwin Birdsong - Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer
    • Larry Gittens - trumpet
    • Bob Malach - saxophone
    • Janice Moore, Cheta Akins, Carolyn Garrett, Ruthell Holmes, Kay Gibbs, Valencia Cox - background vocal
  2. "Land of La La" – 5:14
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, synthesizers, electric piano, percussion, drums
    • Ben Bridges – guitar
    • Rick Zunigar - guitar
    • Renee Hardaway - background vocal
  3. "Go Home" – 5:18
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, synthesizers, drums, vocoder
    • Bob Malach – saxophone
    • Larry Gittens - trumpet
  4. "Overjoyed" – 3:42
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, background vocal, acoustic piano, environmental percussion (incl.: crickets, bird sounds, ocean, pebbles in pond, stone dropped, crushing leaves), Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer
    • Earl Klugh - guitar
    • Paul Riser - string arrangement
  5. "It's Wrong (Apartheid)" – 6:52 (CD version)
    • Stevie Wonder – lead vocal, synthesizers, drums, percussion, kora
    • Musa Dludla, Thandeka Ngono-Raasch, Linda Bottoman-Tshabalala, Muntu Myuyana, Lorraine Mahlangu-Richards, Fana Kekana, Tsepo Mokone - background vocal

Personnel[edit]

  • Stevie Wonder - producer, performer, writer, composer
  • Bob Bralove, Brad Buxer, Abdoulaye Soumare - synthesizer programming
  • Gary Olazabal - synthesizer programming, recording engineer, associate producer, audio mixing
  • Bobby Holland - photography (album cover/booklet), concept designer (album cover)
  • Renee Hardaway - concept designer (album cover)
  • Johnny Lee - art direction (album cover)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[3]
Robert Christgau B+[4]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[6]

Charting singles[edit]

Code: US Pop / US R&B / US Dance / UK

  • "Part-Time Lover" - 1 / 1 / 1 / 3
  • "Go Home" 10 / 2 / 1 / 67
  • "Overjoyed" 24 / 8 / - / 17
  • "Land of La La" 86 / 19 / - / -
  • "Stranger on the Shore of Love" - / - / - / 55

"Part-Time Lover" "Go Home" and "Overjoyed" charted well in the UK; however, the two other singles failed to show in the main UK Top 40. All five singles had good runs in the UK's Blues and Soul chart. All the singles appeared as 12" singles although none contained any extended versions or remixes beyond the album versions. "Stranger On The Shore of Love" was backed by "Did I Hear You Say You Love Me" from the album Hotter Than July

By the time the "In Square Circle" album was released, Motown decided to bed in catalogue numbers for the singles starting as WOND. In the case of the 12" Singles, a prefix of "T" was added. "Stranger on the Shore of Love" was WONDT7 and was released in 1986 as the final single from the album.

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[26] 2× Platinum 200,000^
France (SNEP)[27] Gold 213,300[28]
Japan (Oricon Charts) 596,000[13]
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[29] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[30] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[31] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ YouTube: "Synthesizer Showdown at the 1985 Grammys"
  2. ^ "May 7, 1983". The SNL Archives. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Allmusic review
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. Consumer Guide Reviews: In Square Circle. The Village Voice. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  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 – In Square Circle" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  9. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2014-04-27
  10. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Stevie Wonder – In Square Circle" (ASP). dutchcharts.nl. MegaCharts. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  11. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  12. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1985" (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. ^ "charts.org.nz Stevie Wonder – In Square Circle" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  15. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Stevie Wonder – In Square Circle" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  16. ^ "swedishcharts.com Stevie Wonder – In Square Circle" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  17. ^ "Stevie Wonder – In Square Circle – hitparade.ch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  18. ^ "Stevie Wonder > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2014-04-28. 
  19. ^ "allmusic ((( In Square Circle > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  20. ^ "Album Search: Stevie Wonder – In Square Circle" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  21. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1985". RPM. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1985 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  23. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1986". RPM. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  24. ^ 年間アルバムヒットチャート 1986年(昭和61年) [Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1986] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  25. ^ "Billboard.BIZ  – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1986". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on 2012-12-08. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  26. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Stevie Wonder – In Square Circle". Music Canada. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  27. ^ "French album certifications – Stevie Wonder – In Square Circle" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select STEVIE WONDER and click OK
  28. ^ "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr (in French). SNEP. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959-2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1979-1990". Iberautor Promociones Culturales. ISBN 8480486392. 
  30. ^ "British album certifications – Stevie Wonder – In Square Circle". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2013-09-26.  Enter In Square Circle 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
  31. ^ "American album certifications – Stevie Wonder – In Square Circle". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2013-09-26.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH